Tonight I finish up an awesome Bible study with an equally awesome group of women. It's the Esther study by Beth Moore and if you've never done a Bible study with her before, you are missing out! I was a Beth Moore virgin (so to speak!), and I'm so glad that I jumped right in and got my feet wet with this study.
So, here are a few things I learned from studying the book of Esther with Beth Moore:
1. Esther was the bomb diggity. She was the complete package of a woman. I have to think that if I had lived in the time of Esther, I probably would have either, A.) wanted to be just like her--after all, she was a queen, or B.) despised her and talked about her behind her back. Hopefully I would have gone with choice A. In my current life and place given me, I am choosing A. I really look up to everything that Esther portrayed and what she was to her people. She was humble, polite, beautiful, caring, and God-centered, among many other things. She wasn't afraid to stand up for what she believed in, and she didn't back down from a challenge.
2. It's okay if I don't always know what I'm doing. I remember when I turned 30 a couple of...okay, several years ago. As the big 3-0 loomed ever closer, I remember feeling a bit panicked. I almost felt the beginnings of a mid-life crisis coming on, but in my head I knew that wasn't supposed to happen until I hit 40! I recall verbalizing some of my fears to my husband, and he blandly pointed out that I was likely experiencing those emotions because I was leaving a decade full of transitions, changes, and monumental events. After all, in my 20's, I had gotten 2 college degrees, gotten married, began my career, bought my first home, and had 2 children! How much more could I have squeezed into that decade??? Approaching my 30's seemed like a big let-down. How could the coming decade hold any more hope and promise than that of my 20's?? My helpful husband allowed me to have an A-Ha moment (yes, and I'm supposed to be the therapist full of insight and wisdom--ha!). I simply dreaded my 30's because I felt no more purpose. However, in studying Esther, it is clear to see that God has called me to His purpose, and although I may not know what it is, God knows it and He will most definitely fulfill it in me. He has a plan and He will get it accomplished whether I'm following along or not. What a great comfort to me as I stumble my way through life, most of the time wondering where I'm going and what I'm supposed to be doing!
3. All of my fears, guilt and other stuff/garbage/nonsense that I feed myself is already taken care of. I got my degree in social work, but I really could have majored in Guilt and done just fine, thankyouverymuch. I'm really good at guilt. But, God has a greater plan for me and everyone else, so why waste my time feeling guilty? If I majored in Guilt, my minor could have been Irrational Fear and Worry. If I plant those seeds in my heart every day, what do I expect to grow there? If I toss them up into the wind to God, however, they'll go find a home elsewhere. That is what God wants me to do and calls me to do. But, like other subjects in school, this takes an abundance of effort and practice (study) to get it right.
I think my new favorite book of the Bible is Esther! I have to admit that although I had read this book before, I mostly had the Veggie Tales version in my head. I'm so thankful that my eyes have been opened up to the wonders and insights to this fabulous book. I can't wait to see what I can dive into next!