With the recent kickoff of JLO’s 30 Days of Discipleship fully underway I have been challenged along with young women all over the nation to press deeper into discipleship. On the first prayer call every young lady was encouraged to read the biblical account of Esther, the Jewish orphan who became a national leader and generational influencer in her time.
Can you see yourself in Esther today? She came from the most humble beginnings. Her people, the Jews, were the minority of her day. They were in a land not their own and seen as the lowest of the low, a burden for the entire nation.
Yet although Esther’s people were marginalized, oppressed, and in captivity to the Babylonians, it was Esther who was chosen as queen of the same people who had formerly subjected her people group.
How did this happen? How in the world did Esther get in the right position to arguably be most influential woman in the nation, from orphanhood?
One word: Discipleship.
It wasn’t Esther’s beauty, although she was immeasurably beautiful, and it certainly wasn’t her vast network of political connections, wealthy inheritance, or even her intellect or talent.
It was her wisdom to listen and follow the instructions of the mentors God had clearly placed in her life and her willingness to patiently go through the process God ordered for her.
Just last week I spoke with two young ladies from my alma mater, Spelman college, who opened up about at times being frustrated with not being where they wanted to be, for one it was spiritually and the other it was professionally. I encouraged them that we are all in journey and we all have a unique process to go through to arrive at our ultimate distinct destinies.
Esther had a unique process too. Her process was twofold: external and internal. One part of her process was the extensive year long beautification treatments she had to undergo before even being brought before the king. The second was an internal spiritual journey of learning to trust the mentors in her life.
I’m sure it took a lot of patience and even more trust for Esther to spend a year in a palace surrounded by women she didn’t know and to go through a year of beauty treatments. We don’t know what those beauty treatments consisted of. They could have been very uncomfortable and time consuming, they could have even been painful.
Whatever they were, we know that Esther patiently endured through them because she knew the final goal of having the opportunity to meet the king. In fact, because of the favor Esther found with Hegai, one of the leaders of the women, she was given more beauty treatments than the other women.
She was also in an environment unfamiliar to her, away from the Jewish community she had grew up with and she was not even able to speak of her family. Can you imagine how isolating that must have felt at times? Because she was a Jew she had to hide her lineage from the king initially in order to even be considered for the position of queen. Her possibly only solace came from her Jewish uncle and mentor Mordecai who came to the palace daily to check on her.
What end goal are you reaching towards today? Do you feel like Esther, out of your comfort zone and in a place of unfamiliarity? Do you feel like you are in a process so unique that many would not understand? Esther’s peers may not have understood why she would leave her people, mask her ethnicity, and try to become the queen of the very nation that sought to abuse her people.
Further, many might have been tempted to trivialize Esther’s process. What could be so difficult about living in a palace many would have thought? What could be so difficult about being beautified?
Maybe you’re in a similar position today. Maybe you are in a process that few understand or can even recognize or worse, would try to dismiss.
Please don’t try to go it alone. What separated Esther from every other young lady in the palace also vying for the place of queen was the support system she surrounded herself with, namely her uncle Mordecai and Hegai. These were her mentors, her disciplers, and everything they said she held on to and followed exactly.
Today I encourage you to find your Mordecai and Hegai today and come under their wing. Take their wisdom, advice and encouragement to help you stick through your process whatever it may look like.
Often we will have both Mordecai’s and Hegai’s in our lives and both are essential to achieve her calling. Mordecai was a spiritual mentor to Esther and he acted as her father. He gave her spiritual insight, reminded her of her family line and why she was in the palace in the first place. Mordecai was in Esthers life to keep her spiritually grounded and to parent her.
Heggai was in Esthers life to give her favor and to give her the external beauty preparations she would need to meet the king. Heggai helped naturally prepare Esther for her calling.
Different men and women in your life may already be coming to mind. Your Hegai may be a professor, a coach, or a professional mentor already in your life. Your Mordecai may be a relative, a pastor, or you may have yet to meet them. Whoever these individuals are, just as they were for Esther, they will be incredibly instrumental in your life and will fill a place your peers will never be able to.
With that stated, stay encouraged today! You will finish your process! In the midst of the palace Esther may have felt so alone, so frustrated, so unsure whether she was truly where she was meant to be or if she would ever be chosen as queen amongst the many beautiful palace maidens. But she did finish her process and every moment she endured became well worth it when she finally became queen of the greatest superpower at the time.
Just as He had for Esther, today God has amazing plans for you, plans to prosper you, and plans to give you a glorious hope and future (Jeremiah 29:11). But those plans also require a process, and that process is one you won’t be able to navigate without the wisdom of your Mordecai and Hegai.
Say this prayer with us today:
“Dear Father, thank you for the wonderful plans you have for me, plans greater than I could even think or imagine! I know the process I’m in today is preparing me for an amazing tomorrow. But I also know I need help to get there. Please send me a Mordecai and Hegai to spiritually and naturally prepare me for the destiny You have for me and show me if they are already in my life. I am ready to step into discipleship! Help me when this journey gets difficult, help me to lean on You and the mentors I know you will surround me with. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen!”
Has this post inspired you to seek out your Mordecai and Hegai? Or maybe God has shown you who they are? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to comment below!