I grew up in a house of girls. I have two sisters on Earth, one in Heaven and a very involved mother. I gained another amazing sister and mother through marriage and have seen four nieces join our family in the past eight years. I myself have given birth to three beautiful daughters and right now girls outnumber boys in my house 4-1. To say the least, I know a thing or two about all things girly.
Thanks in part to being raised in the presence of so many strong-willed women, I knew that with that with the beauty of being a woman, also came great power. I also knew once I had my first daughter, that that power was something that must be taught, and taught early on. I had to somehow explain to my three daughters that though they might not be as physically strong, or tall, or loud as a man, their power, their ability to lead, their ability to think for themselves all lies within.
In Chapter 2 of the book of Esther we see the rise of a queen, and not just any queen, but one of the most powerful queens of the Bible. We see a woman who was chosen for her role, a role that would go on to play a huge part in the lives of many people. Esther showed bravery, fearlessness and the ability to lead, but in Chapter 2, we find her hiding.
Esther 2:7 tells us that Esther was “beautifully formed and lovely to behold” yet she wascommanded by Mordecai to hide her nationality and family. She had to hide who she wasbefore the judgement and decision was made by the king. Ultimately when the decision wasmade, the king chose Esther to be the Queen, and she would go on to become one of thegreatest heroines the Bible has to offer.
How often do we hide ourselves? How often do we put on a protective layer before going into a situation that we may not be able to control? Do we shield ourselves from God in fear that the thoughts in our heads, or the feelings in our hearts might not live up to what we feel like He is asking of us?
In Esther there was an act of hiding, literal hiding, but how often are we guilty of hiding our own talents, ideas and desires with others. Do we fear that opening up, sharing with one another might only lead to an opportunity to be ridiculed and judged? Do we shy away from forming true and lasting friendships and relationships because those relationship may lead to the breaking down of some of the defenses we have set up in our own hearts to avoid ever feeling vulnerable?
When I said I grew up loving all things girly, I meant it. One of those things was the love of makeup. I love experimenting with different makeup and trends. It’s something that I see asharmless and a way for me to express myself when I don’t always feel like changing my style ormy complete wardrobe. Recently I watched a YouTube video where a woman did a makeuptutorial about how with makeup you can “change your face.”
The video went on to show step by step how, with using hundreds of dollars of makeup, you can transform your “subpar” face into something “beautiful.” At the end of the video I thought for awhile about what message we send to our young people, especially our young girls when it comes to things like clothing and makeup. Are we preaching albeit silently, to them that they way God made them is meant to be covered up, or meant to be heavily exposed by immodest dress? As a society have we engrained in them that in order to be beautiful they must be hidden?
One of my favorite parts of wearing makeup is removing it before I go to bed. There’s something oddly satisfying about removing the makeup, watching it disappear and seeing my natural face in the mirror. Unhidden, unfiltered, but still with the exact same power, ideals and abilities that it held not minutes before.
Act: This week, be an Esther. Take action to unhide yourself and grow in your thoughts, abilities and your relationships. Especially your relationship with God. Challenge that relationship. Pray that you will always learn and grow in it. Watch the mask of uncertainty fade away and the abilities that it leaves behind rise to the surface.