But what can I do? Maybe like me, this is the thought that goes through your mind when you watch the news or see a news pop-up on your computer. Sometimes all there is to do is overwhelming!
One thing that has helped me is not doing things alone!
When Amy Carroll and I were writing Esther, we fed the draft chapter by chapter to a team of readers, sometimes called a Manuscript Development Team, who gave us feedback. We are so grateful for their help, which made the study stronger.
Two of our most faithful encouragers have guest posts going live today. Here, you’ll read a post by Cecille Valoria. Would you please encourage her in the comments? Our other friend Shelley Boulos is sharing on Amy’s blog: How to Steward Your Sphere of Influence.
Mordecai’s words for Queen Esther resounded through my ears and sent a lump in my throat, but
also encouraged me to ask “But what can I do?”
“Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, ‘Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace
you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and
deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish.
And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?’” Esther
4:13-14 ESV (Italics added)
Esther’s story was not unfamiliar to me, but I never studied it in depth until I became part of
Amy Carroll and Lynn Cowell’s Manuscript Development Team.
As I delved deeper into the study, questions stirred my heart. I remember asking, “What can I, a
retired schoolteacher staying home all day long to take care of my 94-year-old dad, to make a
difference to the least of these, my brethren?”
I didn’t know the answer to that question. I didn’t even know what cause I must fight for. Nor
did I know just how Esther’s story would impact me. I was oblivious that after fasting
for thirty-eight days, I, too, would go through a “listen-feel-do-speak” process.
But I knew:
· God calls each one of us for a particular purpose, for a specific season or time.
· I want to make a difference.
· I want the same clarity Amy and Lynn had of God’s leading.
But what can I do? Was it for orphans, the homeless, or the sexually trafficked? I
dabbled before with a little of this and a little of that to help these vulnerable groups, but what
burning passion did God put in my heart for this period in my life? Queen Esther had the Jews.
Lynn found hers with a group of incarcerated ladies. Amy, with a multiracial group of women.
Have you ever asked yourself who God is calling you to speak for and serve?
My conversations with friends always centered on my taking care of Daddy. I hardly talked
about my caring for my brother who is in a nursing home three hours away. Physically, I am not
there getting him in and out of bed as I do with my dad. I am not there taking him to and from
his doctor’s appointments. But I attend his quarterly medical meetings. I keep track of his
finances. And most recently, I walked through God’s process to stand up and fight for his life.
I tuned in to God’s whispers of hope instead of the medical personnel’s blaring declarations of
hopelessness. Throughout the three months, my brother was in the hospital moving from the
Intensive Care Unit to the Transitional Care Unit and back to ICU and TCU, God impressed on
me to choose life. Repeatedly, God reminded me, that it is He who gives life, and only He who takes
The pressure was on. I felt the push. I felt the spiritual battle raging. Words and phrases about
suffering and quality of life were thrown at me left and right. They talked about comfort care.
And I struggled. Like a game of Tug of War, I was pulled between the words my physical ears
heard from the experts and the words my spiritual ears discerned.
I wrestled with the weight of those words and their meanings. God gave me clarity. He gave me
unwavering faith and peace amid the crashing emotions I felt. Equipped with God’s strength
through His Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit that was stronger than the hopeless words of
the world, I stood my ground for my brother.
I gave voice to the defense my brother could not. And I’m prepared to speak in defense of
others who have no one advocating for them. I will speak for those who don’t have the capacity
or boldness to ask questions and are pressured to make choices without knowing the
consequences their actions may entail.
When we look at the world and feel our hearts heavy at the darkness we see, like Lynn,
we may ask, “So what do I do?” May the words of Pastor Andy Stanley encourage us, “Do for one
what you wish you could do for everyone.”
God faithfully took me through the process of listen, feel, do, and speak. Most amazingly, He
made me see His glory shine in the miracle He did to keep my brother alive.
Will you trust Him to guide you through whatever process and purpose He has for you for “such
a time as this?”
He is faithful and will show you!
Cecille Valoria indulges her passion for encouraging others through her devotional writing, blog,
and her podcast, “Digging Deep for Treasures.”
She is the founder of A Simple Touch Ministry, a nonprofit organization that delivers flower
arrangements to patients in convalescent hospitals. Cecille published her memoir/self-help book,
“Slaying Your Fear Giants, Moving from a Jungle of Terror to a Garden of Peace,” in November
- It chronicles her battle with anxiety and is her personal testimony of God’s healing and faithfulness in her life. You can connect with Cecille through her blog