What if Esther didn’t just save her people through her brave choices? What if she was trained and equipped to lead the charge into battle?
That’s the crazy thought that lead to my first-ever book deal. Biblical Esther plus nanotechnology plus American Ninja Warrior type challenges. How awesome is our God that His response to this admittedly bizarre mashup was “Sounds fun! Let’s do it together.”
Now that I’m well into writing book two of this duology (most pretentious word ever), I thought I’d give you a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how this two-part story came about.
When I sat down to seriously plan this book (Yeah, I thought I could do this in one book. Sigh.) I made a list of the key moments of the biblical account of Esther, the elements without which you don’t have an Esther-like story:
- a group persecuted for their faith
- a competition/selection process involving a king
- a girl from the persecuted group shoved into said competition
- hidden identity
- increased threats to the persecuted people
- the girl having the chance to save her people but only if she risks everything and reveals herself as one of them
I imagined how these key points might play out in a not-too-distant future. I pictured a kingdom made wealthy through nanotechnology and solar innovations and what kind of evils that government would stumble into without God as their guide. I watched videos of Army Rangers completing obstacle courses and googled things like “What time does the sun rise in Iran in April?”
During the months of writing and editing the book, a funny thing happened: Esther was everywhere. Random pastors I listened to were quoting this particular book of the Bible. Friends were mentioning it. A writing workshop referenced it several times.
The message God wanted me to hear became downright blatant: Our world needs Esthers.
We need believers who realize a deep, life-giving relationship with God is the greatest advantage they could ever possess. We need boldness. We need people to stop longing for the good ol’ days and embrace the fact that God placed them on the earth for such a time as this.
As the pressure surrounding us increases, what if we dared to believe that God designed us to endure under pressure? What if we believed Him when He said we’re more than conquerors, and to cheer up because He has overcome the world, and that He will always give us the victory? (Romans 8:37, John 16:33, 1 Corinthians 15:57)
Suddenly, my crazy ninja Esther story felt like . . . more. This book is fun and thrilling and a little romantic. But it’s also my heart for believers today.
You were made for this. You were born for this. Stop listening to the lies and cling to the Truth that in Him you are fully equipped and well-able to take on anything this world throws your way.