For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba,Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8: 14-17
The story of Esther's Necklaces began many years ago when my mother gave me a princess necklace for a birthday (I think?). It suddenly changed my mindset about who I was, as I knew I was loved and was special. As I grew in my relationship with Jesus, I came to realize that I truly was a princess: a daughter of the Most High King, bought with a precious price to be adopted into the family of God. I wore this necklace for many years to remind me of how God saw me and not how I saw myself.
Then a few years ago, the Lord asked me to do a very difficult thing. He asked me to give that precious necklace away to someone I knew who had just been adopted into the family of God. She needed the identity reminder more than I did and so I humbly took it off and gave that precious piece away. As I privately talked with God about this, He reminded me that He had done the same thing… He humbly and joyfully gave His Son, even when the recipients didn’t know how precious He was to the Father. It was then that I knew God was doing something bigger in my heart.
Meanwhile, I had been crying out to God to give my husband and I a ministry we could partner with to combat the evils of sex trafficking. Once the horrors of this industry were revealed to me through a blogger, I knew I needed to be involved on some level. Again, God answered my prayer through a dear friend who was directly connected with an amazing ministry called Breaking Chains.
My heart has been so knit to this ministry since we found it, and I could see why when I found out that the women and children they rescue off the streets who go through their 90 day residential program are called “Princesas” (Spanish for Princess). They receive a new identity: beauty for ashes, joy for mourning, hope for despair. Their lives are completely changed when they exit the program with a newly established business of their own choosing. (There is a fascinating justice arm of the ministry as well that you can read about here.)
Being a part time homeschooling mom to two children of my own left me questioning what in the world I could do to go beyond partnering with them. I certainly wasn't cut out for the justice part of their ministry and the Lord hasn't called us to move down to Latin America (yet!). So I kept asking God, "What can I do right now with what you have given me?" It's a super powerful question that I meditated on for quite a while when I was feeling stuck.
And then my family and I were on a glamping trip when He woke me up, in the middle of the night, (apparently couldn't wait til morning) and put this current project on my heart, which was confirmed to me with the verse from Esther 4:14. "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Really, God has blessed me with so many amazing resources and connections, how could I not use it for His glory?
And so a portion of profits from Esther's Necklaces will go to Breaking Chains and each Princesa who graduates from the program will be given a beautiful necklace to remind her of her new identity in the family of God. My hope is that one day we will extend our designs and offerings from ladies who have graduated from the program as a means to support themselves and their families as an alternate to a life on the streets. There are many steps that need to be taken for that to happen and I'm praying that God would open those doors.
Consider, too, the beautiful invitation to join the family of God. There is room for you, too. If you have been seeking an identity, wondering who you are, seek no further. If you believe in God the Father and that Jesus Christ died for the wrong that you have done and you want Him to come fill that hole in your heart that you’ve been trying to fill with guys, your self, your work, your family, drugs, whatever, that only the King of Kings can, then you are His daughter. Welcome. You are loved; you are a Princess.
Humbly yours, Maureen
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