As Unlikely A Woman As I

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“The true value of life is so precious it is made to shine bright for all to see and is justifiable by God.” —Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at 5am

This is a glimpse into my journal, specifically my dream journal. I have many journals. There are days when the pen flows. Days where my mind runs a-mile-a-minute and when sleep is sparse. This is how I keep note of every detail, so that when I read it in the future, I can transport myself back to that moment, remembering the location and how I felt, my thought process, even down to which pen I used. Saying the words to myself over and over, like a record. I like to go deep. I dig deep. Deep is what I know.

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I often liken my life to an Adele album: tragic with delightful surprises. There are pain and disappointments, but at the same time it’s filled with melodic harmonies, riffs and high cadences. Perhaps the best word to describe it in whole is appoggiatura: an embellishing note that falls on the beat and then resolves to a main melodic note. It’s not essential to the harmony or the melody of a song, but it creates tension. So when Adele returns to the melody from appoggiaturas, she relieves that tension, therefore relieving the listener. Her albums are real, raw, and passionate–they play out a story. This is my story.

I am a creative person, an INFJ, which means that I feel first. Deeply. This personality type is likened to Oprah, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr. and Mother Teresa, to name a few. I like to think I’m in good company. INFJs need to find meaning in their work. We need to know we are helping and connecting with people. We seek truth, beauty and purpose.

In Fall 2014, I felt several nudges to read the book of Esther. Finally, at maybe the second nudge, I opened my Bible to the book. In true Chervelle fashion, I also researched studies on Esther. I was wondering, “Why Esther?” Shortly after, I ran into a friend from a previous church who—unaware of my new study—told me about a new series they began on Esther. That week I listened to the messages from both church campuses.

I pondered: “Maybe I need to understand the all-encompassing beauty and strength of this dignified woman? Maybe, just maybe, there is something deeper for me to understand?”

I also listened to two online sermons by Charlotte Gambill, one of my favourite preachers.  She mentioned Esther on a few occasions, which caught my attention. She spoke of Esther “owning her zone.” Mordecai warned Esther to remember her zone. She woke up to her moment, shook off apathy, and basically said, If I perish, I perish. Now I get it why I was chosen to be in this zone.

“Deliverance could arise from some other place … you were born for such a time as this.” —Esther 4:14

Charlotte continued that God has placed us in zones with connections and influence to use for a larger purpose than our own. We are meant to be an avenue of blessing for many. But if we don’t wake up to the reason we find ourselves in our zone, we may miss it.

Yes. Own your zone. Stand in your God-given authority.

The second message was called In Her Shoes. Shoes could quite possibly be my favourite metaphor. Growing up, Esther wore orphan shoes, but her cousin Mordecai stepped into her shoes and took her into his own family and provided for her. In later years, she entered the palace and stepped into her new shoes as queen. She moved from orphan to queen. But we can never forget what this promotion is for. It’s not about living a pampered life as a queen, but about helping others and pointing them in the right direction.

There’s always a subplot going on. We need to get out of our own shoes and have a bit of awareness of what’s going on and happening in the world. We need to believe that we can make a difference. But just like Esther, we have to step out of our own comfort, take off our royal sandals, embrace the discomfort and risk our future.

Like Esther, I believe I was born for such a time as this. But this moment is not solely for my own benefit. No, I am thoroughly convinced that it is also for the benefit of others. To be part of establishing heaven on earth. To play my role in God’s grand story. For my subplot to be part of God’s main plot. To stand in my zone, spread out and think big. To be a Dangerous Woman.

So here is the delightful surprise from Esther’s story: God can use a woman as unlikely as I.

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Chervelle Camille
Chervelle is a dreamer with the strong desire to see women flourish. She colours her life with the mission statement: “To inspire and bring out beauty from the deepest heart of the soul.” Chervelle is a stylish storyteller who speaks her mind, lives a uniquely creative life, and is convinced she lives in a perpetual state of musical bliss. Chervelle spends her days as a freelance wardrobe stylist, writer, and event coordinator. You can find her over at chervellecamille.com, on Instagram @chervellca, or at her newest project H.E.R Tell at hertellsations.wordpress.com.
Chervelle Camille

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Chervelle Camille
  • Here you are! It’s precious getting a glimpse into more of your heart, Chervelle. Thank you for reminding me to thrive in my zone. I also learned a new word. 🙂

    • Thank you for welcoming my voice to this very humbling platform, Idelette!!

  • Jacqueline

    Beautiful, !!!!!As I step info a. New pbase of life. I am so sensing tbat its my time to own my new zone. I am now moving into being “tbe older woman” and now have tbe opportunity to be cor others what. Had hoped to ba e for myself as a you younger woman, or shrink back. Ow that my time has come..
    Thanks for this timely encouragement on the morning of my 50th birthday. “Ownig my zone”!!
    Jacqueline

    • Oh, a very big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you, Jacqueline!! How wonderful for you to enter into, what I hear is, a blessing of a decade. Definitely, Own This Zone! May this encourage you in this new chapter. Xx

  • Esther I know, but Adele (playing in the background now — what a voice!) and Charlotte and appoggiaturas are utterly new to me, so I’m grateful for this post. Truly, bringing shoes and zones into Esther makes that story even more relevant.

    • It was the same for me also, Michele. I love the idea of knowing the shoes Esther wore. It offers a new perspective and she is that much more relatable to me. I encourage you to find teachings on Charlotte Gambill, I have a feeling you may really like her messages.

      And Adele! What a voice, indeed! I’m so glad you’ve found her! She’s currently serenading me in my car.

  • I just love Esther! I recently read it as well. I had read it so many times in the past as it is a common book for women’s studies but this time I studied it by myself, with fresh eyes. It was so enlightening! Love your insight on Esther 🙂

    • I think that’s it right there, Keri, once I studied it on my own, I was introduced to more than I did before. It really has been an enlightening experience. Glad to meet a common Esther-ite… if you will. Xx

  • Wonderful insights, Chervelle. “But this moment is not solely for my own benefit. No, I am thoroughly convinced that it is also for the benefit of others.” YES! So easy to take these moments as “blessings” and not the duty that they are, to benefit others. Thank you!

    • Thank you, Nicole!
      It’s a learning experience, but one I try to remind myself of and devote myself to on a daily.

  • cjdeboer

    Just lovely xoxoxoxoxox

  • “…as unlikely as I.” That resonates with me too. It says so much to me about God’s grace, creativity and hospitality that he chooses us, the unlikely ones. Xoxo

    • I love that, Olive, He is gracious to choose us, the unlikely ones! This is where I find comfort.
      Love you, friend. Xxx

  • Justine Hwang

    This reminds me of a few verses that came up in my study today, “When you reap your harvest in your field and forget a sheaf in the field you shall not go back to get it. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.” Deuteronomy 24:19 May God bless the work of your (and all our) hands, not just for our own benefit, but for all those around us in need. Thanks for sharing, from orphan to queen shoes. The voices of doubt of the orphan often fight to be louder in my heart!

    • I read this over and over for the words to seep in deeply. Oh Justine, yes, absolutely yes. And speaking on behalf of everyone else, may the work of he hands be blessed not only for ourselves, but for those who will best benefit from it.
      Thank you. X

  • Saskia Wishart

    What a gift YOU are to the Sheloves community Chervelle! Thank you for doing the graphics, and for sharing here!

    • Thank you, Saskia! I couldn’t ask for a better group of women to champion through life and all of its questions with. Looking forward to meeting you in person, one day!