Up to this point we do not hear much about her character. Watch how she responds to those under whose authority she was placed. In neither case did she choose to go under their authority. Look at her humility.
15 When the turn came for Esther (the girl Mordecai had adopted, the daughter of his uncle Abihail) to go to the king,
she asked for nothing other than what Hegai,
the king's eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested.
And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her. (NIV)
It seems simple enough and yet, she trusted Hegai (with whom she had already won favor from the very beginning) and only did as he suggested, not presuming to know better than he and God points it out in the story written of her life. This detail could have easily been bypassed. She recognized that she did not know what would be the best to take in with her to the king, but rather she knew to take advice...
Can you imagine the life that Esther had been thrust into? Forced into relationship with the king with no choice, and if not pleasing, to end the rest of her days in the "second" harem. Would we think it's about time to start a pity party, to let bitterness creep in "justified?"...
But Esther "won the favor of everyone who saw her." If she had been demanding, self-centered, and critical or pious... would this have been said of her? Would Hegai have given her the best treatment?
20 But Esther had kept secret her family background and nationality
just as Mordecai had told her to do,
for she continued to follow Mordecai's instructions
as she had done when he was bringing her up. (NIV)
Here again, Esther follows instructions of one in authority over her and keeps a family nationality secret for no other reason than because Mordecai, her cousin, (daughter of his uncle) told her to do so. It says "she continued to follow Mordecai's instruction as she had done when he was bringing her up." This tells again of her character of submitting herself under the authority she has been put under even as a child.
In both cases, she could have done as she pleased: chosen her own things to take in to the king and told those around her of her own nationality. But she chose to listen to the advice of those in authority over her.
These small tests set the stage for the larger test to be thrown onto her plate which will threaten her very life, but these show the character by which she had lived in becoming prepared for the crisis ahead.
How do we live in the everyday as Esther did growing up under Mordecai?
How do we respond under the heavier test when life does not present itself in the way we imagined... becoming a concubine of a king? Can you imagine?