Eowyn, shield maiden of Rohan, sat out most of the action in The Two Towers, so as we come into The Return of the King, she is ready for action but is again advised to stay home. Aragorn tries to help her understand that it is still important for her to remain at home and lead her people.
“Then there will be need of valour without renown, for none shall remember the deeds that are done in the last defence of your homes. Yet the deeds will not be less valiant because they are unpraised.”
I think that we all have this mindset. When we do something important, we want people to notice it. We might not say that we want praise, but on some level, we at least want recognition. We at least want people to appreciate our efforts. I can understand where Eowyn is coming from, but she is driven by honor. She defies her King and decides to ride to battle with the rest of the army.
She does indeed find her place in the battle and proves pivotal as she confronts the Witch King, the general of Sauron’s army. He is remarkably powerful, and no living man is able to kill him.
“But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Éowyn I am, Éomund’s daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him.”
She triumphs in the conflict in a way that no one else on the battlefield would have been able to. Had she not been there, it is difficult to tell how the battle would have progressed. Clearly, none of the other men, even the remarkably powerful ones like Aragorn, would have had a way to ultimately kill this enemy. She gained the honor she was looking for, and her honor was specifically derived from being who she was. Had she not been a woman, she would not have been able to perform this great deed.
It is easy to want to be different than we are. It is easy to wish for the gifts and abilities that somebody else has. However, I am convinced that people are put exactly where they are for specific reasons. Had she not been left behind in the first battle, perhaps she would have been injured and not been in the position to rise to Minas Tirith to slay this tremendous enemy. What she saw as an affront to her pride actually guaranteed that she would be in a position to actually fight and make a difference that nobody else could make.
We don’t always understand why things are the way they are, and it is okay to be frustrated. It is okay to go and do what is right like Eowyn did when she rode to battle contrary to orders. Those things do need to happen at times. However, we can never lose sight of the overarching picture. As Christians, we believe that God is sovereign, and we believe that God does not make mistakes. There are places that you are going to be put, and there is a reason you specifically are there. We are put there because we are the ones who can make a difference in a special way. We need to look for those opportunities.
 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002), 784, Kindle Edition.
 Ibid., 841.