Fresh Hope – 18th April 2016

In 2009, I was at a crossroads in my life after just giving birth to my firstborn, Noah. I knew that in a few months time, I would need to go back to work, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do, and my previous job had come to an end whilst I was pregnant. I had always dreamt of one day owning my very own traditional sweet shop, but I had no plans or means to do it until much later in my life. With a lot of prayer, and advice, I took a giant leap of faith and launched ‘Polly’s’, in April 2010.

It was everything I ever imagined it would be, and I was proud of what I had created. It was a great place to work, didn’t feel like a job, and it was a dream I was so happy to be fulfilling. Business was blessed, and I was loving being my own boss. A few months after opening our second location, things became increasingly difficult and we faced huge challenges on a daily basis.

For months I prayed, sought advice, and believed that circumstances would get better and things would change. They didn’t.

We closed the doors with 18 months of a lease left to pay, and I was heartbroken.

I felt like a failure, and I felt that God had failed me. Why hadn’t he turned up and saved my business that I had worked so hard for and dreamed about for so long? I had prayed and He hadn’t answered.

I felt sad for a long time, but I vowed that people would not see my smile disappear.

I felt my faith waiver, but it didn’t crumble. Instead, I firmly planted my feet on His word, and built the next few months of my life on Proverbs 3v5-6.

‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.’

I didn’t know what else to do, so that’s what I did. I put all MY understanding aside, and I trusted like never before.

I didn’t know how I could have been more planted in God’s house, but I pushed my roots down further. I was going to flourish again.

I didn’t know what was next for me, but I firmly believed that He did.

C. S. Lewis once said:

‘Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.’

I chose to let go of the negative emotions that I knew could have easily taken a hold of me, and I moved forward, holding onto His promises, while all the time He held my hand.

Life doesn’t always go the way that we imagine, or hope, or dream. Sometimes life sucks.

But it’s what we do in those moments of disappointment that determine what happens to us next. Just because we have salvation in Christ, doesn’t make us sailors of smooth seas. But it does give us hope that is eternal.

In the years that have followed, I have found some amazing opportunities in front of me – opportunities I know that can only have been God. I learnt that just because things didn’t work out how I imagined, didn’t mean that He had forgotten me. His plans are always higher.

And every single time something new falls on the horizon, I hear his whisper: ‘Esther, I told you I’d got this.’

I’m still believing for miracles on a daily basis, life will never be perfect; but be encouraged today in knowing that He has your back. Give Him your hurt, your disappointment, your failures, because He promises that there are far far greater things lying ahead, than any we leave behind.

Esther Nash

A daily devotion for a better way of living.