A few years ago, I went through a particularly difficult time.
Yep. A good ole-fashioned relationship crisis.
At the time, I was so upset that I was convinced I needed to do something for myself. Kind of like a woman-empowerment thing. (You girls know what I’m talking about!) So I went out, bought an expensive camera, took a photography course, and began taking pictures. LOTS of them.
One beautiful fall day, I took a few photos for a friend. Several weeks later, I was booking appointments. Just like that. A total, complete GOD thing.
Once the ball starting rolling, I knew I needed a name for my photography business. I prayed and sought God on what He might have me call it, knowing it came from Him in the first place. One day, while reading my bible, I “stumbled” across a passage in Hosea 2, about the judgement of God’s people, and how He lifted them up, restored them, and transformed their ‘valleys of trouble’ into ‘acres of hope’. Now, really quickly, let me clarify without getting all preachy. I wasn’t buried in sin or feeling the wrath of God’s judgement. BUT…I was in need of His rescuing, just as the people of Israel were.
God had transformed my difficult situation into a time of immense joy and blessing. Hence, ‘Acres of Hope Photography’. It was perfect.
FAST FORWARD TO TODAY…
It almost makes me laugh now. Not that it wasn’t a very difficult time in my life. It was.
But I had no idea.
In the fall of 2011, I got married, and celebrated the best day of my life. I was able to watch many of God’s plans for me unfold, and it was beautiful. However, our joy was short lived. Two weeks after our wedding, we buried our beautiful three year old niece…and 18 months later, my incredible daddy. Cancer had ripped them both from our lives. Forever.
And that’s when Acres of Hope took on new meaning.
It was no longer something that just gave me hope. It defined me. It held me together. It was something that I used to heal my heart again, to put the pieces back together. It gave me purpose, it gave me hope…just like it did six years prior. Only in a much, much deeper way.
Now, my ‘acres of hope’ look completely different than they did just a few years ago. And in another few years, they will probably look much different then they do now. But I’ve learned that regardless of my circumstances, there is one common denominator. One common thread. My Savior. My God. I’ve learned that no matter how deep the pain, no matter how intense the sorrow, He is always there.
And for me, He, yet again, was lifting me out of the valley of trouble. And placing me in Acres of Hope.
That’s my story.
Can’t wait to hear yours.