There are some things that we long to leave behind as we venture forward in 2023. Many are dealing with issues head on, have sought help if needed (spiritual accountability, counseling, mentorship, etc.), and sense a readiness to fully receive and extend the love of God in their new beginning.
This reality was also true for another woman named Ruth, a beautiful figure in Biblical history. She’d grieved a great deal due to the loss of a spouse, a way of life, and social standing in her community. Yet she was willing to venture into a new relationship with the true and living God along with a new place and frame of mind with Naomi (her mother-in-law).
But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” 18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.Ruth 1: 16 -18
It’s apparent that Ruth had a choice. She could have remained in Moab, her hometown and place of lack of all things spiritual, financial, etc. Or Ruth could yield to where she was being led and flourish as a woman who received God’s love and extended that same love to others. Clearly she chose the latter. The reality of the old was undeniable, but there were new memories to create and cherish with the Lord, her mother-in-law (Naomi), and a new family and social connections.
So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. 14 The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! 15 He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.” 16 Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him. 17 The women living there said, “Naomi has a son!” And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.Ruth 4: 13 -17
We too have a choice. The ability to make new memories with the Lord and others is truly a gift.
You may not physically uproot your entire life in order to relocate and the details of your grief journey may look different. But what if God is leading you to experience new things? What if He is calling you to embrace spiritual accountability, social groups, a shift in routine, a temporary get-away, or an opportunity to thrive in a career switch or volunteer opportunity?
How could God be using your past to prompt you further into his will and care for you in an entirely new and fresh way?
Happy Black History Month! #February
I had the opportunity to spend some time in Gainesville, Florida in the month of January. We attended an event presented by the Martin Luther King Commission of Florida. Being spontaneously interviewed by a newspaper reporter was an honor as I shared my thoughts about legacy, leadership, and homeschooling my daughter!
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