This letter is inspired by the story of the Moabite woman found in the book of Ruth.
Decisions, decisions. We make them 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week. Some carry more weight while others have short-lived, seemingly insignificant consequences. Often times, the decision-making process is thrust upon us at a time we least expect. We can even be forced to make a choice in the midst of pressure, anxiety, or heartache. That’s where my choice began: heartache.
I was given in marriage to a Hebrew man whose family left Bethlehem to escape a famine. Although we lived in my native land, his family grafted me in as one of their own, introducing customs, traditions, and a God I had never known. It seemed there was grace over me to accept and eventually love the new life allotted to me.
But after 10 years of this life, it was nearly stripped from my grasp. My husband died, along with his brother, and all that I had cherished as my own seemed determined to leave: my sister-in-law and then my husband’s mother.
I was scared. I was heartbroken and confused. The voice of the one I admired most bombarded my mind, I couldn’t think.
“Go back to your mother’s home instead of coming with me…things are far more bitter for me than for you,” my mother-in-law, Naomi, had said. (Ruth 1:13, NLT)
I thought of my upbringing, how I was trained to bow before pieces of clay. Was I to return and be mocked for the destruction the Hebrew God brought upon me?
Yes, it was true: I could expect nothing if I stayed with Naomi, nothing but a glimpse of the peace that surpassed the pain she had encountered. I remembered staring in awe of a woman who could lose her husband and two sons and still find purpose in the breath of each new day.
At that moment, something rose inside me, a familiar presence bringing boldness and surety. It must have been the same Spirit that resided in my husband responding through me:
“Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. I will go wherever you go and live wherever you live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. I will die where you die and will be buried there. May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!” (Ruth 1: 16-17, NLT)
What a thing to say. I’ll tell you, my sisters, it’s not the saying that landed me my own book in the Bible; it was the doing that was required after the words.
When we decide to live a life that pleases God, we continue making decisions that honor Him. Don’t allow fear or a lack of understanding to make you question the decision you made in the Spirit. Lean on His guidance and take comfort in His peace.
In business, choose integrity over convenience. In marriage, choose love over offense. In motherhood, choose patience over anxiety. I assure you, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, my God, your God will honor you just as He honored me.
We’re on the team that has tasted and seen God’s goodness in our lives, so let’s choose His goodness every day.
In our Father’s love,