“Don’t call me Naomi, she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The LORD has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.” Ruth 1:20-21 NIV
Wait till you read this! I think your heart will be bursting like mine is. I got to spend this weekend speaking at Braeside Camp’s retreat for single moms and their kids. These girls have ended up parenting without a father in the home through divorce, death or other unfortunate circumstances. Many came with broken, defeated, heavy hearts as they faced their loss and the pain their children are experiencing. Some wondered if God had forgotten about them or even more devastating, questioned if God was against them.
In every service, the women received gifts from Braeside and the many donors who wanted to bless them. The Goodness Project donated a mock store, full of clothes from an upscale clothing chain providing lots of guilt-free shopping! One mom told me how her son had lost his winter coat earlier in the week. She found two coats that fit him! Another mom hadn’t had a winter coat in years and was able to get a gorgeous, fur-collared parka, along with other clothes—she was over-the-moon excited! Women and kids were proudly walking around in new clothes for the rest of the retreat! Cedarview Church in Paris gifted the families with bags of groceries and cleaning supplies.
During the services God was setting women free, healing hurts, building courage, giving them prophetic words, dreams and visions… It was crazy! These girls get what it’s like to experience roller coaster emotions.
So many of the women came feeling poor, alone and sometimes forgotten but left spiritually fired up, knowing the church was there for them, they had new friends and most of all that God lavishly loved them!
Riding Out Roller Coaster Emotions
Today’s verse comes from the book of Ruth. I love her story. It’s an emotional retelling of women who faced extreme loss, followed by great sacrifice that leads to love, redemption, and extreme blessing! In the first chapter, you learn how Naomi has lost her husband and two sons. She then loses one daughter-in-law but her other daughter-in-law Ruth insists on staying with her as Naomi travels back to her native country, Israel. Ruth chooses to make Naomi’s people her people and Naomi’s God her God. This sacrificial act is what leads to their redemption and the destiny of God for both of their lives.
Naomi’s words in the verse above are those of a woman whose heart and will have been broken by loss. She’s taken a seat on the bitter bus and doesn’t want to get off.
Naomi feels that God is against her, but those feelings take an about-face as God lays out His redemption plan for her life and Ruth’s. It’s easy for me to stay calm when I read through the book of Ruth because I know the ending. I know Boaz is going to come into the story, fulfill the role of kinsman-redeemer, marry Ruth and provide for her and Naomi. I know that beyond just fulfilling his family obligation, Boaz shows love, compassion, and care for Ruth. I know all this because I’ve read it before, but Naomi didn’t have this privileged information when she was going through the devastation of loss. Just like you don’t know the end to your story and how God is working to make your ride end well; hands raised wishing you could go on again!
Father… I thank You for your stabilizing peace in the midst of chaos, loss, and confusion. You are my hope, my joy, my peace, my life. In You, I have all I need for life. You are my ever-present help in times of trouble. You have great plans for my life so help me learn to ride out the roller coaster emotions when they come. Help me never to never forget these truths and live in the wonder of Your lavish love for me! In Jesus Name…Amen
If you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you’ll love my latest Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women.
Post in the Comment Section below and bolster the faith of someone else!
DRAWING FROM THE WELL
If you have time, Read the book of Ruth. It’s only 3-4 pages long.
- Ruth 1: 13(b), 20-21
- Ruth 2:1, 5-10
- Ruth 4:13-17
- 1 John 3:1
Thank you for sharing this… Such a blessed assurance this morning. I haven’t lost my husband and I have no children. But I suffered serious loss of my health two months ago and with the unbelievable pain I am experiencing each day I have wondered whether God has turned His back on me. This verse and proclamation by Ruth, I realize how silly I have been. God is with me in this valley period of sickness and He will see me through, He is blessing me now and His plans are to prosper and for good. I continue to believe Him for healing in His time and trust Him for strength and peace in the valley. Thank you and God continue to bless you and your ministry Sherry.
I’m sorry you’ve been facing this hardship and that the enemy has been making you feel that God has turned His back on you. Such a lie. I’m glad this post helped your eyes open to the truth of God’s love and hope for the future!
As one of the mom’s who attended the retreat, I am so SO thankful for you and how you poured God’s love and truth into us. God’s presence was so tangible. It was an incredible weekend that I will never forget! Thank you!!
I’m so glad to hear from you and know that you felt it too 🙂 His presence was tangible.
I love the reminder to pray, thanking God for this gift. So often, He is what stands between me and panic.
His stabilizing peace is truly what keeps me from panic–when I let Him 🙂 Wish it were 100%, but I’m growing towards that statistic. Praying you have a blessed end of the week!
Thank you. You are right when I read Ruth I am happy because I know the ending but really, that’s not how she would have felt and its important to realize how she must have felt. She trusted in God when it must have been scary to trust.
That is so what I try to remember when reading the Word and applying it to my life. Praying you have a blessed end of the week 🙂
What a great reminder… It’s so easy to forget that the people we read about in the Bible didn’t know the end of their story. Keeping that in mind really changes the way we read.
This post reminded me of the power of true friendship. It can be so difficult to love and care for a suffering person, particularly if they’ve become bitter. But our commitment to walk with them through it can be the start of God’s transforming power in their lives – and our own. We were created to need each other!
Such a great perspective. Praying you continue to help those in difficult circumstances and that God would bring the right people in when you’re the one facing hard times. That old law of sowing and reaping thing 🙂 Have an awesome end of the week!
This is my prayer too: “You have great plans for my life so help me learn to ride out the roller coaster emotions when they come.” Amen.
Amen! You always have a great perspective Lisa. Praying you have a blessed weekend. Mine’s starting today.
Beautiful reminder, Sherry, to trust God in the middle of our stories. We can’t see what He sees but we can trust His heart while we enjoy the ride.
Glad you got it! And… thanks for sharing this on social media 🙂
My friend just shared with me who you are after attending a conference. Citing, you reminded her of me. And having read this article, I too am a single mom, through divorce, before amazingly being saved by the LORD only 4 short years ago. I have been “overly blessed” with the presence of God beyond many moments I could not hardly bare the intensity or wisdom, while keeping me humble and often overwhelmed. But even through it, I have been in many moments of hurt and resentment at the lack of care and compassion single mom’s are bestowed. My large church has a very lack support making me feel I am a second class citizen and many married (Christian) friends. But the His truth continues to be resounding …. You belong to MY family, I have purposed you for me. Then soon to go forth to serve my Kingdom. God is not changing our circumstances, He is changing You (me). Let us always consider the lowly, the oppressed and the years in the desert to carry others and give all that Christ has given us. And to draw clsoer to HIM. God Bless
So glad you found your way to my site. I’m sorry you’ve gone through hard times as a result of Christians and the church. The church is full of people needing God’s grace. Our pastor spoke a great message about this yesterday. I hope you watch the sermon. I think you’ll find it so encouraging. https://www.lakepoint.church/ GO ON THE SERMONS TAB