“But Ruth said, ‘Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.’” – Ruth 1:16
My name is Ruth, and this is my story.
Looking back, I realize that every step of the long journey was necessary.
My blistered feet, those dusty roads, endless tears, and my secret prayers all mattered. The path I chose was the more difficult of the options given. I could have retreated a thousand times. My sister-in-law, Orpah, given the same choice, turned back. I could have begged for mercy from a distant family member. I could have buried my pain and looked to remarry in my land. But I knew that was not the story meant for me.
As I journeyed from Moab into the Jordan Valley, through the hills of Judea, I knew it would be long. But it started with one simple choice—I had to risk everything. I had to be willing to follow.
I will be transparent in telling you my story; I am not a hero. I was a foreigner woven into a story much more significant than my own, a Moabite who had no place in the congregation of Israel. I would never dare to dream the dreams placed inside of me. It started with a hope that slowly grew into a courageous faith.
Many days after my husband’s loss, I wondered if the tears I cried mattered. Would the pain my mother-in-law, Naomi, felt for losing her sons and husband ever be healed? I shared in the weight, and
I grieved for us both. It felt like overnight, my “wife” title was replaced with the identity of “widow.” I didn’t choose this chapter, or for that matter, this story. But the pages that unfolded here were the story God was writing within me.
My story was connected to loyalty to Naomi. My commitment to her family and my desire to follow her God became my own. I remember the day I declared, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.” I knew the path that led me to this unlikely Hebrew woman, Naomi, would somehow change my life. She saw bitterness, but I saw something beautiful—redemption.
As I longed for wholeness, I wondered if the powerful, miracle-working God she had spoken about, Yahweh, could notice someone as insignificant as me. I wasn’t sure, but I decided that her God would be my God. I had no miracle moment. I had no voice from the heavens calling to me. I just wanted to follow a God I chose to believe would be faithful.
Did I know what was to come? No, but God did.
Did I know the baby I would carry would be of royal lineage to the promised Messiah? No, but God did.
Did I know that my simple, obedient act would be recorded in the pages of a Book that would inspire generations? No, but God did.
I can see now that He never left my side. God knew. God saw. God cared.
What might God do in your life that you have yet to see?
I don’t know your story, but I know your story matters. My guess is that your story has both joyful and sorrowful chapters. You may feel lost and wonder what lies ahead. I believe some dreams that you have yet to dream will be born inside of you. There are struggles you will triumph over. There are victories that you are meant to rise and claim. It may start by simply saying “yes” to following the next step right before you.
Allow my story to be a reminder that today is a new day to declare who God is. Follow Him even when the future is unclear. He is not done displaying His goodness all over your story.
Questions for Thought
1. What testimony can you share about God’s goodness in your life?
2. Think of a difficult season in your life. How did you experience God? Did He send you people to help uplift and encourage you? How can you be a source of joy for others who may be hurting?
Ask God to send you someone every week that you can minister to. Your story matters, and it’s best when you are willing to share it. What encouragement do you have to offer someone? Pray that God leads you to at least one person every single week. Imagine if you committed to this; at the end of one year, you will have reached 52 people with the love and hope of Jesus Christ.
Learn more about Mission 1:8 WIN NOW here!
Girl's Ministry Associate
Daira Traynor, well known for her abundant joy, is the Girl’s Minister at First Baptist Dallas. She is passionate about helping the next generation of seventh through twelfth- grade girls discover their true identity in Christ. Daira graduated from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, receiving a degree in Commercial Music. Daira is a proud Texan who resides with her amazingly funny husband, Sean Traynor, and their dog, Boots.