Ruth 2014: Day 4

A new name

by

Today's Text: Ruth 1:19-22

psst—Look for the next #SheSharesTruth writing assignment at the bottom of this post!

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Text: Ruth 1:19-22

He that empties us of the creature knows how to fill us with himself.
- Matthew Henry

Have you ever asked for prayer simply because you could not pray on your own? Have you ever uttered “pray for me” and meant “pray instead of me, because I just can’t do it”?

If prayer is a picture of believers lifting one another before the Lord, then there are times I have been full-on carried. Not just walked beside or agreed with, but picked up from the pit and held high before the Lord, my spiritual self limp and lifeless, in need of the life-breath from my Savior. It’s a metaphor that sounds melodramatic until you’re in the thick of it, too spent to sigh another “please” or “amen.”

This kind of spiritual and physical exhaustion is what I see when I picture Naomi walking into town that day, so affected by her suffering that she is hardly recognizable. The townswomen whispered to one another, shocked at the condition of the friend they used to know. Naomi quickly sets them straight. “It’s over for me,” she says. “Don’t call me Pleasant. Call me Bitter.”

Naomi’s circumstances were indeed awful. She’d buried her husband, lost two sons and said goodbye to a daughter-in-law. She had no hope of a grandchild, no path of provision. “I went away full,” she said, “and the Lord has brought me back empty” (v. 21). Yet, there was no fist-shaking at heaven. No renouncing her faith. Naomi acknowledges God without blaming Him. She believed God was sovereign, even in her tragedy.

Even still, Naomi could not see past her circumstances. The hand was dealt, the credits were rolling. Naomi believed with her head that her God was sovereign, but she was too soul-weary to believe with her heart. And so she calls it. Game over. Name changed.

You’ve heard the saying “don’t put a period where God puts a comma”? Naomi could not imagine being filled back up. She couldn’t picture her daughter-in-law remarried to an upstanding man who would welcome them both into his family. She couldn’t dream of holding a grandson in her arms. She couldn’t imagine the bitterness becoming beauty, but her sovereign God could.

Naomi named herself Bitter, but God names her—and us!—Blessed.

He names us Forgiven.
He names us Beloved.
He names us Redeemed.

These names hold true even when circumstances don’t, because ours is a God who is mighty over our affliction and blessing, our bitterness and beauty, our past and future. Ours is the Savior who rose from the grave, defeating sin and death and hopelessness forever.

Circumstances change, but they do not change our God. 

Sisters, we need not waste time shaking our fists at heaven when we can run full-force into His arms, trusting He can redeem even us, even this, even now.

We are not named by our circumstances. We are named by our good God.

4

 

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#SheSharesTruth Writing Assignment for Friday, June 27—

Is there a discrepancy between the names by which Jesus calls you and the names you give yourself? Are there circumstances in your life to which you are giving undue power, power that rightfully—and in reality!—belongs to our sovereign God alone? Sister, who names you today—your God or your circumstances? 

Share your heart and your story with the SheReadsTruth community in our #SheSharesTruth linkup next Friday, June 27.

New to #SheSharesTruth? Here’s what you need to know—
As writers, we’ve found that one of the best ways for us to learn is to communicate what we’re learning back to someone else. #SheSharesTruth is an opportunity for you in the SheReadsTruth community to do the same! Simply study the assigned scripture passage and questions, write a blog post/journal entry/scrap piece of paper of your thoughts, and share it with us on the linkup day! (And don’t worry if you don’t know what “link up” means—it’s super easy, and we’ll have instructions in the post.)

We look forward to hearing your stories!

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  • In returning and rest …in quietness and confidence ….shall be my strength Isaiah 30:15

  • Naomi may have returned empty but she knew where to go to be filled. She may have returned bitter but she knew where to go to restore joy. If we find ourselves empty where do we go to be filled? Where will your steps take you today? The best part of this passage today is Naomi knew where to return. “Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Return to Me,” says the LORD of hosts, “and I will return to you,” says the LORD of hosts.”
    ‭‭Zechariah‬ ‭1:3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

  • I know the feeling of being empty and relying on people to help lift you back up. Receiving prayer from others is the greatest feeling

  • While reading these verses, I wrote down 3 words that I felt described naomi’s heart, defeated, discouraged, and depressed. I know these 3 feelings well. They have taken up what seems like permanent residence in my heart for many years. I can feel the heaviness of her heart as she returns home not knowing what will happen. She is simply putting on foot in front of the other trying to survive. That is also the state I have lived in for many years.then as I continued to read, there were 3 names that God calls us. Forgiven. Beloved. Redeemed. I am all if these things. I pray that I remember I may have tried to change my name, but God has already named me Redeemed. Amen.

  • Just tonight I referred to myself as bitter while out with my best friend seeing couples holding hands and spending time together. I have dwelt on my circumstances for what seems like so long now. Recently has been one of the most difficult times in my faith. I feel like everything I have ever known is no longer what it should be. Like I know nothing anymore. I lost my best friend to my belief that our relationship could not continue if he wasn’t a believer. My heart breaks not only for my loss but his being lost. I’ve never longed for anyone to know Jesus more. I pray in tears begging for his salvation. Not to salvage our relationship, even though I would love nothing more, but to ultimately start the greatest relationship he would ever know. I’ve struggled so much these past few months with carrying on. I feel so much like Naomi. I’m calling it quits. But I’m so thankful that that isn’t the end. That He says you call yourself bitter but I call you blessed. That even in my heartbroken, hopeless state He says none of these circumstances change who I am. I can’t possibly know what will come next but He does. Please pray that my friend will find Jesus and I won’t call it quits but will be filled.

    • Brenda

      Mattie, while reading your comment, my heart broke for you and your circumstances. From what you have written, I know you love God. You are heart broken, but God heals our broken hearts. I lifted up your friend in prayer that he would have an open mind and heart in coming to know Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior. I also prayed for you. God will carry you through these difficult and trying times, and if you long for it, you will feel His presence. Lean on Him for guidance, and He will direct your paths in the right direction. Even like Naomi, when we feel like all is over, God is still in the midst of our anguish. God loves you, Mattie!

  • Thankfully God knows my name. He as my dad names me. It’s like a baby being born. No baby names itself.

  • Kristen Bremner

    I just want to tell you guys thank you for She Reads Truth. Your studies have helped me tremendously. They have helped me learn more about my God and His word. I am 15 years old and am so thankful for women that step up to help their sisters grow in their walk with Christ.

  • Thankful for God who sees it all. His perspective is so different. And so thankful that we can trust him even if we don’t understand. Prov. 3:5-6

  • Kasey Summers

    Thankful to be named by Christ, not by our circumstances!! He gives me my identity!

  • Sisters, we need not waste time shaking our fists at heaven when we can run full-force into His arms, trusting He can redeem even us, even this, even now.

    We are not named by our circumstances. We are named by our good God.

    Yes.

  • I’m a really lucky girl. I feel so much joy and comfort when I read your comments. I am not alone with my thoughts.
    We’ve had some problems in our family quite recently and my feelings are like a big, black cloud hanging above me. Ruth was a wise woman, a good woman and I can see her struggling with her mixed feelings. But finally, she was all in. Fearlessly and with her all heart she gave herself to our Father. Inspiring and amazing. x

  • I can so relate to Naomi. That heaviness…that need for others to lift me up because I haven’t had the strength myself. Thankful for my friends in this season.

  • Molly Long

    I love this forum. I have so much respect for Naomi, going back to her home and being honest with the circumstances. I find myself holding guilt and remorse and this reminds me that I am Gods beloved child and he is caring and ever present in my life. We are not lost to him, even when we feel forgotten. I have to look to the scriptures for direction and “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.” 2 Peter 1:5-7

  • Corrie, you are fine! I understand. You are one strong, wise, and beautiful lady. I just thought you might’ve needed that reminder.
    I read something recently that Phil posted of you on Facebook. So sweet and so so true. He posited it today actually. Even though we are apart while I’m at college, I know that I have someone that I can talk to no matter the circumstance.
    I can definitely say that this devotion is just perfect for a few things that I’ve been faced with. Not having the opportunity to serve at SummerSalt this summer is one and realizing that there is something else that God has in store for me. Also just the craziness of my schedule. Finding time to do all the things that I need to do can be so overwhelming. I find myself worrying, and doubting God. Crying out to The Lord for strength and hope to face each day with my eyes on Him.
    Naomi did set a great example. “We get up and head the way that God is leading us.”

  • I am so sorry it has taken me so long to comment! And yet I think the timing is perfect in relation to the text you sent me earlier today.
    Whenever we encounter disappointment (or in Naomi’s case, devastation) I think its pretty normal to cry out to God “why”? I know I have especially felt this way if it was something I felt was good or pleasing to God…and still God said “no”.
    But like the author said, God knows what we don’t. He isn’t done with the story of our lives. We have to CHOOSE to believe that since the Lord is for us there is purpose in the disappointment. And it is both for our good and for His glory.
    Still, the disappointment stings in the moment. We spend days being “Mara” and crying out to God. But then we do what Naomi did: we get up and head the way God is leading us.
    What do you think Laurel? How do you see this relating to disappointments you’ve faced recently?

  • Jamigraham

    This is so needed. It was like God was rubbing my back, that it WILL be okay even though times are super scary. We just bought a business and it’s not doing as well as it was supposed to and projected to and to add to our stress and chaos, I’m due in a few weeks with our second child. I needed this tonight

    • Erin-Elizabeth

      Just had our second 6wks ago. It is stressful yet wonderful! This was so good. Just what my weary mommy heart needed!

  • Shannon O'B

    “He names us Forgiven. He names us Beloved. He names us Redeemed.” yes yes yes

  • HeatherEGorman

    Circumstances change, but they do not change our God. And they do not change the saving power of Jesus Christ….. Cannot think of anything else to say to this quote! I needed this today.

  • chantelle

    Have been searching my heart for a few moths after a breakup due to me pushing a good man away because of my fear of being loves and trust issues – I thought I had more time to search and ponder yet he has started seeing someone else, I have been working in myself quietly which he didnt know and now he’s moved on and Im lost again. Im hoping the study of Ruth helps me understand unwavering faith in God’s timing.

  • Enjoli Deleon

    “Do not put a period where God puts a comma”
    I have goose bumps.

  • I loved today’s reading… Its so easy to get caught up in my circumstances and then drained by them. What a blessing to be reminded that God looks past my circumstances straight to my heart.

  • Amen to this!! This has made me look at things so differently!

  • Natalie Marie

    “Do not put a period where God puts a comma”…. Amazing

  • In my prayers, Hokimama. I’m going to have “Blessed, Beloved, Forgiven, Redeemed” playing on repeat.

  • *tears* what a blessing this was to my heart this morning.

  • Lauren Gray

    I stumbled upon this website from a friend and was looking for a small study to comfort me during my struggles. This tugged at my heart and I really took it and read it until I knew Ruth 1:21 by heart. Versus 21 provided me SO much comfort and the explanations.

    GREAT writing, thank you so much for this plan!

    • Emily Parsons

      I agree! I’ve been going through a terrible heart ache recently, and this gives so much hope and peace.

  • Hokimama

    I am a mom of 3, 2 of them with autism, a daughter of two alcoholics–one of them (my mother) with borderline personality disorder–as well as a recovered perfectionist (ha) who has struggled and is struggling right now with postpartum depression.

    So much of my life has to do with labels. I rely on my two special needs kids’ labels for insurance coverage, awarding of services through the district, for a reference in discussing their symptoms with people who could help them and help me. I have relied on my parents labels to give context to their hurtful destructive behavior, to make sense of their treatment of me. I’ve relied on the labels I’ve given myself in order to seek help in my struggles, but also more destructively, to insulate myself from the unbearable weight of my perceived shortcomings–as a mom, as a wife, as a friend–as a human being. For every time I have used a label as a legitimate means of identification or cry for help, I have used them as a shield, as an excuse, as a bid for pity. And now I see that the buffering I’ve enjoyed (yes, enjoyed) from these labels has actually carried with it a terrible price. Because I have never stopped blaming God for those labels, I have never seen myself through the distorted and limiting lens they provide. Despite God’s constant prompting, I have never been willing to step out from behind those labels and be renamed.

    No more.

    God is bigger than my labels. He is bigger than my past. He is bigger than my kids disorders, than my fears, than my shortcomings. He is bigger than my pain, than the depression I face on a daily basis.

    Even if I have to do it every day, I know now that I need to allow God to rename me, that I can trust God to rename me, that he WILL rename me.

    I am ready to be free of what I was, and to see who God knows I can be.

    Thank you for this incredible devotional. God has used it to begin an important work in my life today.

    • Hokimama

      *”Never STOPPED seeing myself through the distorted and limiting lens they provide,” I should say. ;)

    • Emily

      Praying for you, Hokimama. What a beautiful and hard story He is writing in your life.

  • jogos de cozinhar

    thsi is ownderfyull actually guys

  • The Lord just used this devo to remind me that in whatever circumstance we might be in… He is still an all powerful God who knows what He is doing. Lord help me to FULLY trust in You even when I don’t understand….

  • Heather Narraway

    Thank you Kaitlin!
    Yea, It was such a break through I have no words hahaha

  • Heather Narraway

    Something very cool just happened while I was doing my quiet time and it totally ties into this devotional

    I used to be abuse many years ago but I never actually let go of that victim title.
    I didn’t really understand why I would get so defensive any time I was criticized or told I was wrong or people didn’t do what I wanted them to do. I my head I was the victim in all that, people always did it to me!
    I wasn’t in the wrong ever. (And yet I was always the first to apologize, but that’s besides the point hahaha)
    During my evening devo I was asked to take a step back and look at my worries and the things that bring me anxiety, I made a list about basically my whole life hahaha I prayed about it and it came to me.
    The victim:
    Maybe I have such a bad taste in my mouth after getting criticized because in my head I am a victim I have been all along. In my head I still haven’t been able to let go of that title.
    I need to give up the victim mentality and thinking and reaction, stop playing the “whoa is me” card over and over again in my head.
    It’s about time I hand that title over to God because he renamed me! He brought MY life at a cost and that turns me from a victim to a treasured human.
    I have been renamed, and that name is Heather.

    I am letting go.

    • SheReadsTruth

      WOW, Heather! God is doing huge things in your heart and for that I am so thankful. We love having you and are honored that you would share your story with us!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • My favorite so far. So powerful.

  • These are surely some powerful words. And a powerful feeling that, no doubt, every woman has shared during some circumstance or another.
    Last week, my husband and I lost a baby baby boy at 20 weeks. We are devastated and completely overwhelmed. This is not our first loss; we lost another little boy in January at 18 weeks.
    Needless to say, I have named myself “barren, worthless, broken”. I know that I have had my fists shaking towards God quite a few times in the last week. Primarily shouting out, “why?!” And “how could You?!”
    He is the God that both gives and takes away. And He is ruthless in both His Love and His work towards bringing you closer to Him.
    In our first loss, I looked into the depth of His promises. I held tightly to the promise of His love, His timing, His desires for my life.
    This time I feel utterly exhausted and I completely relate to not having it in me to say another prayer. Mine seem hollow. However, I know that I have been surrounded by prayer lifted up JUST FOR ME.
    I chose this series, kind of as a fluke. I went through the list and randomly decided, I wanted to read about a woman’s story. And in hindsight, this series was chosen for me.

    • Amanda Bible Williams

      Oh, Toni, I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet babies. Praying God continues to meet you as you seek Him. ((hugs))

  • Lindsay Laroe

    This year my husband left us, really he just left me. I have never doubted God’s sovereignty or his faithfulness but I must admit that I feel that same bitterness. I moved away full and newly married and came home five years later empty inside and feeling defeated. I am praying for restoration and joy..This word is exactly what I needed to hear, thank you!

    • Amanda Bible Williams

      Thank you for sharing, Lindsay! Grateful for the faith God has given you to endure these hard things. He is faithful indeed, and I pray He sends you tangible signs of that faithfulness as you continue to adjust to the changes in your life. So glad you’re here with us at SRT. xo

  • Adriana Feliz

    First time joining in… so excited to keep reading this devotional! I have been a believer for years and never thought of re-reading Ruth. I thought the Sunday school version of the story “about the re-marriage of a woman” was enough. I was so, so wrong. Every day I finish a devotional thanking God for inspiring women like you to inspire others!

    When I read the title of today’s devo I thought: what good can they possibly say about Naomi’s name change? So thankful God looks way past my own labels or the labels this world may give me. His name for me is the only one that matters! May I always know this truth!

    I am reminded of a song by Cody Carnes- “I am all he says I am”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqLnL0Sa-WE

    • SheReadsTruth

      Hi, Adriana! We are so happy you are here! I am so thankful for the truth that God looks past our labels and replaces them with His own names for us! Thanks for joining us!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Christina

    What a fantastic Devotional!!!! Thank you! What a mighty God we serve! I pray that each woman who reads “A new name” will let know that she is Forgiven, Beloved and Redeemed. Amen!!!!

  • KandiPie

    God can fill us up again. Amen.

  • Just found out my Dad’s cancer has returned after being cancer free for a year. He has a ton of other health issues going on as well. He is my best friend. Feeling so defeated today. This is exactly what I needed.

    • SheReadsTruth

      So sorry to hear that, Sarah! Praying for peace and healing for you and your family. We love having you here and hope you continue to join us!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Shae'Von

    Cling tightly to the truth and say your names aloud; you are blessed, you are beautiful you are His Beloved.

  • Naomi’s story is so encouraging! I have been going through a tough heartbreak. I lost someone very important to me, someone that I love. Feeling broken and bitter, I almost want to change my name too! It’s almost like my head KNOWS God is good and he’s got this, yet my heart hurts so much and I just feel hopeless. “She couldn’t imagine the bitterness becoming beauty, but her sovereign God could.” Even though the circumstance is hard, God sees the big picture! I am his and he’s got a plan, just need to keep my head up though the storm! Just needed this reminder, there is always hope in the Lord!

    • SheReadsTruth

      Hi Kelly, thank you so much for sharing today! Praying that God would hold you close in your heartbreak and that He would continually show you how much He loves you through this! Love to you today!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

    • Kelly

      I’m a Kelly too and going through the heartbreak of losing a relationship. I want to heal and move and trust that there is something out there for me. But I’m struggling with the faith.

      • Kelly

        It is so tough. But God is carrying us, even through the heartbreak. We are his DAUGHTERS and he is our FATHER. Now I see how much my father loves me, much less my perfect heavenly father! And when he sees our brokenness, I think it breaks his heart too. Just hang in there. Persevere and have faith. God loves us more then we can imagine, he knows what he’s doing.

  • Woman Growing In faith

    Very powerful reading for today! I love this devotion… We are not named by our circumstances, we are named by our good God! I am Blessed, Forgiven, Beloved and Redeemed!

  • Cassie Lynch

    Another thought regarding this chapter, I was speaking with my grandma recently and she felt so defeated. She asked if there was any more work The Lord had for her. He revealed then and there that if we are in this earth then more awaits. He has plans to speak to us and grow us and surprise us and bless us. There’s more. We ought not give up hope. And Naomi has much in store.
    I’m excited to continue this study.

    • SheReadsTruth

      I love that, Cassie! There\’s always more. So excited you\’re with us doing this study!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Cassie Lynch

    I hear message after message, sing after song expressing that I’m not what I do and I’m not what surrounds me but so much like Naomi it is so very hard sometimes to honestly legitimately believe it. But that’s the beauty of Christ isn’t it? He uses the word and the church and random billboard quotes on the highway to say “Sweet sweet daughter, if the potter can remold the clay to be what he desires can I not do the same with you or your circumstances? Am I not the author who promised to complete the work he began? And is complete not a place of utter satisfaction?” He has so much more for us than we can ever imagine.

  • Rachel Kathrynne

    “Circumstances change, but they do not change our God. And they do not change the saving power of Jesus Christ.”

    Needed this right now. My aunt is battling cancer and my mother is broken over it. Needing to be assured of God’s constancy.

  • Melanie Murillo

    My favorite part, “She couldn’t imagine the bitterness becoming beauty, but her sovereign God could.”

  • I am not named by my circumstances, I am named by my God, love it

  • Bethany Radcliff

    Just what I needed, during one of the most difficult times of my life.

  • Jill Marie

    Thank you

  • Awesome. Much needed

  • Cassi Clerget

    The “I left full and came back empty” hit home for me. That’s been my life: leaving home to pursue dreams then returning when life knocked me to my knees. I’ve let that bitterness fill me until I was too weary to sustain it. And then God took it from me. He showed me the comma where I had placed the period, and He have me more to fill my spirit. He was sovereign in my struggles. He was with me.

  • Trisha Elaine

    This is beautiful.

  • I’ve been battling the same battle every day for the past few months and I can’t seem to be free of it. After reading this, it really put more peace in me that I didn’t have ten minutes ago. “Circumstances may change but it doesn’t change our God” I know that’s not an exact quote but that reminded me that God is always watching and he knew I was going to hit this part of my life. I still am not sure how to let go. I feel like Naomi except I am terrified that the desires of my heart will not come true; even though all it takes is to simply let go and be content. I can’t do it and; I don’t know why. This study helped me to see how selfish and silly I was being by being so afraid. Hopefully that fear will go away and I will hear God’s voice and not think so much so he could speak.

  • This was truly something I needed to hear. Sometimes I call myself a failure because I am not where I want to be right now, but God calls me a conquer. A true blessing of finding identity in him :)

  • Lauren Morrison

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  • Robert White

    Gooood !

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  • lifeisbutapeach

    This sounds so much like me and my current heart-state right now. Maybe this is my problem. Why I have so many doubts, confusions and questions that are far louder than my faith? Maybe this is why I’m so numb to God’s presence and deaf to His voice – though He is surely right there beside me. My head says one thing – but my heart – no matter how hard I try, how much my heart struggles and fights – cannot truly believe and accept what I know to be the Truth

    “Circumstances change, but they do not change our God.”
    "We are not named by our circumstances. We are named by our good God."

    And this is what I really need to hold onto; Who God says I am.

  • AMEN! God truly does "Bless the Broken Road"–whether it's because the road was already broken because it's a part of this broken world or we have broken it up even more by our selfish choices.

    I'm sure Naomi had daily struggles with not letting her circumstances dictate her actions. She, like us, had to make the choice to not give in to her feelings and still do the hard things.

  • God call you by your name. Not by your shame! Amen!! He doesn’t consult your past to determine your future. And I’m so grateful. Often times I’m Naomi. Ashamed, afraid, abandoned (or so perceived). But God, walks into the story and makes all the puzzle pieces fit. The picture become clearer. I like what Minter says about Ruth though. Because the verse is on my wedding ring… This famous speech was uttered amidst loss, hardship and in the face of much bitterness. Ruth’s words didn’t usher in a honeymoon but rather a permanent home in a foreign land. Which is where I realize. I’m Ruth. Sojourning on the road to redemption.

  • What wonderful posts! What good reminders that what God has called us through He will lead us through too! Its a hard lesson to learn and I may never fully learn it until I pass through Heaven's gates to focus on God when times get tough instead of being angry with Him or even hurt. I know that He is always there and all I have to do is simply trust in Him and run into His arms. My I be more like Naomi!

  • LaurenC_

    "He can redeem even us, even this, even now. We are not named by our circumstances. We are named by our good God."

    Of all of God's promises and all of His truths, these are some that I am most thankful for. I want to step out in full faith, grabbing hold of this assurance that He will – HE WILL – turn my bitterness into beauty. Lord, I believe, Help my unbelief! Take away my fear!

  • So blessed to know my current circumstances aren't necessarily the end of the story. This isn't the way it's always going to be. God, in His sovereignty, is working to change and mature me. One day this chapter in my life will end, but there is the next chapter just a page turn away.

  • Steph_Lilac

    "You’ve heard the saying “don’t put a period where God puts a comma”?" This devotion is so amazing!! We label ourselves sooooo much but God labels us what we truly are! Be blessed my Sisters!!

  • TaniRose

    I have never SAVED one of these. I receive mine via email (no excuse reminder) and I have a blessing folder in gmail. It started to save the daily blessings I receive via a dear friend from John Hagee. Some really touch me or touch others through me. That folder has begun to be used for the exact purpose of today’s sharing. Almost a spiritual ‘rainy day’folder… Maybe I should RENAME it…
    For the days when really, truly, I don’t have it in me to even ask, let alone go through the explanation that is asked for when someone asks you to pray for them.
    So this day of shereadstruth is being kept to remind on the days I need reminding of what GOD calls, who Jesus died for me to be. LOVED, special, beautiful, smart, cherished…. HIS!!!!!

  • You are so right Egaylor! I know who He says I am but I fall into a trap of believing what others say about me i.e my husband
    when he is angry! I'll keep reminding myself of who God says I am and then it will give me strength in the tough times.

  • Thank you for sharing. useful information

  • Chelsea Elizabeth

    I was just in the same place as Naomi just a few months ago. I lost my job, my fiancé, and my home. I thought it was over. Depression became my new identity, BUT GOD. I began serving in my church despite my great losses and now I have been blessed with 3 jobs and a place to live. I am still in healing relationally, but I know where I am weak He is strong! I had friends standing in the gap for me because God is a mighty God. Never give up hope. When the darkest night is surrounding you, just know the brightest morning is coming!

  • Chelsie Ann

    "She couldn’t imagine the bitterness becoming beauty, but her sovereign God could." I absolutely loved this because it's so truthful. I know that I can be a Mara because I'm only looking at the circumstances that are around me, circumstances that I can see. "I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty." (v.21). In those moments of bitterness I always try to remind myself that God is working! He hasn't forgotten or forsaken me! I loved how this chapter ends with verse 22, "And they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest." Sometimes our circumstances are just the beginning of God's work in turning them into something beautiful.

    • tina

      Sometimes it can be hard to see beyond our circumstances, but you are so right when you say….." Sometimes our circumstances are just the beginning of God's work in turning them into something beautiful.'….AMEN…God bless you chelsie…xxx

  • Christianne

    What a much needed reminder! I am named by my good God, not by my circumstances. It has been a wild and challenging ride going back to school for a second, completely different degree and career path. I'm halfway into the program and walked out of my clinical today feeling so incompetent and wondering if I really made the right choice. And this is just one of several days ending with such thoughts! But incompetence is a name I've given myself. God calls me His child. He calls me loved one. And like Naomi, He hasn't left me high and dry even when there doesn't seem much left to hold onto. Bless the Lord, O my soul! I am excited now to head back to clinical tomorrow with renewed eagerness knowing that it is God Who has called me to this place in life I am at and it is Him who has and who will continue to lead me. He makes the poor rich, the weak strong, and the incompetent competent by His grace!

    The words of this hymn came to mind as I read this post:
    Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
    Look full in His wonderful face,
    And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
    In the light of His glory and grace.

    Let's turn our eyes and fix our eyes on Jesus dear sisters!

  • I thank all of you so much for your insights… I've been really discouraged lately and had trouble with SRT, feeling like it was a "have-to" instead of something I looked forward to. :( But your girls' insights and comments have been SO encouraging and enlightening. Please be praying that as I walk into the next few days, I'd be rooted in His Truth alone and that, no matter what circumstance looks or feels like, I'd rely on the truth that He is working FOR me and not against me, as the enemy so easily tells me. I love you girls. Blessings to you all! Praying that each of us would continue to be changed by this study! Amen!

  • Amen and Thank You Lord!!!
    Isnt there great joy in being renamed!!??!!?? !!!

    Knowing HE alone pulled me out and named me, little ole me, Saved, Forgiven, Redeemed, Beloved, Daughter.

    I have to stop myself from reading ahead to see how Naomi becomes full again!

  • Cathryne McManus

    After losing two family members and finding out my husband of 25 years was having an affair. I felt hopeless. I was angry,sad,bitter and very depressed. I couldn't understand how this could've happened to me. I prayed and prayed that God would help turn my situation around. It took four years for me to realize what God wanted for me. I moved away, found a new job and started attending Church. I was baptized and have now begun ministering to others through our Care team – praying with those who need our help and providing resources for those who are hurting or going through a difficult time in their lives. I just finished training to become a small group leader. I had cursed, and cried and drug my feet but God finally got me to where I needed to be!

    • mazmagi54 (Peggy)

      Praise God! Thanks Cathryne for sharing this testimony and inspiration! Sorry for all the difficult times but God is changing that around! (He can't take it away but He will bring about some good, as you have shared! May God bless you and continue to use you and help you recover from the pain of the losses through His healing touch of love and grace!

  • julielong03

    Gosh this couldn't be more timely. My family was dealt a heavy blow last year after our son was born. We were so overwhelmed and so exhausted by our circumstance that we needed our family and friends to pray for us. We had nothing left to give. We truly understood what it was to have our groanings heard by God. Unfortunately, I began to use that as a crutch and my walk with God slowed. I have been yearning more and more for my time with God and didn't know where to begin. I friend pointed me to SRT and I have once again began to feel God's presence, to hear his voice, to feel less burdened, to feel like I could pray.

    It brought tears to my eyes to be reminded that we may feel like life has ended, but God's plan hasn't been altered. He still has a beautiful ending in store for us!

  • This is a wonderful study. And I look forward to The Sermon on the Mount. I'd like to invite some friends to join. How many weeks/days is the Sermon on the Mount study??

  • mazmagi54 (Peggy)

    After reading through everyone's comments, thoughts, etc. and praying as I do (or what I usually have done when you don't see my long winded posts) I am moved by so much in this passage and what stood out to each of you and me but Amanda's devo speaks volumes and LADIES this is only chapter 1!

    But I've been mulling over Naomi's circumstances and losses, relating to my own; both my parents, my youngest brother, all of my aunts and uncles; the loss of our home in MN to a fire; and on and on (don't really want to dig them all up) but just wanted to say that I cannot believe how Naomi's faith and frankness in admitting she was no longer "pleasant but bitter" is such a really great example (as many of you pointed out her strengths) … because when my youngest brother died 4 yrs after my mom, I recall that it sent me into a clinical depression; and then my dad after them … then my last 2 aunts not too long ago (yet I don't recall being bitter),until maybe when a close friend in MX took his life and I found him, which impacted me for more than a year with immobility being numb and overwhelmed; so the quickness in which Naomi grieved, but then got on with what really mattered, floors me… I understand her summing it all up quickly by telling the town folk that she is now called "Mara" – bitter, but I believe that she was better more than bitter as she moved forward with living and honoring God. That's what I want to do! because I do believe what Amanda wrote and I reiterated and will do so once again (but personalize it for myself):

    1) I BELIEVE GOD IS SOVEREIGN (which means He's completely in control even when my circumstances don't look or feel like it and that I can most certainly let go of trying to control so much: others and my life) EVEN IN TRAGEDY! HE IS GOD (and I am not) and GOD IS GOOD!
    2) when I CANNOT IMAGINE the BITTERNESS BECOMING BEAUTY, I will hold on to this: THAT GOD CAN and WILL turn "bitterness to beauty"!
    I may not see it yet, I may not have the capacity to see the "beauty from the ashes" of our home but I do know that God can change it ALL to something beautiful and so worthy and bless us inspite of the hardship, pain, loss, suffering, etc.
    3) CIRCUMSTANCES CHANGE … so mine will even when it looks bleak, dark or overwhelming … BUT OUR GOD DOES NOT CHANGE

    HE IS THE SAME, yesterday, today and forever! Halleujah! Jesus Christ removed all the stains, all the mis-labeled names we see ourselves as, for we are not a mistake but bought with a great price and He is so worthy of all our thanks and praise EVEN when … in the midst of spiritual, emotional and physical exhaustion, HE IS MORE THAN ENOUGH … He is the answer to our unspoken prayers and groanings …

    … for Naomi, for Ruth, for you and for me … I'm waiting to see the BEAUTY of His REDEMPTIVE LOVE over each of us! Greater! Great is Our God!

    He has called us by name … chosen, accepted, redeemed, forgiven, loved as His Beloved! No matter what HE IS "The Only One that Matters" … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CS9vUZnAtcE (linked to that song by Micahel W. Smith and Kari Jobe) … echoes our love poured back to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit … (I shared this on my blog on Weds. and had no idea how well it was speaking of how much God means to me but now I know why I chose it)!

    • lovehimso

      Well said. God IS SOVEREIGN ! God can turn bitterness into beauty. Circumstances change but Our God does not change He has called us all by name Thank you. I enjoyed your post.

      • mazmagi54 (Peggy)

        Bless you and thanks "lovehimso"! What a beautiful name (chosen and given)! Thanks for taking the time to comment and share! Jesus Calling …God calling … whispering and singing your name … may God bless you continually!

  • I can relate to today's daily post on Ruth. For the past three years, I also struggled and went through the toughest times in my life. I came to a point where I allowed my circumstances to dictate my faith. I felt like I had lost everything, however, when I moved back home from college I was able to reconnect with my home church and build a stronger relationship with God. Even though, I went through and currently still going through some financial problems, I've learned to put my trust in God. He never gave up on me in the past and I know for sure He won't give up on me now. God has great things in store for us all. Blessings and Breakthroughs … Til this day I always ask Him to guide and direct me in the path He wants me to go.

  • I love the description of prayer as believers lifting one another up. I have experienced this and it is a beautiful thing! It can be humbling to ask for prayer, especially when you don't feel like praying yourself, but it is what the body of believers is all about!

  • God is so good and it fills me with so much hope that He's in control of all our circumstances small or big. I praise God for his goodness! He filled Naomi and Ruth back again and made them part of something great. Thank you Lord because I know you're doing great things in my life!

  • New to SRT, love this study and trying to read some of the past ones too!! Cant get enough!!! Thanks for these great thoughts on God's word. I am so thankful to God that we are not named by our Circumstances!!! Our circumstances are just another testimony we can share to help someone else see how our all knowing all powerful God works in each life to bring us closer to HIM.

    • mazmagi54 (Peggy)

      Welcome Kelly! Glad you jumped in and are loving this "summer splash' of God's Word and this study!

  • Gema Muniz

    Oh how this spoke to my heart today! Not too long ago I felt exactly like Naomi. God had filled me with so many great things and then he left me empty. In December I finally graduated with a bachelor’s degree and a few months after God blessed me with the answered prayer of a baby. I was so excited to see how God was pouring out his blessings in my life, but shortly after I lost my pregnancy to a miscarriage and my job search turned into what seemed like infinite months.

    I was so bitter, so broken, so empty. At times I spent my entire day just building myself up to wake up the next morning and do the same process all over again. God was working with me, but I couldn't see beyond the pain and the lose. It really took an emotional toll on me. But instead of letting it break me down, I seeked God even more. I prayed, I prayed, and prayed some more. I asked for comfort and for me to let go of the things which couldn't be explained.

    Sisters I wish I could stand here today saying that my story has a fairy tale ending, but unfortunately all I can say is that my story is still being written. My husband and I stopped trying to get pregnant not only because it was such an emotional toll but also because we are now dealing with a financial situation. I still continue applying for jobs but as of right now I have only been to three interviews and haven't received a call back from any of them.

    Regardless of my circumstances I'm still holding on to God, knowing that at the end of this storm he has a field of green pastors for me. I'm focused only on him, and I’ve let go of everything else an allowed him to be in full control. I'm letting go of my will and allowing God's will to be done in my life. God is still writing my story and at the end I know is going to be better than I could have ever imagined. God bless you all my SRT sisters!

    • tina

      Gema, holding you up in prayer…..God has a plan for both you and your husband…..keep leaning…if only some days by the skin of your teeth….He is with you through all circumstances….He is near…..God be with you my beloved and precious sister….xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    • Karoll

      Amen Gema! God is in control of all your circumstances and He's working on your behalf. Soon things will turn around for you! Have faith! You're blessed by our sovereign God! Will be praying for you!

  • Wow! And Amen! I got such a blessing today from the study and the comments, both. I'm so glad God brought me here, via my SIL, because He knew I needed each and every one of you on the daily!!! So glad He calls me something different than what I feel I deserve to be called. So thankful!

  • pinkcupcakesandcardio

    My circumstances are a lot better than what they used to be. I knew I wanted more and I was determined to be happier, healthier, more financially secure and love myself. It wasn't until I let God into my life when these started to change for the better. My boyfriend (Now husband :D) lead me to Christ 8 years ago. That's when my life changed. :)
    This was such a great study this morning. I think my favorite part is this:

    "Naomi named herself Bitter, but God names her—and us!—Blessed.
    He names us Forgiven.
    He names us Beloved.
    He names us Redeemed.
    These names hold true even when circumstances don’t, because ours is a God who is mighty over our affliction and blessing, our bitterness and beauty, our past and future. Ours is the Savior who rose from the grave, defeating sin and death and hopelessness forever."

    This is so beautiful. :)

  • "Circumstances change, but they do not change our God.

    Sisters, we need not waste time shaking our fists at heaven when we can run full-force into His arms, trusting He can redeem even us, even this, even now."

    Amen, and Amen.

  • I've always loved the love story of Ruth, but I guess that I haven't ever paid much attention to the story of Naomi. I think what I like most about Naomi's story is that she went through immense heartbreak while keeping her faith in God, but she was also still human. She allowed herself to be openly depressed and to wallow and to be bitter at life's circumstances. Even more than that, though, God allowed her to feel down and to have this time of mourning so she could truly appreciate His glory when her circumstances improved. I'm the type of person that holds everything in until it finally bursts in a full-blown panic attack. I try to tell myself that I am too blessed to let the circumstances of my life affect me or to show my fear/hurt/anger/etc. to anyone else. I don't feel like others should carry the burden of my issues, and I often feel that I'm being ungrateful to God for my many blessings when I allow myself to get depressed over worldly problems. I know that the Lord wants me to come to Him and I take comfort in Naomi's example of keeping her faith while still allowing herself to be sad for a little while.

    I just began reading SRT a few months ago and this is my first comment. I've loved all of the studies so far, and I'm not sure what it was about today's study that lead me to comment, but I'm glad that I did. I'm going through some changes in my life right now (hopefully good ones!). It's scary, but I know that God is leading me to exactly where I am meant to be. I am so grateful for this site and the community that has been built along with it, and I am especially grateful that it was introduced to me at this time in my life. God has a plan!

    • mazmagi54 (Peggy)

      Welcome Allison (again) and thanks for adding your insights and thoughts)! Since the book is called Ruth, we all generally forget about Naomi and yet every character in every book has a purpose and role to teach us more. I'm glad that the Lord is allowing the example of Naomi to bring you comfort and encourage you to keep the faith! Press on, sister in Christ! (trust me, we all, or at least I have been in an emotional overload or burst after stuffing)… thanks for opening this up. Blessings, Peggy

  • wiscogurl

    Sisters, can I be honest? If I was named by my circumstances – they might look a little bit like this: Impatient, Disobedient, Jealous, Judgmental, or Bitter (just like my girl Naomi)! I thank God for restoring my emptiness and giving me other names to live by. Matter of fact, my bio on my blog touches on this very notion of labels:

    "YOUNG. BLACK. CHRISTIAN. DAUGHTER. SISTER. AUNT. FRIEND. Labels. There are not enough bandaids in the world to cover up all the boo boo’s I have achieved. Despite all the bumps and bruises of this wild journey, I am loving every moment of this deliciously beautiful life! Society knows me as the labels above but in reality, I prefer to rock the labels LOVED. SAVED. FORGIVEN. REDEEMED."

    Yes, sometimes in challenging periods, we like to rename ourselves. I'm queen of beating myself up for mistakes or my position in life. The reality is I am exactly where God wants me to be at this time. Although it is hard to see right now, I am totally okay with Him being the timekeeper!

  • This study is really making me dig into God's word. I found another commentary about women in the Bible and looked up Ruth. Her character and attitude began to change long before she lost her husband and sons. Her husband did not trust God enough to stay in their homeland during a famine. He convinced her to move to Moab which was only 30 miles in distance from Bethlehem, yet it wasn't the distance, it was the moving away from a God centered life to a Godless land where there was plenty. Her family stepped out of the Will of God at this point which led to her son's marrying Godless women, etc. etc. She was dealing with her own guilt as well as dealing with the pain of losing her husband and sons, while all the time believing their loss was result of God's punishment for moving out of his will. What a burden she must have felt! She stops on the way back to Bethlehem and looks at her daughters in law knowing they have a very slim chance of marrying anyone in Bethlehem because they are Moabites, Ruth CHOOSES to go anyway because of her growing love for Naomi's God. No matter the circumstances or hardships she might face, she chose God. And the blessings came . . .
    I pray today in the midst of all the uncertainty I am facing in my life, that I choose God and have the trust and faith in him to wait this out for his good and perfect will. I choose God.

  • This has been very guiding to me and reminded me that god is the only one who can fully "label" or judge me.

    • AnnaLee

      Yes, Amen sister. And this reminds me of something I discussed with my dad awhile back. He had me read through the whole book of 1 Corinthians without stopping to study it in small parts, as I usually do, to read it like letter and see what stuck out as a whole (since it actually was a letter to the Corinthians). One thing that stuck out to me was how the apostle Paul keeps instructing the church on how to not judge those outside the church, and how to edify those within the church with confrontation if they're in sin. The biggest thing I took from it was 1 Cor 4:3, "I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself." He doesn't even judge himself. Indeed, God IS the only one who can fully "label" us– and it is NEVER condemning. Praise Him for that!! Bless you, sister. Praying that as you continue in this study, this truth would stick with you and encourage you to seek His approval and love, of which He always gives. Love you!

  • Rachel Nordgren

    Amanda, I think this might be the most beautiful daily study you've ever written. Thank you :)

  • “She couldn’t imagine the bitterness becoming beauty, but her sovereign God could.” This is amazing.

  • Shanelle

    This couldn't have come at a better time. Not only did I need these testimonies about not giving up when things don't go your way but it also helped clear up some feelings I had about the Naomi. I always felt bothered that she had changed her name. It seemed like she had given up on GOD. Last night I said a small prayer to ask GOD to help me understand Naomi's perspective and point of view and bam this morning it is what this post is about. I've been fortunate that GOD has always answered my prayers to help me understand His word better. Thank you SRT!

  • I'm new to #SheReadsTruth, and it couldn't have come at a better time in my life. Such a declaration of the story of Ruth- that when you are at a low point in your life, no matter what it is you are going through, God uses the situation to bring you back to Him. So here I am.

    Just a little observation from my journaling today:
    Naomi lost everything. She became bitter (Mara). God used her situation to bring her back to Him.
    …and Ruth! Her commitment to Naomi was unshakeable. Was God showing Himself through her?

    • Kimone

      I would say so. God was working in them both. Ruth saw Naomis faithfulness and reverence to God. She took the time to observe admire and later emulate. Naomi was brought to her lowest point for God to work His plan out. Ruth suffered similar loss but dealt with it differently. Ruth became the support system for Naomi and who is better to provide comfort and support than someone who has shared your experience. It is all God and we just need to acknowledge, trust and have faith in Him to restore us. After all, our curcumstances change, but God doesnt. He is the same, yesterday, today and forever more.

      Hope this helped.

      • Cecilia

        It does, Kimone. Thank you.
        I was just surprised when the thought came to my mind that God was showing Himself through Ruth when I was so focused on Naomi and her faith. Naomi never took her eyes off of God, but she was bitter. She never blamed God, but questioned why she was in the situation she was in. It was through Ruth and her faithfulness to Naomi that I realized this is what God was trying to show Naomi through her struggles. He is here for us always and through anything, just as Ruth was to Naomi. I'm certain Ruth's relationship with God will blossom because of this and because of Naomi. I'm excited to see it through!

    • Gema Muniz

      Amen! is so true at times when everything is going great in our lives we tempt to loose the focus from God. But he comes around and places your focus once again on him.

    • mazmagi54 (Peggy)

      Welcome Cecilia and thanks for your sharing! (and I'd agree with Kimone that He was!)

  • Sometimes I wish he would take it all away! It's good to hear that we all go through tough times. Do you in to church and feel like everyone else has it together and life is always treating them well? A friend and I were just talking about that how women especially put this happy face on and I'm ok everything. We aren't real. I appreciate Naomi's honesty. Goodness! I'd be bawling the entire trip back home if I were her. She just says I'm not good.. Things are bad right now..I'm not pleasant…I'm bitter. Life is stinking right now. She was real! I love how she didn't blame god but I wonder if she questioned him and cried out to Him. Ruth must have seen her faith in some aspect to follow her. Ruth knew that Naomi believed there is something bigger ahead. I feel like Naomi was saying God dealt this to me and I have to figure out how I'm going to handle it. Boy! Do I feel like that many times! I love God with my whole heart but sometimes I say really? You want me to go through this again why? And the answer is always the same to me…I wan to be glorified. Trust me I have a plan and it will work out. Your being refined to be more like me!
    It is so hard sometimes but I claim the promises of God and I have to believe that He will be glorified in the end. That his way is perfect and he loves me and my family more than anything and will ONLY do what's best!

    I'm not a FAILUre as I name my self but a PERSEVeRER! I like to think of it like Pilgrims Progress. I'm traveling to the Celestial City and the prize awaits if I will only press on.

    • Kimone

      This is so true. I feel as if God is speaking to me here. Things havent been going according to plan for a few months now n at times I get frustrated. I hate that I do because it feels like im dishonouring God. I ask for forgiveness and promise God its all His and ill never do it again. I pray for endurance and hope to not fall in the same spot. Its hard at times but I can feel the presence of God, its His will and His way and He has a plan I know not of and im just trusting Him to work it out in His timing. Just pray for my faithfulness n that I may not give up. May I not allow my circumstances to name me but to wear the glorious names given to me by my Father. God bless you Valerie and may you continue to Trust in God as He leads you into your blessings.

    • lovehimso

      Yes Valarie How many times have I said let this cup pass from me! But I have to believe that Gods plan is a better plan than I could ever imagine. And yes just like Naomi. I find myself angry and maybe sometime bitter. There are various name changes in the bible. I have a new name and I m sure it will not be my last change.

  • This passage reminds me that the conditions and circumstances of my lift are not mine but are given by God. And that is true now, when they are pleasant, as much as when they are bitter!

  • Father, I want to live in the names You have given me today!

    • tina

      AMEN Brandi…..so do I…..be blessed …..xxx

    • tina

      Here, here….AMEN….Lord help us to know who we are in YOU….in all circumstances…..let it be so…..Brandi, praying the Lord hold your head high to hear those names He has given you….Beloved, forgiven, redeemed…..beautiful…..

  • Jessicaloves.. you hit a cord in me. Go to God before our wheels start spinning in the mud. I really let myself go like that…undisciplined and led by my misguided wild emotions and I end up with a barrage of negative thoughts and regret for not going to God with all of it…I know there is no condemnation…..but I feel like such a loser. ..like when am I going to get it? God is full of grace and his grace to me has not been without affect. Here I come God….again. :)

    • tina

      Megan, if I may join you…..here I am again too Lord….Thank you for loving us beyond beyond…God bless you Megan…xxx

  • I feel God's really speaking to me in that line "We are not named by our circumstances. We are named by our good God." Cause on my way home from a very busy day this song was on the radio and they fit together perfectly. I encourage you to read the beautiful words.

    "Bring your tired
    Bring your shame
    Bring your guilt
    Bring your pain
    Don’t you know that’s not you’re name
    You will always be much more to me

    Every day I wrestle with the voices
    That keep telling me I’m not right
    But that’s alright

    ‘Cause I hear a voice and He calls me redeemed
    When others say I’ll never be enough
    And greater is the One living inside of me
    Than he who is living in the world

    Bring your doubts
    Bring your fears
    Bring your hurt
    Bring your tears
    There’ll be no condemnation here
    You are holy, righteous and redeemed"

    (Mercyme – Greater)

    We are not named by our circumstance, by our sin or by the world. We are named by our God above who loves us despite all we do and have done, who has washed our sin away.

    • tina

      Beautiful lyrics and as you say very fitting for this study today…..Susie…..He truly has us in His hands….Amen…abundant blessing s to you …..

    • mazmagi54 (Peggy)

      Thanks Susie for sharing the words of "Greater" from MercyMe and they do fit! (in case some don't know this, like me … here's a link) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0ItnPk3t2Y
      (I would not have imagined it to be this lively but it certainly speaks LIFE)!

      I'm bringing it all and laying it at His feet!

  • JessicaLoves___

    Sometimes it's just so hard to see beyond our current circumstances and so easy to make life issues ours to deal with, instead of the Lord's. I have a lot going on right now – nothing as dramatic as Naomi's story – just feeling overwhelmed by a crazy-busy work season while trying to make plans and get prepared for our first baby on the way. Most of the time, my husband prays over our evening meal. But of all days, on Sunday, when I was completely frazzled but trying to hide/control it, my husband asked me to pray. I looked at him, agreed, then closed my eyes and took a long and deep breath. Then I just started pouring such real and raw words out to the Lord, words I hadn't allowed myself to utter (like "help me"). By the end of my prayer, I was in tears and I had my husband's attention and willingness to step up. God knew I needed, in that instance, to say my own prayer. A prayer I didn't think I had the strength to utter. And through it, he brought comfort and love and strength and support. He knows us so well; and if we'd just go to him more in the first place, rather than allowing our overwhelmedness (my word) to build up, we could have that relief earlier. But our nature so often doesn't allow us to see that until after we've given our dilemma over to him. Praying for the day when I always give it to him first, rather than coming to that point where I'm wiped from spinning my wheels and he's the only option left.

    • Candacejo

      Oh my! Tears!! So glad that you reached out and "poured out"!! God will strengthen you today. We are praying for you.

      • JessicaLoves___

        He did it, Nannette! I had a long day yesterday, but gained strength for my evening at the very end of my work day! Appreciate the prayers. Praying blessings for you as well.

  • joanne sher

    We are not named by our circumstances. No matter how awful things seem, He loves us. He is in control. He hears and loves us. No matter how hopeless or empty we feel, he will fill us again.

  • I wrote this comment on yesterdays….im a little behind…but I think it fits better here…
    Yeah Amy I was thinking about Naomi. She was bitter. In fact I did some checking around on the references. She felt that the hand of the Lord was against her…all the men in her life gone. It seems she really felt like God abandoned her….honestly…I would be bitter too…who wouldn’t feel that way? Its easy to get stuck in the bad hand we feel we’ve been dealt…but then by divine entrance there’s RUTH…there dont have to be an explanation for why Ruth clings… I just think she is mark of God’s grace to Naomi. Neither Naomi or Ruth know what’s going to happen but we do and God did….and we can see that God does not forsake his people…she stayed….God stayed…Naomi is in for something big…a huge release of all her bitterness. .healing and a renewed hope in the God of Israel. This book is totally about Ruth…about God…and how his Grace has not been without affect.

  • Circumstances change but they don't change our God!

    This is a quote I often use and each day I believe it more. As I read the devotion and came to where Naomi called it quits, I wrote this:

    This happens with many of us, situations puts us in a spot where we sort of lose sight of who God really is. How we felt about Him while things were going well, but when things shift out of the ordinary, so do we. Thats not suppose to be. Our situations and circumstances does not change who God is. It is our decisions/choices that may affect our situations or even God HIMSELF. Therefore next time there is a shifting, a negative one, something you consider unpleasant, a change, remind yourself that God is the same. It is the situation that changed, not God. He is UNCHANGEABLE!

    Have a terrific Thursday in the Lord SRT ladies. God bless you all.!

    • Kaitlin

      Beautiful words, Kimone! I love what you said about shifting our attention to from the changing situation to our unchanging God. Thank you for your encouragement, sweet sister!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • This is something I wa just writing about yesterday on my blog. I have been struggling with looking at circumstances. Thank you again for the reminder that God doesn’t change. Ultimately he is the one in control. He is the one who calls me by name.

    • tina

      Amy ….and what beautiful and life giving names too….Beloved…..doesn't that sound amazing….Blessings over you….Beloved of God….my sister…xxx

  • sweetdes2014

    We are not named by our circumstances. We are named by our good God.

    Praise The Lord! I'm so glad that we are not named, shamed, sick, depressed, suffering, financial needs….etc….but we are named Conquerors, Victorious, Children of the King, Heirs of the Kingdom, Healed!!

    We are not whatever is going on in our lives today, we must look past our current situation and not call ourselves "Mara." We have to keep our eyes on our Lord and Savior and know that He sees us as His glory!! Amen

    • drasch

      It's so hard to "keep our eyes on the prize" and not let our current circumstances define us. And yet… He gives us His Spirit and and His Son and Himself… Always. Wow, what a blessing!

      • tina

        What a blessing indeed…..Thank you Drasch….Thank you SweetDes….Be blessed….xxx

  • I’ve been a Mara. A self-proclaimed, bitter woman. And praise God for healing that brokenness. And you know what? In that healing He also have me a new, wonderful life. Better than I could’ve ever imagined. So if his is where you find yourself today, in the wilderness of hurt and loss, know that your promised land is coming!

  • Beautiful. This is perfect for me right now. There are days i feel so weak and weary. There is somethings going on in my families life that we are having to pray through and it seems we have been waiting so long for an answer. Each time i pray the song… Stand Still… comes to mind so i'm trying to listen but sometimes standing still and waiting on the Lord is one of the hardest things we have to do. We want to jump ahead thinking we know whats best and we end up in a mess. Naomi had some very hard times come up on her but i must say I love the trust and commitment she showed to God. When a lot of bad things happen to us sometimes we want to turn and run, or blame God for whats went wrong when really it should always draw us closer to him.

    Lots of Love SRT sisters <3

    • Candacejo

      I am praying for you…now. ♥

    • Kaitlin

      Sweet sister, I am so thankful for you. Your joy in the Lord is so evident. Waiting is hard, isn't it?! My heart longs for your answer and relief, but I know God is working fervently in your family. I can't wait to see what He has planned! Praying peace into your days and joy into your waiting.

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Candacejo

    Beautiful!! This lesson reminds me of the saying, "Nothing just HAPPENS with God!" He is never surprised by our circumstance!

    I don't believe He puts things on us…we live in a sinful world, born of a sinful nature…but I do believe He ALLOWS certain things in our lives but He can UNDO them, OVERRULE them or REDEEM them for His purpose! (Mike Williams) There are no coincidences with our God! (Here is my post on that thought if you need encouragement in that area!) http://www.hopeinthehealing.com/2014/03/30/overru

    Naomi was at the bottom of the barrel for sure but her story of redemption and restoration only gets better, Sisters! Part of me is hurrying to the end!!! :)

  • …Naomi acknowledges God without blaming Him. She believed God was sovereign, even in her tragedy……how many of us can say, hand on heart, that this US, when we face tragedy, …..when thing go pear shaped for us…..I can't, I'm sorry to say….My God, is not my first port of call…..

    I love the film pretty woman….there is a line Julia Roberts character says in answer to something that was said…'..it's easy to believe the negatives…the bad things'…..this is so true….Naomi, believed what she had told herself, that it was over…after all the life she had planned…dreamed of….hoped for had disappeared….was never going to happen…it was over…..her life was over..'.Call me bitter'…..does that resonate with us…. But God….
    I just had the poem Footprints come to mind…..

    …This bothered me because I noticed
    that during the low periods of my life,
    when I was suffering from
    anguish, sorrow or defeat,
    I could see only one set of footprints.

    So I said to the Lord,
    ‘You promised me Lord,
    that if I followed you,
    you would walk with me always.
    But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life
    there have only been one set of footprints in the sand.
    Why, when I needed you most, you have not been there for me?’

    The Lord replied,
    ‘The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand,
    is when I carried you.’Mary Stevenson…..

    I think negative is our automatic default button when things go wrong….when our dreams are not met, or plans don't go accordingly…..my youngest used to get so cross with me….when his dad left us, after the death of our daughter…..for pastures green….I fell apart, understandably….one of the main issues was self worth…really was I worthy…because if I was, God wouldn't have called julee home, and my love would not have left us….I used to say things like, I'm stupid, why would anyone choose me…the one that got my son was….I am rubbish….Lord forgive me, for the dishonour I gave you….my point, God does know our hearts…..He believes in US, when we don't , He is there for us, when we don't believe He is, He cries with us in our sorrow and our disappointments, he holds us up when standing up is just not possible….He gently puts His arms around us….guiding us back to him….and in time we take back those amazing memes that we have over our heads….Beloved….Redeemed….Forgiven…..Thank you Lord…. Thank you….

    Beloved ones…..May the Lord God of our hearts, turn His face to shine on you today…xxx

    • drasch

      Tina, I always love reading your comments and insights. You've come such a long way, and you've struggled so mightily. I agree that it's so easy to default to negative…

      I know that I've grown far more spiritually as a result of trials and tribulations than I have in times of feast and happiness.

    • mazmagi54 (Peggy)

      Oh yes, yes Yes tina … !!! Footprints … or God's fingerprints on our lives … I love that poem and it's perfect! Thanks for all you share!

      AMEN!

    • AnnaLee

      Tina, oh how I love you and thank you for your insights every day… you're right, how easy it is for us to always believe the negative. It's something I've pretty much got myself believing right now, and your words are so encouraging, so uplifting, as they shovel out lies and replace it with Truth. The Lord has promised that I'm to be cultivated land, not desolate anymore… that those who walk through this city that is my life would know me as the City of Truth, a city that God has redeemed and rebuilt, not one prone to shame and scorn anymore. I believe this, though it's so hard for me to see how it's going to happen. The Lord is bigger than my circumstances! Even as I type that, there's parts of me that ask if I truly believe this… I do. Father, I believe. Help my unbelief!! Can you please pray for me, sister? That'd I'd reclaim those names and believe wholeheartedly once again in our Lord, our God? The past few days have been FULL of attacks from the enemy with the past, others, etc… but all of that is a LIE. The Lord is moving and working, here, I believe it… pray that my faith would not fail and that I'd believe in the work He is doing, no matter how it feels. Praise Him.

      Lifting you up in prayer and blessings today, dear friend, that no matter where you find yourself, you'd know of the Lord's love for you and would reclaim the truth once more. Praise Him. Have a beautiful evening/rest of your week. <3

      • tina

        AnnaLee, …praying right now for you…..Lord help my dear sister see who she truly is in YOU….remove any doubt, any obstacles, any scales from her eyes, and please open her eyes, ears and heart to see you and your arms open with the banner written over her that says….forgiven …redeemed….BELOVED…….AnnaLee..you are Loved by us here, those who do not know you, but through your writings and yet you are precious to us…how much more God, who sees you, knows you, created you in His likeness, LOVES you…
        Reclaim this truth dear heart….it is yours for always… I love you too…God be with you…xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

        • AnnaLee

          Tina, the Lord is so faithful.
          Today at around 3:15ish PM, I was at Target, buying ingredients to make banana bread. I walked down the main isle by the groceries… and you wouldn't believe it… a simple thought just popped into my head. "I don't have to do anything for the Lord to love me… I don't have to do ANYTHING to be reconciled with my father. I am loved. I am safe. I am loved!" It put a spring in my step (pretty literally)– it made me stand up straighter. It took a huge weight off my chest, set me free. I had such small, quiet, yet such sweet joy and relief. I was beautiful, content, glad. I AM beautiful, content, glad.
          The Lord is working on my behalf. Who am I, that He would? HIS DAUGHTER, that's who. And as this devo series keeps showing me, I am worthy… He does delight in me, and He does long to be good to me, not because of my righteousness, but because He is faithful, He is loving, He never changes… He wants to bless me. Just like my parents and family/friends have kept telling me, and now I'm finally starting to see it. It's just amazing to see that you prayed that at 3:15ish (what it showed on my email) and that moment happened around 3:15. PRAISE GOD!! He is working!!! I love you, dear Tina!! Thank you for your prayer, as always, dear one!! Be so blessed! I pray that this Saturday is one full of relief, rest, blessing, and acceptance of God's good grace and every blessing He longs to pour out on you! Be filled with joy and rest in the sweet comfort that He is Your God and He will strengthen you for His work!

  • Yes Brittany! Exactly how I feel too. God throws at us only what we can handle & oftentimes it does lead us back to Him, which is partly how I found myself at SRT.
    Today I’m exhausted from huge life changes & remembering all of them are part if God’s plan.
    Thank you for this amazing community. I’m new here but already feels like part of my life!

    • AnnaLee

      Beautiful, Rachel!! "Today I'm exhausted from huge life changes & remembering all of them are part of God's plan." Me too, sister. I am too scared, to timid, and too uncomfortable WAY too often when it comes to change of any sort… but I NEED to remember that this is apart of His plan. Lord, forgive me for my panic and lack of trust in You. You know exactly what You're doing; Praise You, God, that You'd consider me worthy to know the plans You have for me even just a little and for always leading me through such a turbulent-at-times, yet BLESSED, life. Let me trust you all the way, Jesus. Every single way. I praise you for that. Amen!

      I love that you're apart of this community, dear friend!! Thank you for your vulnerability, rawness and beautiful words! Be so blessed! Lifting you up in prayer now, Rachel!

  • Brittany

    After some tough years, I decided to go back to church and things have honestly just felt better to me. Someone told me that God puts us through tough times, not to challenge us, but to lead us back to Him. And I really needed that. There are times where I was so angry at God, where I questioned why I didn't get the job I interviewed perfectly for. Where I blamed Him instead of blaming myself. Where I questioned why my family had to go through so much in so little years and now I can see that I had strayed and it makes me feel incredibly displeased at myself. I gave up on God and I let myself build a wall. God wanted a relationship with me and I blocked Him out. Thankfully, we can't be plucked from the Lord's hand. I'm so thankful for a glorious, forgiving God who desires fellowship with us.

    • Kaitlin

      Brittany, I am so thankful for your vulnerability and willingness to share. I can relate too well to feelings of uncertainty and doubt. You are so right when you said we can never be plucked from the Lord's hand. His plan always prevails, and for that I am so, so, grateful. Praising Him for revealing His faithfulness to you, and for your steadfast love for Him.

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

    • AnnaLee

      Yes. Praise Him, Brittany, for this beautiful truth you've reminded us of. I definitely needed to hear it. "Thankfully, we can't be plucked from the Lord's hand. I'm so thankful for a glorious, forgiving God who desires fellowship with us." Father, bring us all closer to You than we could ever imagine, no matter the circumstances. No matter the doubt, the shame, the lies we let ourselves believe, we can NEVER be taken from His hand, and Oh Lord, I just pray you'd keep this Truth planted firmly in the deep soil of our hearts no matter what the world, the enemy, and even we tell ourselves. I praise you for that. Lifting you up in prayer, Brittany, that the Lord would continue to bless you with truth, insight, comfort and authentic, Godly fellowship! Love you, my beautiful sister! Praise God. Amen.

    • Christine

      Let Him love you through your days! Look for Him! So happy your friend shared hope with you. God bless<3

    • Nicole

      Hi Brittany,
      I'm so glad you've decided to deepen your relationship with God instead of giving up on Him! Have you heard the song "Bless the Broken Road"? I think it encourages us that when life is hard or full of "detours," it's still part of a greater plan.

      Just remember–life is hard for EVERYONE, not because we're all off track, but because this world is broken. But I'm so glad that God works EVERYTHING according to His purpose…

  • mazmagi54 (Peggy)

    Sorry, I guess I was a day ahead yesterday when I commented on 'Mara' … ( I must have just read on to the end of the chapter)!

    Anyways, I love how Amanda starts out with prayer when our circumstances are just so overwhelming or heavy that we just no longer have the umpf to utter our own prayer and how others can stand in that gap. My, how we all need this and a place with people who will pray INSTEAD … yet we always have Jesus (praying on our behalf as Our Advocate and the Holy Spirit who gives us an utterance or groans with or for us, when we can't) …

    I am so moved and touched by all of this but mostly the statements that Amanda has in bold type … not only stand out but speak the most to me and the depths of anyone going through a rough time…

    1st: "She believed God was sovereign, even in her tragedy."
    2nd: "She couldn’t imagine the bitterness becoming beauty, but her sovereign God could."
    3rd: "Circumstances change, but they do not change our God. "

    and might I add the one in italics too
    "Ours is the Savior who rose from the grave, defeating sin and death and hopelessness forever."

    I don't know about all of you, but I have been far too often in a "circumstance" like Naomi (but not all at once like her)… grief stricken and yet trying to hold on to God and His Promises looking beyond the problem to the Problem Solver. And I'm so thankful He calls us by a different name than the one we see ourselves as, especially in the muck and mire of an aching heart, or overwhelming broken spirit.

    Yet as I read Amanda's words … I was reminded of my blog's Bible verse that God gave me at the time … from Isaiah 61:
    "The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair."

    Yes, Lord – beauty for brokenness! Gladness instead of mourning! Praise instead of despair (praise always precedes the victory!) Freedom for our captivity! Release from darkness. Forgiven (not condemned or doomed to a life sentence) … Blessed instead of cursed or living like we are; Beloved instead of shamed, guilty, doubtful, unaccepted, unloved … Redeemed by His love (like this redemption story of Ruth, Boaz and Naomi). Hope rising instead of giving in to our weariness or weakness or 'achy breaky heart' … not lost, not a prodigal but arms open wide inviting us home or back or IN … ALL IN with a NEW NAME! I lay down, Lord any name that is trailing along behind me from the past or present and I take those names of Beloved, Forgiven, Redeemed, and Blessed. I give You thanks and praise for every turn that leads me straight back to You. Thank You, Lord! Thank You that we are not named by our circumstance or a life event or mistake! You are so good! I love You so much! Whatever may be an obstacle or holding us back from drawing closer and staying on track with our eyes focused on You, help us to remove or go beyond and make the changes we need to truly follow after You and be molded into Your image. In Jesus sweet name, I lift up each sister that passes by here today that You might whisper into her heart, a new name, a name of Love and Grace. for this is who You are … loving and so amazing … far beyond what we imagine. Thank You forever and ever … I'm Yours! Holy Spirit speak, breathe and move among us.

    • Catherine_K_L

      Peggy, that is so beautifully written and I thank you for writing what The Lord put on your heart, I needed this. May God return the blessing in untold measures to you, today!

      • mazmagi54 (Peggy)

        Thank you Catherine! (I just started and it kept going or flowing and I did not realize how much until I submitted the comment)… I'm honored and blessed, and so appreciate the return blessing from you! Praying that God met you this day right where you needed Him!

    • ButterflyBre

      Thank you for praying for that powerful display of love in that prayer. This ministry has served me greatly during the last 6 months and I count it as one of my many blessings from God. God bless you!! Peggy .

      • mazmagi54 (Peggy)

        Thank you ButterflyBre (how beautiful is this chosen name of yours!) … Thanks for the blessing! May God double fold the power of His love and all that SRT brings to you today and as you continue reading His Truth and counting the many blessings (even when it's hard)! Love in Christ, Peggy

    • Kaitlin

      Amen, amen, amen, Peggy! Thanks for sharing your words and your heart. Praying this over you and our SRT community today! <3

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

      • mazmagi54 (Peggy)

        Thanks Kaitlin, I receive and give you and this commUnity God's Heart for you all and the relationship only He makes possible and completes!
        xoxo- right back at ya' Peggy

    • mazmagi54 (Peggy)

      We all have needs and that is what God's grace is all about and His beautiful redemptive work! for EACH ONE of us! As I come back and see how lengthy this really was … I, too, realize that it was not just me … Naomi and Ruth's relationship and return was truly blessed by God as ours is each time we invest in one another. Thanks to those of you who replied or liked, for this blesses and encourages me to share rather than lurk and read all the wonderful insights, encouragements and inspirations you all give to one another, which is what makes these devotions come alive and speak to and through each one of us. Hope is rising in me through this story of providence and redemption! (Hope is my One Word for 2014) and it certainly is being found and strengthened in this study. Thanks to each of you who invest in others and reading God's Word together. I am deeply touched and moved!

      Peace and love in Christ,
      Peggy
      and here's the reason I came back to share with this song for you all that blessed me today … from Tenth Ave. "BELOVED" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CUGTIWCFyo

    • AnnaLee

      "Thank You, Lord! Thank You that we are not named by our circumstance or a life event or mistake! You are so good! I love You so much! Whatever may be an obstacle or holding us back from drawing closer and staying on track with our eyes focused on You, help us to remove or go beyond and make the changes we need to truly follow after You and be molded into Your image. In Jesus sweet name, I lift up each sister that passes by here today that You might whisper into her heart, a new name, a name of Love and Grace."

      Peggy, your words were so needed today… I've been logging on in the evenings and feeling so sapped about writing here, like it's more of a "have-to" now instead of something that the Holy Spirit carries… I gave SRT to Him among many other things and it's now Him who is flowing out of this comment. Praise Him. I pray your prayer along with you, that "whatever obstacle is holding us back from drawing closer and staying on track with our eyes focused on [Him]" would be brought to light, repented of, counseled, forgiven, and thrown to the bottom of the sea with the rest of the sin in our lives He has COMPLETELY forgotten!! How I've struggled with this… so many mistakes and so much past has come up against me as of late, and it's kept me in bondage for way too long, once again…
      The Lord has whispered a new name to me over and over again, from being "Worthless & Misunderstood, Hated" to "Understood, Loved, Cherished, Healed;" one who "Prostituted herself" (in a biblical, metaphorical sense) to being "Hephzibah," or "My Delight is in Her" (Isaiah 62:4). When reading your comment and this devo I asked the Lord to show me what my new name was… He showed me a passage He's brought to me over and over again, Ezekiel 36: "They will say, “This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited.” 36 Then the nations around you that remain will know that I the Lord have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.’" (vs 35-36). I have hope in this, and I praise Him in this, for He's already doing it. Praise Him, that He cultivates the land where it was once desolate, not because of our righteousness but because of His Righteousness and His Faithfulness! Praise Him!!

      Praying for you, sister, that you'd be blessed by your own words– that you'd always look beyond your circumstances and see the one who loves you and calls you a different name than the one you call yourself! Much blessings, my dear sister! I love you!!

      • mazmagi54 (Peggy)

        Hey sweet one … I've been missing you! Thanks Anna Lee for the "have=to" of this one is motivated by your love and His and prompted from the Holy Spirit with such a beautiful spirit and love how the Lord gave you a passage along with the whisper of your new names and you are Anna Lee such a delight of the Lord. (for me and as I have read other SRT and more than likely more in your real world than what you see or sense but they're there and so are we … here for you and with you as HE IS with you. I'm praying with you and for you and sending a BIG blessing your way as you break free from the struggles and mistakes and the past! (my how that is prevalent in my life in different seasons and growth) … Thanks again dear little sister … with the biggest heart of gold and love, I love you Anna Lee and we know that He does!!! so completely! Hang on … and I'm so glad you got what you needed … confirmed, affirmed and blessed, I pray! (if you can believe it's possible, I wrote more at the last page of comments before I read this … but so glad that you stopped in and shared)!
        Praising Him with you!
        Peggy

        • AnnaLee

          Aw, Peggy, you're so beautiful! Thank you so much for your kind words, I've been missing you too!! Thank you for your prayers, dear sister, because they are so appreciated during this time. Our Lord is so good! Praise Him! He is with us. All of your comments are so great, and I praise God for your continual insight!! Praise Him for you!! Love you!! Be so blessed!!

  • Christen Louise

    Wow. Today's post could not have come at a better time. I've spent all day worrying about and pouring over my circumstances. I'm finding myself at one of those spots where I just can't do anything else. I really have become a Mara instead of a Naomi! I feel ashamed that maybe this is where I had to be to turn back to Him and put my faith and hope back in my God.

    • Amanda Bible Williams

      Don’t feel ashamed, friend- rejoice that He is gently reminding you of your true name in Jesus! We are all in that place from time to time, where it’s hard to remember what is really real despite what we can see. Saying a prayer for you as I head to bed. Ready for a new day– for you and for me. xo

    • Nicole

      I completely identify with your feelings of shame–I too have wished I didn't have to travel to such low places to "wake up." However, I have learned and been encouraged by a few things so that I can move past those times of embarrassment and shame and actually be strengthened.

      1) God KNEW what He was getting when we entered His family. He knew our past, our present, and our future "selves," isn't surprised in the least at where we are today, and has ALWAYS LOVED US UNCONDITIONALLY!
      2) He knows our next destination (literally and figuratively) and is actively planning to use WHATEVER we're dealing with as fuel to get there. In His infinite sovereignty and wisdom, ALL of this will work out just fine.
      3) These times of shame and embarrassment are actually times of realization and revelation that we are truly NOTHING without Christ but gloriously EVERYTHING with Him. I appreciate His love, grace, and mercy SO much more when I go through these difficult but necessary soul revelations.
      4) Our past–whether good or bad–is there for periodic reflection and course correction (with God's empowerment), but not so we can feel guilt for something we've already been forgiven for. If God doesn't keep track, why do we?

      You are unconditionally loved and valued by God. We, your SRT sisters, will do our best to model that same love through our imperfect but God-empowered selves.

      • Reneé

        Wow. All I can say in regards to this post is thank you, Nicole. Thank you for pouring your heart out into this forum. You can tell that these words truly come from the deep depths of your heart and taking that chance can be scary, but you listened to the HS's calling. Thank you.

        I personally have been going through a series of very trying circumstances recently ranging from a life-threatening disease to family issues and I have been feeling extremely overwhelmed with guilt about my "weak" faith. I just feel too ashamed to come to God because I just don't feel worthy enough to even be considered a part of the family. My words are just completely uneloquent and honestly this #srt family is so sweet, but I just don't feel worthy to even participate or write my personal thoughts. Even still, I find so much strength from reading these posts and everyone's take homes every day. You all give me so much hope. Thank you.

        Oh and don't feel like you have to reply to this post. I know it is not uplifting and something you would normally see on here, but it's the truth from my heart.

        I hope that one day I will finally feel included and worthy enough to post my take homes from each morning.

        Much love
        Reneé

        • Kaitlin

          Renee, oh how I wish I could hug your neck! Sister, your vulnerability and thoughts are beautiful and so relatable. How many days have I have felt the exact same way. We are all broken, unworthy, and weak. But because of the beauty of the cross, we no longer have that weight to carry. Hallelujah! You are a valued and PRECIOUS part of God's family!

          I am so thankful you are part of our She Reads Truth community. You are always, always welcome here and I look forward to reading your take homes from each morning:) Can I pray with you?

          Father, Renee and I come before you so broken. Thank you that you can see our hurts, our thoughts, our past, our shame, and still call it beautifully yours. I pray that you would wrap your arms of peace, protection and acceptance around Renee as she takes the brave steps of trusting you. Show her your endless, incomprehensible, intimate love today and every day. Amen.

          Love to you, Renee!
          xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

        • Gema Muniz

          Amen! I joining in prayer for you Renee. I can relate to the way you feel, many times our circumstances take us down a dark road. But what I learned from my experience is, the more you focus on your problems the bigger they seem.

          Sister I hope that God can touch your heart today, and you allow yourself to stop focusing on the problems and start focusing on him. When you start focusing on him, he will fill you up with such peace and happiness that you will automatically forget the storm you’re dealing with at the moment.

          I'm still dealing with my own personal storm, but I must admit that after I surrendered my problems to God he opened up the windows of heaven and shined his light on me. His peace is unexplainable is what keeps me going every day despite of the uncertainty. He has changed my sadness to joy. Allow yourself to be filled with all these great feelings only God can provide for us.

          Sister you are part of this family and you are enough! God bless you.

        • mazmagi54 (Peggy)

          You are worthy Renee! and your thoughts and what you shared are heartfelt and worthy, so worthy to share as you have honestly! Let those lies go that what you have to share or take home is not … because they are and we are waiting and listening. Holding you up in prayer along with Kaitlin.

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