Ruth 2014: Day 11

A life restored


Today's Text: Ruth 4:13-17

Text: Ruth 4:13-17

Life is hard.
Life is demanding.
Life has unexpected twists and turns.

Naomi’s life is a beautiful illustration that we must live life to experience a restored life. This is not easy. After all, who would hold up their hand and say “Bring on the tough stuff!”? Not me!  Yet, who we become and what we appreciate often come from some of the darkest days of life.

“And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness—secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.”
(Isaiah 45:3, NLT)

I thought that when I was ready to start a family, it would just happen. My mom certainly did not have any issues, so why would I? I did not know that some of my darkest days and years lay ahead. Miscarriages, surgeries, waiting, feeling let down time and time again for ten years.  Like Naomi I could have changed my name to Mara. As I pull back and look at the big picture now, the blessing of those long dark days and years led to my restoring relationship with Jesus and the greatest redemptive gift of my son. I had to live life to experience and appreciate a restored life.

And so, let us sit at the feet of Naomi, a grandmother cuddling her grandson who is the bloodline to our kinsman-redeemer, Jesus and glean wisdom and encouragement from the beauty of life.

God’s grace is a treasure of love. The love and loyalty Ruth and Naomi had for one another led to the deep love Boaz would have for Ruth and, therefore, Naomi. Our relationships with those we do life with are precious treasured gifts. Value them.

God’s restoration is a treasure of hope. Loss, grief and bitterness can bring us to our knees in desperation. Yet—by abiding in God’s promises, provision and love—hopelessness can be restored to hope. Lean into the God who is near, and settle in the strength of reliance.

God’s redemption is a treasure of restored life. In a life burdened with disaster and disappointment, new life can be born to redeem what was once lost. Circumstances on earth are temporal, but our Kinsman-Redeemer restores our focus on the eternal hope. Be grateful!

Today, may we pull back and reflect on the tapestry of life that is woven together for restored beauty through the power of the One who calls you by name.

Life is hard.
Life is demanding.
Life has unexpected twists and turns.
Life comes full circle with redemption coming from Christ Jesus.

“Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse.  (Ruth 4:14-16, ESV)

What treasures of restoration have you found when going through a dark season? Let’s encourage one another today.



Guest writer Debbie Eaton is a Southern CA girl who is passionate about the impact of daily influential God moments we have with one another. She deeply values being a follower of Christ, a wife of 27 years, mother of a teenage son, the beauty of friendship, writing, speaking, leadership and a good cup of coffee. She was the Director of Women’s Ministry at Saddleback Church. 

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  • When my young mom was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 58, I spent 3 months crying every single day. We are 7 years in to this cruel disease, and I know absolutely that the only reason my dad and sisters and I have been able to continue living well and enjoying life while simultaneously grieving is because of Jesus. The hope of Heaven is REAL, and being able to focus on that gives us an eternal perspective. What is terminal here on this side of Heaven is only temporary. Some day I will see my mom again, and the foggy stare will be gone. She will be restored. She will be “her” again, and she will know my name.

  • Perfect. I love hearing again and again of how God is faithful and he always restores us if we allow him.
    I’m going through a season of great loss but I trust that God is restoring and refining me in each moment. There are days getting out of bed can be hard but I cling to his promise to restore and make me whole in the end.

  • Sarah Kent

    When I lost my mama in 2010 suddenly, I felt like my whole world was in turmoil. However, I leaned in God’s strength and found that I did not have as close a relationship with my father so that became stronger and I also grew closer to my brother. My relationship with God was also renewed. I was able to finish high school with honors and now I’m about to be a senior in college. When I felt like I could not go on, God helped me push forward and I was able to experience restoration of a joyful spirit that can only come from placing my trust in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

    • SheReadsTruth

      Hi Sarah!

      I am so incredibly sorry to hear about your mother. Thank you for sharing the ways you’ve seen God’s restoration and encouraging us all today! Blessings to you, friend.


  • Deborah Biddle

    Pray for my son. He is going through a dark time, which is overshadowing our family. Thank for this study! It keeps reminding me that God is sovereign over all things and that His redemptive plan will prevail. Pray with me for deliverance , redemption and restoration to a right relation with God for my son. Thank you all.

  • teacherandmommyof2

    I am so encouraged by this study and all the comments! For many years , I lived a very rushed life. Not having time for friends or family and ultimately God. Honestly, I didn’t even know I had a problem until God brought my life to an abrupt stop. I lost my job of 10 years. HE quickly provided me another job. The money was half and the hours were half, so my family and I had some adjusting to do. At first I saw the extra time with my family a blessing but as time has gone on in this past year, I have somewhat resented struggling with bills and not having money. Through this study, I am learning and being reminded that God has a plan for me. I need to be greatful for this season I am in. HE is restroring my relationship with Him and helping my learn to be totally dependent on Him. something that’s taking time…

  • She nursed her own grandson!!! Pretty special.

  • Thank you!!! Give him all glory and praise and in all circumstance be thankful. We always have a reason to praise. Praise is weapon no less. Praise is for all seasons. And always remember the one who looked to the cross said he was going so that he could prepare a place for us!!!! To dwell in his presence. He always invites us to come!!!

  • Juliefay

    I love this verse in Isaiah. The idea of treasures in the darkness can help us press on when the going gets tough. Thank you Jesus for your hope and loveliness throughout darkness!

  • Kasey Summers

    Focus on eternal things because we have an eternal purpose and an eternal hope! This world is sometimes hard but when we keep our eyes focused on Jesus he changes everything! Is. 26:3-4

  • Reading the story of Ruth and reading the stories of my sisters makes my struggle seem so small. I am a college student who was a part of a college ministry and took on the role of youth pastor at a local church. My leaders turned out to be deceitful and manipulative. I grew up in church and I always saw the good in my leaders and pastors. I found myself afraid of the pastors I was under. They wouldn't let me make my own decisions, they wouldn't let me go home to see my family, and they didn't even want me to talk to my twin sister who stood up to them. For months I allowed them to control and manipulate me. Those months were so painful as I fought for them against my friends, family, and role models who saw what I couldn't see. It all culminated in five us leaving that church and the campus ministry. The day we told the pastors they blew up and verbally attacked us. They used every fear tactic they could and they battered our faith and confidence. We promised them two weeks to find replacements for us and those two weeks were almost unbearable. As I stood in front of 20 teenagers I was only allowed to say I was leaving. They censored every word I was allowed to say. Afterwards I tried to the comfort the kids and hug each one individually. One of the pastors entered the room and screamed at me to leave. The kids cried and screamed but I walked out of that church and i thought my heart was going to beat out of my chest. I climbed into the car with the four other people struggling with me and we drove to a gas station so we could fall apart. We all lived in the rooms they rented at their campus ministry. We knew we had to move. They continued to badger us every time they were in the house. When they found out we were moving they sent us messages that scared us. They said we couldn't move and we legally had to stay there. My father and brother came the day my friends and I moved. The pastor showed up but he didn't say anything. We moved into a little apartment together and tried to sort things out. We had lost all our friends, our ministry, our covering, our peace, and confidence. The month to follow was dark and I felt a lot of anger and bitterness. I also felt a lot of sadness and confusion. But, hope arose through the word of God. God pulled us under his wing. It has been two months and redemption has just found its way into my heart. I have kept God at bay because I was afraid of what I had become. God has found me on the cold hard floor of life and He has chosen to continue his plan for me. I know it might be crazy but I feel like I have finally found the purpose of my struggles. He brought the five of us together and has given us sweet treasures in the darkest times of our lives.

  • im trying to believe that God will restore my life. im only a freshman in highschool but i am pursuing a relationship with God. everyone in the SRT community is so strong and encouraging, i strive to grow up and be women like you all. xoxox

    • Hillary Schoettel

      It takes time dear one.
      In high school I was a wreck and my life seemed completely hopeless. I dealt with trying to cope with being raped at a young age and also trying to fight suicidal tendencies. After I tried to attempt and was in the hospital for quite some time I FINALLY completely surrendered to Christ. But even then it took time to completely trust and rely on Him. It wasn’t until I was 22 that I felt secure with Christ. Seasons come and go and high school certainly isn’t the easiest. But as you grow and remain faithful and constantly seek after Him you will be comforted.
      I went from trying to end my life several times to being happily married with a relationship centered on Christ, being a youth worker and leader with my husband, and expecting our first little one in November after being told I couldn’t bear children. God surprises us, bring us joy after seasons of despair, and restores and redeems our lives in ways we could never imagine. He has beautiful plans for you as he did with Ruth. Never lose the fire.

      • Molly

        thank you so much! wow- what a faith journey you have had. i hope to have as strong as a relationship with the Lord as you have. – congrats on the baby :))

    • Paige Lynne

      Oh I am not strong or encouraging at all times and I am 26.. I asked the Lord into my heart at a young age but didn’t truly know what that meant. I never fully surrendered my life until a few weeks ago. The Lord is the Redeemer of ALL. All of your failures, All of your “almosts”, and All of your fears. No one is perfect but staying in the Word is a great step!

  • God Himself has brought beauty from ashes in the restoration He gracefully brought to our marriage. His grace and mercy has brought deeper love and a deeper relationship for each other as well as our love and relationship with God Himself. To God be ALL glory and praise!!!!!

  • Reading today (Day 11–A Life Restored) made me feel hopeful again. I’m so thankful for this study in the book of Ruth. What God does for both Naomi and Ruth is remarkable & so healing. Praise God! I want to fully believe He can do the same for me.

  • Today, God revealed to me a piece of my own selfish heart. Reading this scripture, I couldn’t help but wonder: What about Ruth? Why is this all about Naomi and her restoration? Ruth did all the hard work. I was upset for Ruth. But then, God opened my eyes. Maybe this is how I would feel if I was in Ruth’s position. But this was not Ruth. Ruth was content. Ruth didn’t need earthly recognition because she had God’s favor. And that. That favor was all she needed. It is all I need – God’s favor. I don’t need a big public redemption and restoration story, but Naomi did. And the big crux of it all is that it was not even about Naomi – her redemption was all about God and His name (as is true in all stories of redemption and restoration).
    It is never about me. Lord, I pray for a contentment and faithfulness like Ruth. I pursue your favor above all.

  • I was in a terrible head on collision 5 months ago on my way home from my first day on the job as a teacher. I broke 13 bones. I am learning how to walk again. I can see that God is working in this through the dark days. But some days I’m really tired of “my plans” being destroyed. Prayers that I can see His plans, no matter what it is, is better than mine. He can redeem all things.

    • Beverly

      Praying for your healing, Loressa. God provides. And teaches. Always growing us toward Him. I pray you see Him today in spite of your circumstances. But what a blessing – you are here and He still has a beautiful plan and purpose for your life. He will give you a new life, one you can not even imagine yet.

  • Sarah Beth

    Reading through this study brought tears to my eyes. My husband is facing demons that tell him he can’t do things differently and take risks because he is married. He has allowed those lies to convince him that leaving me was the right thing to do. BUT my God is faithful. Just as He restored life for Ruth and Naomi, He will do so for me. I KNOW that He can also do this for my husband and I am praying he trusts God enough to believe and claim this promise of hope during the hard times.

  • Kimberly

    Right now we are in the darkest time of our life, we lost our daughter Friday afternoon. This passage today is exactly what I needed. I am so glad I came across this study.

    • Heather Narraway

      I am so deeply and truly sorry for your loss!
      I have walked with an incredible women that also lost her daughter at 21 years old a few years ago.
      God can and will bring you through this!
      Your family is in my prayers

    • Kylee

      I am praying for you Kimberly!

    • Emily Parsons

      Praying for you now, Kimberly.

    • Loressa

      Praying for comfort from the Lord, and you would feel and see His mercy and grace in the dark days

  • Woman Growing In faith

    Not long ago, Myself and some others may consider my life now as darkness due to physical circumstances and what is seen with the natural eye. I am carless and jobless as a single parent, but ALL my needs are met day to day. I have found treasure in activating my faith, believing with my whole heart that God will continue to provide for me and my daughter. I know that I am now walking in his marvelous light despite circumstances. My relationship with god is stronger and I feel his presence more than I ever!!! He is faithful an I believe every promise He has made to me!

    • Brilliant

      Willowcreek Community church has an amazing single moms program where they fix up cars and give them to single moms! Check them out! Cars Ministry

  • My husband and I just lost our 19 week pregnancy , our baby girl to a premature rupture of membranes and she was delivered stillborn . We had been trying for a year and this would have been his first as I do have my beautiful 13 year old daughter from a previous marriage . I am trusting and believing God for restoration and that he will answer our prayer for a healthy baby . I am 40 and know time is limited! Gods timing is always perfect and I know this darkness we face has brought a deeper love and reliance on Him only . The flesh will always fail so we must allow the Spiritual to be in control . I am thankful for this awesome study app!

    • Woman Growing In faith

      Bless you Lesley… Your faith is evident in your words! All things (good or bad) work together for the good of those who love The Lord! Romans 8:28. Be confident in knowing that He who began a good work in you (your family) will see it to completion! Philippians 1:6.

  • Dealing with a husband with PTSD is no cake walk… It has been a rough two years of a three and a half year marriage. I constantly wonder why God thinks I can handle all of these challenges, but I know it is to make me stronger in one way or another. I trust that his plan for me is greater than anything I could imagine. Like Brittany, I feel called to fight for my husband, even when he is not willing to. These past two years have at least taught me to fight my battles on my knees.

    • SheReadsTruth

      Kristin, I\’m so thankful for everything God is teaching you and doing in you. Praying peace and closeness over you today! Love to you!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

    • Beverly

      “… fight my battles on my knees.” What a humbling picture. Praying for you and your husband, Kristin.

  • Brittany

    I’m trying to reconcile with my husband after his recent ongoing affair with a friend of ours. The worst part is that I am pregnant again. It’s hard to endure and I know God has called me to stay. I’m hoping in God that He can turn a tragedy into a life more abundant. I’m trusting Him for beauty from ashes.

    • SheReadsTruth

      Trusting Him for you too, Brittany! Praying that He would cover you in His love and point you to peace and restoration! Love to you today!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for 11 years. I've had two surgeries to remove uterine fibroid tumors, one of them very recently, and we're hoping that this last surgery will give us another chance. We are now in our early 40's and the doctors don't give us much hope but our hope is in the Lord and we know that His plans are always for us! Our journey has been heartbreaking and beyond our understanding why some women can get pregnant so easily, some not even wanting to, and we have had to try so hard with no results. The biggest thing I have learned is that if you want the peace that goes beyond understanding, you have to give up the right to understand. I need the peace more than I need the understanding so I've decided to trust whatever it is that God is doing! Thank you Jesus!

    • Brittany J. Turner

      I love what you said about needing the

      • Brittany J. Turner

        Sorry I didn’t finish…needing the peace more than the understanding. That’s great. I’ll hold to that. Thank you.

    • Shimmy

      I’m praying and believing that in Jesus name your eggs will be restored and fertile. Doctors don’t have the last say but God does continue to be in his perfect peace and he will work all this for your good Amen !

    • Beverly

      “The biggest thing I have learned is that if you want the peace that goes beyond understanding, you have to give up the right to understand.” Amen, Sara!

  • Joel 2:25-26 “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—the great locust and the young locust,the other locusts and the locust swarm—my great army that I sent among you. You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,and you will praise the name of the Lord your God,who has worked wonders for you;never again will my people be shamed.

  • This is a powerful message. I have faced difficulty in relationships and finances lately. However, I just spent a week in a third world country being a missionary. As I sat back and watched people who have nothing but a dirt floor and one blanket worship and praise The Lord, I found hope. (Among many other things.) I met people who had been abused, didn’t know where their next meal would come from and had to walk miles to get to their one room shack. However, in their times of sorrow, they found joy in The Lord! It was amazing and contagious! God will work all things out for His good!

  • Good Morning beautiful women of the word! I am writing because I see hope. In the midst of all of the pain described here I see hope. I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face as I read the stories of desperation and heartache. I am not alone. My sisters walk with me. I am walking through such tragic circumstances at the moment but all along this journey I hear my Savior whisper, “be still.. ” in this trial I do not know my future, but all along this path I certain of who holds it. I know that my God still moves mountains. I have hope because my redeemer lives. I wanted to encourage you all to draw nearer to God because in these trials He WILL DRAW NEARER TO YOU. He has not forgotten us, forsaken us, or left us alone. He wants to carry us through these dark hours, and He will but we must allow Him to. Ladies, He knows our name, He sees every tear that falls, and He hears us when we call. Don’t give up hope. Don’t allow the evil one to steal your joy. His mercies are new for us every morning. Receive them. They are a gift. Ladies, I truly love you, and am praying for each of you as I read your stories. May your day be blessed! In Christ’s love, Roberta :)

  • Ruth Jean

    A life restored. What a promise. My heart's joyful for this. Thank you, God!

  • Thank you ladies for such wonderful words of encouragement! They brought me to tears, and were exactly what I needed after a long day <3

  • So many encouraging stories, of God seeing people through to the other end of their dark, dark places. And so many times when those dark places have been around for a long, long time. It is an encouragement and reminder to always look forward and trust in the faithfulness of God, even when it seems like we've been in the hard place for too long. Thank you for your openness, sisters.

  • Amen. Absolutely fabulous. May we live life to tto experience a restored life.

    As I read the verses of Ruth 4 verse 14 literally speaks to Christ the ultimate redeemer that would come and be famous in Israel. Matt 9:26 "And the fame hereof went abroad in all the land". I thank God for Ruth who birthed Obed, who got Jesse who got David from whose lineage Christ came. Every disappointment is for an appointment. May we just trust God and allow Him to work out what He has planned and give us hidden riches of secret places. For He is the one who calls us by His name and the one who calls us is faithful.

  • Steph_Lilac

    My beautiful Sisters your testimonies warmed my heart, brought tears to my eyes, and made me soooo thankful that we serve a God who specializes in trading His beauty for our ashes. Thank you for all of the intentional and unintentional encouragement through sharing your hearts! May the Lord shine His face upon you! xoxox
    My ashes were a reprobate mind so consumed with weed that I went out of my way to disrespect God. I would come to church high, miss or be late to choir rehearsal and not attend ministry related functions I was supposed to be present for. I would look at scripture and grimace. I'd see something spiritual on Facebook or Instagram and quickly scroll by it. I quit my job and my mind was gone. I couldn't imagine God ever wanting me back. From March 2013 until May 2014, God broke me down and built me back up to be His true soldier. I had to shed some tears and let go of some people but it was all worth it in the end. Psalm 30: 11-12 is the air I breathe. "You have turned for me my mourning into dancing. You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me in gladness. To the end that my glory may sing praise to you and not be silent. Oh Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever." Restoration Update: Presently my ministry is going forth stronger than ever, this May I got a new job that I love, and my relationship with God is unbreakable. My faith and gratitude is through the roof!

    • tina

      Steph, what an awesome God we serve…indeed… He can turn anything around…..He can restore anything …..all he needs is our yes yes yes… yours is a g.beautiful testimony to that…..Steph I pray God continue to hold you up, restore you and bless you……praising you Lord and thanking you for this beautiful and restored sister….Love you Steph……xxx

      Psalm 30 one of is my favourite……you turned my sorrow into a joyful dance….beautiful….x

  • hazelmaddie

    Oh wow. Ladies your stories are so full of hopelessness and restoration and hope.
    I have chronic pain with no end in sight and have also often wondered if this is my lot. Lea, your words are inspiring.
    This year has been very challenging for me. There has been a lot of financial, health, and family issues on top of my pain. And then last month I had a miscarriage. I had never been pregnant before and didn’t realize how common they are. I’ve had to step back and grieve but still try to be there for my family through their issues too and it’s been hard. Each week is better and I have more hope. Hearing your stories fills me. I’ve been staying away from comments but now I will return. Thanks for providing a safe place, SRT.

  • My dark time started roughly thirteen years ago and continues today, but in a different form. Nonetheless, I have learned so many good things and I'm truly grateful for every day that I thought things would never get better.

    My treasures of restoration? Deeper relationship with the Lord, stronger faith, identity in Christ (not opinions of others), strongholds destroyed, sin uprooted, a renewed mind, a more forgiving heart, sympathy/empathy for the struggles of others, knowing that Jesus is enough, knowing that He holds me in His hand and that nothing reaches me unless He allows it or orchestrates it Himself (which means its for my ultimate good and sanctification).

    God IS good.

    • tina

      All the time…Connie…all the time…I pray God truly blesses you ….that leaves you in no doubt as to from whom that blessing has come from…keep on holding on….He is good…Amen…xxx

  • Boaz is pictured in these scriptures not only as a redeemer but also as a restorer of life. And wasn’t that the two exact reasons why Jesus came? I read may of your testimonies/stories this morning, and I realize more than ever that as Debbie said life is just hard. There are days we do well to get up and literally put 1 foot in front of the other, yet we have the promise in his word that he will redeem us and restore us. A perfect example has been shared in the book of Ruth. Our Hope and Joy requires patience and faith knowing that he will do all that he has promised. I am so thankful for each of you on this blog. You make my circle of Christian sisters full.

    Have a blessed day.

  • I've never shared here before, but today's devotion really resonated with me. Before coming to Christ, I was in a very dark place. Paralyzed by social phobia and other anxieties. I was almost kicked out of college and had isolated myself from the world. In the midst of making some bad choices in an attempt to feel *anything* positive! God led my husband to me. Within months of meeting I was attending church and actively trying to work out who God was and what He meant to me.

    While I do not wish what I went through upon anyone, I thank God for loving me enough to allow me to endure and overcome my darkest days. While I still struggle with anxiety, having been through the darkness and coming through to the light I know God can get me through anything.

    I have struggled with infertility, now moving on to the crazy journey that is adoption. While I have days that seem dark, when it feels like I will never have a family of my own, I know God has already written my story. My family portrait hangs on his wall and he smiles upon us every day. I thank God for this journey and pray for the faith of our Ruth.

    • tina

      Lord God, thank you for Jenny….her beautiful words… praise of you….Lord I pray you hold both her and her husband in the palm of your hands, as they go down 'This crazy path of adoption….' fill their hearts with all that is of you….and your joy….your heart….Thank you Lord… God bless your every dream Jenny…xxx

  • I am praying and begging to have some encouragement this morning, but friends- I am struggling. It is hard to see the light when your in the midst of a valley. I am trying so very hard to be patient, to see God's convictions one day at a time, to not get ahead of His plan. But, oh is it hard.

    • Bianca

      I understand how hard it is but I lean on the promises of our Father! Like we learned yesterday, Trust, Wait and Obey! God's got this!

    • sweetdes2014

      Yes Kelli, it is hard. And this is when we have to give it over to God and allow Him to show you that He can carry this one for you. Take one step, believe He has it and trust Him. Then take another step …. This faith walk does not happen immediate but it starts with the first step! Also instead of trying to have patience…try to build your trust. Trust in Him will help your patience. Sending you a hug!!

      • walkinglauren

        We have all been there. Sometimes when you're in the valley and there seems to be no light in site. Start thanking God for the small things and finding what he has done through them. When I couldn't see any light I started thanking God that I was able to get out of bed that morning and get dressed. It seemed to brighten my day when I could find little things to be happy about. (Starting to sound like the movie Pollyanna but it is true!)

    • JessicaLoves___

      The following verse (I have it as a lock screen on my phone) has brought me through my struggles with insecurity and infertility. And with God's help and this reminder of His faithfulness, I've done things this year I never thought I'd do, and I'm pregnant! God is good. And He will redeem! It's just who He is!

      "And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail." Isaiah 58:11

  • Michelle

    When my daughter was diagnosed with autism, things seemed pretty dark. It was one of the handful of times I’ve actually seen my husband cry. I’ve always been extremely independent and self-reliant. I actually took great pride in being able to manage a very hectic life and make it look easy. I loved God, but I had never really felt like I truly needed Him. But suddenly, there were things that I couldn’t fix on my own. Mommy is supposed to be able to fix anything, right? But there have been issues, feelings, situations that no amount of brains or strength or therapies or research could “fix.” There have been moments when I have sobbed my prayers, flat on my face, begging God to take away my daughter’s pain or anxiety–whatever it’s been that’s exhausted us all.

    Through it all, God has taught me dependence. He’s drawn me closer to Him as I’ve realized I NEED Him. Desperately. There are still tough times, but there is so much joy. So much beauty has come from my daughter’s diagnosis. She has the most joyful spirit, and she loves church as much as she loves Disney World. She has been instrumental in my husband being more involved in church, as well as the strengthening of our marriage. Friendships and relationships have been made that never would have come about otherwise. It’s amazing. She’s a beautiful teenager now, and it’s amazing how my perspective has shifted. We still have struggles, and I regularly plead with God on her behalf. But overall, I feel our lives have been ridiculously, extravagantly blessed.

    • Steph_Lilac

      God trusted you enough to give you a special child. May our Lord continue to provide you with patience and strength.

    • tina

      ….and I will give you treasures…hidden in darkness, secret riches…….Michelle, I hear you….but God hears you the loudest…in my in lasws family they have an autistic son….I've seen the struggles, I've seen them too tired to speak….but for me mostly I see Glass half full hearts…in his parents….but my nephew….He has a spirit that can only be of God….He loves you…full stop…He sees you as you are and still loves you…the innocence of his words so often bless me. ….he often reminds me of the words…. we must be like children….
      Michelle, I thank God for your daughter and pray that she continues to be a blessing, and that the struggles are out shadowed by the good…and beauty that is her your daughter….God bless your family…with many more blessings….and secret riches…

  • Kristin Russo

    This last year has been a dark season for me. At 41, I was suddenly unable to work due to a chronic illness and forced to rely on my amazing parents to support me. I also lost someone I thought I would spent the rest of my life with. Sick and broken, all I could do at first was ask God WHY He was doing this to me. But through the study of His word and a lot of prayer I know He is doing this FOR me. With the loss of my independence and a spouse to lean on in times of trouble, I have learned that God wants to be my help in times of trouble. He is showing me my value as the daughter of a King and that no matter what things look like from MY view HE always has a plan and a purpose. I am so thankful for this time to renew my faith. Instead of running to others I now run to Him…….and its Awesome!

  • For several years I taught in an semi inner city high school. Over the years with rezoning the situation there deteriorated. It became a dark place for the students and staff. I felt that it sucked the life right out of me. During these years my husband and I had two beautiful children that I longed to be at home with. I struggled with depression on and off and packed on the pounds. But as I leaned in to God I heard Him tell me clearly and over and over "it isn't about you, it is about me. Me through you in that place" I knew he wanted me there as a light for Him. I did the best that I could to do that and turned off my pity parties and did my work for Him. Last year I felt things fall into place, loose ends tied up and I saw that it was my time to go. I was blessed with opportunity to work in a different capacity in a diverse and delightful elementary school. It is truly my happy place. I love every minute. I bring my eldest son to school with me. And while I sometimes feel like I lack a clear mission in my new position the way I was clearly needed for kingdom work at the high school I enjoy living in this blessed redeemed new place as He prepares me for what is next.

    I never felt as close to Jesus as I did in those dark days as weeped over the situations at that school. He held me as I tried desperately to make a difference to teens who were so hopeless. I wouldn't trade those years for anything. They made me who I am. Whatever your "dark" is I believe God as a purpose. You need the dark to appreciate the light.

  • I had to live life to experience and appreciate a restored life.

    Truer words have never been spoken…the hard times threaten to steal our lives away when what is needed is to continue to live & to do it with joy from the Lord.
    The book of Ruth has been so timely for me!

  • God is using this devotion this morning to encourage me in an area of my life I’ve been struggling in lately. Unlike many of the women posting this morning, it is not with infertility, but rather the stage of life where I am struggling to be content with being single.
    I am 24 years old and have been single my entire life. Many people would tell me that I am “young and have plenty of time!”… while this may be true, it is SO incredibly hard to sit and wait patiently on God’s timing while everyone around me is getting engaged, married, and have babies!
    I reread this part of the devotion several times, and it brought tears to my eyes:

    “Yet—by abiding in God’s promises, provision and love—hopelessness can be restored to hope. Lean into the God who is near, and settle in the strength of reliance.”

    What a wonderful reminder of the promise of restoration! He WILL restore us, and though it may not always feel like it, there IS hope! Hallelujah!
    One of my dear friends encouraged me recently with this verse,
    “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.” (Psalm 84:11 ESV)
    Remember: The Lord will not withhold ANY good thing from His children. If it’s not happening right now, it’s not good for you. Such a sweet reminder to wait on The Lord!
    God give us grace to abide in your promises! However long you would have us wait, for you HAVE promised to restore us! Amen.

    • Cecilia

      Your story brought tears to my eyes, Kelly. I know my best friend is struggling with the same thing. Her older sister is struggling with infertility. Patience is so hard.

      I have my own struggles, but I also take theirs to God for them. I am impatient for them. But they walk with God, too. And regardless of how hard it is to wait, we all take comfort in his perfect timing.

      "For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly." (Psalm 84:11 ESV)
      I LOVE THIS. Thank you for sharing.

    • Rose

      Sending out a prayer for you, Kelly. May our sweet, loving God fill you with all good things. May He hear your prayers before Him. May He bring you a man who will love you and be faithful to you; and may he be a man who loves and honors God.
      God is able, dear young woman. Yes, He is faithful to hear our prayers. And if we know He hear them, we know also that we will get our requests that we have set before Him. Blessed be His Holy Name.

      Don't "look" for a man, trust in the Lord for HIS perfect timing …. Trust in the Lord and do good, so shall you dwell in the land, and verily you shall be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in Him, and HE SHALL BRING IT TO PASS. (Psalm 37: 3-5, KJV) By the way, I have been writing these words of scripture in my journal daily for the past three weeks, they are helping me to focus my heart and mind on the truth and remember that God is the SOURCE of any good thing.

    • kskaggsss

      Oh dear, sweet friend- how much this brought tears to my eyes because I too went (yes, past tense) through this a year and a half ago. Then I met someone, the someone I thought I would marry, now that has ended and I am feeling like I am back to square one at almost 26 years old. It sucks and it hurts your heart to see Facebook- everyone around you getting married, engaged, pregnant. UGH. The comments from people about being young and having plant of time are hurtful- they make it worse. I get it, I really truly do get it. I'm praying for you and you're not the only mid-twenty something struggling with this. xoxo!

    • Steph_Lilac

      Kelly we are on the same cruise ship my Sister. I'm 25 and never had a boyfriend. I'm waiting on God, tapping my fingers and looking at everyone else getting asked to dance while I sit on the sidelines. I used to hate this waiting season but I have completely fallen in love with the God who makes His children wait for their benefit. It's so freeing to be able to selfishly spend my time with God without having a child screaming "Mommy" or a husband looking for my undivided attention. Our time will come and we'll be so appreciative of all the waiting God gifted to us for our development and edification.

    • Bianca

      Oh how I wish I was like you when I was 24! I was so quick to rush into a relationship after undergrad that I began one with a toxic man who was abusive. I wish I would've waited like you. I know it's hard but trust me, leaving a toxic relationship because you wanted to do things on your time rather than God's is much worse. I'm approaching 30 and I'm still single. *sigh* I so wished I would've enjoyed my single time and waited. Now I feel like I'm playing catch up. I know it doesn't seem like it but you are most definitely on the right track. Wait on God because doing this thing on your own is no bueno! Literally all of my peers are either married, parents, buying houses, etc and I'm still the single girl who just now figured this thing out. We'll both be fine! God is working on some awesome blessings for the both of us! Our stories of restoration will inspire others just like Ruth's has!

    • Jody R.

      I'm almost 35 and single. Don't rush it. Be patient. If marriage is in the cards for you, it will happen. Take this period of singleness as a gift. Work on yourself. Work on your career. Work on your hobbies. Enjoy life. I did things in my single life that I would not I definitely would not have done if I were married (such as going to grad school). I know that waiting for God's best – the best timing, the best situation, the best man – will be worth it. Even if I am 65 on my wedding day.

    • stinav96

      I was at the same place when I was 24, Kelly. God is so very good. Just after I turned 25, I found out my brother, who is 3 1/2 years younger than me, was about to get engaged. I wasn't supposed to be the older, single sister!!!! But even in that moment of finding out about his impending engagement, God spoke to my heart, "I have a plan for you. It's all taken care of. Just rest in Me." And a few months later, I met a guy. Now, meeting a guy was not hard (I was living on a Southern Baptist seminary campus!). Meeting *THE* guy was a big deal! But even just meeting him was not the "fix" I was looking for in regards to my singleness. He had some stuff he was working through from his past, stuff that didn't go away quickly, and stuff that could only be worked out through relationship. Yet, God kept me right there. I thought about starting over so many times, but I knew God was calling me to him. I couldn't have explained why some days, but I knew it without doubt. And I loved him. And 3 1/2 years after we met, we were married. It was the sweetest, most humbling ceremony, because I knew where we'd been. I knew where I had been. I knew what God had redeemed. I was 29. We have been married 8 1/2 years, and we have 3 beautiful children. Be still and know what God has for you right now, and then pursue Him hotly and passionately. He will fulfill every heart desire. He might even change some of them along the way.

  • CarrieLynne31

    A couple of years ago, my husband returned from his deployment with PTSD. He almost lost his life over there and he couldn't let go of the things he had to do either. With four children at the time, I felt for months like I was a single parent. Things got harder as we ended up loosing one of our closest friends to PTSD. All I could think of at the time was that my husband may take his life like his friend did. But he didn't and never intended to go that way. He got the help needed and held tightly to his faith in God. During that time, we were also experiencing two children who almost died in the same day due to a food allergy test done at a highly known hospital. My brother-in-law was dealing with cancer too. My husband didn't end up having to go on the next deployment because he was working through his issues as well as helping his brother who had the cancer. IT WAS A LOT ALL AT ONCE.

    As I look back, we were given some pretty amazing blessings along the way. During the hardest moments, God blessed us with twins. Those twins wouldn't have been conceived had he gone on the next deployment. Not only that but our marriage grew us so much closer to each other. We are not 100% out of the woods yet with those dark days but we both see the extra blessings God gave us through His faithfulness. We have grown, changed, and now see things in a whole new way than what we did just a few years ago.

    • Steph_Lilac

      Carrie, I didn't even get to the fourth line of your post and the tears were already flowing. Praise God for His faithfulness!

    • tina

      CarrieLynne….a double blessing in the darkest times….only God could do that…I give Him Praiise for that….Thank you for your testimony of God and how He works for our greater good….xxx

  • I grew up in a very "wholesome" home. My mom was a christian but my dad wasn't-but they were both "good" if that makes sense. They got divorced when I was living in Colorado working with YWAM. My mom somehow got involved in drugs. Very dark drugs that introduced her to very dangerous people. She has been doing life with them for the past 10 years. In the beginning of all of it though it was time for me to leave Colorado. I moved to Houston to be near a friend. That year and a half was a very dark time for me. I am very social and usually have a lot of friends-there I had very few and none that I would have really even considered close. I was so very lonely and was trying to process all that was going on with my family while living 8 hours away from my hometown in Oklahoma and even farther away from the family bonds I had made while in Colorado. Those days were dark. They were the hardest I've ever had. But I wouldn't change them for anything. My time there drastically changed my relationship with Jesus in a way where I am protective of it now. I fell in love with him in a way that I never thought possible. Dark days though hard really are such a blessing.

    • AnnaLee

      Amen Breezy. My darkest days, spent alone also, showed me the deep and never-failing Love of God. Like you said, I am now very protective over my relationship with Jesus– not in a bad way, but in a way to where it is my only priority no matter the ups and downs of life, because I remember how He anchored and soothed my soul during those dark times. Praise be to God! Blessings, dear friend. I love you.

  • Simplymo

    The story of Ruth & Naomi reminds me that God brings sweetness out of a hard place. I just need to continue to hold on to Him.

  • All your stories….such a blessing!

  • Misty Howse

    I don't always share–usually just do the devotion and rapidly move on with the busyness of the day–but 8 months ago, I had a full hysterectomy after battling unbearable pain in my left side (it seemed disconnected from my female parts and was difficult to determine the cause). I am 43, had been a teacher for 13 years and found myself without a job and battling depression and recovery. The enemy attacked me through the hormone imbalance severely–on two different occasions the thought of suicide came over me so heavily I could barely breathe. I knew I couldn't leave my 3 kids I raise alone, but the thoughts were powerful. (I got my progesterone cream and when used daily, makes a huge difference). In addition, I was gaining weight and beating myself up because my clothes wouldn't fit. I hated getting dressed and I could find no JOY…
    I have a non profit ministry–daily, I tried to go out and raise money for bibles for teens–And I would go to the jail and minster to women once a week–oh I would smile, and the Lord would use me–I wanted to be used, but there was something sitting on my Joy and smothering it. The days were dark.
    I continued to put one foot in front of the other and try to push through spending time with God. I would listen to music and beg to hear a Word from Father…. nothing.. just more of the same…it was more bearable because I was learning how to cope. Hoping and praying this wasn't the extent of my life.
    Praise God, He gave me an incredible release this week–I felt the monster lift off me–I was walking through Wal Mart yesterday, smiling..for no reason, at no one… OH HALLELUJAH! I cannot tell you how incredible the freedom is. God is an amazing Father. He still gives us miracles and COMPLETE RESTORATION. I want to lay hands on the sick so they recover–including women who are oppressed and depressed…for God is able and willing to heal the brokenhearted–so that even in your pain, you feel whole. I LOVE this study on Ruth and these books to use. I am having so much fun writing in my book, using colorful pens and drawing out the verses… I'm hooked on His Word. I love you women. Blessings!

    • Kaitlin

      Misty, what an incredibly beautiful story of redemption. Thank you so much for sharing with us. Praising Him for freeing you-there is NO better feeling! Love you, sweet sister!

      xo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

      • Misty Howse

        Thank you, Kaitlin.. what a ministry you ladies have. I LOVE it… Way to go, girls! It's about to blow up exponentially… so get ready! God is taking full advantage of social media to advance His kingdom, and wow! Excited to watch the explosion! 4th of July–what?? haha :)

    • Gema Muniz

      Such an encouraging story Misty, thank you for sharing it with us. I love the way you never gave up and held on to God. At times is extremely hard to hold on to our faith, but stories like yours reminds us that nothing is impossible for God and that he is working on our happy ending. God bless you sister.

    • tina

      Blessings,Abundant, right back at you Misty….AMEN…xxx

  • My dark time seems silly compared to some of these heartbreaking stories. I’m almost embarressed to share, but it’s my story none the less! I have struggled and struggled with my weight. As a scared little girl hiding from a drunken violent father, food was my comfort. As an adult with 3 sweet kids and an amazing husband I still turned to food. Even to the point of being so so sick with high blood pressure and other weight related illness. At the end of my rope and hoping for an early death (I was headed there) I turned it over to God…I was led to the John 3:30….I clung to God as I tried to eat better, I prayed during every walk! I praised God everytime my meds were lowered! I felt him every step of the way! He became my comfort…not food! I’m 90 lbs lighter, very very healthy, no meds at all and I run marathons! I’m thankful for my struggles with food and weight because it brought me back to my Savior!

    • Kaitlin

      Wow, Libby-your story is not silly at all! It has holy fingerprints all over it :) Thank you so much for sharing with us and I am praising the Lord for His faithfulness to you!

      xo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

    • Gema Muniz

      Amen! Glory to God who redeemed us and claimed us as his children. Such a great story sister. God bless!

    • Steph_Lilac

      Libby your story is definitely not silly! You don't know who just read your awesome testimony and realized that if God did it for you, He can surely do it for them.

    • tina

      Wow..Wow..Wow…definitely would call your story silly….Wow is all I can say….amazing testament to God and His faithfulness….praising God cor you Libby…Thank you for sharing…

      • GracenJoy

        Libby, thanks for sharing. This is exactly where I am now turning it over to God but it is still a difficult struggle. Thanks for showing me it does work to give it all to Him.

    • Brittany

      This encouraged me because I went from staving myself to actually eating to block out the memories as they resurfaced as I aged. A bad habit. I’m working on my health now and you give me hope that anything is possible in God

  • "And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness–secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name" Is. 45:3

    I get really emotional looking back on some of my dark times. I was born with a physical disability, so I had to wear leg braces and crutches as a child, and now use a wheelchair to keep up with my two young kids. I went through lots of my childhood, and even early adulthood, wondering why this was the card I was dealt. I was not a believer, and thought "If there's a God, why would he make me this way?" I had no self-confidence, no self-worth. I was constantly worried of what people thought of me and how they viewed me.

    It was not until 2011 that I came to know Jesus, and started building a relationship with Him. As I learned how much He cared for and loved me, I looked back at my life in a different way.. a "God-way." Although I was struggling so much with my self-confidence (and still do at times), I could see beyond it for the first time and discover all of the treasures God had given me. I had friends and family that did not think twice about my wheelchair. I had met and become friends with other people who were also in chairs. I played wheelchair sports and even traveled and competed–and won! I have paddled hawaiian outrigger canoes in the middle of the vast pacific ocean, in awe of God's creation. I could go on and on about how much God has given me, in a time where I didn't know Him and was in darkness.

    God redeemed all the years I hated myself and Him for who I was. My confidence and trust in the Lord has given me confidence in myself! Hallelujah!

    • Kaitlin

      Lea, what an incredible story of redemption you are living each day. I am praising God for the living example of grace and "God way" in your life and those around you!

      xo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

    • Gema Muniz

      I rejoice with you this morning and I thank God for your life Lea. May he continue blessing you and showing you his love even in the darkest moments. Thank you for sharing your story sister, it was inspirational. God bless!

    • CarrieLynne31

      Lea, One of my children suffers from severe health problems. I have almost watched him die in my arms a few times. I went through a time of being depressed about it wondering, like you, why I was dealt this card. Why did I have to watch my child suffer? My son still has health issues along with one of my daughters. I have been learning to trust God more and more about their situation. He gave them life and now I have a different outlook on it. I've been able to help others who have gone through it. Your story is remarkable and I thank you for sharing. Blessings, Carrie

    • tina

      Rejoicing with you lea…..beautiful story of God at work cor our good…God less you….xxx

  • About 3 years ago, I was holding my father's hand as he left this world after a long battle with cancer. He was only 54. I also watched my suicidal mother lay over his body and weep. Not only was I losing my dad, but I watched as my mother was giving up on life too. 2 weeks after his funeral, I was crying as I was alone in my car. I had 2 young children and I was also caring for a fragile mother. My heart was broken. In the silence I heard God clearly say, "you watched your dad take his last breath, now I will give you new life and new breath. This child will bring your family joy again" I had never felt God so close to me as in that moment. Sure enough I found out i was pregnant and sure enough that little girl has brought joy and laughter to me and my mother. This story is close to my heart. God is in the business of redeeming and I have seen it first hand!

    • Lea

      That is so amazing! Praise God :)

    • Jan

      Alicia, Thanks for sharing this morning. What a beautiful story of God's faithfulness to us. I rejoice with you for your daughter and the joy she brings.

    • Misty Howse

      I got goose bumps! Praise the Lord for redemption and healing.

    • Gema Muniz

      Glory to the all mighty! He never forsakes us, he is there with us at all times and he makes sure we have a happy ending. He is the true writter of fairy tales. I rejoice with you this morning sister, thanks for sharing your redemption story with us.

    • tina

      Alicia…. what a great story of God and his redemptive power…what a lovely lovely story….praise God….xxx

  • Amy. Im just wrapping my arms around you and just holding you. What a wonderful, beautiful thing God created when he made you.

  • I absolutely love reading the stories of redemption in this group of sisters. God is so good.

    There are parts of this devotion I feel were written just for me – particularly the struggle of infertility. My husband and I have been trying to have children for three and a half years… and nothing. Each month goes by and the disappointment washes over me and threatens to take over. Many months, it has. Yet I am learning that life is to be lived, and the hard things are to be lived, and that God's grace and redemption live in these hard things. It's taken many months to understand the depth and potency of my emotions around not being able to start a family, and in doing so – even the tiniest bit – I've found God sitting right next to me and never leaving my side.

    The last year of this journey has been the most difficult, and the frustration, helplessness, and bitterness has taken its toll on me, my husband, and our relationship. We've hit some low lows, and we've slowly begun to find God's redemption in our love for one another – despite the difficulties of life. I am beyond grateful to see His hand working in our relationship.

    • Melissa

      Sweet sister. I'm in this boat with you. My husband and I have been trying for 8 1/2 years and while most of the time the sting is minor, this week has been particularly hard. When I started reading his morning's post, I couldn't stop the tears. He WILL redeem our story, He will not leave it undone. Keep waiting, trusting, obeying … He is able. ❤️

    • Gema Muniz

      Amy I join you and Melissa this morning. How great is it to find comfort this morning through each other. My husband and I just started trying to get pregnant and we were successful, but unfortunately we lost the baby after having a missacarriage. Sisters is painful to want something so much and not have control about when it will happen. But we need to remember that God's plan is perfect and we can't become the authors of his story. We need to wait on him and allow him to restore us.

      One thing I have learned, is that we can't loose focus from God, if we do it starts taking a toll in our relationships, or emotions, and our lives. Sisters I ask God this morning to fill us with his peace during this troubling season, to allow us to only focus on him, and to wait on his time. So many times we hear about God's redeeming story in peoples lives, we need to believe that ours will be no different.

      Waiting for God to reveal to me his hidden treasures in the dark moment. God bless you sisters!

    • Kaitlin

      Amy, what a beautiful story of redemption you are living. Your words are so thoughtful and I am so appreciative that you would share your journey with us. Praying that God would continue to empower you to choose His way and to trust in truth.

      xo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

    • Bianca

      I found an awesome SRT sister on IG and her blog is amazing. She and her husband struggled with infertility and adoption for years and recently she's announced that she's pregnant. Her story is nothing short but amazing and definitely a story of restoration. I encourage all (those dealing with infertility and not) to read her blog.

  • Emily Thomas

    We too had nearly a decade of issues getting pregnant. Then we walked down the adoption road. Six times it almost happened but didn’t.

    The treasure I took from this is that God’s timing is perfect and, even when there is no movement in the situation, He is still at work! My kids couldn’t be more precious and the whole situation has taught me to trust Him more.

    He is always good.

    • Gema Muniz

      so happy for you sister. I'm working on standing still and waiting on God's time. I look forward to the day when I can look back and have my own restoration story. At the moment I'm still walking down the dark path, still waiting for a succesful pregnancy that won't end up with a miscarriage. But, even in the dark valley I hold on to Christ because I know he has hidden treasures in this dark valley. God bless you and your family.

      • tina

        Gema, I have not been in your shoes, or walked the walk you walk now….I have known the pain and heartache of losing someone precious….and it is from that place that I can relate to your dark place….know this…as I do now, God is good, faithful and will never leave , nor forsake you….He has his arms around you…..hold fast to Him my sister….hold fast…

      • tina

        AMEN Melissa….God restores, He redeems, and ….He is faithful …Will hold both yourself and Amy up in . Prayer….Blessings…..x

    • sarafalcoeiras

      reading shared griefs is encouraging.
      i have struggled with this longing to be a mom, to carry life inside… it has been a dark place…

      but the Lord has a way of teaching our hearts… i'm blessed with a girl we've met 3 years ago – my teenage daughter. we're in the process of finishing the adoption <3
      it's a story with many twists and turns, but it has made us trust God more than we could have imagined. everyday we need to live in His dependance.

  • I began my quiet time this morning writing to God. Confused, frustrated, angry and being demanding. Then I read the title of today’s devo. Restored…..I had never thought nor prayed about this. Like so many stories in the Bible, Ruth’s is no different. Went from tragedy, yet trusting and being obedient. Having faith. Which all led to redemption and now restoration! Wow! How awesome is our God! Today I’m changing my pity party rants and thanking God for restoring in my life! I say this often but as a reminder: God is crazy faithful!

    • Gema Muniz

      Yes sister! Lets rejoice and praise God even through our tough times.

    • Kaitlin

      Bianca, I'm praising God for revealing His faithfulness to you this morning! I love your perspective change and am excited to see how it will continue to point you to joy!

      xo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • sweetdes2014

    “And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness—secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.”
    (Isaiah 45:3, NLT)

    How can I really truly appreciate the light of the morning, without going through the dark nights. This past year and a half has been unbelievable. By one missed step my entire busy, independent life changed drastically. Yes, I missed a step while talking to a friend and down I went. After being rushed to the hospital I was told that I had ruptured tendons in both of my legs and had to have emergency surgery (Resurrection Sunday 2013) to drill through my knee caps to repair them. After surgery I was placed in thigh to ankle immobilizers and could not bend my legs for 8 weeks.

    This grown, working, independent, I can do it by myself, mother, grandmother, helper to everyone else, now was dependent on everyone else!!! I was transferred to a rehabilitation center and was there for 40+ days. These were the darkest nights for me. I felt alone, crying, wondering if I would ever walk again. I was being taught how to get myself out of bed and into a wheel chair and how to get from a wheel chair to the walker in the immobilizers, since I had to keep these on for at least six months. I was told that this could be an 18-24 month journey.

    The loneliness took over since I was no longer working or fulfilling my duties at church. When an illness becomes lengthy your visitors begin to drop off. I can't begin to tell you how dark my life had become. I couldn't or didn't feel like doing anything. I thought my life as I knew it was over. But God….

    When I couldn't read the word of God, I found an app that read the word to me. I began to let the word put me to sleep and comfort me when I felt like I couldn't take it anymore. To make this testimony a little shorter…..because I could be here all day sharing how good God is….today I am walking with no assistance, no wheel chair, no scooter, no walker, no cane!!! I'm back to work and I'm driving again!!

    Without those dark nights of this past year, I know I would not appreciate the things many of us take for granted every morning we wake up…walking… Now when I get out of bed, with no help, and place my feet on the floor, with no help, and begin to walk, with no help…I look up at God and wink…. I love Him so much for His faithfulness and for the things that I learned about His love for ME during that time in my life.

    None of us want to run towards the dark and this is hard to explain but I treasured that time…because that's when I felt His presence the most.

    Now I know Him better than I did before….sisters…don't waste your pain….get to know Him! Be blessed!!

    • Brandi

      Love that . . .dont waste your pain! Awesome!

    • Gema Muniz

      Such an amazing story, thanks for sharing it with us sister. How great is God that he makes beauty from pain! At times we start forgetting about our daily blessings and then he allows something to happen so we can remember. God bless you sister.

    • ButterflyBre

      I am living through this same thing right now. On Christmas Day my journey began. I am walking with cane now.I had spent time in prayer and meditation the weeks prior to injury and I declared to my Father that I was totally surrendering my life to HIM. During these 6 months I have known HIM in such an intimate way. Many hours of worship, prayer, and meditation. I had no insurance so I didn't go to Rehab, I had HIM and later outpatient therapy. My Redeemer has shown HIMSELF faithful over and over again. I know it's more to come and I'm trusting HIM with my present and future, something I have struggled with…. Thank you sweetdes2014 for encouragement!!!

    • Steph_Lilac

      Hallelujah!!! Your testimony has me ready to shout!! The Lord is amazing and so worthy to be praised.

    • CarrieLynne31

      Wow! Such an amazing testimony! Thank you for sharing! Blessings, Carrie

    • tina

      Sweetdes, there is a saying, can't remember if it's biblically… is always darkest before the dawn….that is as so true….tha k you for sharing your healing , life restored story…

  • I dont even know where to start. The past few years I felt like the heavens poured out buckets of bad circumstances on my life…in rapid succession without any sign of letting up…and I felt I had every reason to leave it and start over. My confidence was broken…totally broken. I felt I no longer had any value…and even my confidence in God was shattered. Yes I did have bad things happen before but it his was more than I could handle. And what I felt was God had left me without a redeemer…but aside from my feelings there was this ever so tiny seed that believed if I just kept going…if I just kept living I would see the redemption. I would see jesus the healer and restorer of all things hopeless and broken beyond
    repair….and im here. Right here in this ever present moment reading this blog writing these words to say I HAVE SEEN JESUS MY REDEEMER. things I just didn’t think would ever happen are happening. My bitterness is disappearing…my identity in Christ I am realizing once again. I am seeing The redeemer plugging away at my life…i just had to keep going. No matter how many trudging steps hope encouraged me to take…i had to live my life, the one God gave me, to see the restoration. And the lord knows there’s room for more. And it all brought me here and I can see the awesome hand of God in it all.

    • Katie

      Megan, thank you so much for sharing your struggle and subsequent victory over doubt this morning. I am so encouraged by your words, and I too want to shout "JESUS YOU ARE MY REDEEMER!" "No matter how many trudging steps hope encouraged me to take…I had to live my life, the one God gave me, to see the restoration." AMEN. Thank you again for sharing, and I am praying for you today as we struggle through this life as sisters in Christ until the day He comes again in all glory, when we can unendingly say MY REDEEMER IS HERE.

      • Gema Muniz

        Glory to God! Our savior is so great he never leaves us or forsakes us, such a great encouragement to continue living without giving up. Is human nature to want to give up when things get tough, but we can't give up we need to hold on to God's promises and live in his faith. God bless you sister. I pray for him to keep on working in your life and for him to continue pouring out his blessings.

    • CarrieLynne31

      Isn't it amazing to look back at those hard places and be able to find those moments where God brought healing and restoration? So happy you are able to see how He took care of you along the way. Blessings, Carrie

    • tina

      Megan, I felt the song….because ….He lives…I can face tomorrow….come to mind…..Praise God that He walks with you , through it all, He is there…. Thank you for sharing. …….Amen…xxx

  • stinav96

    Good morning, ladies! I have not been posting much during this study, but I have been following along and reading comments as I've been able. God has been doing His own personal, humbling work in my heart over the past week and a half. Thank you all for sharing!

    I did want to share a period of time in my life that seemed dark and pointless, but from which God drew me into a restored relationship with Him. To be brief, I had basically been doing my own thing…. doing "good" things, but without submitting my choices to the Lord first. After living this way from high school all the way into post-graduate studies, I was beginning to think, "What's the point of all of this? If I wasn't so afraid of physical pain and of devastating my family, I would just take matters into my own hands and leave this earth." That sounds awful, but it was happening in my mind, some 12 hours away from home, pursuing a degree I no longer believed was worthwhile, involved in ministry I had taken upon myself without really being led to do so, and working 30 hours a week. My relationships were in a shambles. I was depressed. I didn't care anymore.

    In the midst of my self-inflicted pain, I decided to move back home. I felt like I needed to finish the degree I had begun, because to some extent, I believed the Lord had led me to pursue it in the first place (you know… amidst all that living for myself I had been doing). But I took nine months to simply work, hang out with my family, and pursue God more deeply. Wow! What a difference it made, not to be so concerned with what other people thought of me, how they viewed me, not to be so intent on impressing people. I had inadvertently become so consumed with looking good and doing all the right things to be likable and popular, and God was allowing me to reap the consequences of my choices. My friends had all gone their adult ways, living out their adult lives by this point, so all I had was God and my family. It was the greatest schooling of my entire life, those nine months! When I moved to finish the degree I had begun, I was so confident in Christ, so focused on Him. I still struggled with caring too much about what others thought, but such worldly cares were much more quickly held at bay, because I had the ammunition of a relationship with God to which I clung. Within seven months of living in the new city, I met the man who would become my husband almost four years later. I bless the Lord for the pain He allowed me to experience, the consequences He allowed me to reap. It has been the gift that keeps on giving.

    Enjoy a blessed day, ladies! And thank you for reminding me of what the Lord has done for me!

    • Charlie

      This is my life right now. Except I have the degree with no job, and have moved back in with my parents. I realized just the other day just how prideful I am by caring what others think of me because I have a degree with no job. My friends have also gotten married and starting to have kids in their houses and jobs that match their degrees. It's hard not to play the comparison game, but your testimony gives me hope friend.

    • CarrieLynne31

      stinav96, So happy to hear how things have turned out and how you grew in your relationship to Christ. Thank you for sharing! Blessings, Carrie

    • tina

      Kim, lifting you and yours up in prayer today…..and will continue to do so….Thank you Lord that at this moment in time we are studying Ruth and Naomi s story….Thank you that through it we see you at work in all their situations…..Lord, I pray now that you will show yourself at work for the Good of Kim and her loved ones, Lord you are good….faithful and full of broadsheet the cry of her heart Lord….in Jesus' healing name, I pray….Amen.

    • AnnaLee

      Christina, so much of your testimony resonates with me here: "But I took nine months to simply work, hang out with my family, and pursue God more deeply. Wow! What a difference it made, not to be so concerned with what other people thought of me, how they viewed me, not to be so intent on impressing people…"

      For the past few months– but honestly, since about September or October– my life started to change a lot. I've always been a people-pleaser as well, and my love for people and gifts of encouraging them were SO squandered through many seasons of my life up until that time in pursuit of being liked and valued. To make a really long story short, the Lord very slowly, but very surely drew me to Himself, turned me away from my entire old life, and put me into what I believe was an exile because I refused to give my will over to Him. I spent the last 3 months of school alone at lunch in my car, fasting and reading His word instead (I gave up lunch for lent). I didn't do any of the senior things, and I haven't stayed in touch with 99% of those people– I lost touch way before school ended. And though that sounds sad, it was SO VERY needed.

      For so long, I complained about it to God, not understanding. I thought it was because of my sin, my stubbornness. It was to an extent, but when I finally realized it was for my good, it became something very precious and intimate in my life with the Lord. Now, as I enter into college, I've gotten stuck in being afraid to live, to meet new people, to move on again… I've changed in profound ways, and it's scary to enter new friendships in the light of that… but I KNOW the Lord has blessed me and is bringing to something beautiful. Hearing your testimony and how much it's blessed you is already echoing my own story, and it gives me SUCH hope for how the Lord is going to use it in the future! Praise the Lord for you, Christina. I'm praying that He'd continue to use your testimony and your gifts in beautiful, powerful ways! God bless you!

      • stinav96

        You are a blessing to me, AnnaLee! Always! Sometimes such intimate moments as these become are difficult to share, but I knew the Lord was impressing upon my heart that I needed to share His story in my life. Thank you, sweet sister, for sharing what He is doing in your life, as well! I will be praying for you as you begin this college experience, a new and changed woman.

        There were three passages that I clung to and prayed through daily during this nine month season, passages that came to bring such comfort to my own heart. The first was Psalm 63. Man! I just read through it again, and it is still so powerful! The second was Philippians 2:14-16. The third was Philippians 4:4-9. I am praying for you, AnnaLee! Take heart! And remember that "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7)

    • Beverly

      “I had inadvertently become so consumed with looking good and doing all the right things to be likable and popular, and God was allowing me to reap the consequences of my choices.” Amen! This has also been my experience for the past couple years after a decade of chasing my own selfish desires. But God is so good and patient. He does not desire to leave us a slave to our poor past decisions. The process of Restoration is sweet and sometimes bitter, but always, always so good for the heart.

  • I posted a few days ago about my husband filling out divorce papers (he hasn't taken them to the clerk of court yet). I have been in some very dark times for the past 2 months and do not see any signs of this getting better. However, I cling to God and His Word right now. I am only surviving on the hope of His treasures. I have been blessed with 2 amazing children who are 6 and 4 so I want to always show Christ in me. This study on Ruth continues to lead me each day back to our Heavenly father for guidance, peace, comfort, and hope!

    • stinav96

      Kim, my heart breaks for you and your family this morning. Please know that you have been prayed for this morning, and I will continue to lift you up. Father, restore what has been broken. In Jesus' Name.

    • Lea

      Kim, I'm praying boldly for you and your family. May God reveal himself to your husband and restore your marriage! May he comfort you and give you peace knowing He has an unfailing love for you..more than our husbands could ever give us.

    • Michelle

      Kim, lifting you and your family up in prayer! Michelle

    • Gema Muniz

      Kim, your such a strong woman by just sharing your story with us. Believe in God's promises he will redeemed you and he will restore what has been broken. Praying for you this morning. God bless you.

    • Kaitlin

      Kim, praying that God would lift you up from the worries and uncertainty of today to reveal His peace and presence. May He quiet your fears and speak words of love into your marriage. We love having you here and I'm so thankful for your willingness to share your heart and your steadfast trust in Him. Sending big x's and o's today!

      -Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

    • Estela

      Kim, prayers for you and your family to make it through this hard time.

    • AnnaLee

      Kim, only the Lord knows the depth of this pain and sorrow– I can only imagine the heartbreak. I am lifting you up in prayer, asking for comfort, wisdom, encouragement, restoration, healing, and reconciliation. I am praying that the Lord would work in your husband's heart, and that as He counsels him, your husband would realize the Lord has never given up on Him– that he would give his life over to the Lord, and that he would not give up on you because of the Lord's great love. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13). Sister, I have no idea what the Lord is doing and how He's working this situation for good; but I do know He is. Trust in Him. Rely upon Him. He will do a marvelous work in you– it might not be what you expected or how you wanted it to be, but you will praise Him all the same. I know that for a fact. Don't lose hope or heart, dear friend. The God of the Universe is on your side and is working in your marriage. I love you. I'll keep praying for you.

    • Loretta

      I have been there – just want you to know that God is faithful and will hold and keep you – and surprise you in ways you never could have dreamed! I found out 2 years ago that my husband of 30 years had a girlfriend and another family. My life completely shattered and changed in an instant. Only the Lord was able to carry me through it – and still does. I am praying that you will feel God's comfort and guidance as you navigate such dark times.

  • Two poems I wrote ….5 years apart….one, the saddest I would ever write the other….the restoring of me, ….

    Today I write the saddest lines I'll ever write…, where once we were five ,now we are four….today my world has been shattered forever…today my dreams, the hopes, the wishes I had for my wonderful daughter were stolen from me… the world ceased to be what I have known it to be …….today, I am lost, lost because I lost my best friend, my right arm…today I lost my daughter…..

    I could not then see beyond the pain, the loss, the life change, the dreams and hopes that died with julee….but God…..He is faithful, He is true, He promises……“And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness—secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.”…..He called me by name….He restores me still….with the fine brush strokes only a Master Creator can……

    When I said goodbye to you my daughter….I could not see beyond the hurt….the hurt..the loss the pain…the brokenness …of my heart, of me, of what I was…who I was……..Five years on…there is still hurt…the is still sadness…still pain…there will always be a part of me that's broken…..and the loss….I feel that every day….And yet…here I am knowing peace….having faith….living in hope….and believing, that when we meet again….to love and laugh as we always did….it will be forever…for eternity…Praise be to God…Thank you Lord that you wipe away every tear from our eyes, that you Lord…comfort us when we mourn…Thank you Lord that you are the Shepherd that leads us out of many, many a darkness….Thank you Lord for the journey, for journeying with me…Thank you Lord…Thank you….
    I've come a long way from the heart breaking 'what's the point of life' days…and as a work in progress….I am becoming a whole proper person….The Lord completes me….
    It breaks my heart that julee is not here today to witness this, but my heart is warmed to know that because of her, because of julee I stand here today….

    These words were written…for my baptism…..on the 5th anniversary of Julees death….what greater day is there to say Thank you Lord and Here I am…….restore me….

    Debbie, Eaton, thank you for every word today….I could hug you….in fact I will do that….sending you a hug….Thank you…

    Dearest ones, this is a day the Lord has truly made….join n me in rejoicing and being glad in it…
    Happy today Sisters….Love, xxx.

    • Claire

      Sorry to hear of the pain you went through and are still going through. My prayers are with you today. I know by sharing you will have helped so many others whose heart is breaking. X

    • Lea

      Praise God, Tina.. you are so strong in Him! One of God's mighty warrior sisters :)

    • Brandi

      Thank you do much of sharing yourself with us everyday. Much love to you!

    • Michelle

      Tina you give me so much home and inspiration…my prayers are with you today and always. xoxo Michelle

    • Estela

      Tina, you are a very strong person. I lost my mother at a young age and there is still pain. Hope prayers help in your healing.

    • CarrieLynne31

      Thank you for sharing those poems with us, Tina! I'm sure sharing them opened up some heartache from your past experiences. Your testimony of what you went through is so helpful for others. Blessings, Carrie

    • AnnaLee

      Tina, your words brought me to life. In heart, in spirit. As I sit here reading of this journey, of the heartbreak, the fact that you still aren't whole or finished, yet you are trusting in the Lord day by day, I am more than encouraged beyond words, to the point of crying out.

      "Five years on…there is still hurt…the is still sadness…still pain…there will always be a part of me that's broken…..and the loss….I feel that every day….And yet…here I am knowing peace….having faith….living in hope….and believing, that when we meet again….to love and laugh as we always did….it will be forever…for eternity…Praise be to God…Thank you Lord that you wipe away every tear from our eyes, that you Lord…comfort us when we mourn…Thank you Lord that you are the Shepherd that leads us out of many, many a darkness….Thank you Lord for the journey, for journeying with me…Thank you Lord…Thank you….
      I've come a long way from the heart breaking 'what's the point of life' days…and as a work in progress….I am becoming a whole proper person….The Lord completes me….
      It breaks my heart that julee is not here today to witness this, but my heart is warmed to know that because of her, because of julee I stand here today…."

      These words… they've shown me that it's okay– it's REAL, it's the truth– that we cannot wait for our lives to be "whole" and "finished" to LIVE, and that I DON'T HAVE TO when there is Jesus on my side. Your raw testimony about living day to day in this state of being-made-whole, living through the daily pain and loss in hope, in reliance, in peace, gives me hope.
      I've realized that I'm afraid to live a restored life… I'm afraid to live through the pain, with the loss… I'm afraid to live again. But He's holding your hand so tightly, Tina… it's written all over every word you type, the things you do, and the words you speak.Your willingness to tell about yourself and your profound story of ongoing redemption reminds me that He is holding mine, too.

      I praise the Lord for you everyday, Tina. He speaks through you. I (we all) am honored to hear your genuine, beautiful, heart-breaking, powerful story… I admire your strength for telling of God's deep work in your life, and I know that it only could be Jesus that makes your words what they are. Thank you for heeding His call. Thank you for not being afraid. Thank you for your transparency. It's changed my life and encouraged me, all of us, countless times. "Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age" (Ruth 4:14-15).

      Be blessed, friend. Praise the Lord for you. I am praying that He would continue to open up doors in your life that lead to further restoration and healing; I'm praying He blesses you beyond your wildest dreams and that you wouldn't fear, but would trust Him, as He takes you places you've NEVER been before. Climb the mountains, sister. Receive the fullness of His blessing. Live His abundant life. I love you. God bless you this Friday and the coming week ahead.

    • Chelsea E

      I did not mean to like this….it won't let me change it, but this was truly encouraging!

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