"But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you.
Where you go I will go, where you stay I will stay.
Your people will be my people and your God my God..."
Ruth 1: 16
There is a picture that hangs on our "gallery wall" as I call it. It is a wall filled with family pictures and signs with scripture and quotes and this one in particular quotes the famous words of Ruth from the Bible when she says to Naomi, "Where you go, I will go, where you stay I will stay." I had to have it when I saw it at the store because I quoted these same words to my husband about a year ago and they were a pivotal moment in our marriage.
You see we were about 8 months into settling into our new home in North Carolina and making friends after being relocated there, but we got word after the company buyout that we may be uprooted and asked to move again. At first I was livid! I was not having it and there was no way I was going to move my family across the country again and I didn't even want to think about it. I let my husband know that if another relocation was in the works he could go without me and I was going to go back to Dallas and be with my family.
But on my way to church that Wednesday night, God pricked my heart and showed me that I had spoken words of separation over our family and He certainly did not want those words to take root and cause a rift between me and my husband. My dad called me that evening on the phone and after venting to him about us possibly moving again, he said words I didn't expect him to say, "It is much more important for you to be there for your husband, than for your family to be there for you." I stopped in my tracks and thought about how terrible I was being. This move would bring opportunity, growth and financial blessing to our family but I was blindsided by the inconvenience it would cause our family to make new friends, find a new church and have our children adjust to being in new schools. Now don't get me wrong those are all big things to consider, but I knew that the same kindness shown to us by our new friends in North Carolina would be shown to us in Kentucky if God was with us.
So here I am 8 months into settling into our new home outside of Louisville, Kentucky and my kids having finished another year in another new school and we are yet again new in another church finding where we fit.
I am so glad I clung to those words Ruth spoke to Naomi and I noticed something. It's not the going or the staying that is hard, it's actually what comes after that, "...your people will be my people..."
Making my fellow Kentuckians my friends is what's daunting, intimidating, uncomfortable and takes me out of my comfort zone. Both I and my children wish we had the same strong friendships we left behind in Texas, but it took years for us to make those friendships and forge the strong bond we left behind. It will take years for us to make those best friendships and people you can call at any time of day and say "Hey I am coming over!" here too. But in the process of making these people, my people, I see God's hand in it all.
He brought us to a neighborhood overflowing with kids so there is no lack of finding someone for my kids to play with. He has brought together an incredible group of women who meet once a month at my house for book club and prayer. He placed me in a job working at one of my boy's schools so I am able to keep their same schedule, make a little money and get out of the house!
He is with us, Emmanuel!
God was with us in Texas, North Carolina and now here in Kentucky. Day by day, week by week and month by month he is showing us that His hand has been in it all- comforting, providing, directing, and loving.
So maybe you are in the same place I am in -making the people around you, your people. Or maybe your feet are frozen in place and He is asking you to go, perhaps He is asking you to stay. I want you to take comfort in the fact that the same all-knowing, omni present, ever-providing God that I serve is the same one that can come through for you and your situation. My God is your God. He can do the same miracles, restorations, and redemptions in your story as I see Him doing in mine.
I know that nothing that comes mine or my family's way has not first passed through His hand and He is going to either bring me through it or deliver me from it. Either way, growth, strength and courage await me on the other side.
Ruth had no idea what awaited her when she ventured out with Naomi. But when she met her Boaz, her kinsman redeemer, all that she had lost and more had been restored and her life became full.