Before I began this blog, I had felt a tug on my heart encouraging me to study the book of Ruth. I took it serious at the moment and began to read the book of Ruth in the bible. It is a good book and a good story, but I didn’t really get much out of it. I knew that the encouragement in my heart was to study it, but I am not exactly sure how to study something without a guideline. I can google all day long and search for information, but to look at a text and study it and know what I am to get out of it is an area that I struggle with in my walk with the Lord. I want to get better at it and I don’t want to ignore what I know that God so clearly laid on my heart. Anyway, I had asked a friend if she had any books, and I had planned on going to the Christian book store. Every time I went to the Christian book store near me it was closed. I went to Barnes and Noble a few times and browsed, but I didn’t find anything. I wasn’t really making it a priority, but I would look when I thought about it.
Well, the other night Nameless and I went to dinner and then we decided to see if the book store was open. I had already been to Barnes and Noble earlier in the day and I was pretty sure the Christian book store across the street from where we were was open. I honestly wasn’t even thinking about the book of Ruth or finding a devotional book on Ruth. I simply wanted to browse. I hadn’t been in this store yet. So, while browsing and looking at some devotionals on getting closer to Jesus, things on prayer life, finding Gods will for your life, etc… Out comes this book that just grabbed me, almost literally. I was drawn to the binding which simply said “Live Beautifully”. How intriguing. I really liked how that sounded, so I pulled it out and started looking through it. It is a “study” on Ruth and Esther. Needless to say, I knew I needed to get it. What is it that God is trying to speak to me? What is it about Ruth and her story that I need to hear?
I haven’t even started the study yet. I have just read the introduction, but I am curious. In the very first paragraph, it refers to 1 Peter 3:4 “the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God”. I had just heard this verse on Thursday, so I decided to look up the rest. What was going on before and after? This verse is speaking to women and telling us that our beauty should not come from outward “adornment”. In the NIV, verse 4 says that our beauty should be “that of our inner self” and then in goes on to speak about the “unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit”. How incredible and exactly what I want to be. I have spoken a little bit about what I want in a few of my other posts, but this journey that just began for me has really been going on much longer than the birth of this blog. God has been working on me and speaking to me for over a year now about who it is that I need to be and what kind of woman I need to strive to be. I didn’t know at the time that it was to prepare me to be a wife, but as I become more open to change and with the sudden desire to begin my path towards marriage, I am beginning to see how God has worked in me and began to change my heart, mind and attitude. He has softened me and made me aware of certain behaviors. He has gently tugged on my heart and encouraged me to redirect my path. He has asked me to study the book of Ruth. I am not sure how this will transform me or what significance it has to my quest and my future, but I am confident that there is a reason. There is a purpose and I am looking forward to finding out what I will get out of this study.
I have to wonder if this journey is about more than just finding my husband. Ultimately, I know I could live for the rest of my life without having a man to be a part of every day because God is more than sufficient. However, I also know that I have this burning desire in my heart to get married again someday. Maybe this out of the blue without warning desire was planted in me for more than just keeping my eyes open for a man that I want to go through life with, but to encourage awareness on my part and to get me to see things that I would not see without the nudge to get married. God knows me and how I work, he made me. He knows that I look at things from all angles. He knows the insecurities that I have and my fear that nobody will love the real me. He knows that I am concerned about people getting to know my inner secrets and finding me less than perfect. God knows that I don’t ever want anyone to see me as weak or less than perfect in any way. I am learning to love me completely and to understand that nobody is perfect and that is part of each person’s charm. Our differences are what make us unique and special and there are people out there who like the qualities that make me unique. Even knowing that, there are things that I need to work on in myself to be “perfect” for someone else. Those are the things that I am working on one by one as God reveals them to me. Also, the more time I spend seeking God and allowing Him to shape me, I am noticing change that I didn’t even have to work for. The change has just happened simply by being willing to be molded by the ultimate creator.
My topic was inspired by the introduction of “Live Beautifully” A Study in the Books of Ruth and Esther by Lenya Heitzig & Penny Rose