Funny how this book of Ruth has so unbelievably & completely matched to my thoughts & wonders these past few weeks. God reassured me greatly in this devotion ,which has focused on this beautiful woman. I fell in love with this lady of audacious faith, love, & obedience. A lot of my previous writings focus on this topic as well because it has bothered me & so many other teenage girls, especially, I have come to find. We are so wrapped up in what this world expects of us. I am guilty of this. We follow these worldly so called "expectations" of what we are to act like or become. So often, I feel so small. I feel so desperately tiny compared to this oh so massive world. I am just one of seven billion people. I feel like my little steps don't matter to anybody, but in this woman of God it just showed me just how a faith & obedience can truly affect the world immensely. A move based on solid faith can truly matter. We feel like our story isn't great because we haven't been a superhero or won a gold medal. We buy this lie of statistics. That if you have a broken family, you are broken. You are immediately doomed to this stereotype of rebellion. I honestly bought into it. I blamed my decisions on feeling unimportant because I felt my importance laid in the attention being placed on me by this world. Ruth took a step of leaving her homeland. She didn't have anything but Naomi. She looked up to this woman of God & declared to follow her God. This made me think, Naomi was so strong in her faith that she made a woman step out in faith to a God she didn't even know. Ruth just saw the woman Naomi was & cherished it. I believe she craved to be that kind of woman. I hope to be a woman who draws people to such a graceful & perfect lover who makes tiny steps into such a gorgeous story. Now Ruth and Naomi travel to Bethlehem. When these women get there the people questioned if it was Naomi. They did this because there was an obvious struggle to her life, that she was tired & worn. Naomi had lost her husband plus her sons. That would be the worst feeling I think I could imagine, to lose all the men in my life. She told these people to call her Mara, which meant bitter. She was drained. I see her because I have been so drained where I literally just take on the title of "depressed", " lonely", "unimportant", & "bitter." This is so true though in so many of us. That we take on these identities of our circumstances. We look at our life & think, I just can't keep it up. The thing is that to our Great God, we are not forgotten. We are not our circumstances. I am forgiven. I am blessed. I am free. I am free to be God's daughter, his beloved child. Just like Naomi, we are called to be redeemed. I have hidden for so long under my struggles. I have thought so many times, God where are you ? The truth is that he is always here. He is our storywriter. A great storywriter knows how to pan it out. Naomi and Ruth sought his face still through this time of hurt & confusion. Then God let the right man, at the right time step in to take care of them both. They waited. They believed in God's favor coming. Their faith was built up because before they reached their high points because they had to believe in their valleys of what seemed like death, that their God who is so faithful would provide. Ruth's great faith led to the journey of the birth of Christ. Jesus Christ who is our savior & is my very hope on this Earth. What if Ruth had let her circumstances name her instead of God? If Ruth had hash-tagged herself as " forgotten" ? The thing is that Ruth named herself a daughter who is blessed. I am blessed. You are blessed. Our small steps through faith, in the dark, are a huge part in God's extraordinary story of forgiveness, grace, and redemption.