Two Journeys (Ruth Week 1)

By June 29, 2010Ruth

Welcome back to the Bible Cafe, as we discuss our first week of study. If you want to jump right into today’s discussion, go right to the end of this post and start sharing!

We have more than 150 women participating and I wanted to thank you for your comments during the study. Some women are sending their comments by email, not quite comfortable with the online format, and that’s just fine. As you’ve noticed I am holding you accountable to your study. Your participation is what matters, not how you answer the question. Last summer we learned this during our group study: “We can feel inadequate or inexperienced and even intimidated when we study together. In our own minds, we’re ‘Not Perfect’ because another person says something more spiritual or more powerful.” If this speaks to your heart, then read the full discussion we shared on Being Perfect.

We’ve just finished reading our first week of Ruth: Loss, Love and Legacy by Kelly Minter. We started our study on day one, reading about the journey Naomi took with her husband and two sons and ended our study on day five, when Naomi begins her journey home. We looked at the decision to go forward or turn back, and watched as Orpah and Ruth made their individual choices. In our study, Kelly introduces us to the concepts of weeping forward, hesed, and prolonged obedience vs willpower. Everything is working against Naomi and Ruth, and we are about to walk forward into their journey of redemption.

I enjoyed this comment that Ginny posted last week: Something that has spoken to me already is what Matthew Henry said about “leaving something isn’t always the best solution”. It’s easy to want to run when you’re in a hard place, or to just “disengage” so to speak. But that’s not always what God wants us to do. We’ll talk about this today in our group question below. Be sure to post a comment.

Enjoy this short video clip from Kelly Minter, posted on YouTube

Last week we asked you to describe your present season of life in One word. These are the words that describe our online group:

Anticipating-2, Anxious-2, Blessed-4, Busy-2, Calm-1, Checking-1, Dependent-1, Determined-1, Discouraged-1, Discovery-1, Drought-1, Exhausted-1, Fearful-2, Finding-1, Full-1, Grateful-1, Grieving-1, Growing-2, Happy-1, Healing-2, Hectic-2, Loneliness-2, Longing-1, Mourning-1, Nervous-1, Newborn-1, Overflowing-1, Overwhelmed-2, Patient-1, Recovering-1, Remission-1, Renewal-2, Restless-1, Stressed-2, Stretched-1, Suffering-1, Thankful-1, Tired-1, Transition-4, Uncertain-1, Unemployed-1, Unfocused-1, Unfulfilled-1, Unworthy-1, Well-1, Wondering-1, Worried-1, Yearning-1

Prayer Requests

We have more than 150 women participating in this study and know that each of you are unique with special prayer needs. We’d like to pray with you, so please post your prayer requests here.

Kelly Minter Quotes

  • The people had a history of turning to God during seasons of punishment but forgetting Him during seasons of prosperity.
  • Bread is always available at His table for anyone willing to return.
  • Although there will be weeping in this life, the direction in which we weep is what truly matters.
  • It’s possible to cry and walk.

New to this Study or Just Catching Up?

If you are just starting the study or catching up, here are the posts you’ll need to read:

How to Register for the Study, Subscribe to the Blog and Find a Workbook

Our First Group Discussion

Beth Moore’s Launch Video

Our Thoughts While Reading Week One

Group Discussion

In the workbook on page 22 Kelly Minter writes “Although there will be weeping in this life, the direction in which we weep is what truly matters.” Has a certain hardship in your life caused you to turn around in your weeping, or to weep going forward? Please share your personal experience.

***Feel free to include your own questions or responses to this week’s lesson.  You can answer the group question or post a new question in the comments below.

Author Christine Abraham

Founder and Ministry Director of the Womens Bible Cafe™ since 2009, Christine has led 60+ online Bible Studies for women. She completed a Graduate of Biblical Studies from Liberty University. She's an inspired writer, Amazon Top Reviewer and Blogger at LifeVerse Books.com Follow on Facebook

More posts by Christine Abraham

Join the discussion 102 Comments

  • Jyothi says:

    As this post is incredibly late… I have been through weeping forward in 2008 when I graduated from college and had to take a leap of faith, leaving my comforted paved future (med school) and go into the ministry. I was all alone in this decision and it was incredibly hard. I knew God had spoken to me and yet all but one was there to comfort me (my fiance). However everyone doubted i knew what I was doing and i lost many friends- esp due to my new “spirituality”. ALthough I know that there is no where else I’d rather be than serving God, it still is kind of hard to come across old memories of my friends that I had to let go.

  • Julie Hodges says:

    What an awesome study! it has been crazy around here for sure I am enjoying this study very much just a delay in my Bloging

  • Sari says:

    This year has been an incredible “learning” year for me. 4years ago, after suffering several miscarriages, my husband and I welcomed our son,Samuel, into our family. All through my pregnancy we were unaware that Sam had Down Syndrome. His birth was very difficult for both of us but after several weeks in the NICU, we came home and I hit the ground running. We did not talk about “it”, deal with “it” – just kept trucking along. And then we found out that my husband was a carrier for the gene. Again, we counted our blessings and kept moving along. “All is well!”, we would tell family members.
    Until I started drowning. Slowly but surely. With depression, anger, hurt, confusion, fear.
    It all came to a halt last summer when I was unable to follow my husband to Va after he accepted a position there – I could not. I could not pack my children up and move. I was paralyzed with all of those emotions.
    I knew I needed help. I needed to weep, to get on my knees and look straight up and stop hiding. For the losses of our miscarriages, the loss of the “perfect” baby, the fears of the future, my subsequent hysterectomy a year ago..
    I weep often still as I find my footing, as I try to reconcile with my husband, to unite my family. But the indescribable pain I feel has brought my eyes up towards my Saviour who truly is cradling me in grace and love, even while I weep. It is the first time that I have not ran from Him but to Him. And He has accepted me, tears and all.

  • Sue Schwendemann says:

    Hi everyone. I am in the process of catching up. Satan had ahold of me for awhile again. So I guess I am in weeping backwards stage still: my husbands health was dragging me down again and has done so for the past fifteen years, and Satan always knocking on the door, pushing, fear, stress, discouragement,
    and disappointment into my life ( seems like the last ten years). So I am looking forward to weeping forward with this study. QUESTION; if we are all weeping does it mean our tears are Blessing from God or Blessing to God?

    Blessing and prayers to all of you,

    Susan

  • Kristin says:

    I definitely think weep going forward. My father has recently been very ill and he made it through a very challenging surgery. I praise God everyday that he is still with me developing a relationship with my 2 year old son. They have a very special bond and I pray to God that he will grow to have memories of Papaw. I weep going forward, out of praise to God for continuing my father’s life on this Earth. I just weep at the miracles he performs daily.

  • Victoria Milam says:

    Cannot wait for this next week! Such an amazing study…applicable in all areas of my life!

  • Meghann says:

    Hi everyone, sorry to be so tardy in my post!! I have to do my readings on the weekends and so this past weekend I got caught up on them!

    After reading about weeping forward, it occurred to me that that is precisely what I’ve been doing for the past 6 months, only without knowing it. You see, my 10 month old daughter passed away from a very rare and horrible disease on 12/31/09. The last 6 months have been terribly painful, but something beyond me, and beyond my control, has been literally moving my feet and my heart forward for me. Through my daughters illness and her death my faith in the Lord got renewed as I never thought it would …… when most people would’ve given up on their faith from all the hardships being thrown their way, that was when I found mine. I thanked, and still do thank Him for giving me my daughter, and even for taking her away. I was chosen to care for her; to use my talents and intelligence to come up with different ways to deal with her many issues. And when neither she, nor I could take the pain anymore, He gently lifted her to Heaven.
    My blog is all about my daughters life and my journey of faith. Here is the link to it if anyone is interested: http://www.littleladyleahspage.blogspot.com

    • tracy greve says:

      you have my deepest sympathy for the loss of your daughter Jesus loves all the little children and now she knows no pain i think its awesome that your faaith deepend all the while you and your daughter were struggling,i will remeber to pray that the lord continues to lift you up and comfort you and bless you in all that you do.
      Gods Blessings to you
      a freind in christ ,tracy greve

  • Tamara Brown says:

    I believe that for the longest time I was weeping in place. I was struggling with everyday things because I always felt sick. I thought it was just my Fibromyalgia and that I was just going to live like that forever.How depressing is that right? Now that I have learned that I’ve had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma for over a year and a half I feel relieved in knowing that there was something actually wrong with me and there is hope for me to get better. Cancer is not a good thing but I think I’m the happiest cancer patient ever lol. I could get sucked into depression and being sad about having cancer but it doesn’t change anything. I am currently weeping forward knowing that I am healing(physically and spiritually). I am looking forward to a better life cancer free and full of GOD’s love.

  • Michele says:

    Weeping backward comes naturally to me. I have had so many disappointments in my life from the people I loved the most, starting in my childhood, so my first reaction is to retreat when I am hurt. A few years ago my husband and I had severe marital problems that almost ended in divorce. We had a very small child at the time and I made tried to plan, through the tears, a way out for my daughter and I. I met obstacle after obstacle until I realized that it was not in God’s will for me to abandon our marriage. After I came to this realization and stopped fighting it and humbled myself, things got much better. I had to fight many tears and weep forward, and so did my husband, but in the end we were able to reconcile and rebuild our marriage. I learned such a valuable lesson and now try (“try” being the key word) to put his will over my pride and hurt feelings instead of fleeing.

  • Susan Severson says:

    “Weeping forward…”; what a beautiful concept. There seem to be more wintry seasons to this life than summery ones…but I resolved over a year ago to find the joy in every season. How could I call myself a Christian, claim to have a loving Savior and a forgiving God, and yet go around with a frown on my face? It’s been tough, though, because my life doesn’t take gentle, winding paths, it takes teeth-jarring 90 degree turns without warning! Five years ago it was the loss of my job and my position as wage earner in the family. Three years ago it was my father’s diagnosis of brain cancer, followed by the merging of two households and the launch of a new business. One year ago it was loss of my home when my mother asked me and my family to leave the merged household. This year it is my father’s impending death (he’s in hospice now) and my business and family struggles. I’m seeking peace and answers everyday, and trying to only weep forward.

  • Vanda says:

    Even as we read in the workbook about Naomi’s family moving for physical reasons, the situation was used by God for Ruth, a Moabite, to be introduced into His family. Ruth who met Boaz, Ruth who became the mother of Obed, an ancestor in the line of Christ! (Matt 1:5) God must have chosen Ruth for his line.

    I was also reminded that Judah’s son Perez (the next in line after Judah, another ancestor in the line of Christ) was from a Canaanite woman, Tamar (Gen 38) – we studied Genesis in Community Bible Study just this year.

    This just shows that God embraces and chooses even the foreigners, the gentiles… like us. I’m definitely not Jew nor Israelite and yet, God has opened the doors for me, for us, to be part of His family to be called a child of God. This just blows my mind.

  • tracy greve says:

    i beleieve i have wept forwards and backwards in the past and in that time i have realized one of the hardest lessons to learn from God is patients ,be patient and wait on the Lord it sounds easier than it is at first but after the hundred or so tumbles i have learned its actually alot like going to the dr that you have to sit in the waiting room for an hour an half or more, so i have found its better to count to 10 take 10 deep breaths and remeber hes at work he is with us and when hes ready he will reveal his answer to our needs.
    its the same mind set as when we were little children waiting on our parents to take us some where or give us permission to go do something.and when its all said and done I have the pleasure of proudly announcing praise the Lord!

  • Rachel Shears says:

    Hi everyone!! This is my first online study with you all as well. I’ve known about this website for some time, but as usual, “life just got in the way” and I never found time to join one of the studies. This time, I felt a very strong prompting from God to do this Ruth study with you. I didn’t know what to expect from this study and I didn’t know how it would apply to my life. I’ve read the story of Ruth many times, but never really delved into it and found a connection to it. All I knew was I was excited to be able to participate here with you all. Well as we all know, God’s timing is impeccable! With every day’s lesson, God has shown me deep revelation within myself about many things He has done in my life and my reactions to them. “Weeping forward” is an excellent way to describe this action in our lives. I also was one of those women that would make a mud puddle with my tears. I’d sit in it and even waller around in it for a bit too. 🙂 But through many prayers and finding His strength, the last few years, I’ve slowly been able to indeed weep forward. The verses Matthew 10:39 “He that finds his life shall lose it and he that loses his life for my sake shall find it.” and Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” have brought me much comfort, among many other verses and I’ve learned to trust Him, even in the most devastating of times. I have seen Him time and time again, turn my hurts and failures around to work for His good. His love for us and His want for us to accept that love and to have an abundant life with Him are unfailing and never ending. And He desires for us to truly love Him in return. 🙂

  • Christine says:

    I think I have wept forward and backward in my life. I like things safe and predictble, so most of my weeping has been done backwards, but now that I am aware of it, I will try to change that.

    • Victoria Milam says:

      I like things to be in order as well, and this “OCD” (as I call it!) that I have is sometimes a downfall for me;hindering me from enjoying simple pleasures and breaking out of my shell and having fun.

      Just thought I would share with you that you aren’t alone in that trait…and it is a difficult habit to break.

      Will say a special prayer for you.

  • Carla says:

    Christine, Thanks again!

    Let’s see, at the moment I’m not in a weeping forward or backward place in my life, however, I’ll tell about the time that i was.

    *A little background* I’ve been in the church my entire life, my great-grandfather was a preacher and all of his sons followed in his foot steps. My brothers and i knew most of the hymns and prayers before we knew the alphabet and we knew as children that no matter the problem, there was nothing that prayer couldn’t solve…..my big bad math tests were always shot down with a prayer 😉

    I say all this to say that though I’ve always known of God through family ties and a religious upbringing, i didn’t really know him personally until i was faced with a weeping forward/backward moment in my life.

    I got pregnant during the end of my freshman year in college and let’s just say that when you’re seeking advice from your peers,they sure will NOT paint a pretty picture to spare your deflated self esteem or give you advice wrapped around God’s word…unless they themselves know God and mine were straddling the fence as was I! Though i hate to admit it, abortion was thrown out there and considered.

    I was really enjoying myself in school, kept thinking about the many young women that were giving themselves to every ‘body” that was presented to them while i was with a longtime boyfriend (as if that justified the sin), etc. I had so many reasons to just do it. With all of the excuses that i came up with, there was always the knowledge of how disappointed God would be with me if i had an abortion! Yes. I had gotten so far out of his will with all of my “unintentional” sinning (which is really intentional when we know what’s right/wrong by his word) but, he loved me even when my back was to him. I know how disappointed my mom would’ve been b/c of her love for me so, what about God? As I’m typing, these are the thoughts that continually played in my mind night and day. Eventually, when i rededicated my life back to Christ i realized that he’d never stopped calling me, I’d just gotten so far away from him to hear! During that difficult period in my life his voice (though distorted) became a little clearer and what I’d forgotten (or didn’t want to remember) also became clearer.

    Ultimately, I wept forward! I couldn’t disappoint God, not because i was so strong but because that was the one way that he knew that i couldn’t be disobedient…and trust me i tried my hand at disobedience of all kinds! I didn’t even realize how strong the conviction of even considering that possibility would be for me but, he did! During that time i often wondered, “why me?” but, eventually i realized that I had to be rebuilt.

    When I’d left for college my mindset was that i was finally grown! I could skip breakfast if i wanted, i could go to church ONLY on Sundays, i didn’t have to hear about God if i didn’t want to, basically, i could do whatever i wanted! There was more to this mindset, let’s just say that i was Naomi at this time. There were things that happened to me a little before i graduated high school that made me feel that God had turned his back on me so, in turn, i turned my back on him!

    Getting pregnant broke me down and now i realize that sometimes he has to break us down to rebuild us! it was a lesson that got me back to the place that i needed to be with him! It was a place that allowed me to look to him again and trust that there was a purpose for what i was going through. It was a time for me to acknowledge his faithfulness, accept his forgiveness, forgive myself and lean on him. My son is now seven and aside for him being a blessing for the more obvious reasons like loving me in spite of my faults, he saved my life! It was because of this beautiful child that i gave my life back to Christ!

  • Jacki says:

    I am so touched by the honesty of the women in this study group. Thank you for opening up and talking about your weeping whether it be forward or backward. I have wept forward in the past and God has always laid the path like stones on the ground as to what he desired for me and my family. This has taken us to move to three different states in 17 years.

    This year I have been stuck weeping. I feel as though I am in quick sand trying to get out. I don’t know what direction God would like me to go. I have been unemployed since February. I don’t know what to do with myself. I have skills but since I have been in and out of the workforce taking care of family my skills are dated. I am having a hard time knowing what I should do. I am blessed with a loving husband and children. I know what there are alot of people hurting in the world. I would like to help others and utilize my skills.

    God has always given me strength in the past. Right now he feels so far away. I keep praying and yet I am scared. God has always been there for me, why do I feel so alone?

    I admire Ruth’s strength and resolve. I have never read the book of Ruth so I look forward to learning more about her. What a wonderful world this would be if more people strived to be hesed.

    • Karen says:

      Jackie I know it is hard when you are unemployed. I lost my job in March of 08. I literally went into a depression. Then in 09 I started to take online classes. I also started to do many Bible studies. That is what got me out of the pit. I make sure I am in a Bible study every day. I also pray and talk to the Lord. It has also opened many doors for me to help people,I take them to the doctors office, I help young mothers with their new babies. I might not get paid, but the blessings are worth more to me. I did find a part time job,which works out better for me. Keep moving forward Jackie, you will come out of this stronger and closer to the Lord.

  • Kelley says:

    Hello all. The thing that struck me most like many other was the idea that the direction that you weep is truly what matters. I tend to be like Orpah and stay in my comfort zone. I love the idea that it is possible to cry and walk at the same time.

    The other item that I had never thought about before is that it was possible that Naomi did not want to bring her daughter-in-laws back with her because they were Moabites and she was ashamed. Very interesting point of view.

    • Lauren says:

      I agree… I had never thought about that, either. I always thought of Naomi as having been looking out for them, because she had lost everything and thought they would be better off by staying put. It really does put a different spin on things to think that Ruth went with her, and helped her the way she did, even when she may not have been wanted!

  • Tonya says:

    I have done both weep backwards and forward. I am still doing it today. I went through many trials. I was sexually abused at the age of 4 and it stopped when i was 11. I had to go through many heartaches as a teen and as an adult. But God is working in me. I can relate to Orpah where she didnt want to leave her mother in law. With every heartache and tradigy we have God uses it

  • EVA MARTIN says:

    I TRY SO OFTEN AND SUCCEED FEW TIMES OF WEEPING FORWARD INSTEAD OF BACKWARD. IN THE LAST 5 YEARS , I HAVE LOST A GOOD(OR SO I THOUGHT) FRIEND AND DO NOT KNOW WHY WHICH HAS CARRIED OVER TO ANOTHER GOOD FRIEND. I TRY TO BE AS LOVING AND GIVING AND WHEN SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAPPENS IT JUST CRUSHES MY WORLD. MY HUSBAND SAYS I TAKE TOO MUCH TO HEART AND MAYBE I DO.
    WE HAVE ALSO BEEN TRYING TO SELL OUR HOME ON THE LAKE IN SC AND MOVE CLOSER TO TOWN AND DRS. , I TURN 65 THIS DEC. AND HUSBAND IS 71, I HAVE RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS WHICH CAUSES A LOT OF IMMUNE PROBLEMS.
    SEE, IT IS HARD FOR ME TO FORGET ABOUT THE WEEPING BACKWARD SO I CAN MOVE FORWARD. I TRUST IN THE LORD AND KNOW THAT HE IS IN TOTAL CONTROL.
    I HAVE ENJOYED THIS STUDY AND BEING ABLE TO SEE OTHERS INABILITIES HELPS ME. I KNOW THAT THERE ARE OTHERS WITH PROBLEMS MUCH WORSE. AND I PRAY FOR US ALL.
    I LOOKE FORWARD TO EVERY DAY WITH RUTH.

  • Jodi Arnold says:

    I have felt recently the desire to move to greener pastures, literally…I just want to move to a small town where my children can grow up outdoors and enjoy life’s simpler things. We have a small opportunity to look for jobs in areas like this, but through the first day of this study God helped me to see that I need to wait for his timing in this kind of decision. I guess that I will have to weep forward in God’s direction until He shows me a different path.

  • Renee says:

    The first thought that came to mind when I read the question was a season when I spent a lot of time weeping. I can now look back and see that it was weeping forward although that has not always been the case for me. But in this particular siuation I did weep forward. I wanted very much to be a stay-at-home mom. I worked a very stressful corporate job where I was required to travel a lot and work many late hours. I was the first mom to drop my son off and the last to pick him up most of the time. I would cry out to God and tell Him that I knew this was not how things were supposed to be, that this couldn’t possibly be His plan for me to hurt so badly as a mother and to carry so much guilt.

    But after much prayer and frustration I submitted to the fact that God was in control and that He had me right where He wanted me to be and that I could be obedient or rebellious – the choice was mine. I chose obedience and wept forward. A new peace washed over me and I began to see divine oppportunities to share the gospel in the mission field where God had currently placed me. He opened doors that no man could open and I began to see those opportunities where I had previously missed them when I was so focused on my own situation. I began to be used by God to speak life into others and to offer encouragement and invite them to church. And just as I began to walk in His will and be odedient in the place He had me, He suddenly opened the door for me to be at home and gave me the desires of my heart. Sometimes if we will just weep forward out of obedience then God will cause our weeping to cease and joy to prevail.

    • Lauren says:

      It’s funny how God uses us in places we least expect it, often in spite of our own attitudes. I am a professor at a community college and last semester, much to my dismay, I had to teach evenings… which meant being away from my 7 year old. I was not very happy about it, to say the least. HOwever, as the semester went on, I really feel like God put me there for a reason. I feel like I was a true light to my students, and that I was able to witness about God. Now I look back and see that it was really a great class; I love each and every one of them and am so glad I got the chance to get to know them. Love what you pointed out about being obedient or rebellious… we have a choice!

  • Marrissa says:

    I’ve never heard the phrase “weeping forward” before, like several of you have said. I must admit that in the past I have always wept backwards, or tried to run away from my problems. This past year I have been trying to change my old habits. Since becoming a mother, I have realized that I need to make some changes in me. It’s been a very stressful year in some respects, but also a very blessed year at the same time. Doing my best to discern God’s desires for my life!

  • Lauren says:

    Really enjoyed this first week… I’ve always loved the book of Ruth but Kelly really brought out some points I had never thought of. I liked the concept of weeping forward and am ashamed to admit that I usually tend to be like Orpah. I’m resolving to do better, though, and know that by staying in the Word I will be able to do this. One time in my life when I do remember weeping forward involved a change of jobs… I am an individual who likes to stay in her comfort zone but really felt like I was being called in a different way. I fought with the decision because I was so comfortable, but God just kept working and working. Through tears (more from fear than anything else), I stepped out in faith and can now say that I feel as though I am right where God wants me.
    I loved the comment someone else made about God blessing you right where you are… it’s nice to know that even when we are in the darkest time His light still shines through!

  • Shannon says:

    This first week was amazing!! It has given me the knowledge of what is going on in my life as the right thing. We (my husband and two precious kids) are truly moving from our home of 15 years to a new (old/1922) home just a little over an hour away… not far, but nonetheless, we’re uprooting, we’re renovating, I’ve quit my good job, we’ve listed our house in a horrible housing market… what in the world are we doing? I’ve cried countless times, I’m on a up one day/down & depressed the next roller coaster. I’m stressed, my husband is stressed, we’re stressing our kids (to a degree). We are asking ourselves what in the world and why are we doing this? Did we take an unbeliveable opportunity that was placed in front of us as the wrong direction? Did we hear God correctly? Are we doing what He wants us to do? Did He put things in front of us and we took it wrong? Our questions are endless. We’ve had so many confirmations that we are acting on His direction for our life, but then we question Him? This study has shown me that through the turmoil and stress, we are weeping forward. We are to stay strong and weather the storm that we think we’re in and stay focused on Him. This is His plan and we are to follow. I’ve done many, many bible studies and know the power of the Holy Spirit. I’ve never done an online study… a friends post on Facebook led me to this wonderful study of Ruth. Wow is all I can say! Thank you for this awesome, sweet, determined story of Ruth. It is my answer that we are moving to a new land, somewhat foreign to what we’re used to but His glory is awaiting us each day with each new task we have to make our transition.

    • Mary says:

      Trust in the Lord, he tells us not to be afraid. Maybe he needs you where you are going look forward to your journey.

  • Mary says:

    I heard once that if I had God’s powers oh the changes I would make, but if I had His wisdom, I would leave everything exactly the same. This past year was such a difficult journey. Before this journey started I was not close to God, in fact, I would say I was pretty much a pharisee before He knocked me off my high horse and called me back to Him. What a blessing. I’m still struggling, but as Kelly said in her book God’s ways are not always the most practical, popular or unopposed, but they are the most blessed. I thank Him for the journey because I have gotten to know him and love him.

  • Shaun says:

    I was excited at the prospect of a Bible study on Ruth. But I never knew it would deliver in such a powerful way in my life. This study is very timely. I’ve read Ruth before but was totally unaware of all of the hidden treasures. These hidden treasures are nourishing and re-energizing my tired soul.

    I was given to an adoption facility at birth. I was later adopted by a couple where the wife was not able to have a child. The household that I was reared in I developed an estranged relationship with my mother while my father became my best friend. The never developing relationship with my adoptive mother has plagued me throughout the years. As not to discomfort my father or other family members I began stuffing my feelings to keep peace at all cost. I desperately longed for a family of my own one day. I married at an early age and had children at an earlier age. It didn’t take long to see that my family was not going to be a source of fulfillment. I worked tirelessly to keep the peace in my home, in my marriage, in my career, in my friendships, …etc. All the while suppressing my feelings of rejection, abandonment, hurt and anguish. In the midst of trying to journey my way through life I acquired a disease that I continue to battle today. However, through the hardship of the disease it has left me completely exhausted…readily surrendering all to God. I’ve been able to make peace with my past and see myself through the eyes of my Creator. This has affected my marriage, motherhood, kinships, friendships…some for the better…and some we had to part ways. I am now at a crossroads in my life, as I grieve lost relationships, unfulfilled expectations from childhood, a not so fairy tale marriage, an unlikely Cosby Show family…will I 100% commit to Christ as Ruth committed to Naomi even in the face of grief, will I continue on this path God has set before me or will I take the easier road like Orpah, will I 100% commit to the career God has entrusted me with even if it’s not always glitz and glam just as Ruth gleaned in the fields, will I commit to being obedient to God’s word over and over and over or will I not endure as Orpah, will I go through life bitter like Naomi (Mara) or hopeful like Ruth, will I have the firm, honest, hard but humble conversations in life when necessary like Ruth had with Naomi, will I weep forwards or backwards because weeping has occurred and will surely come again?

    I’m grateful for this Bible study and the women that are participating. I’ve been so encouraged and motivated by the study and the commentary that has taken place. I look forward to the unraveling of God’s word and shared testimonies amongst our group.

    Peace&Blessings

  • Janet Whisennant says:

    (pg.17 “God’s ways are not always the most practical, popular, or unopposed, but they are the most blessed…”)

    Trusting the Lord always involves a measure of risk. This risk is where we basically find ourselves alone with only God (you know, let go and let God)… Ruth following Naomi I believe was a result of what she had learned of Israel’s God while in the company of this ‘imperfect’ family. She somehow knew there was nothing of great value left for her in Moab. However, while trusting in this invisible God was a huge risk for Ruth, she was determined and even when opposed, stood firm and took that risk.

    I love Naomi…I was so blessed to be reminded that even when folks around me see my imperfections, God can still use my life. And, even when I have nothing of material value to offer them, the Holy Spirit can draw them to Jesus, give them hope, give them courage, and open their eyes to a future in a land of Promise.

    • Shaun says:

      Janet I love when you wrote, “Trusting the Lord always involves a measure of risk.” Reminds me of our reading and the concept of weeping forward. I know when I come to the point of letting go and letting God I expect for it to be a bed of roses…but it’s always an element of risk that can lead us to the crossroads of weeping backwards or weeping foward. Your words will resonate with me.

  • “Weeping forward” is a new phrase for me, however I find that it’s an appropriate one. The past year and a half have been difficult for me. There was a huge fall out between my daughter and I that has led to a separation. And I had to deal with reoccurring cancer which lead to a complete hysterectomy. On top of the grief and fear the Lord brought back into my life my childhood sweetheart. (We hadn’t seen each other for over 34 years.)

    He was and is such a blessing to me. Long story short, we got married in Las Vegas and he moved me back to Oregon!

    With all of the tears I have shed over the loss of my daughter and granddaughters, fighting the fear that comes with cancer – alone, leaving my daughter and granddaughters in Arizona….

    I found myself weeping forward. I know what the Lord has for me in the future is so much better than what I have left in my past. I still grieve over the separation from my daughter but believe that the Lord will bring restoration. I believe the cancer is completely gone due to the skills of the doctors guided by my Lord. And I am thankful that the Lord has given me the best husband ever. I hold on to the verse, “…Weeping may endure for a night. But joy comes in the morning.” Ps 30:5b

    Sorry I wrote so much.

  • Pamela says:

    My husband and I tried to have children for 7 years. Through this season of weeping I came to know and trust God in a way I had never known before! In 1998, after the loss of a baby, God led us to international adoption. At one point in the adoption process I remember crying out to God that I believed He had a child for us even though I could not see a child. Over and over I repeated the words I BELIEVE! Three weeks later we received word that our son had been born in a tiny village in Central America…on the very day I cried out to God! God delights in us and when we trust Him all things are possible! My son is now 12 years old and his surprise, miracle brother is 9! I tell my boys all the time that GOD designed our family and put us together at the perfect time!

  • Angie says:

    I have LOVED this study! It has been perfect for my season of life. My family has recently been through a difficult personal experience and throughout it all, God has given me a peace and joy I cannot describe. I have seen God work and bless us despite our circumstances. God has opened my eyes to what He sees and has allowed me to connect heart to heart with others who have been through similar circumstances.
    I was convicted by the part about soaking and meditating on God’s Word in the hard times, but slacking off in the good times. That is what has been happening to me. During my trial, I lingered on God’s Word and spoke with Him continually throughout the day, but as times have gotten better, I have been more lax on my time with Him. This study has made me yearn to spend time with God.
    Also, it has encouraged me in the fact that if I do what’s best in God’s eyes and not necessarily the easiest thing, I will reap God’s greatest blessings and will live a more fulfilled life. Just because things are permissible in the Bible, doesn’t mean its always the best thing.
    I am looking forward to the rest of the study! Thanks for offering this for the summer! I’ve been blessed already!

  • Lupita says:

    This being my fist bible study I must say that I am absolutely amazed at how powerful the word of God is. It’s something I always believed but never experienced first hand. For me, the idea of weeping forward hit very close to home. I am recently a newlywed but as I was going through the process of wedding planning, unfortunately my family also had to deal with the divorce of my sister and the splitting up of her family which includes my two young nieces.

    Being the human that I am, I immediately threw myself a pity party and thought about how unfair it was that this was supposed to be the happiest time of my life and everyone around me was stressed, depressed and angry dealing with her situation. I strongly considered postponing the wedding. Thank God I’m a believer and before long, God helped me to see that I was judging and I was being selfish. It is a painful situation but through prayer, I was able to weep going forward. And I was no longer weeping for myself but for my sister and my family. While weeping, I knew all along that God would not abandon us and that something good would eventually come from all the suffering.

    I am excited about continuing this study and I’m already wondering what I will do every morning once these 6 wks are up!! I’d love to continue reading from my bible on a daily basis.

    My husband and I are taking a weekend trip to Chicago for the 4th and the first thing I packed today was my Bible and Ruth workbook : )

    • Christine says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience with us Lupita! Once this study ends, we will have another one starting about 2-3 weeks later. It will be a Beth Moore study, using one of her workbooks.

  • Vanessa says:

    p. 41…..”I believe many Christian women are not nearly this honest with God or themselves.”

    This particular section in Session 2, day one really convicted me. She says that we don’t let ourselves stop long enough to address our feelings with God, that we’d rather numb them with something else (TV, facebook, etc.), and that perhaps we do this out of fear. I did not realize this about myself until today, but it’s true! I have no reason to be afraid. God has never let me down in good times or in bad times. He has carried me through some very difficult times-times that I doubt I would have been able to survive without his grace, mercy, and love. When Kelly said to sit before the Lord in the true state of my heart, I had a very difficult time. I tend to bury my feelings, but I did not realize I was doing this with God.

  • Victoria Milam says:

    I think I have gone through many trials in the past that I turned away from God…not verbally blaming Him but just turning from Him so that I didn’t have to think about it or talk about it. I would consider those times in my life as “weeping backwards”.
    But over the past year or so, we have struggled financially, especially when my husband was laid off for 2 months, but the difference was that I turned to God, who restored my faith and now when tragedy occurs, although I weep, I am now “weeping forward”.

    Since the first day that I decided to begin this study I have seen a change in my life. The morning of the 22nd I was riding in my car to work listening to K-Love. There was a guest speaker who was discussing father’s day and respect for our spouses. She challenged everyone to not speak ill to or of your spouse for 30 days and at the end of the challenge, check out the changes in your lives. So I got to work and decided on top of that challenge I wanted to start a devotion also. So I was googling and came across this website. Browsing the website I stumbled across this study, that ironically was beginning that day. And I am so thankful that I did. I invited my friend Cara to join me and her and I have been having the greatest time studying and learning so much about ourselves and God.
    I CANNOT get enough! I long for more…when I wake up all I can think of is what can I do for God! I want to learn…I want to share…I am on fire for the Lord!

    I think Ruth is perfect for me in this season of my life. I mean, her story is not identical to mine, but I can sure relate in many ways.
    Thank you all for letting me spill this out to you!

    • Christine says:

      Like you, I have experienced many private moments with God while listening to KLOVE. I remember getting in my car after getting a cortisone shot in my shoulder for frozen shoulder, I put the key in my car ignition and head these words on KLOVE “isn’t it wonderful to have that weight off your shoulders.” Of course, I cried! God does listen to our hearts, He does know what we need to hear, and He knows how to communicate with us. Our job is simply to LISTEN. I’m thankful you did, and you are enjoying the study!

      • Victoria Milam says:

        Christine,

        ” I stumbled across this study”! What an “aha” moment when studying week 2 Ruth “just so happened” to be working in Boaz’s field!

        It was no coincidence that I came upon this study. It was put in front of me strategically by God. And I thank Him so much for it!

  • Jean says:

    About ten years ago, we felt it necessary but painfully sad to leave our current church where I was on staff. I definitely wept as I moved forward, and there are days that I still weep because I miss the people there. We started a new church, and for many reasons, it has been a struggle. We have grown spiritually in massive ways, but our numbers have not grown, so I can find myself weeping even now . . . wondering how, without huge numbers and lots of programs, we get people to see the genuine love of God that we have to offer. I have never felt more loved or more supported in my study of God’s word than I do now, and I want others to have this as well. We’re small but there is nothing superficial about us . . . we simply love God.

    • Christine says:

      It’s not the size of the church that matters, it’s the quality and the heart of the church that matters. My current church has more than 6,000 people in attendance, and it started several years ago with just 10 people meeting in the pastor’s home. You never now what God has planned for you 😉

  • Christine says:

    As I cried forward through a difficult season in my life, I would repeat scripture verses. When the doctor’s thought I had ovarian cancer, each time I felt fear I said a verse from Psalm 23. Even while shopping in Walmart, I would say my verse out loud for comfort. When my husband and I separated for six weeks, I was repeating “LORD CARRY ME” from Deuteronomy 1:31. And when my young daughter was diagnosed with OCD and Asperger, Deuteronomy 6:5 became my rock: love the Lord with all your heart, soul and strength.

    I know without scripture, as a reminder of God’s love for me, I would have been walking backwards. His words and my faith kept me going in the right direction. Through these trials, I did not have cancer and my surgery was canceled. I reconciled with my husband and our marriage is strong. My daughter has been healthy through the assistance of her medical team and a supportive school environment. The Lord DID carry me…and He still does. Thank you Jesus for holding my hand and leading me forward through my tears.

    • Joeanna says:

      My nephew has Autism, he is going thru some transitions ( as you know they are hard) my sister just started the study with me, Amen!!

  • Debbie says:

    Weeping forward is a new concept for me. My story is a long one (sorry!). My husband and I, along with our two sons, have been through a “Job” experience the past 4-5 years. It all began with my husband being demoted from his job and then a year later being terminated, and me going back to work after almost 20 years of being an at home mom. We were on the verge of losing our home, but through God’s grace and right before the market fell apart in California, we were able to sell our home. We moved to Oregon to be closer to family and a lower cost of living. In the middle of all this turmoil, while not only moving away from our church family and my husband’s life-long home town (its been really hard on him… little sun and lots of rain!), my best friend and I (a 20 year friendship) had a misunderstanding five months before we moved, and she terminated our friendship in silence – even after I tried to get together to heal and talk it through. One of the verses this week in our study about sums up my heart: “You have taken from me my closest friends and have made me repulsive to them.” Its hard not to think, as Naomi did, that God has stripped us of all these things: job, home, church, friends…. at least that’s how I feel emotionally. Intellectually, I realize that isn’t the case and that He is in the process of using all this for our good. But it sure is a tough one to feel in your heart!
    So, to make a long story short – I have been weeping not only backward but my feet stuck in the big mud puddle my tears have caused… and me looking around wondering “now what?” My soul longs to serve Him in some capacity in a church setting, but we have yet to find a church that feels like home. And, I’m terrified to get close to another female (other than my mother, whom I’m so very thankful for!).
    The good news is that God is speaking to me through this study, and I’m devouring every word because my soul is so h u n g r e y!!!! I’ve been stuffing these emotions now for two years, and its time to weep forward and get out of the mud puddle!!! May the Lord bless you all this week! Debbie

    • Christine says:

      “ts time to weep forward and get out of the mud puddle”…and Jesus is waiting there, with a towel to clean you off and carry you forward. Sounds like its time for a new season in your life!

    • “It all began with my husband being demoted from his job and then a year later being terminated” I could have written that! My husband should be home soon…..from his last day of work. Praying you and I can get out of this mud puddle soon!

    • Cathey Stott says:

      Debbie, I can relate to your experience with losing a close friend. My college room mate and I were as close as sisters. We were in each others weddings, had children around the same time and purposed to remain friends forever. Then suddenly, I realized she had moved and changed her phone number and I never heard from her again. That was over 20 years ago. I can’t tell you how many tears I cried over the loss of my best friend especially because I had no idea what happened. Making new friends was difficult and unsuccessful after that and there was always a whole in my heart where my sister-friend used to be. About 7 years ago, I had a revelation from God that He wanted to be the one to fill the empty space in my heart. My life has never been the same since that time and I have never had a better Friend. Since then, God has brought some girlfriends into my life that have been a blessing too large for me to even describe. The lesson I learned was that if I had weeped forward after the ending of my friendship instead of standing still in grief for years and years, I could have saved myself a lot of heart ache. I’ve learned that weeping forward always means moving toward God. Take courage my friend, your life will get sweeter as God occupies more and more of your heart – just like mine did.

      • Debbie says:

        Cathy:

        Thank you so very much for your wonderful words of encouragement! They brought tears to my eyes.

        Your words have confirmed the “whisperings” I have been hearing from God that He wants to fill that hole in my heart. This week after doing my daily study, I started making myself write in a prayer journal (for some reason, I haven’t had a lot of luck with this in the past), and while sitting here I had this overwhelming feeling of His friendship. Boy did that feel good! 🙂

        Bless you friend for words of hope!!!

  • sandi nieto says:

    Oh I am a weeper & walker for sure. My son passed away 7 years ago this May and I still dream about him nightly. He was 15 1/2 years old and was very medically fragile. He was blind, had cerebral palsy, was on a 24hour feeding pump and took 32 medications daily. He was the light of our life and God took him home so he would be complete. Although I miss him SO very much, I know exactly where he is and am sure that I will see him again. THIS is what gives me hope. Right after my son died, my other son decided to going the USMC. This led to a deployment to Iraq. THANKFULLY, he came back in one piece and is now living here in the same city and I get to see him often (usually around dinner time!) God is good….and I have to keep focused on HIM to get through each day. Yes, I weep. BUT….you have to keep walking forward. And that I walk WITH Jesus is the best part of the journey….

    • Victoria Milam says:

      Amen! Even though you shared a difficult story, it is reassuring to know that after such tragedy we are still carried by the Most Powerful, the Greatest Comforter! He is the reason that we are able to walk and weep!!!

    • Shaun says:

      I’m grateful you shared such an intimate story. Your faith, courage, and weeping forward has strengthened my walk.

      God Bless Your Continued Journey

  • Karen says:

    I can relate to Ruth, We had to move to Fla in the 80’s because of the Steel Mills shutting down in Pa. I am still weeping( silently) We have lived here 20 some years. I didn’t want to leave my family in Pa.
    The only difference is me, my husband and kids all accepted Christ. I Don’t think that would have happened in Pa. I live in a foreign land with my Savior. God allows us to go through the fire of life,hopefully it will refine us,and make us stronger Christians. I still weep, This is not where I want to live, but I know where my real home is, I weep forward knowing I serve a living Savior.

    • Karen says:

      I have had many seasons of heartache and trials since the move.My dad died in 05, A child raped, lost my job in 08,a brother in jail, nephews addicted to drugs,alcohol. and many many more. My point in all this was to say we may plan our life but God directs our steps.

      • Christine says:

        I know it’s difficult for you to share this pain, yet you do so to encourage others. Thank you for opening your heart to so many women in this group.

        Direct my steps by Your word. Psalm 119:133 NKJV

        • Karen says:

          Thanks Christine, I usually don’t share private details of my family, but as I read all of the posts, Christian women need to encourage each other. We all have pain, but we all share a common bond that holds us together,Our Soverign Lord.

      • Susan says:

        I just read this tonight Karen and I wanted you to know that you touched me with your openness – I am so glad we have a God that walks with us and provides enough strength for one step at a time. I pray that in the midst of life’s storms you get some joy.

  • Susan says:

    I don’t know why I am amazed at how God has used the past few studies (Discerning the Voice of God, One In A Million) and this one to help me through the most difficult journey in my life (and there have been trials and tests before) . . but the Holy Spirit has truly been guiding my life – – evidence of God’s love and presence. I had never heard the term, “cry forward” . . .but it means a lot to me – – I don’t want to keep looking back – – I want to move forward – – cry forward almost gave me relief – -kind of permission to cry, that it’s okay not to be okay as long as I continue to move forward with hope.

    • Christine says:

      Knowing your personal story Susan, it’s okay to cry, because you allow God to turn your tears into JOY. Let them flow, knowing that He sees, He knows and He loves you through your storm. Your pain is His pain, and He sent His only SON to bring you comfort. Our tears do not dishonor God, they simply allow God to love and heal us. Get a bucket and let them flow!!! 😉

  • Ginny says:

    The “weeping forward” struck me as well. Also the words from Matthew Henry about how we need to stay in the place where God can bless us. I have a tendency to want to run away from my problems. But sometimes God wants us to stay right where we are and watch Him work. He can appear to be silent, and sometimes for a very long time, but He’s always working for our good because we love Him and because He loves us. I love what Kelly said, “you can cry and walk”. Love that.

    • Christine says:

      I like to visualize that as I am walking, Jesus is holding my hand. He is gentle, forgiving,loving and most of all…trustworthy. So I allow him to lead.

  • Lori says:

    The hardship in my life that has caused me to weep both backward, and, more recently, forward, is the hardship of dealing with recurrent clinical depression for the majority of my life so far. In my previous “bouts” with this all-too-common illness, I have let it take me SO far backward as I wept through it each time. The Enemy really used it to keep me totally ineffective as a Christian, because I would allow myself to completely withdraw from everyone and everything. I had no hope, a symptom of depression yet also a product of listening to and believing Satan’s lies. The most recent time I experienced severe depression, I wept as far backward as I ever could have gone. I believed that my life would literally consist of me staying at home forever, never going back to work, not doing anything but staying home because I didn’t see how I could ever interact with people again. I felt that anything hurtful that happened would cause me to not be able to handle life. I now know those were lies of Satan that were subtle, which I bought into, believing they were my thoughts. Things are different today. Though I am definitely genetically predisposed to clinical depression, I have hope. I still have to fight that battle, but I can see how God wants to use it in my life to reach others who are hurting desperately who are struggling with the same thing. I know that no matter what the struggle is for people, that there is hope. I know that, as Kelly Minter said, there’s no question there will be weeping in this life. Yet, I know my ultimate destination is Heaven, where there will be no more tears and no more pain. Every day brings me closer to that Day, and God will see me through to the end of this life. He does want me to weep going forward.

    • Christine says:

      I recommend the book “Who Switched Off My Brain” by Dr. Caroline Leaf. I saw her speak on LifeToday and then bought the book. In the book, she explains the spiritual side of the brain and how negative thoughts become toxic and affect your entire body. Then she gives several methods to change the toxic cells and replace them with healthy cells, the entire process takes four days. I recommend this for anyone who has depression or is living with a family member with depression. Dr. Leaf says there are two spiritual forces in the brain, and we need to learn to have control over them. I purchased the book at Amazon, however here is a link to her website: http://www.drleaf.net/

  • Jessica says:

    Weeping forward hit me hard when I read it.It is what both me & my husband had to do not so long ago.
    When my youngest daughter was born within moments of her birth we discovered that she had a rare genetic disorder. I wept, and I wept. The next 2 yrs were filled with tears, with obstacles, with a stress placed on my family that I wasn’t prepared for, a guilt that I had never known, and a fear that I still fight every day. I look back on that time & while I remember the tears, the fear, the stress, the thing I also remember was pushing for answers, looking for the ways to make things better for her & how while I cried all the time, I still pushed on, I kept believing that God brought me to this, so He will bring me through it.
    Now, I have been able to guide other woman through the maze of this genetic disorder with their kids & am so happy to be able to help them smile again

    • Ginny says:

      That’s really beautiful Jessica – how God used your suffering to now put you in a position of being able to help others going through the same thing. Just as the Word says…”so we can comfort other”. You definitely wept forward in your situation. You could have easily wept backwards as I’m sure there is nothing so devastating as seeing your child suffer. I was encouraged by your example. Thank you for sharing.

    • Sari says:

      Hi Jessica, boy do I relate to your thoughts and story. Thank you for sharing with us. I too struggled with many of the same thoughts – questions. I have wept and wept and often wondered if this will just be my life. The fears that I have for Sam and is future etc..

      I have always known my Sam to be my hand picked child from God who has completed me in every way. Now I also believe it. Truly.

  • Tamara says:

    This is my first women’s online bible study class, and I am so happy that God brought me to this class! The stories I have read so far shows me that I am not the only person who has fears and doubts. I am also happy to see that there are women out there who are courageous enough to share their own personal experiences for the sake of teaching and saving another woman. I have never studied the book of “Ruth” before, but I am happy to be studying it now. This week has given me great inspiration, and I look forward to starting Week 2. Have a wonderful day. Tamara Kelly

    • Christine says:

      Thank you for having the courage and faith to speak up. Many are new to online study, so they observe what others are saying. Every woman participating in this study was new at one time…sometimes we forget that or allow the enemy to convince us we have nothing of value to share. Did you get a chance to read about My First Bible Study?

      https://www.womensbiblecafe.com/2010/06/my-first-bible-study/

    • Shaun says:

      This is my firt women’s bible study as well Tamara. I like you have been encouraged with everyones openness and honesty that it took the element of intimidation away for me. I believe we are in for a treat 😉

    • Rachel Shears says:

      Tamara, Thank you for being so interactive with everyone here! You’re such an encouragement!

  • Heather says:

    I just have to say that this is really exciting. I have just found God in my life just recently. In Dec. I left my husband (temporary) with our two boys and went to my parents house 12 hours away in Maine. During that time period i found God and my life has been so different. I am back with my husband and things have been pretty good. he is not a believer but i know that one day he will be again. I don’t have alot of experiece with God but i am learning so much.
    The part i like in this week session was about Honest Talk. When Ruth talked to Namoi honestly she just laid it all out about how she was feeling and where she wanted to be in her life. and i like how she ended it. If anything but death parts you and me. Ruth 1:17
    Honest Talk is hard for alot of people to do you really have to open your self up and expose a raw side.
    I am looking forward to more discussions..
    Heather..

    • Christine says:

      Sometimes we are afraid to have an honest talk with God. I’ve been praying on this and sharing my heart with Him. He recently revealed something I was not aware of: the Divided Heart. (Psalm 86:11) I started having an honest talk with God about my heart, and he revealed the fear I was carrying inside. So I prayed on this, asked a few special friends to pray with me, and saw my heart mending. I realized that there was no room inside my heart for both FEAR and GOD. One of them had to leave…and now I am free of my bondage to fear. LOL, since I’m creative-type, I even drew a divided heart on paper, listed God-Jesus-Spirit on one side, and all my worries on the other side. The visual aid helped me see inside myself. Without prayer and an honest discussion with God, I’d never have that experience. Thanks for reminding me of this Heather.

      Put me together, one heart and mind; then, undivided, I’ll worship in joyful fear. Psalm 86:11 Message Bible

      Give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. Psalm 86:11 NIV

      • Lauren says:

        I love this! What a wonderful concept… and how often do we weep backward because we are afraid of the unknown that is ahead of us?

    • Susan Severson says:

      Have you completed Beth Moore’s study, “Breaking Free”? I was an on-again, off-again Christian since my childhood, and that study changed my life. One of my stumbling blocks has always been not knowing how to read the Bible, not understanding how it applies to my life, and not feeling in relationship to God because of it. Although I still face those stumbling blocks, I really turned a corner after completing Breaking Free!

  • Tamara says:

    I broke up with my son’s father when I was seven months pregnant. I was determined to focus on the positives of being a mom as opposed to the negatives of raising my son alone. There was a lot of negative drama that battled for the first place in my mind, but I willingly and deliberately focused on my son. The beauty of crying forward is that the energy that we put into each experience decides our potential success or failure. God is amazing; His love for us always withstands the test of time.

  • Mary Ann says:

    The whole concept of weeping forward is a foreign one for me. Too many times when I faced an obstacle, I was more like Orpah…I wept backward. This study is helping me understand that God is there in my weeping and I need to continue to move forward.

    Ruth, leaving her family and clinging to Naomi took courage. I’m seeing her as a very courageous woman for whom the term “hesed” probably applies.

    I’m a little behind and only in the middle of day 4 but I’m catching up!

    • Tamara says:

      Mary Ann, God always wants you to be happy. I, too, have wept backward, and found that I did not grow from the experience. The problem with weeping backwards is that we are doomed to repeat the same or a similar experience all over again. We just don’t grow. God is good, and He desires for us to grow so that we become more and more like him. God is good 🙂

  • Rachel says:

    There have already been some changes in my life in the past week during this study! Previous to Sunday my husband and I had not been on the same page much at all. We were not talking much, and most of our time together was spent going through the motions with our kids. We’ve always been very close and very much in love but for the past few weeks we just haven’t been communicating. This weekend an amazing thing happend! God pushed me to weep going forward. I demanded respectfully that we needed to talk. Resistantly he agreed to open up after many tears and lots of pleading on my part. We made some really big decisions about our jobs and what we wanted to do with our future. Turns out my hubby was just really stressed about our finances and our future, and funny thing I was too and we just were not discussing it. Our conversation meant that I was going to have to give up a few things that I enjoy and he was going to have to take on some new responsabilities. Ultimately it was so wonderful to feel the peace that flooded our home in just a matter of hours. God is good even when it hurts.

    • Tamara says:

      Rachel, that is wonderful. God is good. That urging that you felt was Him talking to and through you. I love reading stories like this. It just goes to show me that God is alive and well, and He is working through us in amazing ways! Tamara

  • Lorna says:

    I wrote something similar to this on my blog this past week. (http://follow2serve.wordpress.com) and Sunday in church, pastor was talking about returning to the House of God with having our priorities in-line, specifically about Jacob returning to Bethel (the House of God) but once there he turned to El Bethel (God of the House).

  • “God is present right where you are.” (p. 14) Okay, deep in my heart I know this, but I sure needed the reminder. In this place where I am right now (physically and spiritually), He seems far away sometimes. I wish I could “feel” His presence more.

    “Weeping forward” was a new concept for me. Several years ago we moved from KS to AR. I was leaving behind a best friend, a supportive Bible study group, a church family…..Believe me, there were lots of tears! But at the same time, God was showing us we were doing the right thing. There was a new church family opening its arms to us before they even knew us, new therapy opportunities for my daughter, the “perfect” little house for our family (and the sale of our house in KS the very day we listed it!)…. So, I guess you could say we were weeping forward.

    Jump ahead to the present (and a different town in AR) and I am weeping again. Only this time I don’t feel I am going anywhere. I think my tears are causing a mud hole and I am getting stuck in it! God hasn’t answered our prayers for a job (yet). Honestly, I find it hard to “weep forward” when the future is so unclear.

    Well, I don’t mean to be negative. I loved this first week of Bible study and found comfort in the verse from p. 26. “….Blessed is a man who endures trials, because when he passes the test he will receive the crown of life that He has promised to those who love Him.” James 1:12

    • Anna says:

      Ah, and is this test a little deeper than when you moved from Ks to Ar. AS we grow we can sure expect our tests to grow with us. Believing Him , in the dark, for an extended length of time shows much growth, trust, faith and love. He may also be sharpening your warfare skills and your practice of putting on the armor of God daily to fight against the enemy who is trying to steal your joy, peace and trust. Stand firm and speak God’s Word often!

    • Shaun says:

      I appreciate your honesty and rawness. I’m sure I’m not the only one that has felt the same as you. The only difference with me that I haven’t always gone before the Lord and been completely honest about my feelings. I believe I prolonged my journey in the wilderness for that reason. I could take pointers from you & Ruth by being open and honest. Not being afraid to have the hard conversations, even if its with God.

      Continue to find comfort in the word!

  • Joeanna says:

    When I went through my divorce I wept while moving foward.
    Now I think God is talking about my anxiety, I have to keep moving foward. He does not want me to let the fear of the symptoms to make me turn back from all he has done.

    • Tamara says:

      Joeanna, that is great. Definitely keep praying. I battle with anxiety too, and I find that I must pray, all day and every day, to remain calm. I even pray when I awake in the middle of the night because anxiety has become such a habit that I automatically become anxious even when there is no real reason or threat (of which there never has been.) God has possibly allowed us to become anxious so that we can learn how to lean on Him and our own emotions or feelings. Once we attain the habit of leaning on Him, anxiety will disappear. God is good. Have a wonderful evening. Tamara

    • Susan says:

      I wanted you to know that I prayed for you today – – I have recently been struggling with anxiety and fear in my life . . One thing I have done to really help myself is when the thoughts that bring discouragement, disappointment, fear (etc) come upon me – I immediately tell Satan to leave me alone (sometimes out loud!). . .and to remind myself that “greater is He who is in me, than he who is in the world”. So, Joeanna, keep moving forward . . .

      • Joeanna says:

        Thanks guys I am so encouraged 🙂

      • Jyothi says:

        Ever since I have become involved in the ministry, it is like the devil has been creeping up in my life and making the things that I once was ashamed of, or let go loud again in my life- bringing discouragement and lack of self worth. It is truly hard to battle it everyday …. but I do love that verse-greater is He who is in me, than he who is in the world

  • Lil says:

    The overarching message for me that I loved about the in the first couple days in this study is that life with God is the “road less traveled” and sometimes we deviate from the path, but he always welcomes us back. What I’m praying for is that God would give me a disciplined life, (not one of duty, but one of joy) where I always find time to study his word, pray and find him in whatever season of life I am in. I want to follow after God not just as Naomi did when I have no other option, but even when I have lots of options.

    On a personal note, I wonder if this is Gods Confirmation to me that that he wishes to keep me in the current city I live in and not run home, because he wants me to find him in the struggle, changing location wont change me only he can do that. But If I am wrong about what I think is confirmation then Im ok with that too more prayer needed!

    Love you ladies and God Bless!

    • Tamara says:

      Hi Lil, I am in a similar situation. I have out-grown my current job, and am ready to move forward. I do not feel like God wants me to leave just yet; I have a little more time to be there. This frustrates me to no end because I am not the “office-politics” type of person, and I’d prefer to be away from drama, but I realize that there will be drama wherever I go, and I need to learn how to deal with it. The best thing we can do is pray, and be sincere in our prayer requests. God deals with our hearts, and if we are not honest with Him, we will not be answered. I will pray for you that God provides you with clarity. God is good. Tamara 🙂

      • Renee says:

        Yep, there is something everywhere. When I was younger I would switch (teaching) grade levels to get away from a situation. It didn’t take long to learn that “situations” are everywhere! So, for me it came down to changing myself and my level of tolerance. God didn’t want me to keep “moving” during those times. He wanted me to learn about myself.

    • Shaun says:

      What a beautiful prayer. I believe I’m going to adopt this prayer (praying that God would give me a disciplined life, (not one of duty, but one of joy) where I always find time to study his word, pray and find him in whatever season of life I am in. I want to follow after God not just as Naomi did when I have no other option, but even when I have lots of options). Thanks for sharing 😉

    • Lauren says:

      Love the realization that God welcomes us back… had never thought of Naomi in context of the prodigal son but it fits… and thank God it is true for us, too!

      • Susan Severson says:

        Love the prayer: “What I’m praying for is that God would give me a disciplined life, (not one of duty, but one of joy) where I always find time to study his word, pray and find him in whatever season of life I am in. I want to follow after God not just as Naomi did when I have no other option, but even when I have lots of options.”
        I am guilty of only ruthlessly (haha – pun intended!) seeking God in the down times…I pray to find Him in all seasons of life!

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