Pregnant at 19, married at age 20, and divorced at age 25.
During that five-year marriage, two babies were born to me, a boy, and a girl, both of whom died right after birth.
After the first baby died, I was devastated. How? Why? So many questions. Twenty-one years old at the time, I had difficulty processing my experiences. For months, I seemed to be in another world. Empty, as though life had drained out of me. My husband at the time was of no help in comforting me. I thought those feelings were depression, but I now understand they were overwhelming, strangling grief.
Three years later when my baby girl died, grief gripped me again. This time my spiritual life was much stronger, so I was able to cope better, but I vowed never to have any more children. The hurt was too great. Then came the divorce, and the end of my life as I saw it. The only thing left for me was to return to my parents’ home, a divorced, single mother at age 25.
This is why I can relate to Naomi. In the Book of Ruth, Naomi was left alone after her husband and two sons died while they were in Moab, a foreign land. She returned home to Bethlehem with her daughter-in-law Ruth, feeling empty and bitter (Ruth 1:20-22). I am sure, in her despair, Naomi felt she would remain forever destitute and abandoned.
But God had other plans for her. Through a guardian-redeemer by the name of Boaz, Naomi was restored to family. You see Boaz, married Ruth and through them, Naomi gained a son. Her life was no longer empty and bitter, but filled with joy, happiness, and hope.
“In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Jesus Christ. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.” (1 Peter 5:10, NLT)
God fulfilled His words in me and restored to me a family. Now, at 52 years old, I have a husband and two beautiful children, a boy and a girl, age 18 and 14, respectively. Looking back, I can see God’s hand in my life. While at the time I could not understand what was happening, God rescued me from becoming a divorced, single mother with three young children to care for. He waited for a time when I was mature and secure to take care of a family. In other words, on a firm foundation.
Friend, if you are experiencing grief or heartbreak in your life right now, rest assured all is not lost. You may not see or understand what is happening to you now, but one day you will. Trust God; He will support and strengthen you and restore what you lost. He did it for Naomi, He did it for me, and He would do it for you, too.
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