Have you ever had an idea in your head and knew how you were going to attack this particular obstacle with a detailed plan and delivery? Yes well, if you have read any of my previous entries you will understand that these typical situations never really go as planned – especially for me. As I have taken a much needed break to focus on myself and how I want to shape this blog, I made some amazing plans on how I wanted to bring this platform to life. I created monthly topics, ideas on interviews and collaborations and a crazy kick-off message that I knew would get my readers attention back on the path to being the best version of ourselves in this world that tends to make us feel less than what we know God created us to be. But as usual, I got a reminder that my plans don’t always align with what God has for me. But that is the beauty of being a Modern Day Ruth – we are always challenged in doing what we think is the right way and what is truly God’s way.
In the last few months my little city has been in the national news and unfortunately it hasn’t been positive. On the eve of Memorial Day, over ten tornado’s ripped through the city, destroying homes and the way we have historically viewed tornado’s in our area. Growing up, we always knew that tornado’s occurred but due to my city being in what is called a valley, the likelihood of a tornado actually touching down was almost non-existent. Not only did we have over ten tornado’s in the area, they ALL touched down in the valley destroying not only our homes but our sense of security in the face of storms. The initial shock will forever haunt me. I now have anxiety when a bad storm is looming. I am forever changed. Days prior, a white supremacist rally commenced, drawing national attention for fear it would be similar and as dangerous as Charlottesville. Thank goodness my little down made a loud statement that hate does not reside here. It was a beautiful. How the city not only rallied together to cast out fear and hate but to show solidarity in the face of a natural disaster. The last weekend in May and weeks after proved that the human race is as resilient and kind – far more so than the rhetoric we hear constantly on the news. The insignificant things that supposedly divides us no longer matter when ALL lives are equally impacted by things that, unfortunately are out of our control.
But then…hate returned. Destruction returned. While the tornado’s and rally had no fatalities, this past weekend, my city was struck with a theme that has been rampant in our reality: a mass shooter (terrorist) in Dayton, OH. Nine innocent lives, including the shooters sister were murdered without cause – and if there was a cause, it wouldn’t matter. This type of evil will never have a cause to do what this terrorist did to our healing city. The reality that any given day someone would have the belief to cause destruction and death…the reality that you can never plan on someone’s agenda that may fatally impact your life is…scary…as hell. I sat in my basement while the tornado slammed into neighboring homes. I drove by the white supremacist rally seeing national news helicopters circling our small county square. I woke up in a neighboring city with news of a mass shooter incident in a place I frequent often.
The common theme I hear is thank God for covering me, whether it was a split decision to change course or to know that you were in that location minutes or days prior. This bothers me. This notion that you are blessed to see another day in the midst of tragedy – but what does this mean for those who will not see it? Was God not with them during their last moments? Was God not with us each of us where my house didn’t see any structural damage whereas neighboring homes were completely destroyed?
I have experienced personal tragedy and trauma. Part of my self-discovery and walk in my faith is to understand what that means to me. I thought I had a pretty good idea. I thought I had this unlimited time to order my steps and prepare me for whatever God has in-store for me…but the reality is that we don’t have the time we think we do because of the violent society we live in. The reality is, I didn’t order my steps that God paved; I’ve been measuring them. There are so many variables today that weren’t as prevalent in the past that have rocked our sense of time. I know it has rocked mine.
What does this mean and how does this tie into Modern Day Ruth? I was reading this biker love story (guilty pleasure) and there was a blurb from this story that really ties into what I am feeling at this very moment:
“…People live and die every day…it is an indisputable fact. Humanity has a tendency to get caught up in mindless assumption they get an endless amount of time, taking each day for granted until something traumatic comes along and punches them in the gut. Those of us who live…riskier lives are forced to look at the truth in the face and do something with it…live the days you’re given and learn to feed off the love that’s built during them…it’s a mindset…but once you really have it, it will make handling the (expletive) that lies ahead easier.”
Do you believe there is a greater purpose beyond tragedy? Ruth did – from losing everything, she leaned not into her own understanding but trusted the Lord to guide her path to that blessing of Boaz. Ruth had no idea this man of God and the family she acquired would be her endgame. How amazing was she that she didn’t let fear stop her from moving forward, without skipping a beat? God didn’t give us a spirit of fear. In the midst of tragedy we are prone to measure our steps and walk with caution. What was once an exciting and fun environment to hang out with friends and family, a normal part of storms that we never feared, are now triggers of anxiety and grief. When we live in fear, we don’t live. We don’t get to choose how we die – but we get to choose how we live and respond to life. God gives us this power.
For me, it was a wake-up call. As much as I think I have been living, I really have just been biding my time for something to force me to make the hard decisions that have been plaguing my life. I’ve been complacent well before my life-changing situation. God sacrifices. Going back to the familiar stories in the bible, we know that God created events, sacrificed people to for a much needed reality check. We have one life to live – and we have been surviving. I have so much I want to do before God calls me home. I want to be a wife and mother. I want to share my spirit and joy with as many people as I can. But I can’t do this if I am not really using the power that God has given me.
“I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul…”
I can’t live in fear, measuring the steps that were already ordered by God. I’ve been straddling the fence of, yes Lord you have me and maybe I am going to still play it safe with my toe in the sand. Jesus told Peter to “Come” and Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. When are we going to finally listen when God says “Come” and take a risk that will forever change our earthly lives? I don’t know about you but I am ready. When looking at these tragedies that are beyond our control, I am challenging you today to figure out what this means in your own life. How are you living or surviving and Ruth, what are you going to do about it?
From the words of our Lord to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward.”
There is a time to Be Still. But I will also tell you that God gave you the tools to live your best life, today. Not tomorrow. Not in anticipation of next month or next year. But today. Today.
This was NOT how I planned to re-launch but when God moves you…you move.
2 Timothy 1:7
Invictus by William Ernest Henley
King’s Legacy by Xavier Neal (non-Christion fiction)
Better For It by Riley Clemons
“Hindsight 20/20, now I see that you let me be where I’ve been, so I can be all that I am…”