But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you,
Or to turn back from following after you;
For wherever you go, I will go;
And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;
Your people shall be my people,
And your God, my God.
Where you die, I will die,
And here will I be buried.
The LORD do so to me, and more also,
If anything but death parts you and me.”

—Ruth 1:16-17 NKJV

A new January has arrived, and with it, thoughts of beginning anew. The story of Ruth comes to my mind. The story starts with a mom and a dad and ends with a king. In the middle stands a woman of decided faith, the God she chose, and the redeemer who rescued her.

A man named Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and their two growing boys lived in Bethlehem, a town that promised great provision even by its name: “The House of Bread.” They were busy making a living, establishing a home, and raising a family. With the expectation of wedding bells and grandbaby feet seemingly on the horizon, their future looked bright and promising.

Then, unexpectedly, the winds of hardship blew a famine into their land, causing the family to decide to leave their home and make the fifty-plus-mile trek to Moab. There, they would begin anew. There, they would step into the lives of two Moabite women, young Ruth and Orpah. Wedding bells rang for both boys, and little baby feet seemed even nearer.

Then, heartache fell. Elimelech died, leaving Naomi alone in the care of her sons and their wives.

Despite their great loss, hope still hung in the air for Naomi with the love and care of sons and daughters and the echoes of the sound of little feet riding on the clouds of dearest dreams. A year went by, five, six, then eight, nine, and still no grandchildren. Then, in the tenth year of living in Moab, tragedy struck when both sons died, leaving the three women devastated, destitute, and most vulnerable.

While the tsunami of grief’s bitterness thoroughly washed over and enveloped Naomi—and Orpah left them to return to her family and her past life—Ruth stepped out in faith to begin anew. She chose to leave behind everything familiar, everything dear, everything she’d ever known and loved. Instead, she decided to cling to Naomi, to Naomi’s people, and, more importantly, to Naomi’s God, whom she claimed as her own.

So off Ruth went, leaving the old behind and stepping into the new, in silence, walking alongside a woman who, at present, was not easy to be with.

Because she chose to trust God, He blessed Ruth, and now, back in Bethlehem, God brought to her a man who would not only be the love of her life but was her “kinsman redeemer” as well. Wedding bells rang once again, long-awaited baby feet finally filled their lives, and joy was renewed. The story ends by recording that Ruth was the great-grandmother of King David. And from her line came The Only Savior of the World!

This is a very simplistic retelling of an unforgettable story. But what an example we have of one woman stepping out in faith in spite of hardship and being willing to begin anew. She began that new life committed to the God Who Sees, the God Who Provides, the God Who Sustains, the God Who Blesses, the God Who Loves—even at a time when it seemed that all hope had been stripped away.

As I ponder the life of Ruth, I marvel at the fact that Elimelech and Naomi so impacted Ruth by their lives and by their God that she was willing to leave it all behind to follow their God implicitly. God used them to completely change her. In turn, God used her faith and trust in Him to restore joy, hope, and life to Naomi and to impact the lives of those around her, including us, all these centuries later!

It’s now 2024, and as I look around, I watch those I love being called to step into the new year with a new beginning. For some, it’s without the one they’ve loved. For others, it’s just starting life with the one they love. For others, a new job opportunity, a new venture, a new relationship, a new ministry. For others, a renewed commitment to loving and serving God, perhaps in a new and strange place. For others, leaving an old, familiar, self-centered life behind and beginning a brand-new life with God in Christ.

For me, my desire is that this year will be a “beginning anew” into a deeper relationship with my Savior. I want to be quicker to put Him to the test, knowing that every time and in every way, He proves Himself faithful. I want my life in Christ and my walk with Him to be so close that it drastically impacts others around me for Him. In the words of Ruth, not as to a mother, but to my Savior:

Entreat me not to leave You
or turn back from following You.
For wherever You go, I will go,
and wherever You lodge, I will lodge.
Your people will be my people,
and You will be my God.

I love You, Lord!


In Him,
Donna Perkins




Sweet Selah Ministries

To inspire a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth of God’s Word that stillness and knowing
Him matter most—and will be reflected in more effective work and service

To offer biblical resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)

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Click over to our Donation page … and thanks.





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3 Comments. Leave new

  • Margaret Fowler
    January 8, 2024 11:27 pm

    Thank you Donna for this retelling of the story of Ruth, and how we can apply it to our own lives. God bless you and your writing in this New year.

  • My Goodness, Donna, this spoke to me. Thank you for the reminder that new beginnings is where God shines because it’s all a bout us trusting Him.


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