Where You Go

Ruth 1:16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Last weekend our family took a trip to Dallas to visit two of my three daughters for parents’ weekend and also celebrated our oldest turning 21. It may sound cliché, but it does truly feel like yesterday the doctors were laying her in my arms, and I was quietly studying her face, memorizing every feature our Creator had so beautifully sculpted just for her as a perfect reflection of Himself and of Clark and me. I always get emotional reading the story of Ruth and Naomi’s love for one another and Ruth’s devotion to her mother-in-law, beseeching Naomi to allow her to stay with her and promise her that where she went, Ruth would surely follow. Actually, these lines also remind me of the Carole King song (and subsequently the opening song of the mother-daughter favorite Gilmore Girls), “Where you lead, I will follow, anywhere…” As a mother, these words strike me in two areas: first, my prayer as a mother is not just that my children would want to follow the example I’m laying for them, but even weightier, I pray that I am walking down a road that they should follow. I want to leave a legacy for them of character, integrity, of grace and humility, forgiveness, generosity, wisdom, truth and love. Then, secondly, I have to read Ruth’s words to Naomi and examine whether my heart is genuinely submitted to God in the same way. “Lord, do I truly want to go where You go? Am I willing to make the people You put before me, my people? Am I truly placing my feet firmly into the footprints You have walked ahead of me?” As a daughter, Ruth’s devotion is inspiring. For Naomi, Ruth’s devotion is heavy with responsibility, and as both a mother and a follower of Christ, it’s convicting. I pray that I have the integrity of Naomi and the heart of Ruth, the faith to follow and the strength to lead well.