Bitter old hag

Ruth

I’m teaching Ruth in women’s Bible study this semester. This fascinating book stars two women who have very different views on life. Ruth is loyal, faithful, and her story is a beautiful picture of Christ’s love for us. Then there’s Naomi, who can only be described as a bitter old hag.

Guess which one I relate to?

There are a few verses in chapter one, where Naomi comes back from a pagan city where she’s been living for a decade. She’s lost her husband, her two sons and has a Moabite woman clinging to her. Family and friends gather around to hear what’s been going on in her life. Naomi basically explodes. She’s reaches the boiling point and lays it all on the ground before her community. She went away full and now she’s empty.

I can see why Naomi was bitter. And I can COMPLETELY relate to how she vents to anyone who would listen. It’s been a rough 10 years for her. What makes me pause, is the fact that her daughter-in-law is basically in the same situation. She lost her husband too, along with his father and brother, and her sister-in-law just turned around to go back home. Ruth left her entire family, her community, her religion and she has chosen to follow the bitter woman to a land where she will undoubtedly be shunned because of her background and circumstances.

And she doesn’t care. “Your people will be my people and your God, my God.” (Ruth 1:16) In a moment, on a dusty road to Bethlehem, Ruth confesses her faith in God, and God alone. She needs nothing else. And even though the odds are not in her favor, she trusts God to get her through.

Her faith was in Christ. Her name is also in Christ’s genealogy.

There are days when I feel like Naomi—it seems that I am running on fumes, and nothing will ever fill my bucket. Some days I wonder why the life I planned for myself, looks nothing like the life I planned for myself. When I feel that bitterness bubbling inside me (which it does more often than not,) I try not to complain about what I don’t have, but instead concentrate on WHAT I DO HAVE.

Like Ruth, sometimes you have to state the basics. God is good and God is faithful. He is more than enough. I am blessed beyond measure with digital friends who have taken a few moments out of their busy lives to come and read the random ramblings that pour out of my head. Although writing completely FILLS MY BUCKET each and every day, it’s the readers who make my cup runneth over. I am humbled each and every time I visit the comment section and my analytics page. Thank you for helping me get through the tough days.

And my Mama thanks you for helping me assuage my bad attitude. She always said that bitterness results in premature wrinkles. No one wants that.

Comments

37 Comments on "Bitter old hag"

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Catherine R
Catherine R

I’ve never commented before, but felt compelled today to say how much I enjoy reading your blog. My first thought as I began reading this post is how much I wish I could be in your Bible Study class! I can totally relate to everything you said, and your honesty and humility is one of the reasons I love your blog. Thank you for sharing!

Ryan
Ryan

Even those of us whose lives might look exactly like we envisioned them can fall victim to bitterness because we still think life should be “better”. I only say that to point out what you already know: Seek first the kingdom of God. Store up for yourself treasures in heaven. Those verses which I believe 100% but which I fail to live out every day. My earthly treasures are rotting and what I’m seeking I cannot find – and that can make me bitter. I’m glad to see that you are doing things in your life that fight against bitterness – like going to Rwanda. And if these comment sections can bring you some joy and fill your bucket from time to time then we are more than glad to help out! Your readers definitely get more from you than we give back so thank you for all that you share with us!

Betsy
Betsy

Ryan, you said what I was going to say except you said it better.

Our true treasures are in heaven, but that can be SO difficult to remember. Keep the faith, Lincee!

Cate
Cate

Ryan – wholeheartedly agree 100%!

Lincee, THANK YOU for all you do 🙂 In the midst of my life not going as I had planned either, I appreciate the reminder that my view can be out of focus at times and Where that should be instead.

God Bless You!

debbie
debbie

I sometimes comment on your Bach recaps, but I really love this post and had to comment.
It does just boil down to perspective, doesn’t it? We can choose to be bitter, or we can choose be grateful for what we DO have, even though it’s not what we imagined for ourselves..
I am reminding myself of that constantly since I tend to go to the land of bitter sometimes.
And I wish I could be in your bible study too!
Thanks for keeping it real.

Lisa
Lisa

Loved this post, and the book of Ruth is one of my favorites! I too struggle at times with how my life is playing out and I am constantly reminding myself that my plan isn’t always God’s plan. I think it’s these moments that really test our faith. Trusting in the Lord that He has something so much better planned than I (or you) could ever imagine is what pulls me through. And advice from my mom to “Just enjoy the journey”…and from my dad when he says I’m thinking about it too much.

Bethe

Such lovely words… I always love the rare “intimate” post (and I love the funny posts too… guess I like them all).

Kate
Kate

Thank you for this. TOTALLY needed this reminder today. It’s been one of those days at work where it’s easier to feel bitter than thankful. Thank you for sharing with us what was on your heart today! And I ditto the above comments, how do we join your bible study?? 🙂

mrsb
mrsb

“Write” on, sister!!!

Erin

I love this. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I usually just read your Bachelor updates, but I love how you shared your faith and struggles in this entry. Keep writing…I look forward to laughing at your words and thoughts every week.

sarah harper

Love and appreciate this post, Lincee. Right there with you!

Diane
Diane

Thank you for posting this. It is so true and much appreciated! Most of your posts are funny and light hearted. I look forward to your recaps and thoughts and tid-bits about life. With that said, it’s also helpful to hear you have your down times and negative thoughts too, but you choose to be positive more of the time. You spread joy to your readers because you choose to. You could easily use your gift of writing to be snarky and negative, but instead you make us all laugh in relatable kind hearted ways. Thank you for being real!

Amy A
Amy A

You’re such a beautiful writer! I don’t always read that passage of scripture thinking about how HUGE the emotions must have been. You captured it well. Thanks for sharing. Like the others, I would love to be in your Bible study!

Mary
Mary

Such an honest post. Thanks for writing. Some days are tougher than others, but please know that you are definitely a light to others through your writing.

Can’t wait to hear your interpretation of Ruth 3:3-4 😉

Colorado Kathleen
Colorado Kathleen

Got room for one more in that study of yours? 🙂 I am better at painting than words and always admire how you can be so creative week-after-week in your writing. I also love how your jokes and insights aren’t mean-spirited – just creative! It’s easy for me to think you’ve got “everything” going for you but that just keeps me from seeing others for real. For reals! I think you’re great Lady and hope your dreams always outweigh your tough days. Love your honesty and reminder to keep perspective. Hugs!

Kim
Kim

Enjoy! What a great book to study. We are working on Ecclesiastes in our Women’s Group and it is AMAZING!

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