Like Ruth, I too found love and hope in the midst of despair and loss

ruth love and hope

Before my husband’s untimely passing three years ago, I was familiar with Ruth’s story only as a biblical tale told in Sunday school.

A woman from Moab, who, after losing her husband, pledged allegiance to her mother-in-law, Naomi, and her God.

Her journey from grief to love and prosperity in the unfamiliar land of Bethlehem was just another inspiring parable.

But as I found myself navigating the dark alleyways of despair and loss, Ruth’s story took on a new significance. It became a beacon of hope and resilience that would guide me through the most grueling period of my life.

Adjusting to widowhood was an uphill battle.

The world moved on without my beloved by my side, and every day was a struggle to keep up.

Like Ruth, I too had to make difficult choices. Stay cocooned in my grief or venture out into the world again?

I chose the latter. I chose life.

Finding love again wasn’t in my immediate plan. But then came Sam — a widower himself, with his gentle demeanor and comforting presence that reminded me that happiness wasn’t a betrayal of the love I had lost but rather a tribute to it.

Ruth found her Boaz, I found my Sam.

So here’s what it’s been like for me, finding love and redefining hope in despair and loss over these past three years.

Walking the path of Ruth: Finding love amidst loss

As I grappled with my grief, Sam was there, providing a shoulder to lean on and a comforting ear to listen. Like Boaz in Ruth’s story, he was a pillar of support, helping me find hope in my darkest moments.

We met at a support group for widows and widowers. Our shared grief drew us together, and we found solace in our shared experiences.

We understood each other’s struggle—a bond that is hard to forge under conventional circumstances.

Our relationship started with friendship — we were two souls navigating the choppy waters of loss. But as we sailed through, our friendship deepened into something more profound.

We found companionship, understanding, and eventually love.

It wasn’t easy.

There were moments of guilt and confusion—was it right to feel happiness again? Could I truly love someone else without betraying the memory of my late husband?

But just like Ruth, I realized that moving forward didn’t mean forgetting the past.

And so, I embraced this new chapter of my life. A chapter filled with love and hope that sprung from a place of despair and loss—a testament to the human spirit’s resilience.

But here’s the thing – people often believe that when you lose someone you can’t find love again or that moving on means you’re disrespecting the memory of your lost one.

In the next section, I’ll share why my experience has shown me that this belief isn’t necessarily true.

Challenging the belief: Love after loss doesn’t mean forgetting

Many people believe that finding love after losing a spouse is a form of betrayal. They think that moving on means forgetting your lost one, dishonoring their memory.

This belief is pervasive and often leaves people wrestling with guilt when they find themselves yearning for companionship.

But I’ve experienced that this isn’t necessarily true.

Finding love again doesn’t mean that you forget the love you had for your departed spouse, nor does it mean you love them any less. It means acknowledging that humans are capable of loving more than once.

Just like Ruth, I found that love after loss wasn’t about replacing my late husband, but about embracing the capacity of my heart to love again.

And so, I challenge this belief.

I believe that it’s okay to find happiness and love again after a loss. It’s okay to move forward while still cherishing the past.

Embracing the future without forgetting the past

In my journey of grief and recovery, I’ve learned a few valuable lessons that have helped me navigate my feelings and find balance.

I hope these can help you too if you’re experiencing a similar situation.

  • Firstly, it’s essential to allow yourself to feel and process your emotions. Grief is not linear, and it’s okay to have good days and bad days. Accept that this is part of the healing process, and don’t rush yourself.
  • Secondly, surround yourself with support—be it friends, family, or a professional counselor. Like Naomi in Ruth’s story, these are the people who will help you through your darkest moments.
  • Lastly, don’t close yourself off to new possibilities. Love can come in unexpected forms and at unexpected times. It’s okay to let happiness back into your life and to love again, just like I did with Sam.

Remember, moving forward doesn’t mean forgetting the past. It means carrying those memories with you into the future.

And like Ruth, you too can find love and hope amidst despair and loss.

Stepping back and reclaiming personal power

In this journey of loss, love, and rediscovery, it’s important to take a step back and view the bigger picture.

The truth is, much of our perspective is influenced by societal expectations and cultural programming.

But when we learn to think for ourselves, we start to live life on our own terms.

In my experience, the following points were vital in helping me navigate my path:

  • Acceptance: Allow yourself to feel your emotions and acknowledge your struggles.
  • Reality Check: Don’t fall for blind positivity. Face the reality of your situation.
  • Reclaim Power: Take responsibility for your situation. This increases your personal power and helps you face future challenges.
  • Question Beliefs: Question societal myths and expectations that may limit your potential.
  • Embrace Self-Development: Dedicate time daily to practice self-improvement techniques.

It was through these steps that I managed to break free from the societal expectation that moving on meant forgetting my past love.

I learned to embrace the possibility of love after loss, not as a replacement but as a testament to the heart’s capacity to love more than once.

This process of self-exploration and self-empowerment doesn’t end here. It’s an ongoing journey, one that I continue to embark on every day.

What would Jesus say?

Unsure whether to move on from a failed marriage? Struggling with desire and feeling guilty for it? Wanting to live a life Jesus would be proud of?

Let Jesus tell you how to be a good Christian according to the teachings of the Bible.

We brought Jesus back to life with the help of AI. Ask your toughest life questions, and Jesus will tell you exactly what to do.

Check it out here.


Elizabeth Carter

Elizabeth Carter

I'm Elizabeth Carter, the heart behind I’m a theology graduate from Boston College who found her calling in making the Bible's wisdom vibrant and accessible. Alongside my studies, I cultivated a love for peaceful morning walks and deep conversations about faith over coffee. Every day, I'm here to walk with you through scripture, making its teachings not just accessible, but a vibrant part of your daily life. Join me in discovering how these ancient words can transform us in the most beautiful ways.

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