Lonely Hurts, But God Can Redeem It

by Jessica Manfre May 1, 2023
“But Ruth said, ‘Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.’” Ruth 1:16 (ESV)

As a military spouse, I’ve become deeply familiar with embracing hard things, purposefully leaning into grace and navigating challenges well.

But sometimes even the strongest of foundations develop cracks. Holding it all together with Band-Aids of positivity doesn’t work long term; it’s just not strong enough and is simply a quick coping mechanism.

Can I make a confession? In my mind, I’m not supposed to feel lonely or struggle with mental health issues. As a therapist, I have helpful knowledge and tools swirling inside my brain, ready to be utilized. How dare I submit to something I know how to combat! But loneliness, and the basket of negative symptoms it brings, has reared its ugly head and held on to me with a fierceness I wasn’t prepared for.

The book of Ruth was the light in the dark, the scripture I desperately needed to break the grip of loneliness. Though I've always loved the rich narration of the story, reading it during a desperately lonely season of my life was revolutionary. I saw myself in both Ruth and Naomi in so many ways as a military spouse … leaving home for a foreign land with no support, experiencing what felt like continual loss, and finding myself questioning my faith.

God doesn’t always prevent us from experiencing life stressors and working through the very real emotions that accompany them. But when we feel lonely, God is standing ready to love us through it while His Word gently reminds us that we’re never truly alone.

Sometimes it takes working through something really hard to reawaken the truth and bring back the good.

“But Ruth said, ‘Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.’” (Ruth 1:16)

This pagan woman was so sure in her convictions and faith in a God she’d only just begun to love and worship! Here’s what I personally take from Ruth’s incredible story:

God doesn’t always prevent us from feeling pain or experiencing hardship. But that doesn’t mean He’s forsaken us. When I lost my grandmother in 2019, my heart shattered into a million irreparable pieces. It would take a stranger sharing my grandmother’s last words in the hospital room to give me the reminder I so desperately needed: “I’m going home.”

I’d carried such immense guilt because of all the time I’d missed with her due to this military-led life. But it washed away in an instant as I read God’s Word and heard His gift in my grandmother’s final words. He is our home and sanctuary in the midst of hurt.

With God, our trials, hurts and lonely seasons can be used for good. There’s such a redemptive blessing in sharing your deepest struggles out loud. Not only does it remove them from the box you’re so frantically trying to hide them in, but I promise your pain is a shared one. Lean into your Bible, community, family and friends. We have a tendency to act like bitter Naomi in Ruth 1:20-21, pushing away support as we navigate the waves of the bad things drowning us.

I like to believe I hear God whispering this when I feel lonely: Where you go, I go. But it isn’t only imagined — He is always with us. We just have to be ready and willing to hear Him.

Lord, thank You for the gift of today. I pray I continually grow in my faith in You and trust the plans You have for me. Lord, I ask for Your grace as I go through seasons of hardship and loneliness. I pray to see You always, in and through each part of my life, not just the good times. Let me sink deeper into Your Word each day, and use it to guide me always. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


With over 700,000 women currently serving as military spouses, chances are that you are one or know one. In her new book, Never Alone: Ruth, the Modern Military Spouse, and the God Who Goes With Us, Jessica Manfre shows how Ruth tells the story of every military spouse. Jessica explores topics like the fundamental need for connection and friendship, the clinical mental health implications of loneliness, preparing your heart for loss, and much more. This resource is for every military spouse who desires to strengthen relationships, live in authentic community and walk with God. Get your copy today, or purchase one for the military spouse in your life!



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Enter to WIN your very own copy of Never Alone by Jessica Manfre. To celebrate this book, Jessica’s publisher will give away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and then notify each one in the comments section by Monday, May 8, 2023.}


Isaiah 41:10, “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (ESV)

Is there a barrier preventing you from pulling out of the pit of loneliness? What’s one way you can remind yourself today of God’s presence in your life?

© 2023 by Jessica Manfre. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Moody Publishers for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

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