by Ruth Ring in her 88th year (August 2011)
My Spiritual Journey with The Lord
Come with me and follow the thread of how God revealed Himself and cared for me through my whole life.
When I was born, an elderly uncle of my fathers came to call to see the new baby. He asked my father, “And her name is… ?” My father replied, “We named her Ruth.” “I hope she will be as good as Ruth in the Bible”, was the uncle’s reply…
As a follower of Jesus Christ today, looking back I believe that the uncle spoke a blessing over my life with his words. I have always had a spiritual longing or softness in my heart.
I remember when I was only 5 or 6 years old my father, being plagued with a painful rash on his hands, would be so upset and cross that it worried me. I would pray and call out for help for him even though I knew nothing yet about prayer or God. I somehow knew God could help. Already God was there, touching my heart. I had a spiritual hunger that I didn’t even recognize.
Some Christian relatives from the district came to our home to visit and promised they would have us in when they had a church social at their house. How my sister Mary and I waited for them to call but they never did. We were so disappointed. Who knows what spiritual connections could have been made at that early age had that promise been carried out.
There was a small church in the rural farming area where we grew up. Our parents only took us there for weddings or funerals. I remember when I was 7 or 8 and our family went to the little church for a wedding. As we made our way down the stairs to the basement for the reception I heard one of the “Christian” ladies from the church say, “Here come the heathen”. I recall how hurt I felt hearing that. I didn’t even really know what it meant but I knew it was not a good thing. Again, a lost opportunity to touch a young heart with God’s love. But God is faithful and He knew the hunger in my young heart.
Once a year the little church would send it’s men out to visit “the heathen”. When they came to our house Dad invited them in. My brothers scattered but I was curious so I stayed with Dad and listened. I don’t recall what they told us but what stands out to me was that my Dad was pleased that I had stayed with him for the visit.
The next place I remember God nudging me, and my hunger to know Him, was the year when I was 12 or 13. Caronport Bible Institute would send students out at the end of the Bible school term to hold meetings in the country school districts. When they came to our school district, I don’t know how we heard with no phone and no communication out in the country where we lived. But somehow I heard and wanted to attend. No one from home wanted to go with me so I walked the 2 miles alone. There I heard, for the first time, the Bible verse,
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”. John 3:16
We were asked to put our own name in the verse. “For God so loved Ruth, that He gave His only Son, that if Ruth would believe in Him, Ruth would not perish but Ruth would have everlasting life”. Can you see how personal it became to me?
At the meeting they also sang songs that brought back memories of an Aunt who would visit our home from time to time. Beds were scarce and I said she could sleep with me. She would sing to me and I remember the songs, “Jesus loves me” and “I will make you fishers of men”. When a word is given for the Lord He promises that it will not return void. That was true as those songs came back to me that night at the school house.
A year earlier an older brother, Jacob died. A cousin came to visit bringing with her four Bibles for our family. I received one and put it up on the shelf in my room. On that evening when I returned home from the schoolhouse meeting I knelt beside my bed and invited Jesus Christ to share and guide my life. I took the Bible down from the shelf and low and behold as I read it I could understand it! Wow! I read the promise, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”. From that day forward the Lord was there for me even though, at times, I was not there for Him. I didn’t receive support at home for my spiritual journey and I didn’t grow in my faith. But God did not forsake me.
When Christ is invited into a life something very real happens. He makes a promise that He will never give up on us. I’m thankful He never gave up on me.
The next time I remember the Lord’s presence in my life was when I was 15. It was a summer evening and it was common for the country folk to gather in the town of Herbert, on Saturday evenings, to visit. Stores were open late. My aunt, who was my age, and I were visiting with a couple of neighbor boys. They suggested we go to a movie in the next town about 10 miles away. Returning from the movie and driving back to Herbert there was a railway crossing. In the darkness it was difficult to see the passing cars of a troop train and we drove right into it. The train hooked the car and dragged it along the track. I was thrown from the car, landing so near the track that the train cut the back of my coat off on the rails. The driver and my aunt were badly hurt and the other young man was killed. I was also badly hurt. I was sure I was dying. On my way to the hospital I remember promising the Lord that if He would let me live I would serve Him forever. He did let me live.
It was wartime and so we all had to go to court as the train we ran into was a troop train. Because we were of German descent they accused us of trying to sabotage the train. They told the young man who had been driving that if he didn’t enlist and go to war they would send him to prison. He didn’t want to go but had to and he was killed in battle. The grief nearly killed his mom.
The next time I remember encountering the Lord was when my cousin, who was a Christian and attended church regularly, asked me to sing at their church youth outreach night. I came from a very musical family. My father played accordion, auto harp and mouth organ and we all sang a lot. I consented to sing at the church service. I asked my girlfriend, Ann who played guitar, to accompany me. I don’t remember what I sang but I remember the sermon that night. It was delivered in high German which I did not know as we spoke low German at home. The Lord allowed me to understand every word of that sermon. That’s how gracious the Lord was. He fed me spiritually as I needed it as I was growing up.
When I was about 17 I went out to BC to visit my oldest sister who had moved there. While out there Mary became a Christian and invited the Lord into her life. I remember how happy she was. She had a large picture on her living room wall of Christ with a crown of thorns on His head. I remember Mary saying with tears in her eyes, “I could cry when I look at that picture. To think He took that pain and He died for me!” I was again touched in my heart and felt a definite sense of the presence of the Lord.
I remained in BC until I returned to the farm to be bridesmaid for my sister Helen. When I returned life moved on. I worked on the home farm as well as helped out cooking at my brother’s farm for his crew. My brothers and I socialized in the rural community and one Christmas was especially important when I was 22.
We had all decided to attend the local Christmas Concert at the prairie schoolhouse. It was an annual event and the whole community came. One particular young man was home for Christmas and walked into the schoolhouse to enjoy the festivities. He was handsome and well dressed and I noticed him right away. He noticed me right away too and came for an introduction through my aunt. The rest is history and Herbert William Ring and I were married on June 27, 1947. I remember, even without much spiritual guidance, wanting to have the blessing of the Lord on our marriage. I recall praying and asking God if this was OK and to stop me if it wasn’t. Everything came together and the Lord blessed us with 63 years of marriage and 4 lovely children!
After we were married we moved to Moose Jaw and there we remodeled the house we moved into. It was the first of many remodeling projects we did together. Herb could do anything that needed to be done and I loved to decorate.
My sister, Helen, had recently invited Christ into her life. We visited her on the farm. She was so happy and content. She made a big impression on me. Helen was concerned for me spiritually and she subscribed to a magazine for me called, “The Sword of the Lord.” The first issue arrived the week after our visit to her home and the first headline I read was, “If Christ came tonight where would you be?” It put fear in my heart. The Lord was preparing my heart and continuing to draw me to Himself.
About that time an airport building was bought by a group of people who were concerned about the young people who had no Sunday School or Church in the west end of Moose Jaw. West End Gospel Church was born. Then they began visiting the neighborhood inviting people to their first service. Mrs. Stewart, one of the pillars of the church, called at our home and invited us to church. I was eager to go. Herb had had no Christian background of any kind and was not much interested. Yet when I asked him if we could attend the church service one weekend he said “yes”. I knew the Lord had His hand in it.
At the time we had one child, Brian, almost 2 years old. We took turns getting ready to go. I was in the kitchen with Brian while Herb was getting ready. Friends dropped in and asked us to go for a drive with them. I said, “No, not tonight. We are going to go to church”. My friend replied, “To hell with church”. They drove off and had a car accident. The next day she came back and apologized. She said she was sure the accident was because of what she had said about church to me. Perhaps it was? She did come to know the Lord before she passed on.
That night the course of history changed in our home. We went to church and the sermon seemed to be directed totally at me. Brian had bumped his head and cried and Herb had taken him outside. When the service was over the pastor was at the door shaking hands. He asked me if I was troubled. The Lord had alerted him. I said, “Yes, I was”. He took me into one of the Sunday School rooms and asked me if I wanted to invite Christ into my life. I said, “Yes”. He told me it was simple. To just thank the Lord for dying on the cross for my sins and to tell Him I wanted to invite Him into my life to share and guide me. You wouldn’t believe all the people who paraded past my mind. “What will so-and-so think?” I told the pastor what was happening. The Pastor replied that it was just Satan trying to stop me. He said, “Just start praying.” I did and it was just like a huge stone rolled off my back. What a joy and peace I felt. I have never looked back. That was and is my first and only church group that I have ever belonged to. I had actually invited Christ into my life when the Caronport students were at our school years ago. However with no spiritual help from home or elsewhere I had not matured in my faith. That evening at West End Gospel Church Christ touched me once again. With the pastors help I recommitted my life to Christ. Now I was in a place where my faith could grow and it certainly did.
I remember how much I enjoyed reading the Bible after that and was pleased that I could understand it. The verses blessed my heart. I listened to the radio and did Bible lessons and sent them in in the mail. Pastor Theodor Epp of Back to the Bible Broadcast became my mentor. I did many Bible studies from the radio and after I finished each one I received a certificate. I did every study that was presented. To this day I still have the certificates. I learned much about the Bible. How I wished I had been privileged to attend Bible School. But I had to study the Bible on my own along with what Mr. Epp taught each evening on the radio.
After I had attended church a few months the pastor asked me to share at a Mother’s Day Service and to say a few words of what it meant to me THIS mother’s day as a mom with small children and now having the Lord in my life. I remember opening up my Bible and the Lord always seemed to direct me to the scripture I needed. This time my eyes fell on the verse “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. I read it again and thought, “If this is true than I CAN get up on Sunday morning and tell what He means to me”. I was able to get up and tell every one there how pleased I was that the Lord had come into my life while the children were small and I knew that He would be there as the children grew and problems came along. He, the Lord, would be there to guide and help me. What a comfort that was. And He, Jesus, proved true to His word!
I became very active in the church teaching Sunday School attending ladies studies etc. I taught Sunday school for 32 years and visited many of the pupil’s homes listening to many of the parent’s needs and heartaches. It was a great time to help the parents and pupils and to pray with them and to share Scripture with them.
I worked much at church and enjoyed doing it. From teaching to scrubbing floors. We had wooden floors in the first building. Later as we grew in number we built a new church. I, along with Herb, did much work there too. Herb varnished all the pews after helping to build them. Herb was also the treasurer and looked after the offering for over 50 years every Sunday. He was very faithful and also worked in Boy’s Club. We hope to see some of those kids in Heaven.
After 32 years of Sunday School teaching the Lord turned my interest to Women’s Ministry. I became a speaker for Christian Women’s Club. I traveled to Hinton, Alberta, to Winnipeg, Manitoba and in between as well as into the US sharing the story of my journey of faith. Herb would drive me to these places and we would make it a small holiday. Those were great times. Many, many ladies made their own connection to the Lord through hearing my story. I saw many hearts healed of bitterness and hurts and brokenness and un-forgiveness. It was wonderful what the Lord accomplished and I was privileged to be used of Him to minister to these ladies.
I also received my certification in Color Coding and this went along with my speaking telling ladies what colors were best on them. I also did scarf tying demonstrations. I would share the outer beauty tips and also how they could be free of stress and have peace in their hearts inside. The Lord promises, “I will give you peace that passes understanding”. What a wonderful feeling… and it’s there for the asking. Ask me and I can tell you about it.
I traveled for 8 years doing this. I no longer travel and speak yet everyplace I live I have opportunity to come in contact with people who are hurting and troubled and searching for peace. I love to tell them, “I have a Friend who can help. Can I tell you about Him?” And I recount some of the stories of faith from my life.
When my family consisted of Herb and I and Brian and Gail we had a plane crash over Moose Jaw. Two planes collided and burst into flame. They came down over the golf course and over the city. I was just putting the children out to play when I heard the bang. Looking up I saw the crash and objects falling from the sky. My neighbor too heard the crash. He came out and said, “It’s close. Let’s go look”. Which we did. We were some of the first on the scene. I walked around the back of one house and saw a man decapitated and shoes with feet in them etc. etc. It was terrible! Police came and moved us on. The plane had struck a house. When I arrived back home I turned on the news and learned that my aunt had been house cleaning in the home that had been struck and of course was killed. She left a husband and 3 children. That evening when we called at the home of my aunt I remember saying to the oldest child, “We are as close as your phone if you need us”. A few days later he phoned crying and told me that his Dad had been badly burned putting gas in the car and was in the hospital. I asked if he would like to come to our house. He replied, “Could we?” We picked them up after school, ages about 9, 7 and 5: two boys and a little girl. My family grew from 2 to 5 overnight. They were with us for nearly a year. The Lord was there with me to give wisdom, love and guidance to our new family. We had many happy times. I especially remember Halloween when the two boys took pillowcases and went out and gathered treats door to door. They had so many apples that I made pies for them. Also Christmas came and was a special time. My friend remodeled and dressed a doll for the little girl. She was so thrilled. Those were fun times!
In spring their father was home from the hospital and able to take the boys home. The little girl went to live with a favorite aunt and uncle who raised her.
After that we became parents of another baby boy who was a delight. Along with his arrival came post partum depression. It was not a nice time. Herb was very kind, wise and helpful to me during this very difficult time. Life was hard. I was sure I was losing my mind and would end up in the psyc ward. I remember it became so severe and I knew I couldn’t handle it. I finally said to the Lord, “Ok, if I have to go to the psyc ward I consent. But IF I go YOU are coming with me”. With that I remember the power of the depression broke and the Lord gave me a peace I had not had in months. For the first time in a long time I was able to have a good sleep. With the help of Herb’s love and care and the doctor’s vitamin pills I slowly started on the road to recovery. I was able to concentrate and read again.
Months before, I had ordered a book about the Christian and depression and how the Lord could help. It had been delivered and left on the front step when I was out. Our dog had then taken the book around to the side of the house under the window and had chewed on it. It lay there for months, snow came but the eaves from the window protected it. Just when I needed it Herb found it, a little worse for wear. He brought it to me and it was a great help in my recovery. It is still a treasure to me chewed corner and all. I have been able to share it with many and they too have found help. God is so good and so true to His word. He said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”. Just when I needed the help the book appeared. Had I received it earlier I may have put it on the shelf and not remembered it was there.
As we raised our family money was never very plentiful so we took in boarders to supplement. I had many opportunities to tell them about my friend, the Lord Jesus. One of the boys who believed the world had just fallen into place without God was impressed that there was a peace in our home and he asked about it. He remarked, “I don’t believe in anything spiritual. When you die, that’s it”. We sat and talked about it. I asked, “What if you are wrong and you find death is not the end? What if we will give an account of our life here on earth? The Bible says every one will give an account and every knee will bow. God also says, “The fool has said in his heart, there is no God”. So where does that leave you?” I asked him. “But as for me, if I am wrong I have lived my life to the best of God’s instructions. I’ve lost nothing and I’ve lived a good life. If I’m right I’ve gained a home in Heaven”. My friend became very quiet that Saturday night. He sat on our front step and looked up at the galaxy of stars and the moon and thought, “Maybe I better give this further thought”. The next day he asked if he could come to church with us and he too connected with God and could tell you a beautiful story of his life. Thank you God!
I also had the privilege of sharing my faith with my brother who had separated from his family with drinking being very much a part of what brought that about. I would talk to him on the phone and tell him I loved him and was praying for him and that it was easy to let God turn his life around. Some months later he phoned and asked if I could come to his home and help him make things right with God and put his life in order. Herb and I went to see him and Herb said, “Keep it plain” because it is simple to turn to God. I quoted the Scripture, “God has removed our sins as far as the East is from the West”. He right there asked for forgiveness for the sins in his life and invited God to share his life. I saw a great change in his life and he only lived a year after his decision. With peace in his heart and his sins forgiven he went to be with the Lord.
I have had the privilege of the Lord using me to be in touch with all of my family and helping and encouraging them spiritually.
Herb was diagnosed with cancer some years ago. About 2 years ago in the fall of 2009 it progressed to an operation plus a colostomy and he was paralyzed from the waist down. We kept Herb at home and along with Home Care, myself, and Teri, we looked after him with other family helping part time. He was so pleased to be with the family at home. Herb never complained. It was a sad time but also we had many blessings. He had precious times with me and with each of the children sharing thoughts and saying our goodbyes. Some people tried to encourage us to place him in a home. I told the Lord, “You know my age and if You will allow me to look after him I would be grateful”. Every morning when I would enter Herb’s room he would say, “It’s so nice to see you. You are so beautiful. Thank you for looking after me.” Home care staff would say, “You are such an amazing woman”. I would set them straight and remind them that it was only the Lord’s help and strength that was holding me up. Home Care supplied help for Sunday morning so I could attend church to receive a spiritual lift for myself. Our pastor Ashley was very faithful in visiting Herb weekly and prayed with him. Herb looked forward to seeing the pastor.
One Sunday morning as I was preparing for church the Lord Jesus impressed clearly and plainly on my heart, “Stay home with Herb today”. I phoned Home Care and cancelled them for the day. Herb and I had a really grand day. The next Sunday he could no longer speak. By Monday, August 23, 2010 just after 7:00 p.m. with Gail and John and myself present Herb quietly and peacefully passed on to meet his Lord. I held his wrist as his last heartbeat was present. The Lord had allowed him to stay clear right to the last. I asked if he knew I was right there with him. He raised his eyebrows to let me know he knew I was with him. The Lord was and is so good. We were aware of the Lord’s presence even as Herb was removed from the suite. God’s Word says…
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” Psalm 116:15
During his illness we played hymns for him and often the one, “I want to stroll Heaven with you”. So that is my next plan ahead. We had a beautiful funeral for Herb. A friend of Brian’s did a neat send off at the grave by releasing a dove. It was so meaningful. God is so good.
I’m not sure why the Lord wanted me to write this but a few months ago the Lord clearly impressed upon my mind and heart to record how His presence had guided me from the day of my birth until now and will be with me until he takes me home to the home He has promised to prepare for me. Thank you Lord.
Promises of God
I literally believe the Bible and accept it and believe it when Jesus said…
“I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through me”. John 14:6.
“For God so loved the world (Ruth) that He gave His only Son that whosoever (Ruth) believes in Him shall never perish but (Ruth) shall have everlasting life”. John 3:16.
This is true for any one of us.
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5b
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6 & 7
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions (sins) from us.” Psalm 103:12
“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful ones.” Psalm 115:16
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105
His Word is a lamp for your next step and the light for the path down the road. He promises to guide you.
” I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you shall go; I will guide you with my eye. Psalm 32:8
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5b
What a promise!
“When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” Proverbs 3:24
One of the many promises in Proverbs 3 to those who do not forget His teachings.
How great is my God!
I love you, Lord!
Would you like to connect with God?
Would you like to have your sins forgiven, live with peace and joy in your heart and be promised a home in Heaven? Here’s how…
Is there a thing called sin? It is choosing to live independently of God and His ways.
God’s Word says:
“For all, (that means you and me) have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
“God promised His love for us, that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
“For God so loved YOU He gave His only Son that if YOU would believe in Him and accept the fact that Christ Jesus, God’s only Son died on the cross and took the punishment for your sin YOU would have eternal life.” John 3:16
“God promises to remove your sins as far as the East is from the West and remember them no more.” Psalm 103:12
“I will bless you with a peace that passes understanding.” Philippians 4:7
You can connect with Jesus by inviting Him into your life today and all these promises are yours. Thank you Jesus!
If you have any questions please write to me at: email@example.com