Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sacrificing is Hard to Do.

Let’s talk about sacrifices. When I committed my life to God’s purpose and mission I committed to sacrifice. I knew this meant that I might be called to give up having nice things, being near family, etc. but I was fine with that.

Then God sent me to Pasadena.

And I was kind of frustrated at first because here I was willing to give up everything, but instead He sent me to California to live in a nice studio apartment. So I complained, “really, God? Why not me? Why not let me give it all up?” And He was all like, “Just hold your horses.” So I did. 

And I got comfortable. I enjoyed having Trader Joes and all the clothing stores at my fingertips. Sure, I never went shopping because graduate school sucks up all your extra cash, but it was there if I needed it. And even though I began to lose the disillusioned thoughts that I might get married anytime soon, I got comfortable with the fact that there was still a possibility, however so slight, as long as I was living in a place where I could potentially meet someone (so many possiblys, so little actuallys). 

Fast-forward 2 years and God decides it is go-time. So He says (in not really these words), “ok, I’m ready now. And I’m actually giving it to you pretty easy. You are just a few hours from the comforts of American consumeristic society, you can fly home for holidays, and you get to live in a nice cabin in the woods. You are welcome. Oh, and your work will be really hard but don’t worry, we’ve got this. Teamwork!”

And then all of a sudden the “sacrifice” talk comes up again. I realize that I don’t mind giving up the shopping and the Trader Joe’s and the (relatively) easy access to the beach, I really don’t. I don’t mind that I am far from family and friends, even though it is hard, and I don’t mind that I have to live in Arizona. Truly, it could be so much worse. But then there is that one last thing that I don’t really want to give up. In fact, what I want to tell God is that I will give up everything if I can just have this one thing. 

All I want to hold tightly to is finding someone to share my life and ministry with. 

I almost resent writing that because it sounds so girly and ridiculous. It is a single-woman-broken-record, and I promise that I fight it as much as possible. I try every other minute to prove that I am a strong and capable woman without a man, and I am. I carry heavy boxes and I fix things that are broken and I am perfectly capable of living this life on my own (except for when I have to zip up the back of my own dress. That is really hard). But behind the independent, confident exterior, I worry that this is the one thing that God will call me to sacrifice that I do mind. Yes, I know that I can do this life alone. I know that I can serve God in ministry and that through His strength I can get through all things, but when God calls me to actually sacrifice the thing I hope for most dearly, I get a little nervous. Sacrifice actually becomes real. 

But I pack my bags. I close up my life in CA and even though I’m nervous and uncertain, I choose to comply, sacrificing my own desires for the desire of the God who knows me. With a deep breath I work toward being ok with the fact that God might be calling me to do this on my own for a while, even a long while. And even though I don’t like that idea, I remember and believe that serving God is far more important to me than being married. I would never give up His calling on my life just to be comfortable. 

The lie of Satan is that my life will suck and be awful if I don’t get married until I’m 30, or later. 

The truth of Jesus is this: 

Anything I leave behind is worth it. There is no greater joy than sacrificing one’s life for the Creator, for the One who saved us, who sacrificed His own life for mine.

When I think about it that way, I realize that I would be silly to hold onto anything so small as earthly love when I am loved by the Creator of the Universe, who has chosen me to fulfill His mission. I realize that I am already loved far more than I can even fathom. So I go, with slight trepidation and a strong will, with good faith and a lot of textbooks, and I take His hand. I take the risk, I leave behind the possiblys, and I jump. 

I jump into His mission as one loved enough to be called to sacrifice it all. 

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