Sacrifice: an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy.
Sacrifice. This is a term that we hear a lot in our lives. Or at least I have; especially in Bible school. From when I was a kid: "you need to sacrifice of yourself for your brother...--even if you don't like him;" to the teen years: "It's your sister's wedding, not yours.... give of yourself to make this day go smoothly." I also think a lot about sacrifice because one of my love languages is service. And service requires that you give of yourself for someone else. This is how we show love for other people! When you're love language is service, it is really hard to let someone else sacrifice for you. Something just does not seem right about it. You don't want anyone to be inconvenienced by you, that is the opposite of being a servant!
Something else that I have been thinking about in the last few weeks is that of the love of a Mother. I really have been pondering this a lot, and am in awe of how much a affect mom can have on your life! A mom gives up her life when you are born. There is a part of her that is gone when all of the sudden she now has to take care of a baby. Some moms have issues with this loss of freedom (we had to read Doris Lessing's To Room Nineteen in British Lit), and get lost in a mental illness. I would say this is one of the ultimate sacrifices.
My mom is AMAZING. Sure, we don't really get along that great, but she is the most supportive person that I know!!!!! Several times, she has told me how proud she is of me following God's purpose for my life. The fact that I have friends whose parents are less than supportive of their child's desire/calling to go into the mission field makes me appreciate this so much more.
Now its story time:
this semester has been really hard for me, both academically, and financially. I live in Chicago and pay my way through school with my nanny wages. I was not able to get as many hours this semester, which was probably a good thing because this semester has been particularly grueling. I have been fighting with the decision of what to do for next semester, do I stay here and try and work through again after being abroad this summer? do I take a semester off and work in the city? do I ask for an extra semester so that I can work more hours? its a really hard decision to make. when I was denied for off campus housing, called my mom. after we had talked a while, we came to a point where she came to me with this:
Donna, I love you, and I support you 110% in what you are doing at school. I didn't want to tell you this till later, but I think you need to know it now: I am taking a mortgage out on the house to pay for your school.
what do you do with a statement like that? I don't want YOUR money! I said, you have done so much for me already, you can't afford this!
Donna, you don't have a choice. this is what I am going to do, and you don't have any say in it.
I did not want my mom to sacrifice for me, because I am indebted to HER for all that she has done for me. I was angry with her, how dare she take things into her own hands. God will provide for me here!
It was not until several hours later in a conversation with a friend about the matter that she pointed out that God uses each of his children, in different ways, all to cary out His work. He wants me here, to do His work in Chicago, as well as preparing me for the future ministry that He has in store. My mom? maybe her part in the scheme of things at this time is to pay for my school so that I can focus on learning again. Who am I to tell God that I don't want the help that He has so graciously provided for me?
Do I think that it's fair that my mom is sacrificing so much of her so very little for me? NOT AT ALL! But let's think for a second: as my friend so greatly put it: Donna, where did your salvation come from? My salvation comes through the death of Jesus Christ. How's this for a question: do I think its fair that God sacrificed His ONLY son (His so very little) for me, a pitiful sinner? I certainly don't think that this is fair.
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
1 John 4: 9-10
Who am I to say who God can use? As for my mom? God will take care of her. She is following her leading in this time of her life! I cannot worry about what is to come, God will take care of this. what I do know is this:
But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love. To deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.
Psalm 33: 18-19
God is faithful and will preserve His people. they will never be outside of His hand of protection. Be encouraged my friends, God is good.