I have understood for a while now that part of life is about sacrifice.
It’s a bittersweet truth,
And one that, if I’m being perfectly honest,
Am still fumbling with the perplexing nature of.
Especially in the context of the world I live in,
And the fact that society is very much grounded in how deeply we can gratify our own desires, needs and wants.
Sometimes sacrifice means giving up things you love for things you love even more.
There’s no greater love that can be shown than by giving up what you hold dearest,
Of letting it go for the sake of a greater cause, or a bigger purpose.
Being a mum, I know this sacrifice all too well.
You sacrifice your body, your time, pieces of your heart and everything else you hold dear in order to bring to birth a new life and to then love and train these little humans.
Parenthood is a sacrificial endeavour, yet it is full of reward and a greater gain.
This whole sacrifice thing is like a muddied stream, particularly at this point in my life,
But something in me tells me that hiding under its cloudy waters is some beautiful revelation.
Mariam sacrificed in a very real sense for Laila in A Thousand Splendid Suns.
And it ended up good for Laila.
Terrible for Mariam, but good for Laila and the other lives that Mariam rescued through her heroic, sacrificial act.
And what of Jesus’ sacrifice for you and I?
As a leader, to bring others into their own call in God,
I sacrifice my own wishes and wants for those who will come after me.
My sacrifice makes a future,
It elevates others, props them up so that they can succeed.
The everyday choices,
The bitterness I allow to either let sink into my heart or expel it,
The decisions I make to take the high road or the low road,
These all matter.
In my role as a leader and pastor, mother, wife, teacher and worship leader (gosh, I do a lot of things!),
I can’t get away from the idea that my life is no longer my own to live.
It takes a certain perspective to get to this point,
Because everything in us as humans cries out to have our own needs and wants met.
The life of a leader can be a lonely path because it requires a tighter, more narrow road.
Sacrifice is not pleasant.
No one is going to applaud you for the sacrifices you make for others.
Very often they go unnoticed by human eyes and ears.
But it doesn’t mean God doesn’t notice them.
God sees it, and the pain.
In fact, I believe when He sees the smouldering cinders of sacrifice in and on your life,
His heart recognizes a part of Himself in you and He draws closer.
And that’s the bittersweet beauty of sacrifice.
There is pain in the giving up, and the laying down of what you hold dear,
But there is a joy that comes from knowing that you’ve made a platform for another’s happiness,
Even if they are walking across to the other side on the back of your sacrifice.
Hopefully one day I’ll understand this more.
Right now, I’m still trying to figure it out.
– Cate x