Nobody said it was easy
(If you’re taken back by the passion in this blog, I just watched Amazing Grace about William Wilberforce and listened to an incredible teaching by Banning Liebscher about sacrifice right before I wrote this. So, consider yourself warned.)
When my siblings and I were growing up we didn’t really get to do all the things the other “normal” kids got to do. For one we were the healthy family, so instead of chocolate it was carob and spelt bread was substituted for white bread. We put apple juice in our cereal and ate rice cheese. The list of substitutions goes on… I’ll spare you. We weren’t allowed to watch the same movies all our friends did either. We were known to be the lone child at the sleepover sitting in the kitchen alone because the movie all the other kids were watching wasn’t exactly appropriate. While all our girlfriends wore bikinis we wore one piece swimming suits. And then there was my favorite rule. No fashion or teen magazines in the house. Like all those “rules” I really didn’t like that one at all. All my friends were doing all those things and they were fine! So why the heck couldn’t I do those things!! My favorite was when I would so wonderfully try to sneak teen magazines that I had borrowed from my friends into the house, of course my mother would somehow find out and you know what she would replace that magazine with? Books about Martin Luther King Jr, William Wilberforce, Mother Teresa and the wonderful Foxes Book of Martyrs. And the movies would be replaced with movies about Joan of Arc and Martin Luther. And she would tell us that she wanted us to read about people who actually changed the world and made history because that’s what we were called to do. What I didn’t realize then that I realize now is my mom was trying to change our way of thinking. She didn’t do all those things to ruin our childhood. She knew that we were called to greatness. And she told us practically everyday that EVERYONE in the world was called to greatness and to impact the world in some way shape or form and she raised us with that in mind. Obviously the way she raised us kinda stuck, I’m more a health fanatic now then I was when I was younger, I still don’t wear a bikini, I don’t watch inappropriate movies and I would pick a book about a revolutionary any day over a fashion magazine. Reading those books made me want to be one of those great men and women whose stories filled those pages. They were great men and women who sacrificed everything to make a difference in this world. The sacrifice of their very life and desires was pale in comparison to the impact they made in this world. They had a calling. They knew what they were made for. And they didn’t let anything stop them from doing all they knew they were supposed to do. And it made me think of this generation. MY generation. How many of us would be willing to sacrifice every.single.thing. in our life for our calling? How many of us would be like William Wilberforce and tirelessly fight for something for 50 years? And while he is still fighting that battle there were so many other things he stood and fought for. Not just one thing. Now we all get excited when we hear the rally cry and say, “Ofcourse I would do that! I’ve always wanted to change the world!!” But did you see that little word a few sentences back? The word that is required of us to live out if we want to impact this world? Sacrifice. That’s not the most popular word in the world. We like being comfortable. We also like to think that we can do whatever we want and we will get around to doing something great in this world later on. Quite frankly, I’m not ok with that. I’m not ok with wasting time. I’m not ok with not fulfilling destinies and callings. The world needs you! It needs what you have to offer. I’m not talking about fame. What if you have the cure for cancer? What if your called go into politics and change laws? Are you supposed to end famine in this world? What is your calling!?! And what do you need to do to get there?! Are you willing to do whatever it takes? I came to terms with it early on in my life. My life was a sacrifice. Everything was laid before God and He got to choose what was ok and not ok. Do you think I actually wanted to give up dating? I don’t think so, I wanted to date and date often. But God showed me that for what He had for me that wasn’t ok. Little did I know that years later my sisters and I would pretty much be the spokeswomen for purity. But if I wouldn’t have been willing to make that sacrifice when I was young, before I knew why I had to remain pure, I wouldn’t have be able to show people that it’s possible to have never dated and to be secure and to show people that you don’t need a boyfriend or girlfriend to define you. A life of purity is part of my calling, but it required a mighty sacrifice and a lot of Friday nights all alone wondering if any guy in this world thinks I’m pretty. But, it was worth every second!! Because the sacrifice was nothing compared to what I have now and the unbroken heart I have. So my question for you is, what is God asking you to sacrifice? What do you need to sacrifice now to fulfill your calling for the future? How are you called to change the world? And what do you need to get out of your life so you can achieve that? Is it movies? Music? Clothing choices? The language you choose to use? Maybe you need to sacrifice the time you keep busy so you can spend more time with God. What is it? Whatever it is it sure as heck isn’t more important than impacting this world! And just so you know, God LOVES your sacrifice! I don’t think there is anything is this world that makes Him more happy than when we choose Him over something we want. That is true love. To lay your life at His feet and let him do with it what he wants. Don’t get too scared about it cause when my sisters and I did that He called us to be in a rock band. We took everything we ever wanted in life and laid it at His feet not knowing what He would give back in return, and He gave us something incredible. He gave us a calling. He spoke purpose into our souls. He is longing to speak your destiny into you. He is longing to tell you why He created you in the first place. He wants to tell you when He was thinking when He was creating you. He wants you. ALL of you. But know this, like I said before, the sacrifice is literally nothing compared to everything you gain when you are following Him. Trust me, I’ve lived 26 years giving up all the things I “thought” I ever wanted and He gave me back so much more than I could have ever dreamt I would want or have. He is truthworthy. So, just ask Him. I know He won’t disappoint. Because He never does.