word of the day: sacrifice \ˈsa-krə-ˌfīs\ the act of giving up something that you want to keep especially in order to get or do something else or to help someone
This word has been stuck in my brain for months, but I keep pushing it back into the recesses of my mind. It resides there with the memory of that one time in high school that I watched The Shining and slept with my light on for a week. Oh and the sound of my alarm clock and any reminder to work out. Basically, all the things I don’t particularly want to deal with.
But per usual, the record is broken and the word is on repeat. It demands to be processed I guess.
The more I think about it, when you have a family, your life becomes a series of sacrifices. You must, for the sake of your marriage and your children, give up certain things for those you love. Most of the times it’s easy. I didn’t mind giving up sushi and red wine when I was pregnant with Norah, and I’m over the fact that sleep is now harder to come by. I’ll keep the television turned off in the morning for Jake and share two thirds of my banana with Lily. Whatever.
Not all sacrifices are so easy though, and lately, I tend to get especially hung up on the ones that, I know, will be hard.
And it’s in these moments that the lies start creeping back in. The “I didn’t sign up for this,” and the “I don’t deserve this,” and the “This isn’t fair.” And then in the corner, I see med school’s big sister, Residency, bat her stupid, fake eyelashes at me, and I start to feel really sorry for myself.
Then another voice whispers, “Season the season.”
Yeah. It’s all coming together. Especially after I read this today:
For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
I am reminded again that I have a choice, and the implications of the choice are weighty because the way I choose to proceed affects more than just me. It affects my marriage. It affects my children. It affects every day of our life together.
I can face sacrifice selfishly and believe that I deserve differently. I can wake up each day bitter, angry, and self-righteous.
Or I can wake up each day with a broken spirit acknowledging my need for God. I can find satisfaction in the toil, do good, and be happy.
Oh, for crying out loud. You’d think I’d get the point already.
If you scroll down on the Merriam Webster page for “sacrifice,” you’ll find this definition and, subsequently, something that gives me great hope:
Act of offering objects to a divinity, thereby making them holy. The motivation for sacrifice is to perpetuate, intensify, or reestablish a connection between the human and the divine.
“Be holy, for I am holy.” (Merriam Webster didn’t say that last part, thankfully.)
And so, I will keep putting one foot in front of the other. Waking up and choosing joy even when it's easier not to. Sharing my banana and drinking extra coffee because I haven’t had enough sleep. Refusing to believe the lie that it isn’t worth it.
Because it is.
Oh, it is.