Today in church, the sermon was about Elisha (Elijah's follower) and his journey as he completely left his stable job (aka farming and livestock) and comfortable life to fulfill his calling from God, which was to follow in the prophet Elijah's footsteps. I was challenged immediately. What have I personally sacrificed to fulfill my calling from God?
Honestly, there hasn't been anything that I have sacrificed willingly. I may sound like a "bad" Christian for saying that, but I believe this is the same situation a lot of us are/were in. Some people sacrifice their safety to travel to countries to proclaim the gospel where Christianity is forbidden, some have sacrificed hundreds and thousands of hours to study the Bible to become a minister- I pray to be more like this.
But looking back on everything in my life, I believe I have made choices (sacrifices, if you will) that have influenced my situation and put me exactly where God wants me to be. And if ANY, TINY, LITTLE detail is changed, I would not be here writing this blog entry.
Let's start when I was going to college. I went to Campbell and met amazing people, including my husband. I had many plans for myself. However, he was offered and had accepted a job in Philadelphia after he graduated, while I was planning on staying in NC to go to pharmacy school. If I would have stayed in school, Ethan would have been in Philly and we would have entered a very rough, long and painful engagement period 400 miles away from each other. I would have been absolutely miserable because when I was in school, I KNEW wasn't the Christian I wanted to be. I was focused on having friends, shopping, being social, spending money on unnecessary things, not focused on God, worrying, and the list goes on. I was not a bad person by any means, but my life while I was in school was not as God-honoring as it may have looked. Being in school had me focused on so many different things that were separate from God, but the reason why I wanted to continue in school was because I felt like I had to, I would have value in the world, and I would be respected. But I knew I wasn't the person I wanted to be while I was studying. I even would think "When I am not studying all the time, I can be a better Christian." Wow, that's pretty messed up, right? But it's the truth. I actually thought that.
But God remained faithful to me, even when I didn't "sacrifice" anything for Him. God presented a new path... Be done with school (your comfortable life), and follow Ethan. Now, I am not comparing myself to Elisha or Ethan to Elijah, but you get the picture. I had no idea what life was going to be like being married, living in a different city and state, and being away from my comfortable school life (where I felt like an adult, but really wasn't), but I went for it.
At the time when I made the choice to do this, I didn't think "I am giving up my life here because I want to fulfill my calling" because I didn't know what my calling was. I was just simply doing what made me feel at peace. But now, looking back, I realized I did make a HUGE sacrifice without even knowing it! I sacrificed what I thought I wanted and God gave me so much more. Isn't that amazing that God can move through us like that and we don't even realize it?
So now, that I look at this whole situation, I think that getting married saved my life. My spiritual life with Jesus.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog, Jesus has saved us, but for my personal, spiritual relationship with God and Jesus, getting married saved me and made me realize all the important things in life. It made me realize that be married is a sacrifice, but one that will honor the Lord, bring you closer to Him, and will be rewarding.
I am not bringing glory to myself in any way, because as I said previously, He did all this THROUGH me. Personally, He called me to marry because He knew it would change me- change me in a way that was pleasing to Him. I thank Him everyday for what He has done and for my spiritual life, and it is a sacrifice that I will never look back on.