Day 17 S-366-LYDoG:
I know it sounds strange but I’ve come to understand and even appreciate the sacrifices we make in life.
All of us, at one time or another, may be called upon to surrender things that we love or have a great attachment to. The variety of these is endless. For some, it may be losing a loved one you thought you couldn’t live without, others it might be the loss of worldly wealth, others still it may be a combination of many things, and still others may lose their physical or mental well-being. The possibilities are endless as to what may come your way.
That is life.
I don’t want to sound blase. It happens to all of us in various ways but what is common no matter the loss is that the sacrifice requires we give up a little piece of ourselves in an act of humble submission for what we cannot control.
I’m not saying that it is easy, nor am I saying that the grief or pain we feel over these forfeitures is not warranted. The agony can be poignant and deep, leaving behind scars that we wear both inside and out. This is what creates our baggage, the makeup of our personalities, what helps shape and mold who we are. Our ultimate response is what helps us navigate the world ahead.
When I started this endeavor exactly 17 days ago, I mentioned that I would always be real with you, that I would remain genuine. I’m going to tell you right now that I have not yet mastered the art, as others have, of being grateful for my trials and sacrifices while I am going through them. That is a trait of character that I long to develop but, amidst the throes of sacrifice, I am anything but graceful. I have been known to tantrum like a two year old, even as recently as yesterday. All I can focus on in that moment is the excruciating ache of the excision of loss.
However, after the storm has passed I can always find the benefits.
This does not come easily and it requires, again, that I give up my longing, that I concede that I have no control, and that I hold my hand outstretched to God for help. I have learned that the act of placing my bruised and battered heart on the alter of the Lord is the quickest way to find peace and comfort. The scars remain but, instead of icons attesting to pain, they become vestiges marking strength. The strength earned in the crucible of hardship is what carries us forward toward the dawn of possibilities.
My Heavenly Father has helped me rise from my ashes more times than I can count and in that rising I have learned to appreciate the sacrifices I have been called upon to make.
Sacrifice can bring about great devastation or, if we allow it, we can rise from the dust and take hold of the power that comes when we let it all go. You may be like me, only able to see it in retrospect but, I’m not ashamed of that. It has taken me a long time to learn to find it there and in the mean time I’ll keep working toward finding the beauty in the flames of trial.
Until then, for all of the sacrifices that have given me depth of character and fortitude to live this crazy life, I am deeply grateful. Most of all I am grateful for a Father in Heaven, who through not rescuing me in the moment, saves me in the long run by allowing me to grow.