Travel. Prestige. Money. Lots of money. My first job out of college had it all. For three years I worked at an elite software company and had the opportunity to travel around the country working with executives from top healthcare organizations. I traveled about 75% of the time – many times to exotic locales such as Peoria, IL. (Travel always sounds exciting until you’re bouncing between Indianapolis and Peoria in the middle of January.)
Shortly after I got married, however, I realized that being away from my husband 75% of the time was making it very difficult to actually, you know, build a marriage.
I decided to look for a new opportunity, and was lucky to find one quickly. The day before I was to put in my notice, my boss pulled me aside and told me I was receiving a raise. This raise added another zero on to my salary. This raise pushed me into a yearly income that I had only ever dreamed about, and caused me to pause and think about what the heck I was doing.
The new job I had accepted represented a 70% pay cut. It did not have the prestige, the travel, or the perks of my old position. It would require financial sacrifices, and sacrifices in the type of freedom to which I had grown accustomed. It would, however, allow me to build a life with my husband and to be a better wife.
I left behind the money and took the new job. As I settled in to my new life, I worried about the financial security that I had sacrificed. I quickly realized, however, that in working at that job, at the company, I had already been sacrificing.
I had sacrificed my body and my health as I suffered from the havoc caused by constant travel.
I had sacrificed relationships with those in my community, because I wasn’t around enough to truly offer others my friendship.
I sacrificed my mental health because I could never shut off the worries and stress caused by my position.
The life that I live now, the one I think that God is calling me to lead, still causes me to sacrifice daily.
I sacrifice new clothes and travel for the ability to stay home with my daughter.
I sacrificed my body to bring new life into the world.
I sacrifice the “security” of a big paycheck for the opportunity to learn trust in God’s ability to provide.
The difference between the sacrifices in the life I wanted to lead and the life God wanted me to lead was joy. God’s plan doesn’t always make me happy, content, healthy, or well rested, but following his plan always brings me a sense of true peace and joy.
What sacrifices am I already making because of my inability to give my fiat to God? My new prayer is simply to ask for the faith it takes to jump into God’s plan, because I know He always ensures that the sacrifices are worth it.