Sacrifice. We hear it all the time. Relationships require sacrifice. Marriage requires sacrifice. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But what does it mean? What does it look like?
Well, I can tell you right now, it’s more than giving up the last chicken wing.
The most perfect example of sacrifice is Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. He made the ultimate Sacrifice by giving up his life for the good of the world and for generations to come. He died for people who didn't even deserve it!
Nothing really compares to His sacrifice, but I will at least share the biggest sacrifice I have experienced in a relationship.
Last year, my husband (then fiance) graduated with his MBA and got a stellar job in an industry that he loves. Awesome, couldn’t be happier! But the job offer was in New York City. Oh.
Prior to his offer, we had been living in the the DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) for a few years. We didn’t love it, but it was finally starting to become comfortable. Around the time Bae got his offer, I was just getting the hang of our area, where to go and who to hang out with. I found a park that I loved, a nice grocery store, and even started to understand the confusing streets of D.C. We always said we wanted to “get up and move to NY one day. Brooklyn would be dope.” But little did we know it was going to happen sooner than anticipated.
When Bae told me that NY was a real possibility, I freaked out. I was working full time, commuting extensively each day, and our wedding was only a few months away. On top of that, I was attending grad school at night. Needless to say, my plate was already full so adding an out-of-state move to the list seemed unfathomable. Not to mention having to “start all over” AGAIN making new friends, finding new hangouts, finding a new church home, etc. Simply put, a move was doing too much.
At the same time, though, it was Bae’s dream job, in an industry he loved, with a company that is young, fun and excited to have him on board. And who doesn’t want to see their partner succeed?! Opportunities like this one don’t come knocking often.
I wondered what it all meant for me, though. What did it mean for my education? I wasn’t finished with grad school yet. What did it mean for my social life? Bae had several friends in NYC already but I didn’t really know anyone there. What did it mean for my career? I had worked hard to build up a professional network in the DMV. Sacrifice.
I wrestled with my desire to be a good wife-to-be, you know, being "ride-or-die" for my man; and the young professional woman who had worked hard in a graduate program that I loved, toward a career that I was passionate about.
So I cried and prayed and thought a lot. Cried and prayed and thought some more. I finally told myself it IS New York City after all. Always wanted to live there. Could be worse. But why NOW?? Why during the same time as our wedding, why before grad school is over? Just why??
After many long talks and Bae's reassurance that he would make a way, we decided it was a go. We were going to move to New York City. With my mom’s help (she’s an angel), we were able to delay the full move until November, which was a month AFTER our wedding - thank God. Bae moved to New York a few months before I did to start his job and to get things settled. He found us a great place and made sure I was comfortable.
I took the leap and said “yes” to New York, and my husband didn’t let me fall. He found a graduate program where I could take coursework toward my degree and a nice apartment for us to live in in a fun neighborhood. He added me to his benefits at work and even compiled a list of females for me to connect with when I moved! I jumped, and he provided a net to catch me. That’s love. As a couple, we jumped and God provided the net to catch US. That’s love.
Sacrifice is tough, but when you are with someone who you KNOW would make the same sacrifice for you, it becomes more palatable.
With my partner’s help and God’s grace, we transitioned fairly smoothly. Pieces to the puzzle fell into place and before you knew it, we were telling the movers where to put the furniture in our new home.
My question to you is….are you ready to make a life-altering move or a tough decision for the person you love? Things are all peachy keen when you don’t have to make a huge sacrifice in your relationship, but where would you stand if you had to do something that stung a little bit? If you are considering marriage, this is something you should really consider.
Even after dating for almost 7 years off and on, I had never made such a huge sacrifice for my partner. It was really difficult. I had to explain the situation to my graduate program and seek permission to take a class elsewhere, quit my full-time job, and leave the comfort of a finally-familiar terrain. That’s sacrifice. And above all, it was faith that things would work themselves out.
I ultimately chose to die to self and do what was right for our (then) future marriage. A lot of prayer, reflection, and "woo-sah’s" were involved.
When you make someone your LIFE PARTNER, you are yourself just that, someone’s LIFE PARTNER. You gotta be down to ride, down to sacrifice. And of course, there will be times when your partner has to make large sacrifices for you too.
To close out, I wanted to point out a few areas that I am not willing to sacrifice for a relationship. I wouldn’t expect Bae to sacrifice these things for me either. They are:
I encourage you to think about the things you are not willing to sacrifice. Boundaries and standards are important.
Sacrifice should hurt a little bit. Doing something that’s “tough” but that doesn’t really sting is not the real deal. Our pastor in Atlanta used to say, when you give your tithe/offering, you should feel it. Else it’s not really a sacrifice.
A sacrifice shows your faith in something greater. It proves that you are willing to endure a temporary pain for a longterm gain. This was the case with our recent move to New York. I hope that by sharing our story, you are inspired to think about the concept of sacrificial love, and more importantly, if it is something you’re ready for. A lot of people say they want a serious relationship or that they want to be married. But what happens when you have to give up something MAJOR?
Until next time...