when sacrifice doesn’t look beautiful…

I read this
and reread
more than once.

My heart split wide open
again…

….only not in the way
she probably imagined when
she penned those beautiful words.

My heart split right down the middle.
Out poured angst, anger,
fear, jealousy, envy…
you name it,
it was there.

My infected heart
oozed ugly.

We sat and waited for the mancub
to finish his shift.
It’s become our regular $3 date
and we both love the stolen moments
shared in a quiet booth.
Only, this time,
my poisoned heart oozed on him,
this one I love most.

Quite honestly,
I am married to the most sacrificial man
I have ever met.
This man gives and gives and gives…
time, money, resources, knowledge, love…
you name it, he gives it.

“I’m so tired,” I cried.
“I’m weary.
Mostly, I’m tired of serving.
We’ve given everything we have
and He requires more.
I can’t do this!”

(***note to self… I went to sleep that night
on my down pillow, in my king size bed,
with screens on my windows and a fan by my bed,
after a clean shower and brushing my teeth
with clean water… I haven’t given much.
I just wanted pity.)

Another restless night
and little sleep.

My sweet friends led worship
yesterday morning and they sang,
“You won’t relent until
you have it all.
My heart is yours.”

I cried.

An envelope was passed to my man.
I looked over his shoulder as he opened
a sweet “thank you” and an overly
generous gift.

I wept.

“I think I just got spanked,” I whispered to him.

I cried some more.

Two dear friends and I sat late
into the evening last night
and I confessed it all…
the ugly pus that I had allowed to infect
my heart.

I reread Ann’s sweet words
and I began to understand…

I want my sacrifice to be beautiful
and it’s my own pride that gets in the way.

You see, it’s not glamourous to give
and to live sacrificially.

Often people misjudge and
feel at liberty to share their opinion.

Rather than walk away,
I take those words to heart.
They infect my whole heart.

I think this is why Jesus said,
“But when you give to the needy,
do not let your left hand know
what your right hand is doing.”
Matthew 6:3 NIV

…because when you start
paying attention to what He calls you to do,
you might expect others to pay attention too.

Somewhere along the way,
I allowed pride to tell me
that sacrifice would look beautiful to others.

It doesn’t always.

But, sacrifice from a pure,
uninfected heart,
is beautiful to Him.

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