Did you ever have to sacrifice something you love for God? Naranasan mo na bang magbigay nang labag sa kalooban mo?
As a young Christian, I was asked to let go of an important relationship. I tried to bargain with God and my leaders. Looking back, I am grateful to have sacrificed that person and season for God’s greater move in my life.
Like Abraham being asked to sacrifice Isaac, his only son whom he loved (Genesis 22), God asked me to give up my relationship with my boyfriend some eight years ago. Like Abraham, giving up my ‘Isaac’ did not make sense.
After all, my Isaac made me happy, loved, and cared for. Having grown up in a broken family, without the love of a father, and not enough attention from my mother who worked overseas, my boyfriend was the only person I could turn to for comfort and security. I did not realize, God is the ultimate source of love, peace and security if only I turned to Him instead.
I can still clearly remember the day I decided to join the Praise and Worship Ministry. I was one of those passionate young Christians who wanted to serve the Lord through music. However, I failed the audition because I was engaged in a romantic relationship—something that is strongly discouraged among the youth (20y/o below).
That rule did not make sense to me at that time. My leaders explained that the church only wanted to protect its youth from unnecessary heartaches at a young age, and from the temptation to fall into pre-marital sex. I thought to myself that I have self-control and wisdom so the rules do not apply to me.
Little did I know that there was another layer of that relationship that prevented me from experiencing the fullness of God. What we lacked in our broken family, I looked for in my boyfriend–affection, attention, and love. I felt that being in a relationship was cool and fun! Having someone who treasured and loved me so much was the best feeling. My world revolved around him. He became my priority over family, school, friends, and my personal relationship with God.
Still, my desire to serve God remained. So I asked Him to allow me to join the Worship Team, and once I experience singing for Him, maybe I would give my boyfriend up. Of course, the Lord does not work that way. I was frustrated for a while—with the church policy, my leaders and the Lord.
But reading God’s Word led me to see that men and women of God, especially Abraham who did not even hesitate sacrificing for the Lord. His faith in God strengthened his obedience. His trust in God’s love and provision empowered him to give up what he thought was more important than God.
For months, I struggled with thoughts of breaking up with my boyfriend. But one day, I just did. To this day, I still cannot fathom how I did it. I bet the Lord just makes a way for those who have even the slightest desire to please Him. As the Word of the Lord says in
Ezekiel 36:26-27 (NLT) “And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.”
Ending that relationship was like handing out my broken heart to God. I trusted Him to heal it, mend it. To my pleasant surprise, He made it anew. He expanded my capacity to believe in His goodness. He enlarged my heart so that it can love more people—God’s people. Letting go of my boyfriend felt like being alone, but God has since been faithful. I gained friends, even a family in Christ.
Years later, I still praise God for the privilege of leading His people in worship. Indeed, trusting Him in one of my life’s biggest trades only led to blessings. If you ask me if it’s worth the trade, it is one big YES. How about you? What is your Isaac? Are you willing to trade with the Lord? If so, what are you waiting for?