I'm not sure why, but something in me expects sacrifice to be a lot more black and white than it really is. Giving things up should make for pretty predictable emotional reponses, right? You give up something good, you earn the right to claim it as at least a little unfair, and you are grieve it like any normal person would. But what about when you have to leave behind a situation that is hurtful or generally bad for you? The response should be a sigh of relief and a joyous moving on, of course. So why does the abused child still cry for his mother when he is taken away from her? Why does the battered woman still grieve the loss of a seriously dysfunctional marriage? Because it's just not that black and white.
It has been said that most of the lies the enemy feeds us are really half truths. I mean, humans are stupid and all, but (with some exceptions) we are not generally stupid enough to embrace something that is blaringly, unquestionably going to do nothing but hurt us. If someone tells me to give up a nest of rattlesnakes under my porch, I'll be happy to. Don't expect much grieving there. But most of the time there's a little good in what we're seduced into and later asked to give up, a little hint of what is true and right in the midst of it. But we don't always consider this when we evaluate sacrifice. We look at that battered woman and say, "You're SAD? What's wrong with you? The guy was a jerk! You're being weak and ridiculous." But we weren't there when he first wooed her, when he brought her flowers, when he danced with her and told her she was beautiful. And we weren't with that kid when his mom took him to the park, or read him a story, or made his favorite cookies. Essentially, we weren't there for the truth half of the situation, for the few shining moments in between the storms.
I just had to give up something which contained a lot of harm and nasty lies. And even though it's probably my own perception, I feel like people expect me to be doing the sigh of relief and joyful acceptance deal. But the truth is that, though I am glad to be out of harm's way, I am so sad for the little truths that had to be sacrificed along with the lie. I'm sad for the many good moments in between storms. I guess I am understanding why it seems that people grieve even the ugly things in life. And I am definitely being shown that I need to show a little more grace to those who have had to give them up.