Counting the Cost // Is It Worth It?

So, I kind of live in Wendy’s. Before I proceed, I want to say that it’s a problem I am making every effort to rectify, I assure you.

But tonight I was in Wendy’s, and the while I was standing at the counter waiting on my order, I noticed the girl standing next to me had the most gorgeous manicure. Her nails were medium length, her cuticles were clean, and the deep red polish was glossy and pristine. I watched surreptitiously as she pulled a ten dollar bill from her wallet. Sigh….one day…

I’ve been considering building a bi-monthly mani-pedi into my budget. I’m 25, I’ve never been spoiled by anyone, ever, and I deserve it…right? It may seem shallow to some, but I want to know what it’s like to always have my nails done. It’s been a dream of mine for quite some time now, and every time I see a woman with beautifully polished fingers and toes, I go home and attempt to make it work on my budget spreadsheet.

But every single time I try, I realize something: I can afford it, but it’s not worth the cost.

If I am going to commit to a life of high maintenance nails, I want them to be done properly; therefore I am not willing to pay for sub-par work. But when I count the cost of the quality of work I want, I’m never willing to pay it. And if I’m going to commit, I refuse to do it every now and again, I want to do it on a regular basis. But the problem with consistency is that is costs way more than a once in a blue moon kind of thing.

It got me thinking a little bit about destiny, and how sometimes our circumstances will make us count the cost of calling. I’ve had moments when the books didn’t seem to be balancing, when I thought of all I left behind and all I’ve taken on and things just aren’t working out. I’ve had times when I wondered is the transformation really worth this cost?

Life can do that – kick you around until the goal doesn’t seem worth the hassle.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it because it’s true: calling costs something, real change costs something. And I think it’s in those defining moments when we’re on the floor counting the dollars and cents, mourning the loss of our past ‘wealth’ that we make the most impactful decisions. We don’t like admitting it, but it’s in the valley that we usually find out how deep Yahweh’s love, mercy, and wisdom are.

It’s true that destiny isn’t always glamorous, and if someone’s platform seems glamorous, I guarantee that you don’t know the whole story. Struggle comes in all shapes and sizes. The presence of money does not equate to the absence of adversity. I assure you that there is turmoil that no amount of money can remedy.

But even so, when we’re in the middle of deciding whether or not we want to move forward with our transformation processes, it’s important that we feel what we’re fighting for is worth it. In order to believe that the sacrifices are worth it, we have to believe that Yahweh is worthy of them. And in order to come to this conclusion, we have to have a personal relationship with Him in which He has revealed Himself to us on a level that goes beyond the things He can give us. The relationship had to be built on more than a good time or great gifts – it has to be stitched together with adversity and trimmed with trust that has been tested and proven itself. You have to really know that your life is unfolding intentionally, and He’s actually leading you, no matter how random things may feel.

When the depth of the Holy Spirit living inside of you calls to the deeper you that also exists inside of you, you’ll find that you will have to let go of some things. Just like a quality manicure, the cost of a better quality of life is often hefty. I was once complete;y led by my feelings in almost every aspect of my life, and when I started walking with Yahweh, I had to be led by Him instead. That sacrifice has changed me in ways that has cost me greatly. I’ve waved goodbye to things I thought I knew about myself and embarked on a whole new journey of self-discovery. I’ve had to redefine relationships and trust in Yahweh to tell me who I am all over again.

When I think back, I’m amazed by what I was able to sacrifice for the wrong things. What do we kill in order to feed broken relationships and destructive patterns of behavior? What do we willingly let go of to lay hold of false security and the semblance of peace and wholeness?

When we realize that our sense of self, our identity, our faith in people, our ability to laugh, our positive outlook, our love of relationship has been traded in for flawed, failing, lifeless things, it’s enough to drive us to insanity.

But Yahweh isn’t just a change specialist; He’s the King of restoration. So when He gets involved in the messes we make, He seeks to draw forth beauty and purpose from them. But just as you sacrificed pieces of yourself for the wrong thing, you have to sacrifice the wrong things to get your pieces back. And it hurts.

Just because something is toxic, doesn’t mean giving it up won’t be painful. But trust me when I say that a fully restored you is worth that sacrifice.

Don’t go back to the ashes of the thing you sacrificed when it feels like it wasn’t worth it. Don’t sully yourself attempting to reconstruct a dead thing. It will be anti-climactic. The truth is you’ve changed too much and come too far to go back to the life you once lived. It will not fulfill you now.

I promise you that any sacrifice you make for Yahweh is worth it. He would not instruct you to release something if He didn’t intend on filling your hands with something so much better. Your purpose is worth giving forgiveness to someone who never said sorry. Your purpose is worth walking away from the relationship you know is not serving to elevate or empower you. Your purpose is worth releasing the anger and facing your fears. It’s worth being isolated and misunderstood. It’s worth the tears and it’s worth the hard heart work.

If you think it’s worth it, you will have enough to pay the bill. Don’t let the enemy convince you that if you commit to Yahweh, He will demand more from you than you can give. Yahweh doesn’t set His children up to fail. When He initiates change in your life, He does it while fully aware of who you are and who you were created to be. He will see you through, and He will help you pay the price.

After all, Yahshua knows a thing or two about sacrifice. He gave up everything so that you and I could have the option to choose His way. Isn’t that insane? He died to give us an option, the ability to choose to be in relationship with Him.

I still have hope that, one day, I will have the gorgeous fingers and toes of my dreams and Pinterest boards, but for now I can rest assured knowing that I believe my purpose is worth this hassle. Sometimes I decide to trade it in for something less worthy, and sometimes I don’t believe I have it in me to pay, but I’m learning to default to my relationship with Yahweh when the questions get too big and the internal pressure seems to be too much. I have to remind myself that He’s big enough to handle my pain, and His perspective is something He’s always willing to share.

Be encouraged.

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