As I traveled through the States over the holidays I had the chance to reconnect with friends and family and be reminded of the beauty of the American world.

On a minor scale, it’s being reminded how tasty homemade Christmas cookies are. Or how my friends at Ebenezers Coffeehouse in DC know how to make my ridiculously complicated coffee drink just right, at which point I can enjoy it over life-giving conversations with friends from my home church.  It’s hugging my nieces and nephews, siblings, parents and grandparents and realizing how much of our individual strength has come from the collective strength of our family.

Yes, the world on the other side of the world is a pretty sweet one.  But here’s the catch.

Those cookies wouldn’t have tasted so good had I not been without them (or an oven for that matter) for a year.  The coffee wouldn’t have tasted so good had it not been shared with a friend as we visited about what God had been doing over the last year in each of our lives.  Those hugs with my family would not have been as sweet if I hadn’t just spent a year surrounded by people living in extreme hardship stemming largely from broken families, and realized just how preciously rare a strong, healthy family unit is.

When people tell me that they are inspired by the sacrifice of leaving a comfortable world behind, I have to correct them.

I made no sacrifice.

Rather, by not leaving, I would have remained trapped in my own sense of pride and drive for accomplishment and sacrificed the beauty of being humbled by those that live with so little and yet live with so much.

I would have sacrificed learning the depth and richness of love, community, compassion and restoration and recognizing each of them more fully in my life.

No, I made no sacrifice.


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  • Comments (7)
    • katie wittman conklin
    • January 7th, 2012

    We sure miss you though… 🙂
    Figured out how to rec’v your posts – yay! Love you, xoxo

  1. Yes! Thank you, Cori.

  2. Actually I thought maybe I’d add something: I have been so blessed here that it really feels like the sacrifice would have been to not come. But without knowing what I would be missing, it wouldn’t feel like a sacrifice. I imagine my life would have been fine–we were happy, had family and friends, good things to do. But it freaks me out to imagine missing out on the miracles here.

  3. Isn’t that just the way the Lord is? He asks us to give something up, only to help us realize that we’re getting so much more…it’s so much richer and full somehow….want to wake up more to that….

    Praying for you….glad I can keep up this way…

    • Andrea
    • January 8th, 2012

    Powerful. Thanks for sharing your heart!

  4. So true.. In our supposed “sacrifice” we gained it all!! Best thing ever!! Awe it was good seeing you! I was so impressed by you.. You made me cry even, now thats ridiculous… Love ya.. Good luck getting back to the grind. Youre one year in. Since your flow has followed mine pretty similarly, I would say this next year is going to be awesome!!!

  5. Wow, beautifully put, Cori! You’re a great writer.

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