I always thought my husband and I agreed on most things, the big things at least, and for the most part, we do.

But, about a year ago, for the first time in our marriage, we arrived at a big decision point realizing that our views were drastically different.  It felt strange, and it was hard to not want the same option.

It didn’t feel like someone was going to ‘win,’ and I didn’t feel that I needed to fight for what I wanted.

For the first time in our relationship, we were able to articulate what we truly wanted, acknowledge what the other wanted, and then proceed with how we would make a decision in light of the great chasm.

It wasn’t the first time our opinion’s differed, but it was the first time that we had to make a substantial decision when we wanted different things.

We arrived at a beautiful, messy place where he wanted one choice, and I wanted the alternative. In the decision-making process, we both had the opportunity to sacrifice for the other in a way we had never done.

Our decision to move back to Nashville from China was not easy or quick.  We spent days and weeks in a strange and uncertain place trying to navigate the murky waters together.

We found that being willing to own what you want is healthy and important, even when it’s in stark contrast to what your spouse wants and even when it feels selfish.

We found there’s something incredibly beautiful in being able to surrender what you desire, to die to yourself, and give yourself up for another.

Sacrifice is more costly than just giving up something you want.

There are many things we can give up that aren’t all that painful or difficult.

But dying to yourself, that’s another matter entirely.

What we came to find was that sacrifice feels less like losing and more like dying to yourself and your desires.

What we found as we died to ourselves was life like we’d never known before.  We found a love that was richer and deeper in ways that we could not have conjured up on our own.

A new season has turned in our marriage as we’ve begun learning to love each other in this way.

When you give of yourself sacrificially, truly and wholly, bitterness and resentment cannot creep in and burrow themselves in your heart against the other.

And when you die, you find that you actually live, and know a richer and more beautiful love than you could have imagined.