Six Things: When You Feel Like Quitting

It’s that thing your heart beats for. It’s part of you; something you’re wired to do. It’s your high calling, your pebble throwing mission.

Perhaps it’s freeing girls from human trafficking. Maybe it’s rescuing endangered animals. Or caring for foster children, or the environment, or helping frazzled moms love their families well.

As you’ve pursued your mission, have you ever felt like quitting?

I have.

(If you haven’t, feel free to save this for a rainy day. There may come a time when you wonder if you heard God wrong or if what you’re doing is making a lick of difference.)

For the rest of us, here are six things when you’re having one of those days:

1. “Just” pray. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Why do we say this? I’ve said it. “Is there anything else I can do besides just pray for you?” The truth is, if we all “just prayed” instead of spinning our wheels trying to do stuff, the world would be a dramatically different place. If your bent is toward “doing” rather than “being,” remember this: the next time you go to take action (send an e-mail, plant a tree, write a chapter, begin a recycling campaign, sign up for a mission trip, organize a fund raiser or whatever) take a breath. Ask God to use your efforts, edit your words, multiply your work, or stop you if it’s not the way He’d have you go.1thessalonians5-17

2. Every time you say yes to the wrong thing you’re saying no to the right thing.

When you commit to something that’s not part of your highest calling, it diminishes your ability to complete your highest calling. Whenever possible, each yes should propel you toward your mission. Do you feel ineffective in what you’re doing? Pause to evaluate your yeses. Give yourself permission to say no in order to free up time to pursue your Best Yes, as Lysa Terkeurst calls it. Jesus did this. He said yes to only those things that aligned with His highest calling.

3. Spend time with those who embrace your highest calling.

Not everyone will completely get your mission. But seek out friends on social media and in your school, neighborhood, and community who do. Seek out others whose hearts beat for what you’re doing to help spur you on. And most importantly, spend time with the Author of your highest calling, getting quiet with God, reading His word, and just being with Him. Psalm 63:1

4. Recruit others to pray specifically for this calling with you. Acts 12:12

Every other Tuesday morning, I circle up with four women. These friends are on my write-the-book journey for the long haul. They were praying for my book long before I traveled to Africa or began blogging. When I tire of updating them on my progress (or lack thereof), they still pray for me. Thanks to them and others, I’ve not given up on this book.

5. Expect things will get messy and don’t give up when they do. Galatians 6:9

galatians6_91

You will have “those days” when you hit a wall and are D-O-N-E, done! Michael Hyatt calls it the messy middle.“Everything is harder than you expect it to be. The hill is steeper. The road is longer. You are not sure you have what it takes to finish.”

Preparing for this season helps you push through instead of being devastated and giving up. Consider writing a “messy middle” letter to yourself on a day when you have a fresh vision of your mission. When you hit your wall, read it out loud and allow God to reignite your passion for His calling.

6. Remember who got you into this. Ephesians 2:10

onewhohovers

This photos reminds me of three things:

  1. The author of my calling is God. I didn’t think it up myself. I responded to His holy invitation.
  2. The One who called me has unlimited power and resources. All I must do is ask.
  3. Ultimately, my Heavenly Father is the only one I need to please.

On the dark days when you feel like you’re a crazy person for thinking you could do what you’ve set out to do, # 6 is everything. And when number 6 is even hard to do, repeat #1.

What has God called you to do? Have you experienced the messy middle? When everything screams “give up!” what has helped you stay the course?

14 thoughts on “Six Things: When You Feel Like Quitting

  1. Thank you for this post! I am currently in the “messy middle” of a writing project–something I know God called me to tackle. Today, frustration reigned and I finally had to leave my home office and go for a walk. I prayed…and prayed. It took me almost a mile to calm down enough to LISTEN. You are so right about the importance of seeking God’s presence and spending real time with Him. It’s the only solution when we lose our way. He will always direct our paths 🙂
    Keep writing!

    • Taking a walk and reflecting… yes! It definitely helps me when writing to switch gears physically so I can reset my mind and spirit. Spending real time with God first seems to make all the other time in my day so much more productive. I’m so glad you joined the conversation, Leigh Ann!

  2. 5. Expect things will get messy and don’t give up when they do. Galatians 6:9
    I loved this post. It’s amazing how a few simple words can change your whole day. Thank you for the reminder!!

  3. Maresa!!!!!! I needed this so badly today! But I know so many others need this. Thank you, girlfriend. God used you. Keep on keeping on, please. I am sharing this several places, and I wondered if I can use it as a guest post on the Florida Christian Writers Conference blog. If that is okay with you, will you e-mail me the post, a short bio and headshot? wordsbyandylee@gmail.com Much love!

    • Andy, I am excited to hear that this landed before you in a season when you needed it. God’s beautiful timing! Thank you for the encouragement to keep on and for sharing! Yes, PLEASE use this as a guest post on the Florida Christian Writers Conference blog. Wow! I’ll email it to you with my pic and bio. Grateful for you and your ministry, Andy. Hugs.

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