Posted by: graceunbound | January 4, 2009

I Quit!

I have no idea where Indy picked up this little gem of a phrase, but he uses it quite liberally throughout the day.

Not able to get his toy to do what he wants? Sigh. “I quit.”

Can’t convince me to feed him candy for breakfast? Mumble. “I quit.”

In fact, he throws it about with all the drama of a Broadway actor in just about any situation…regardless of whether the words “I quit” actually apply or not. “I quit” seems to mean everything, “I am hungry, tired, angry, frustrated, sad, annoyed, bored” and so on. Whatever the situation, he quits. He doesn’t want to feel that way and so he quits.

I used to think of myself as a quitter, someone who just couldn’t stay the course when the going got tough. I think it dates back to the moment that I decided I just wasn’t cut out to be a teacher and dropped my education degree two weeks prior to the start of my student teaching in my final semester of college. Four years of work and I quit. My mother’s first words were, “I always knew you couldn’t do it.” And thus was born the portrait of me as a quitter.

For years after that I saw every decision in the light of that phrase. Every time I quit something meant that I had failed, that I lacked perseverance.

I worked for ten years in a dental office and then quit to get my accounting degree (well, actually I went to part time…but my brain was in ‘quit’ mode). After working in public accounting for seven years I quit to stay home with the boys. In my first few months at home I tried teaching accounting at the community college level and quit after one semester. Not only was it too much of a burden on my time, I also realized it just was not the direction I wanted to go with my life, it wasn’t fulfilling my deeper purpose. And that is when my view of myself as a quitter began to change. As I discussed it with the department head, she trying to talk me into staying because she believed I was good at it and me trying to explain why I couldn’t do it, she said something that surprised me. She told me that although she wished I would stay, she understood my reasons for leaving and she respected the fact that I knew what I wanted and stood by it, because very few people do.

As I look back at all of the times I felt I was quitting I realize how much I allowed a negative viewpoint to color them. And I realized that far from being a quitter, I am someone who will relentlessly pursue my true purpose in life even when the way isn’t clear, even when it means discarding things that I thought were part of that purpose, even when it makes the way more difficult. I know that God has a calling for me, a plan that is still unfolding and I will continue to strive to lay aside the things that hinder me from that purpose. I challenge us all to be willing to realize when something has become a hindrance rather than a help, to be willing to lay aside even the things that we have worked for when we sense God saying, “That part of the plan is done, it’s time to move on.”

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12: 1,2 (NIV)

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Responses

  1. That was a great post. I have had friends with children that changed their mind on a major VERY late in the game (one was IN his last year of med school), I was both times so impressed with the parents response – one of support and realizing that their child had not made this decision willy-nilly, but were feeling a calling in another direction or just knew the current course was not the right one. I am sorry your mom would make you feel so awfully about your choice.

    How cool that God has opened your eyes and has led you to see that you are following His purposes.

    When I quit my job to stay home with the kids, it was a shock to ME, but I truly felt God’s leading as I sat at the dinner table holding my week old son. I never felt like a quitter, though others may have seen me that way.

  2. And isn’t it ALL about that?
    Fixing our eyes on Jesus.
    It takes discipline to do so down here in the shadowlands, but Jesus helps us in our weaknesses.
    I love your words, “That part of the plan is done, it’s time to move on”, and will try to remember that when it seems a dream is fading away.
    He always knows best.

  3. One of the things that also helps me is to realize that our Lord wastes nothing. He uses everything for our good and His glory. This reality has taken regret I once felt and replaced it with stronger belief in His sovereignty.

    I remember a time when I left our worship team at church for a brief period. It seemed like such a shock to others around me, and honestly felt a bit strange to me at the time, but I knew in my heart that the Lord was calling me to a different avenue of ministry, and He impressed this passage on my heart: “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. ” (Philippians 3:12-14).

    Sometimes we have to “forget” the past – even a successful one — so that we can fulfill the Lord’s will for our lives. I’m so glad that you no longer view those times of “quitting” in that negative light. And I’m so glad you wrote this… it’s an encouragement to all of us who have ever felt like quitters to keep pressing on. 🙂

  4. I really needed to read this, and I thank God that He led me here. I have a past of quitting, and have thought about quitting something in my life right now. God used your post to nudge me back to Him, and to continue to press on towards the goal. Blessings and thank you for posting this!

    Heaven

  5. Wow that was wonderful!!

  6. Just today I was thinking about quiting statistics because I am begining to wonder what my true purpose is in life and does me getting my degree in business really make sense for my true purpose. The only think stopping me is thinking I am a quiter yet now I am thinking it is the right choice for me because it just doesn’t feel right.

    Thanks for sharing, such a great post.

  7. What a wonderful post. Girl, you are on a writing roll–please write that book, I will stand in a long long line to read it.

    My daughter has also been “quitting” lately


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