Do you ever feel like just giving up? I know I have lately. It’s been a hard year for me as I know it’s been for everyone else. My struggle hasn’t been with COVID but Cancer. You can read about my struggle in my post “Having Joy When Your Going Through Hell“. Between my treatments, all the meds they’ve had me on and not being able to workout like I am used to, I just don’t feel like myself.
One Thing After Another
During my chemotherapy I had gained about 20 pounds due to all the steriods they had me on and I had been struggling with losing it ever since I’d finished all my treatments. My PCP had told me my cholesterol and liver enzymes were going back up (both genetic) and I really needed to get the weight off and get back to exercising regularly and my healthy eating patterns but no matter how good I ate, I just coudn’t get it off.
It’s been a real challenge to get back to eating right and working out. My motabolism had tanked and without exercise I knew it wasn’t going to happen. The weather has been worse than normal this year so without my space to exercise, I was really struggling.
One thing after another has happened and between the weather and my body just being rebellious I’ve not been able to get motivated to do either.
I was finally getting back into some kind of rhythm when this past Friday I had to go to the ER with acute abdominal pain and they told me I’d have to have emergency gallbladder surgery! WHAT?????
Like I said earlier, I was finally starting to do at least something when all this happened and now it was going to be another 6 weeks before I could really do anything!! I wanted to just throw up my hands and say forget it. I’m done! I’m tired of the battles and all the roadblocks that seemed to constantly be in my way. I’M….JUST….DONE!
Wait a minute…..I’m a personal trainer for crying out loud. I teach people how to take care of their minds and bodies…I know what to do! What was my problem? Then it hit me. Old habits were raising their ugly heads and I needed to do something about it and do it NOW!!
I realized, I’d fallen back in to some old patterns from earlier in my life. Ways of thinking that had held me back for years and I knew if I didn’t get control of my thinking fast, I was going to be back to a place I never thought I’d be again.
Let me explain…
For the most part, my life has been defined by things I’ve started and not finished.
I grew up with parents who didn’t encourage me to finish anything. I’m in no way bashing my parents. They were never encouraged either so they really didn’t know how to.
Still, more times than not I heard “You don’t have to do that” and being a people pleaser, I usually quit. Even if it was something I really enjoyed and was good at, like sports.
When I was in sixth grade I played on a softball team called the Purple Onions (don’t laugh, it’s true!). At first we REALLY stunk! We practiced and practiced and eventually got better only losing our first game. I was the pitcher and a really good one! I was even picked for the All Star team! Even with all that, my dad wasn’t impressed and encouraged me to quit so that was the only year I played softball.
Next I took up tennis and I was REALLY good at that! And I LOVED to play. I lived and breathed tennis. So much so that I would play by myself anywhere there was a wall. I carried my tennis racket and balls with me everywhere I went and watched it on T.V. everytime it came on.
Again, I was discouraged to play but this time, I kept at it. I never tried out at school but during my sophmore year in high school the Tennis coach was also my P.E. coach and she really encouraged me so this year I was bound and determined to do it. I was NOT going to quit this time!
I practiced and practiced and knew I was ready. A few weeks before the try outs, we had what was called the Foreign Olympics at our school where all the different foreign language clubs competed against each other. I was in the French Club so I was in! We played Softball (which of course I pitched!), and had track and field events.
I was slotted to run in the 100 yard dash and 4-man relay. During warm ups as I was running around the track, I felt something pull in my right knee. I knew I had hurt something but ran in my races anyway and then walked the mile or so home afterwards! By the time I got home my knee was really swollen and I couldn’t hardly stand on it. The next day my mom took me to the doctor and it was determined I had torn cartlidges on both sides of my knee. I was going to have to have surgery. This was before laproscopic surgery so this was major surgery.
NOOOOOOO!!!! Tennis try outs are in 2 weeks! This can’t be happening! Needless to say, I didn’t try out. I was so discouraged and disappointed. And what did my dad say? Well, my mom told me that it had upset him when he realized just how much it meant to me to play but yet he still told me “You didn’t need to do that anyway.”
The Pattern Was Set
This started a pattern in my life that lasted for decades! I’d start something and when it got to hard or turn out differently than what I expected, I’d quit. For YEARS I quit one thing after another. Jobs, relationships, projects. You name it, I quit it. I had no confidence that I was good at anything, and if I was good at something I didn’t think anything good would come out of it so why bother.
Pretty negative, huh? And in my thinking at the time, pretty pathetic. It wasn’t until God really got hold of me that my thinking started to change. I read books like Purpose Driven Life and Battlefield Of The Mind and realized that I was in a war and up to that point, I’d been losing! I felt unworthy and unqualified for ANYTHING!!
From Negative To Positive
But I knew I had to do something if I wanted things to change. And for the first time in my life I felt like they could. I began scouring the Bible for scripture on controling my thoughts and being worthy of good things. Passages on how much God loved me and how He had a plan for my life and it was a good plan! In Jeremiah 29:11 it says;
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope“
So I started telling myself that I was worthy, that I did have talent and that I could do ALL things with Christ’s help. I started to really believe that there was nothing I couldn’t do if I put my mind to it!
I started reminding myself of all that I had accomplished and that God loved me. I mean REALLY loved me. Just like I was and nothing I did (or didn’t do) would ever change that!
Change CAN Happen
Slowly, I became more a positive person. I started making better decisions and actually accomplishing some pretty cool stuff (at least for me)! I was able to move up in to management in a field I loved and I became very active in my church teaching Sunday School and getting involved in other ministries as well. I was really making a difference in peoples lives and accomplishing things for God.
This blog is one of those pretty cool things. I’d been told for years that I should write but I never took the encouragement seriously. I mean, I was teaching Sunday school but my past still haunted me. How could someone who had failed at almost everything she’d ever tried teach anyone anything?
Use What You’ve Got
Then I heard someone say “God wants you to use your failures to help others” and I thought “Mercy! If He wants me to use my failures….I’ve got a lot I could teach”! It was a mind shift for me and I decided to start this blog and see if maybe, just maybe, my failures, my hurts, and all my massive screw ups could help someone else.
I’ve now had this blog for six years and it’s been an up and down thing. I’ve struggled with knowing what to write and having the time to write But I knew it was what God wanted me to do so I kept at it even though it was pretty sporadic. The time problem was solved this past October when we moved to a new home and I was able to leave my full time job and sort of “retire”. I just knew I would have plenty of time to devote to writing.
Slippery Slope Heading Backwards!
I knew that I wanted to concentrate on writing and painting (I paint landscapes in oil) but I no longer had my office which was where I wrote and painted. So we bought a building and have been working on turning it in to an office/studio but again it’s been one thing after another. We were SOOOOO close to getting it done when I had to have my gallbladder surgery and I thought “Here we go again”!
You see, I’ve geen waiting for everything to be perfect before I took up my writing again. I kept telling myself that I didn’t have a place to write or paint. That I needed quiet in order to focus and I didn’t have that space yet….so I quit. I just quit!
That’s when I realized that my mind was going backwards, I knew had to get a grip on things. I was NOT going to quit! I really started praying and asking for God’s help and direction. Asking for His courage and strength to keep going. I knew that I knew that I KNEW that He wants me to write. And I knew that because it was His will that He woud give me everything I needed in order to do it.
Don’t Give Up
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9
Finishing is better than starting.
Patience is better than pride. Ecclesiastes 7:8
I was reminded that if I want to do God’s will and finish the job He has for me then I can’t give up!
You see, what I’ve found out through my life is that when I stay the course and finish what I’ve started I have more peace and joy! Why’s that? Because when I keep going and don’t give up, I’m trusting God for His help and when I trust Him then I don’t have to carry the load by myself. When I give up, I’m not trusting Him to 1) know what’s bests for me, 2) believe He knows what He’s doing, and 3) that He is in control and that’s FAR better than my having control!
I had to be reminded that all of this is part of His plan and if that’s the case, He will use it for my good. (Romans 8:28).
Nothing Is Wasted
Nothing is wasted when you trust God. These last few months have been frustrating….but….I know He’s still working. I know that what I’m doing, I’m doing for Him and I know that HE knows that! I just needed to start telling myself all this stuff again.
Does this mean that all is hunky dory now? LOL…that would be nice, wouldn’t it! But I’m well aware that the war I mentioned earlier is still waging in my mind, I just have to get off the bench and get back on the offense again! I’ve got everything I need to win the war in my mind, I just have to utilize the weapons I have and th Sword of the Spirit (the Bible) is my best offensive weapon!
Back On The Offense
So here I am, writing again! It feels good to be productive and guess what….things aren’t perfect! My music loving husband is in the next room practicing his guitar and listening to his music! And my wonderful dogs have been downstairs barking their silly heads off, and me? I’m focusing on what I can do, right now…even though it’s not what I thought I needed! So much for needing peace and quiet, eh? LOL….all I can say is God is good! He’s helping me to stay focused and….write!
Hang In There!
So guys, if you’ve felt like giving up, or maybe you have been like I used to be and are in the habit of giving up all the time, let me encourage you to hang in there! It’s not about perfection but about persistence! If you keep on keeping on, you will reap the benefits IF you don’t give up!
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Take care everyone and if you are like me and winter’s been harder than normal…keep warm! And may all of you be safe. Until next time….