It started with tennis elbow back in early February. Mundane, everyday tasks — even drinking a cup of coffee — led to shooting, excruciating pain piercing throughout my arm.
Then in March, the beloved curriculum director in charge of my new Live Full Walk Free project took a nasty fall in the parking lot, and had to take an extended break from work. She’s still out.
Add to the mix a crazy marriage mess, intense family conflict and drama, website woes, a nasty bee sting/allergic reaction, plus hitting a wild turkey with our car while zooming down the highway—2016 has been a year I would like to forget.
Not to mention: Wednesday my email was hacked by someone in Switzerland, and a fake Dropbox attachment was sent to all of my contacts and FB friends. (I’m so sorry if you were on the receiving end. Ugh.)
True confession: I. am. struggling.
I’ve even thought to myself, “Maybe ministry is too hard for me? Maybe I should just quit and go work at a coffee shop or something?”
Y’all, I feel a bit like humpty dumpty, except I’ve been pushed off the wall.
Have you ever been there before too, friend?
Whether it’s the demanding work challenge, hard relationship struggle, financial crisis, medical challenges, or worse — I sense many of us have had moments when it feels like our world is falling apart.
I know God will be able to put me back together, but how do I, how do we, hold on to hope in the mean time?
What do we do during the hard seasons when we are tempted to quit and walk away, whether it’s in ministry, marriage, our job, or a relationship?
I don’t have all the answers, but thankfully we know the One Who does. And while the struggles are fresh in my mind, I’ve decided to share 3 lessons I’ve been learning so far.
When You Want to Quit
1. Identify the “root” issue.
- What is the underlying issue that is fueling your desire to quit?
- Is that issue valid?
- Is it worth giving up?
Personally, for me, at the core —my issue is fear. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of being rejected. Fear of being hurt again. Fear of disappointing others. Fear of the spiritual battle.
I’ve had to prayerfully decide if I was going to let fear hold me back from experiencing what God has for me to do. I had a choice to make.
Once I identified the root was fear (and we know fear is not from God), it helped fuel a steadfast determination to keep going. I’ve been asking God daily to replace my fear with His courage. I am choosing to stand firm and walk forward….even if I’m shaking in my sparkly boots. 🙂
2. Ask friends for help
If you are seriously considering giving up, please invite a wise, Truth-telling Christian friend to journey with you. Share how you are really doing.
I’m so thankful to my small group of girlfriends who have come over to pray for me, read Scripture, send me verses and words of hope, and encourage me. Their presence and words of Truth have been that “cup of cold water” I needed. (And their lattes have warmed my heart—thanks, friends.)
Aren’t you thankful God did not intend us to journey alone?!
If you are ready to throw in the towel, who can you call TODAY and ask for help, wisdom and prayer? Please do not stay isolated. Tell someone.
3. Fill your mind with Truth.
Sweet friends, if we are going to experience a victorious life, especially in the midst of our challenging circumstances, we MUST fill our minds with Truth.
Not things that are true, but the TRUTH of who God is and what He says about us.
- It may be true that your feelings have been hurt.
- It may be true that you are taking a risk by charting new territory.
- It may be true that others won’t understand your pain, and may even write you snarky letters.
You get my drift. As Kelly Minter shares in her book, No Other Gods—
“Satan will tell us what’s true, but he never tells us the TRUTH.”
It’s time to take what is true and match it with God’s TRUTH!
- It may be true that your feelings have been hurt….but our God is ABLE to do IMMEASURABLY MORE than we could ever ask or imagine. He will bind up your broken heart, put you back together piece by piece, give you a firm place to stand, and equip and empower you with everything you need.
- It may be true that you are taking a risk by charting new territory…but in Christ you are ACCEPTED, COURAGEOUS, and FAITH-FILLED; you don’t need to worry about what others will think.
- It may be true that others won’t understand, and may even write letters…but your LOVE, WORTH, and VALUE is not based on what others think, but what God thinks – and HE THINKS YOU ARE WONDERFUL!
I once heard someone say, “It’s time we change our “what ifs” to “so what.” I wholeheartedly agree.
- So what if others don’t understand?
- So what if your journey looks different than others?
- So what if others write you snarky letters?
- Did you do what God called you to do?
- Did you serve Him with excellence? (Not perfection, but excellence).
- Did you try your best?
- Did you keep your heart pure?
- Did you seek Him every step of the way?
As Beth Moore says, “We are warriors, not wimps.”
Let’s start believing God for ALL that He has for us and watch Him do amazing things before our very eyes!
I’m not throwing in the towel, and I hope you won’t either.
So I’m curious…when was the last time your world felt like it was falling apart? What helped you keep going? How did you overcome your current challenges? I’d love to hear from you!
Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles.* God’s richest blessings to you!
P.S. And a huge shout-out to Dan from Fistbump Media for mending my broken online home! Lord willing, my website woes are over. Woo Hoo!
Cindy, I was just reading Acts 14. After Paul was stoned and drag outside the city (Lystra), the next day he and Barnabas went to Derbe, v20. There he “strengthened the disciples and encouraged them to remain true to the faith.” “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God”, they said, v22. I was struck by how Paul got up and kept working even after he was beat down. He was encouraging others even though he may have been the one needing encouragement. Don’t give up dear friend, God is preparing a special place for you in the kingdom of God.
I love you, Cindy Bultema. You are in my heart and prayers, and I believe with my whole heart that this is a doozy of a storm before an unimaginable victory for the kingdom. In the middle… I stand with you, my friend.
Thank you for this, Cindy. It really resonated with me. I especially love “Fill Your Mind with Truth.” I really try to cling to the Lord’s unconditional love for me, and the fact that I can trust Him no matter what (sometimes it can be a battle for sure). You always bless me with your faith in the Lord & perseverence in all the ups & downs. Love & blessings to you, beautiful friend 🙂
Cindy I can so relate! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been under the attack of the enemy this year, I thought whatever I did would just be defeated by him. I have been dealing with a medical issue this year and had to I have an unexpected medical procedure (praise God the biopsy was benign), a struggle as well in my marriage, trying to put out my on line Bible study to then have an outbreak of lice eek! Oh and did I tell you we got a puppy who likes to chew up everything even my Bible notes? Amongst other things everywhere I looked there was the enemy! I also wanted to walk the other way and give up! Love how God puts it into perspective. He tells me stay calm I’ve got this. He shows me how much I have to stay fervent in prayer against the enemy. Oh how the enemy loves to attack right at our most vulnerable moments and poke holes in his plan. You are proof of God’s truth and no matter how many holes the enemy tries to poke in Gods plan, he never stands a chance against our Almighty one. The more holes he tries to poke the brighter God’s light shines. Thank you enemy for challenging me, God’s strength just made me stronger. You are loved! Thank you for sharing!
Do you remember 16 years ago on November 8, I stopped by Mars Hill, and fell apart, my world had crashed ! I went walking around church looking for someone I knew to pray with me, I found you, Laura, and Matt. You all sat with me in a small circle and we prayed. My husband Jim Tuttle
had just had a massive stroke and I was broken. Well life is better now – but we struggled with that stroke for eleven years, then God said “Enough” and called Jim home. He had been praying for a year for God to say enough and we had been for a while also.
Cindy, thank you for praying that day and days to follow. I also remember the night you and John were going out to dinner to celebrate (you were pregnant) and you stopped by Mary Free Bed to see Jim and told us that wonderful news. And now how your family has grown and I bet there have been many more blessings and announcements, SO WHY do we fret and worry so much?
I hope God will give you the peace he gave me 16 years ago, what did I just say? Of course He will, so let me says that this way,
God will give you peace, as He did me.
Love and Blessings,
I am so sorry you are going through this tough season. I am sure your ministry touches many, so I’m sure the enemy would do all he can to distract and bring division. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. God will lead you. Praying for you and your family.
I was just coming to your site after listening to both of your She Speaks talks. The enemy may be doing his best to discourage, but I wanted to encourage you because both outbreaks were hugely helpful. I was struck by your humility and willingness to serve as well as your the fun and connection you created. I’ve listened to both twice & taken notes. I’ll be implementing several of the practical things you shared. I also, just read through your grief post. It resonated b/c my husband passed away suddenly 5 years ago — the impetus for much of my writing. Blessings to you as you persevere. God has much for you!