“… knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint….” Romans 5:3-5
I’ve never been so close to quitting as I was in that terrifying moment. I had been stretched all week, each day a little more. Then came a challenge I felt so unready for that I began packing my belongings and drafting my excuse to the leader. In my mind, I was already headed for my car, but in real-time, the first team was up doing the assignment. “They seem to be doing alright, but I’m sure they are better prepared than I am,” I thought. This was a lie because it was an assignment the instructor sprang on all of us, and I could see the nervousness hiding behind the jokes of the first team. I was next. It felt rude to walk out with everyone looking at me, so I walked to the front of the class with my partner. The fear was so strong it stood in my eyes in the form of tears. My partner began, and my response was to take an option allowing me to come back to the question later. To my surprise, I got the answer to the next question right. Still nervous, but no longer terrified, I worked through the rest of the assignment, and it was over sooner than I expected.
It’s going to be the same for you if you don’t quit, My Friend. Fear is a master storyteller who writes vivid lies designed to make you abdicate your destiny. He camps around the doorway of your breakthrough, exerting exaggerated motions for you to turn back. Your haters are hoping you will, but those who’ve invested in you are waiting to see a return of a different kind. Quitting is never a solitary thing.
I’ve done the quitting thing and even years later, it stings every time I recall it. Before you decide to give up, know that quitting wastes time because you’ll have to do the task again anyway. Know that some opportunities won’t wait around that long.
The better “you”is waiting at the finish line. Determine to get there even if it means tear stains on your cheeks and blood on your knees from falling and getting back up. The wounds of a fighter hurt better than the gut-level gashes of a quitter.
You wouldn’t have started this journey if there wasn’t something you thought was worth whatever it took. You have a life to live and the better part waits on the other side of what has you wanting to run away.
That terrifying moment I described turned out to be a turning point in my life. It forged a courage in me that I nearly robbed myself of, but thank God, it serves me well for my next terrifying assignment. I am still shaking, but I’m not backing down. I want whatever awaits the other side. I know you want yours too.
Find an encourager, pray, cry it out if you have to, but….Please. Don’t. Quit.