Discouragement: How I Overcame the Urge to QuitJan 30, 2024
Oh my goodness, I almost quit on a dream I've had for 15 years now. Gosh, that's scary!
A dream, God put on my heart, as an invitation to deepen my trust and intimacy with Him, but it didn't look the way I assumed it would. I spent countless days wrestling with was this question, "If this dream was really from God, then why has it taken so long and still not be where I imagine?"
Pursuing your God-given dreams seems like they'd be easy to stay the course, no matter what obstacles you faced, because the passion that naturally flowed from doing what God created you for. Right?
Yeah. That's what I used to think.
I'm more convinced, now than ever, that's a BIG lie
I believe it actually causes more people to quit on their dreams due to challenges, unbelief, and discouragement but thinking it should be easier or faster.
Can you relate? Maybe you've thought...
"If God really called me to write this book, it'd be published already, but it's been 10 years."
"If I was meant to lose weight, I would have already."
"I'm divorced and too old to meet a Godly-spouse now."
"If God really wanted me to have a child, then it would have happened."
It always breaks my heart to hear these responses. To be honest, I've always been certain that this kind of thinking wouldn't happen to me, because I was aware when I heard it in other. Except it was happening and I was unaware of it. I had fallen into the trap of looking at my present circumstances for evidence of Gods promises being true.
Recently, God awakened me to the reality that I've been arguing with Him about quitting on His dreams. Even thought, I hadn't felt called into something else (although working at a coffee shop is often my go-to fantasy) but was believing the lie that "maybe this dream wasn't from God".
How did that even happen?
Three years ago, I received one of my greatest blessings and answered prayers: to have a child. I am forever grateful for it too, but it impacted my life in ways I wasn't expecting. My performance, passion, and results in business drastically decreased.
Suddenly, I didn't feel as inspired or confident that God was calling me to be a business owner, even thought I didn't feel he was calling me to be a stay-at-home mom either. When I would "step away" from our businesses for a week or so, I'd have a compelling desire to go back.
This back and forth, hot and cold, toward my God-given dream was wearing down my certainty and joy. I started questioning whether this desire was truly from God.
I've heard several sermons on facing our own giants, like King David, before we enter into our Promise Land, but I underestimated the sneakiness of these giants (discouragement, obstacles, fear, etc).
1. My Breaking Point
After losing both of my parents last year, I spent more time contemplating my purpose, faith, and the finality of death. It may sound depressing, sometimes it was, but in the end it stirred up more trust in God. As 2023, came to a close, I felt anxiety about being a business owner, considering stepping back completely from coaching, writing, and business all together. I didn't want to continue to live in the tension of doubting that God was calling me to it and frustrated by the process.
On January 9th I felt God inviting me to do a 21 day, which was my final, "ok God, I need You to show up big during this time and give me clarity or I'm quitting" kind of conversation with Him. Thankfully He's so patient and gracious with us. These last two weeks I've had incredible insight, revelation, and inspiration. It's not that fasting is the answer, but I do believe taking away distractions to lean in closer, for an extended period of time, to get into the Presence of God is always beneficial.
2. Seek Gods Guidance
Proverbs 3:5-6, Passion Translation, has been highlighted to me over and over these last few weeks, Divinely guided. Now, I am getting a glimpse into the value of this scripture and how impactful living it out is.
"Trust in the Lord completely, don't rely on your own opinions. With all your heart rely on Him to guide you, and He will lead you in every decision you make. (6) Become intimate with Him in whatever you do, and He will lead you wherever you go."
Before I responded to my years of discouragement by quitting, I sought God for guidance with a steadfast spirt. I'd thrown up countless prayers, "God help me do better, be better" they didn't give me the confidence I was needing. It was different than asking "God I want to do whatever You want, whats on Your heart for me today?"
Seeking Gods guidance comes from intimacy without an agenda; seeking Him to be and know Him.
3. Divine Empowerment
Over these past couple of weeks, with the strong urge to quit business to do who knows what, I received Divine empowerment. It wasn't by my own strength. I believe fasting for 21 hours for 21 days helped remind me to rely on God, seek Him, and give Him thanks through out the day - that all of those things allowed me to receive what He already wanted to give me.
In that space, I was able to hear Him more clearly. He was showing me how fear and the need for control are masters in my life. We can't serve two masters.
God, also showed me where my heart had become more focused on worldly things than on what matters to Him.
These were big revelations that help me see more clearly so I can adjust the right course, instead of quitting on the destination.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I pray each person who reads this and it resonates with, that You awaken the eyes of their heart to see, like You did mine. Inspire them to draw closer to You in deeper intimacy without striving or feeling guilt when they don't do it. You are so gracious and loving. I pray they experience that this week. In Jesus Name. Amen.
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