I was ready to throw in the towel.
Yes, ready to wave the white flag, and declare, “I quit. I’m done. I’m getting nowhere. I give up.”
Who was I to think I could write? Who was I to believe in following my dream? Who was I to presume I could make a difference in this world?
Who was I kidding??
I guess, I was kidding myself. It would be simpler to stay in my comfort zone… my safe and cozy and non-threatening comfort zone. It would be easier to settle back into life the way “its always been.”
I shut down my laptop, closed its lid, and walked away… thinking I may never return.
A handful of days passed. I kept my mind occupied with other activities. But, the longing to return to my closed laptop grew day by day. I gave in, and logged back on. Oh, I missed my online space. I missed my online friends. I missed the online lifelines and encouragement.
But most of all, I missed writing.
This was HUGE for me. I thought it was the writing I was ready to give up on. But the art of writing still energized me and brought me joy.
So what was causing my heart to want to give it all up?
I was reminded the life-giving words a friend spoke to me years ago at the end of one of our church services. I had just finished giving the message at the service, and he closed it praying for me and encouraging me to run my race, keeping my blinders on and my focus only on Jesus.
I knew a tiny bit about horses to understand what he meant. Horses have peripheral vision with their eyes placed on the sides of their heads. Because of this, they can easily stray off course unless they remain forward-focused. (Sounds a little like me.) Blinders are worn near their eyes to keep them focused on what’s ahead, and not on what is beside or behind them.
It was time to wear the blinders.
My focus had waned a bit. It dawned on me I had been setting it on what was going on beside me, and on who was doing what. I found myself caught in comparison again. I was also glancing over my shoulder to my past, and second-guessing, questioning, and entertaining the “I should haves” and “I could haves.”
And all this caused my excitement to dull, my passion to flicker, and my dream to diminish. I was robbing myself of my own joy!
Friend, are you in a place of giving in or giving up? Does everyone else appear to be succeeding, but you feel stuck? Is God calling you to pursue the dream He’s placed in your heart? But others are telling you you’re crazy? And what if you fail in front of them??
It may be time to pull out the blinders.
When you and I keep our gaze centered on God and His Will for our lives, He’ll guide us every step of the way. When we focus on Him, the distractions of our pasts, and what others are doing or not doing, disappear.
Only then will we be able to run our own race with confidence and patience.
Since we have such a huge crowd of men of faith watching us from the grandstands, let us strip off anything that slows us down or holds us back, and especially those sins that wrap themselves so tightly around our feet and trip us up; and let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us. Keep your eyes on Jesus, our leader and instructor. Hebrews 12:1-2a TLB
Instead of giving up on my dream, I decided to, instead, give up on gazing in any other direction but God’s. And I continue on in this adventure with Him!
Linking this post with Suzie Eller and friends for #livefreeThursday with the prompt “I give up.”
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Great post, Julie, and eerily relevant for me, because I’m contemplating giving up trying to write novels. While I know I can write reasonably well, and can tell a story, what I have to offer just doesn’t seem to resonate with agents. Self-publishing seems to me to be something of an ego thing, without already having a wide and enthusiastic following that will use word-of-mouth to inrease exposure.
Your words made me think, as they always do.
Hi Andrew! Thank you for sharing your words. And here I was just looking into self-publishing! I appreciate your perspective. I’m thankful our words can prompt each other to a new thought or a confirmed one. You have a way of doing that for me. Thanks for stopping in, Andrew. I’ll be over your way soon. (I still haven’t written my FMF post yet!) Bless you, brother.
Yes indeed Julie! Neighbor today at Suzie’s
Hi Susan! Thanks for stopping by!
“Caught in comparison” It gets us every time doesn’t it? This is a great post! I’m going to try and wear my blinders too! Loved it!
Thanks, Cindy. Yes, it gets me every time. Blinders are on! Bless you for stopping by.