For When You're Tempted to Quit

When was the last time you quit?  Your job?  You exercise plan?  Your diet?  Your budget?  To be honest, I've never thought of myself as a quitter.  I get stuff done.  I'm task oriented.  And while I'm not someone who likes making a list (you know who you are), I tend to like a little closure. 

But there's more to quitting than checking off lists.  You can quit your job.  You can quit relationships.  You can quit trying.  You can quit on eating healthier.  You can quit on your feelings.  You can quit on you.  

If you've read this blog for any length of time, I've started a journey this year.  I had to break up with gluten and dairy at the same time.  I really didn't quit on them because I love them.  They quit on me. 

When I discovered my health issues and nightly vertigo spins were being caused by food, I was in shock.  I mean I love food.  Most of it (we can leave out the kale and cauliflower). And I was unprepared to not eat bread and cheese again. 

The Journey of Quitting

My journey of food elimination took me down a path I never intended.  I got a health coach to help me and as you may have already read, she asked me to pause before eating.  You can read more about that here.   As much as I thought this was a good idea, I refused to do it.  I wanted food so much more than I wanted to pause.  And because cheese and bread were off limits, I found comfort in the not-so-good for me food replacing it. 

Before I knew it, I wanted to quit.  Well, to be fair, I had already quit several times.  I would be good for a few days, and then back to eating for comfort and not for health.  The cycle has become familiar.  The effects on my body and my life - not so great. 

I sought some help from a counselor friend I know.  And while, it's been good to engage with someone who can help and see below my surface, each meeting is filled with uncovering more. More feelings I've been numbing with food.  More insight into things I thought I was okay with but am not okay with.  More discoveries into my striving to be enough instead of loving who God created me to be. More realization that a life I love can exist with parts of life that make me sad. 

This isn't really what I signed up for.  I signed up to quit gluten and dairy.  I'm not sure I signed up for all these feelings that I've buried.  And I realized, that long before I had a food problem, I had a feelings problem.  

Choose to Do What's Hard

At this point, I'd rather quit.  And yet I know that I need to keep pressing on and stop returning to the fridge. 

I've been thinking about my journey so far as I process what's next around here at One Foot Coaching.  We're starting our second Both Feet in Bible Study and studying Looking for Lovely this summer.  Many of you may remember my Looking For Lovely Challenge earlier this Spring. 

At the time we were selecting the study, I couldn't get Looking for Lovely out of my head.  I felt we were supposed to study this next and add life coaching tools in for some application.  I thought this stayed on my heart because our group needed a little more lovely. 

It all came together when I heard Annie F. Downs, the author of Looking For Lovely, interviewed on The Influence Podcast recently.  She talked about not quitting, leaning into our feelings, and persevering through the hard things. She uses Romans 5 as a foundation for both her interview and her Bible study. 

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
— Romans 5:3-5

Pressing Toward Hope

As I began to prepare for our first Bible study on Tuesday, I was thinking about what each of us might need to persevere in.  Our jobs.  A healthy lifestyle.  Uncovering long buried feelings.  And I realized, in the middle of wanting to quit and go back to what's familiar, Looking for Lovely was on my heart for me.  Looking For Lovely is a reminder to me that hope comes from persevering.  Looking for Lovely reminds me that joy and sadness can come together. 

I don't know what you are tempted to quit at today.  It could be that relationship that has been hard lately.  It could be the job that seems ordinary.  It could be people or a place that has disappointed you.  It could be the hard thing in your life that would be easier to avoid or numb or forget about. 

What I loved about Annie's interview was the idea that hope comes from not quitting.  Hope comes from pressing through hard things.  Hope comes because God wants to redeem that hard thing in the middle of our mess.  Hope is worth leaning in when you'd rather lean out. 

There are days when I love my life.  I wake up knowing that I work for myself (most of the time), serve my clients with the gifts God has given me, and love what I do.  There are other days when I want a piece of cheese or want to forget some of the other parts of my life that are hard and not anything I ever imagined. 

Don't quit.  Instead, find someone to walk with you.  Find the courage to be vulnerable and real with just one person.  Press pause even if you don't want to.  And seek out at least one lovely thing about your life every day in the middle of the hard stuff.  

What is one thing you need to persevere in right now?  I'd love to pray for you on your journey!   

 

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