When we were growing up and wanted to give up on something that we found hard to do, our dad would say to us “cheaters never prosper and quitters never win.” These words have stuck with me to this day. I am not one to quit easily but sometimes, you just need to step back and evaluate whether it is worth continuing to move forward on the path you are walking.
In chapter six, Lee speaks of two people who are struggling with the career choices they have made. Cara worked full time in youth ministry but had a dream for years to write a book. She had never pursued it as she loved her job. But now, she was a new mother and juggling the demands her home life and her work life had put on her, left her exhausted and not enjoying her job any longer. An email arrived in her in-box that invited her to meet with a gentleman named Sam who was interesting in her writing. Her meeting with him planted the seed that she had the ability to be what her heart told her she could be. Cara turned in her resignation and in spite of her fears, she felt free… it was time to pursue a different path…one that allowed her to care for her son while sharing her words with the world.
Lee shares her own story in this chapter as well. Her work as a mental health practitioner had left her exhausted and depleted. She had no energy or enthusiasm for her own family and she came to realize that something had to give. The family needed her income so giving up her work completely was not an option, but she knew she had to quit. Not knowing what would come next, Lee placed her trust in God and took the plunge. After some time, she started working for a different treatment center but in a role that did not involve direct patient contact which is what had brought her to her decision to quit. Three days after beginning her new position, she was contacted by a publisher which resulted in this book. Leaving her full-time job to work part time in a new capacity had allowed her the time to write.
Jesus told Peter to get out of the boat and to walk on the water. It took courage to step out of his comfort zone to do just that. He got up, focused his eyes on the Lord and took that first step. Peter trusted that he would not drown. Even when he took his eyes off the Lord, Jesus was there to uphold him. Change is hard and stepping out of our own boats into the water takes that same kind of courage.
God opened Cara and Lee’s eyes to the idea of reinventing themselves… to finding a new way to live their lives by stepping out of the boat and trusting Him. I feel this is what He is telling me to do. I am reading a fiction book now titled “Girl in the Mirror” and this is an excerpt that I felt was aimed directly at me:
“I want to be happy and not feel guilty about it. I want to curious without being called indulgent. I want to be accepted regardless of what I look like, what I do for a living, my marital status, whether I have kids, or whether you think I’m nice enough, hospitable enough or humble enough to measure up to your impossible standards. I want purpose. I want contentment, I want to be loved and give love unreservedly in return. I want to be seen. I want to matter. I want freedom.”
1. Is there something you need to quit in your own life? A habit, a belief, a job, or maybe a relationship? What indicators make you think that now might be the right time for change?
Finding this book gave me the impetus to want to change… to peel back the layers of self-doubt, of insecurity, of unworthiness that have plagued me all my life. I am secure in my job and in my relationship with Wayne… it is my relationship with myself that needs to change.
2. Does the word quitting carry a negative meaning for you? What are some positive aspects of the word? What does it meant to reinvent something in our lives?
I was curious to see how the dictionary would define the word “quit” and I found that it defined it as “permanently leaving behind.” That puts a different perspective on the meaning than what I had previously thought.
Leaving a job that is wrong for you or ending a relationship that is not healthy for you is a positive step toward a new life. You are leaving behind the “old you” and celebrating the “new you.” This is what I see as reinventing ourselves. Reinventing does not mean throwing the whole away but rather tweaking and adjusting it to fit a new purpose or to work better.
3. When you think of stepping out of your familiar boat, what fears keep your feet rooted? How could you overcome these fears and make choices anchored in trust instead?
The fear of rejection is the biggest fear I face. Fear that exposing myself will change my relationships with family and with friends because they will not like the real me.
Sharing myself so openly in these posts is hard for me but each one is prayed over before I post it. By doing so, I am trusting that God will use them in whatever manner He sees fit and that I can accept whatever results from that.
4. Who could help you think through the decisions you want to make. Make yourself a promise to approach this person and ask him or her for their wisdom.
I don’t have one particular person who I would choose to go to but have had several people encourage me to keep writing and who have been cheering me on by their comments. I do appreciate the support and the encouragement more than I can ever express.