When Life Feels Like This...Don't Quit
Sometimes life can put you in a place where you don't even have words anymore to explain how you feel. You've cried until there are no more tears. In your frustration you've yelled at others, then felt guilty for losing control and taking your anger out on people whom aren't to blame. You've prayed and nothing changed.
You made your positive affirmations and believed that what you were seeking would come to pass. You played by the rules. You did all the right things, and yet you feel so broken. So empty. So lost. So discouraged. So tired.
The more you try to make sense of it and figure it out, the more questions and confused you feel.
When will this season end? How much longer God? How did I end up here? Why isn't anything changing? Where is God in all of this? How could a loving God ignore my plea for help? How could He keep ignoring my pain? Maybe I'm being punished. I haven't been good enough. I didn't have enough faith. I doubted and now God's not answering my prayers.
As if you already didn't feel bad enough, now you begin to torment yourself with these agonizing questions that most often no one has answers to. You try to explain to others how you feel and they either look at you with a confused look because they have no idea what you're talking about and can't relate; or they know exactly how you feel, but they are just as tired and broken as you are, and even though they'd love to help you they can't. They have reserved just enough energy to keep themselves from sinking. Any extra weight they fear may drown them.
I get it. I don't blame them. It is what it is, right?
But here you are, still treading water in the middle of the ocean, looking everyday for a boat to come and save you. So, what are you to do in these seasons of waiting?
Keep treading....or start swimming to the shore.
Duh, you would have already swam to the shore if you had known which way the shore was, but you don't, and that's the reason why you're still treading water, just trying to keep your head afloat.
That may be one of the most frustrating parts about these seasons of waiting, is that you don't know what to do. You feel lost because you've done everything you know to do, and now you feel out of options, which is what contributes to you feeling so depleted and lost at times, even to the point of hopelessness.
And I wish I could give you a five-point presentation and tell you that if you did these five things your problems would be solved, but I'd be lying to say that. Sometimes the only answer is to keep going. It may not be a very exciting answer, but it is the truth.
There's a saying that, "Success is inevitable for those who refuse to give up." I may not have a five-point presentation to change your situation, and I may not be able to predict when your breakthrough will happen, but I can tell you that if you keep treading, or swimming, or whatever you need to do to keep moving, that eventually your dead, stagnant situation will change and life will rebound. Your breakthrough, that thing you've been praying and pleading and striving towards, will happen, as long as you don't quit
If you need some encouragement, consider these people's failures and dead places.
Sir James Dyson
You may not know the name, but bets are you use one of his products. He created the bagless vacuums, which took him over 15 years and 5,126 failed prototypes before he succeeded. He spent three of those years travelling around the world and being told no by one manufacturer after another, not because they didn't think it was a good idea, but because these manufacturers had built a business on bags and filters.
But despite people thinking he was mad, being broke, and taking so many hard years, he refused to give up and he has now amassed a net worth of $4.5 billion. I bet those guys who told him no wished they had said yes. Be careful who you overlook.
Now this is a name you probably know, but what many people don't know is that he was rejected by publishers 27 times before his first book got published, and had it not been for a chance encounter, or more like fate, we never would have known his beloved children's books.
He was walking home after receiving his 27th rejection with plans to go home and burn his book, when he ran into a friend who just started working that morning at Vanguard Press in the children's section as an editor. His friend took his book to the publisher and a few hours later he had signed a contract and his first book, "And to Think that I Saw It on Mulberry Street" was published, which launched his career.
Dr. Seuss later said, “If I had been going down the other side of Madison Avenue, I’d be in the dry-cleaning business today.” Despite these 27 publishers who didn't see his talent, he went on to sell more than 600 million copies worldwide.
Another author who faced multiple rejections from publishers was Stephen King. His first book, Carrie, was rejected 30 times by publishers and unlike Dr. Seuss who almost threw his book in the trash, King actually did, but thanks to his wife who retrieved it and convinced him to try one more time, that one more time is what did it - and the rest is history. His novels have now sold more than 350 million copies worldwide and he has a worth of $400 million.
"By every usual standard I was the biggest failure I knew."
These are the words of one of the world's most popular writers before her widely popular Harry Potter series were published. After the death of her mother she fell into a deep depression. Not long after she was reeling from a failed marriage and struggling as a single mother, unemployed and on welfare.
This was a very dark period of her life, so much so that she said she was fighting suicidal thoughts, but the one place she found solace from all her pain was in writing. Despite being rejected by 12 publishers and feeling like a failure in almost every area of her life, something deep inside of her told her to keep going, and that little voice paid off, big time.
J.K. Rowling is the first author to become a billionaire, and is only one of five self-made female billionaires in the world. Rowling is proof that you can harness pain and turn it into your gain.
I don't know what you've been waiting on or what your dead place is in your life. Maybe it's a marriage or a relationship. Maybe it's a dream that has died. Maybe your dead place is your finances or a business. Maybe you feel dead in your body from an illness, or maybe your heart feels dead from rejection or battered relationships, and you feel like you just want to lay down and die.
Everything in you wants to give up, but I am here to tell you to not quit. There is power in perseverance. As Winston Churchill, the man who faced much opposition and was mainly responsible for stopping Hitler said, "Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm."
Despite how hopeless your situation may feel right now, you never know how one more try can change the entire course of your life. In the meantime, keep your head up. Keep believing the sun will shine even on those rainy days. (Especially on those rainy days.)
Keep speaking what you want to see and not what you are experiencing. Think of Ezekiel and the valley of dry bones.
"So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet - a vast army." - Ezekiel 37:10
If you don't give up, your dead place will bloom again and you will eat the fruit of your labor. In the meantime, keep treading, or swimming, or dancing, or singing, or writing or whatever you need to do to keep moving.
Just don't quit.