Ever Feel Like Giving Up?

I have.

For me, it’s been about writing, but it could be about anything near and dear to your heart. Anything you struggle with. Relationships, a career, maybe a dream.

Giving up starts with a single negative thought. I entertain a flicker of doubt.

Who am I to think I can write?

Thoughts gather. Circle like buzzards.

Why in the heck would anyone want to read this?

It’s an awful lotta work. With no guarantees.

Discouragement settles over me like a summer cold.

What if it’s all for nothing?

What if I missed God?

I should probably quit.

Before I make a fool of myself.

Before I fail.

So…..

Saturday morning, Rick and I watched our son Thomas, his girlfriend Brittany, and her brother Shooter run a Chick-fil-A 5K. Brittany and Shooter’s mama watched too. :-)

It was Thomas’s and Shooter’s first race.

We cheered them on at the starting line and were waiting at the finish line. One by one, as they came into view to run the final yards, we clapped, whistled, screamed, “You can do it! Come on! Almost there!”

Holy chills ran down my neck as I witnessed what happened next–the kind where God seems to say, Pay attention.

Rounding the corner toward the homestretch, each one of them did the very same thing.

They kicked it into high gear.

Turned it on big time.

Gave it all they had.

(Thomas above, Shooter below)

 

(Brittany above)

As I saw their determination– jaws set, legs pumping harder, faster, eyes fixed on the goal, I felt the glorious fire ignite inside my heart again.

I can’t quit.

Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. Isaiah 50:7 NIV

Stay the course, my friends! Keep running!

If you feel like giving up, let me know. I’ll pray.

Love,

Julie

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Tom says:

    What an honestly presented reminder of our need to encourage and spur each other on. We can first step out and encourage the efforts of others and in return receive what our fragile esteems need. Julie you have encouraged me more times than I can count and trust me I am standing here cheering you on and praying the breath of the Holy Spirit is at your back with fresh airs of victory! Keep going Julie, you are almost there. Just a little further, give it your all and God will do all the rest! Blessings and victory to you! Go Julie Go! ….and thank you for my cheers as well!

  2. Julie Garmon says:

    You’re so right, Tom. Encouraging each other–nothing like it. Thank you, thank you. Sometimes the flames of faith need poking a bit! Your writing always targets what I’m dealing with. :-)

    That’s what He seemed to say….’Just a little further, give it your all.”

    Thank you. “Running” now at my computer.

  3. Jane says:

    Feel like giving up? Oh, yeah, it seems to be part of the daily routine lately! But it’s truly amazing how God keeps sending me little messages and signs that I need to forge on…..in my daily devotional material, through other bloggers……that little nudge to keep moving forward when I want to retreat. Now I have this beautiful image of a runner kicking it into high gear as they plunge forward to the finish line. Truly a gift of encouragement! Thank you for sharing this today…..it was much needed.

    • Julie Garmon says:

      Me too, Jane! He sends me little messages….”I’m with you.” “Keep going.”

      Thank you for letting me know this found a home in your heart!!!

      One step, then another, then another, my friend.

  4. Marilyn says:

    Oh Julie, how many times I’ve wanted to give up! Not just for myself but in family situations. Even though I know the Bible tells us to always hope, sometimes it is so hard to muster. I do appreciate all the prayers sent my way. Thank you for sharing your family’s celebration of finishing the race set before them! Wonderful pictures!

  5. Melody♪♫ says:

    all.the.time!
    But then I remember the 3 pairs of eyes that watch me closest & still learn life lessons from me… And now as one of them enters college — wow! where else will he need more staying power? (Well, until marriage, I guess…)
    So many beautiful Biblical analogies can come from “running the race.” What wonderful photos of your dear ones challenging their bodies. Were they running to benefit a particular charity?

    • Julie Garmon says:

      Whew, good to hear, Melody. I love the way you said it. “All. the. time!” Love your honesty, too. I didn’t realize you had one going to college.

      I asked them if the race benefited a certain cause. They didn’t think so. Maybe so?? I’m not sure.

      Thanks for reading and for the thumbs up. Running, side by side, with you. :-)

  6. Julie Gilleand says:

    Thanks for sharing that, Julie. Giving up is something I struggle with in many areas, but especially writing, like you. For the record, PLEASE do not stop writing! I love to read everything you write! If not for you I wouldn’t know about “porch parties”! I have this dream of one day having those with my husband! Your stories about them, keeps that dream alive in me :-) And your writing about your brother’s struggle with addiction was an encouragement to me in dealing with my husband’s addiction. So many things, Julie. So please don’t give up!!

    When you compared it to a race, I was reminded of something that happened a long time ago. I was 20 and trying to quit smoking. I had tried many times and failed, but finally I gave it to God and said I’d tried as hard as I knew I ever could and if He wanted me free of this, He’d have to take it from me. That very night, he branded 1 Jn. 5:14-15 on my heart and through it I knew God had already granted me his deliverance. For the next 3 weeks I told everyone God had delivered me. They looked at me funny when I’d tell them I still had a craving, but that I knew God had given me a gift of deliverance. It just had yet to be fully manifested. That didn’t come from some faith teaching I’d heard. I’d never yet heard teaching like that! That came from God! Also the night he gave me that scripture, he took away half of my craving to make it more bearable.

    But about 3 weeks in, I almost caved in and was about to give up. Right in that moment I had what you might call a vision, but whatever it was, I saw this picture in my mind, clear as day. I had a birds eye view of a race. There was one runner down below. He was running through a sort of labyrinth of winding paths, walled on each side by tall shrubs. He never knew where the finish line would be or when he’d reach it. But I could see from my birds eye view that his finish line was just around the next corner. A voice said to me (in my spirit): “Wouldn’t it be a shame if he dropped out now, just when he’s so close to the finish line?” I really felt the depth of disappointment that would be to him and then knew God was telling me to hang in there, my finish line may be just around the corner. And you know — it was! Ten days later, I was completely free and there was no more craving! I guess skeptics might say, well that’s all it takes, 30 days to get ride of an addiction. But I know better. I knew from day one that I was already delivered, no matter how I felt and no matter how many odd looks I got from people about it. And if not for that birds eye view vision, I would have lost the race that night. It was all God! And now it’s been over 30 years since then and I’m still free!

    I’ve thought of that many times over the years whenever I feel like giving up. Thanks for reminding me of it again. It’s great when people cheer you on but even if they don’t — God will!

    God bless, Julie, and thanks for all your write and share with us :-)

    • Julie Garmon says:

      JULIE, your response gave me those holy goosebumps again!!! Oh, wow, wow, wow.

      No, I’m not quitting, just wanted to be honest and write about the feeling. Hoped it might encourage my friends to “keep running the race”–if it’s something they’re called to do.

      Wo-heeeeee, hallelujah! You were set free from the desire to smoke!!!!!! Free indeed!!

      I can just see your vision. Sounds like EXACTLY how I felt watching the race. Such a moment with Him. Thank you for taking time to read and write to me. I know others will love reading your precious comment. xoxo xoxo

  7. B.J. Taylor says:

    Wow…fabulous pictures of an adorable three-some. And they all did it. They completed the 5K, they finished the run, they earned the medal. But even more so, I bet they’d say it wasn’t the medal they wanted, it was the sense of personal accomplishment, the pursuit of their dream, their desire to attain this height.

    I love where God whispered, “pay attention,” to you, Julie. It’s in the home stretch, when we are most certain to be very tired, that we fire the afterburners and burst forth.

    So great that you shared this. Thank you!

  8. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve considered quitting. At least once or twice a year I have a talk with myself, asking if it’s really worth it. And so far, I’ve always gotten the same answer: Stay the course. Every once in a while I’ll kick into high gear, too. That’s usually when God gives me something new and exciting to add to the mix. :-)

    • Julie Garmon says:

      You can’t imagine how much your comment means to me, Vonda. I had no idea you’d felt this too. You’re right. The answer is STAY THE COURSE. Thank you, my sweet friend.

  9. You are a word-weaver….thanks for the encouragement!

  10. Robin says:

    YES!!! I feel like giving up ALL the time! Especially during the last year. Thank you for the image of the runner…I have a feeling I’ll be using it over and over and over :)
    xo

  11. marie says:

    It blows my mind to read that you think of giving up your writing. I remember hearing you say those same thoughts at a session during the QCCWC a few years back. Sweetie-pie, God gave you a gift and it blesses–I know–I’m one of the ones blessed by you! It seems to me, when those thoughts come it’s right before something BIG is about to happen. It may be something we can’t see, won’t see until eternity, and something Satan is trying to thwart. Don’t ever quit. I’m on the sideline cheering for you. GO JULIE!

    • Julie Garmon says:

      Wo-hooooo!! Keep cheering, Marie!! I know–the enemy knows exactly which lies to throw me. But I’m learning how to fight.

      Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

  12. Jan O says:

    I Googled “Chik-fil-a 5K” and found there had been a number of them around the country. There was one in Athens, GA in April that benefitted “Bridge of Hope,” an organization in town there. More info available but I didn’t read it all. Don’t know where the race was that your young folks were in but I’m sure now that it benefitted something and that you can find out what!
    I too know the feeling of wanting to give up–been living there awhile I’m afraid. It was good to read your blog and all the comments. Perseverance and patient endurance, and a lot of “Help, God” prayers.

  13. Julie Garmon says:

    Yeah, they considered running the one in Athens, but they didn’t, Jan. This one was in Monroe, GA. I’ll see if I can find out what it benefited.

    I’m so grateful I decided to write about these. The comments were amazing! I’m sending up a prayer for you, right now. xoxo

    • Jan O says:

      And do you know what happened next?? My AM job changed! It was going not so well, esp. interpersonally with a supervisor, kind of quickly and kind of strangely, and then I was called over to headquarters and given a new thing to do for my employer–”don’t worry, you’re not in trouble.” It makes sense from a personnel deploying perspective, it is a change of scenery, I’m on my feet for the better part of 4 hours in the mornings, and I’m still adjusting, but I think it is a good thing. Totally unexpected by me, but OK. A God thing too? If I pray I may find out.

  14. Julie Garmon says:

    Loved reading, “Don’t worry, you’re not in trouble.” Whew! Sounds like a good thing!!! Hope, like you, it’s a God-thing. :-)

  15. Kimberly chew says:

    I’ve felt like quitting multiple times over the past year, it’s been really tough this year, being my pre-university year. In fact, there are so many times I’ve failed and tried to get back up, sometimes I feel like I can’t, I guess perhaps because I let my feelings overwhelm me and I sink into depression.I happened to chance on your blog while researching a philosophical topic for an essay I’m writing, and the fist post I read was the one on your Word for the year- Surrender. It had me in tears, I coukdnt believe it but I was crying my heart out because every word you wrote was so relevant to me and the bible verse you put in at the end was so apt – it also happened to be pinned up on my cork board in front of my study table – as an inspiration and motivation, put there by my mum. I started full-on crying because I felt God was definitely speaking to me, through you and through the verse. I continued reading your other posts, under the glimpses of God section, and really related to so many of them – the one on morning glories and the poison ivy story, as well as this one. I have to say that I’m nearly on the verge of giving up right now, my preliminary exams ae coming up just the next two weeks and every day is getting much harder. And my dream, I’ve always wanted to become a doctor. But ive never told anyone at school for the fear that they would laugh at me. I mean, my grades aren’t exactly brilliant. But I really want to, and I know these exams determine a lot on whether or not I will get into the university course of my choice, I feel like quitting, but after reading this post I feel slightly better. I’ve been drifting from God the past few months, I won’t deny that. Maybe because of my busy schedule, or maybe not. But tonight I’ve learnt to surrender myself completely to Him, let Him take charge of my life, and trust Him completely. it’s hard still – I wonder if becoming a doctor is part of His plan for me.
    I’m sorry if this is really long winded, it was hard to sum everything up efficiently!
    But I’m definitely glad I discovered your blog,(:

  16. Julie Garmon says:

    Hey Kim, or Kimerly–:-)

    I’m SO glad you found my blog and wrote to me! I love it when God works that way. Please know that I’m praying for you and I understand (though I’ve never felt the dream inside to become a doctor).

    I think we’re here to encourage each other…the day I wrote this blog–I’m telling you, I was low–so many defeated thoughts running through my mind. And just to know the Lord spoke to you! Wow!!! You made my Sunday! Keep coming back. It blesses me to know my writing encourages you, my friend. XOXOXOXOXOXOXXOXOX Can’t wait ’til I can call you Dr. Kimberly Chew!

    • Kimberly says:

      I hadn’t realized you replied! But anyway, it’s amazing because I’ve definitely felt a sort of uplifting over the past week and a half, especially these few days when I’ve felt like I’ve been talking to God more and probably hearing His voice as well! Thanks for keeping me in prayer too!(:

  17. Julie Garmon says:

    Oh, that’s so good to hear. Keep listening for His gentle voice. Let me know how it goes. I have your name listed right here by my computer. I’m praying.

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