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Do Hard Things: Lessons in Perseverance and Faith


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I know I’m not the only one who wants to give up when things start to get difficult. To be honest, I battle this pretty regularly. All the emotions are flying. Frustration, anger, numbness, the list goes on when I'm so burnt out because of my circumstances and the desire to throw in the towel feels like the answer to all of the problems.


But, you can do hard things.


Facing challenges is universal, and the desire to quit often looms large when difficulties arise. I want to share my personal battles with the urge to give up and the lessons learned along the way.


You're juggling a demanding job and work becomes overwhelming, the temptation to quit rises. But then you remind yourself how eagerly you prayed and pursued this career path, hoping for success and fulfillment. Reflecting on your initial prayers and aspirations reminds you to persevere through the challenges, knowing what you once desired is worth fighting for.



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Perspective Admist Circumstances


This past year was not my hardest year emotionally, but it was definitely a hard year circumstantially. It was a year where I grew in character by not throwing in the towel when things got hard. But it was not easy.


I’d be lying to you if I said I don’t struggle daily with a desire to quit the thing that’s in front of me. Whether it's small scale like quitting a gym class early, or large scale like quitting my job, the desire is there. Which I think is a pretty normal human reaction. I love comfort and at the same time I love a challenge, but not when the challenge feels like it’s gonna take me out completely.


My job was very difficult circumstantially. It tested me on so many levels last year with things that were completely out of my control. I wanted to quit so bad. I applied to dozens of jobs and went through so many interviews, but my circumstances did not change.


I had good days, I had bad days.


Looking back, what stands out to me most is that there were more good days than I thought. It was all because the LORD kept telling me to pursue things that brought me joy outside of work. To have fun with him. So, when I was really feeling low and super ungrateful, I noticed it was tied to me being hyper-focused on the work like it was the sun and I was the earth rotating around it, instead of remembering that the job was not the most important thing in my life.



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Reflecting on Past Desires


When life starts to get tough, when quitting seems like the better option, take a moment to reflect and ask yourself if you once asked for the very thing you are complaining about.


The biggest thing I learned was that I asked for that job and the Lord gave it to me. Yet because it was so hard, I forgot and became ungrateful. So, I decided one day I was going to quit in faith. I was 6 months into the application process with no movement in sight, yet wanted to be bold and just quit. For some people, that is what the Lord wants them to do. For me, he corrected me so fast with an all-caps whisper, “How dare you?” which is exactly what I needed to become grateful again and see the circumstance through his eyes.




man with arms in the air in victory celebration

Embracing Resilience


Things get hard in life. And my history has a pattern of quitting in those moments. But God is rewriting my story to not be a quitter, to stick it out, to get everything I can out of hard times because His goal is to make me more like Him and that process means dying to self.


I can with joy say that I am on the other side. After a year of applying to several jobs, I finally got a knockout new job that God literally created for me in. And I get to look back on a hard year with a grateful heart and a feeling of triumph, knowing that He accomplished what He desired for me in those hard times. 



Encouragement to Press On


You may not be struggling with the desire to quit a job, but I know you can relate to wanting to quit something. Whatever it is, the frustrations, anger, weariness, and questions are the same.


My advice, unless God tells you to, don’t give up. Separate the hard things from the rest of your life and intentionally pursue joy in other ways. And know that you will not be in it forever, trust that God has better days ahead for you and His plans are to build you up and to prosper you.


“For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried. You brought us into the net; you laid a crushing burden on our backs. You let men ride over our head; we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.” Psalm 66:10-12


 


two friends swinging in a hammock

Activation


Start regularly doing things that make you happy! If you don’t know ask yourself what you like and try it out. It can be something simple. For example, I love matcha lattes. So on days I dreaded work, I’d stop to get a matcha latte to “treat myself” and bring a little joy into my morning. Other times, happiness to me was going on a walk in the park to people-watch. 

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