What to Do When You Need to Give Up

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When you come to the end of yourself it may just be time to give up and try a new and much better way...
No more hiding behind the image of pseudo-perfection. I was a mess. Embarrassingly so. 

I needed answers, but even more than answers I needed help, comfort, peace, and hope.

I needed God.

Not a deal or a bargain for a life that looks good, but the real living presence of God. 

That was the beginning of surrender for me. 

[Tweet “I had come to the end of myself and I didn’t have anything to offer . . . nothing.”]

So, I picked up my Bible and began reading . . . Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus all the way through Revelation. For the first time, Scripture was my life-line.

This time, not to learn how to be a better “good little church girl.”

I needed God to help me become a woman of faith . . . empty, surrendered, and completely in love with the Savior, Jesus. 

I needed to know His presence.
I needed to know He could pick up the pieces of my messy life and hold me together.
I needed to know He could help and guide days.
I needed to know He was faithful and true to His Word.
I needed to know He really loved me.

No pretense. No bargaining. 

That’s what I wanted and needed, but it didn’t happen over night. I’m a slow learner. 

It’s hard to stop old habits isn’t it? Hard to give up long-held beliefs.

There was still something deep down inside that thought . . . if I could just get it right, just do it right . . . maybe then God would get on board and fix my mess and the mess around me. 

As I spent those days devouring His Word, my faith grew, but there was still part of me afraid to give Him access to every detail of my life. I knew I needed more of Him and I wanted more too, but giving up control…

What if God didn’t share my hopes and dreams? What if His plans were different from mine? What if like Job things got worse before they got better?

Some might call it lack of faith, but I think it was lack of trust.

I believed Jesus was and is who He said. I believed He showed us the Father, but I feared His plans and purposes for me. I was afraid of pain and tragedy. Bad things happen. I’d struggled with infertility and loss. I’d been hurt by lies, gossip, and rejection. And I was smart enough to know things could always get worse. 

So, it was hard to give up my need to be “good.” Good girls belonged. Good girls got approval. Good girls were praised. It was hard to give up fear and the need to be “good.”

Do you find it hard to completely surrender, too? Have you gotten the message that you need to be “good” to fit in at church and receive God’s love? 

If so, I’m sorry.

It is important for you to know that believers don’t intend to give confusing messages about God and His love. We don’t mean to say one thing and do another. It’s just that we’re confused too. 

We make God too small, too human. We want to take a huge God, the great I AM, and make Him understandable. We want to define and explain Him. 

And that’s what has changed for me. It’s taken years of personal one on one time with my Father for me to accept that He may never put my mess back together. And that’s okay.

Because although He hasn’t healed the mess . . . He has healed me.

That’s what I want you to know when you visit Counting My Blessings.

[Tweet “God may not clean up the mess going on around you, but He will clean up the mess going on inside you.”]

I’m a slow learner and I hope that gives you hope; because I can promise you . . . God will not give up on you. 

He wants you to know Him. Huge. Powerful. Indescribable. Unimaginable. Loving. Caring. Personal.

When I give up trying to define and explain Him. When I quit trying to manipulate and control Him. When I sit quietly at His feet and allow Him presence in my heart and mind—that is when I can finally know Him. That’s when fear is replaced with His perfect love.

And that’s better. So much better in fact, I’m gradually rejecting old fears and replacing it with His perfect love.

His perfect love casts out all fear.” 1 John 4:18

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21 Comments

  1. Debbie Prater says:

    It’s all abouting resting in Him isn’t it? Resting in what He’s already accomplished on the cross. What more does He have to do? I just need to rest in that work.

    1. It is Debbie. My struggle came in trusting Him with my days. Trusting that I would be okay in Him even if my worst fears came to pass. Learning that fear couldn’t prevent life, realizing God’s faithfulness in getting me through . . . well, it is well with my soul. He is trustworthy. Always!

  2. I’m a slow learner, too, Deb; it has taken me years to realize God is the only one in control and that He loves me no matter what. We don’t have to be “good girls,” we need to be “His girls.”
    Blessings!

    1. Amen Martha! Trust is keeping my eyes on being His not on being good. Blessings!

  3. Thank you for your kind words Nicki. Surrendering fear was so hard for me. But the blessings of His peace and contentment make me wish I had given everything to Him years ago. His grace truly is sufficient!

  4. I’ve always been described as someone who “would fight a circle saw” and it’s true that I don’t have quit in me. It has been a challenge to learn when to back off and trust God to handle it and when He might be saying “Alright, you need to do something about this.” I’m finding the older I get, the easier it is.

    1. That’s a great point Leanne. There are times when He wants us to act. Experience teaches so much. I’m thankful for the countless times God has been patient with me getting the waiting and the doing mixed up. I love the description, our daughter has a similar personality. It’s made her great in sales. God-given personalities for His plans and purposes. I love it!

  5. Like Leanne I have always struggled with “quit.” When I played baseball or basketball the old saying, “The game isn’t over until the last out or the bell goes off” translated into my life as well. Letting go of self is so hard to do. But as you state, there is no victory until we do. Good word Deb.

    1. I was quick to quit as a kid. I worked hard to please others, but didn’t take much time to think about what pleased me or God. Giving up my need to please was hard, but needed. I still flinch when I have to say ‘no’, but with God’s help I can do it. Glory!

  6. ~Karrilee~ says:

    Oh yes… this is so good! Often times, while I prefer to learn quick, and -you know, from other peoples’ mistakes… I find the lessons learned slowly are the ones that mean the most and reach the deepest! Happy to be neighbors, today! xoxo

    1. I agree Karrilee. I’ve always tried to pay attention and learn from others, but oh the lessons learned through difficulty . . . those stick. Hugs to you!

  7. I like the part about cleaning up the mess on the inside… That is really deep. Thanks for sharing and you do have beautiful website 🙂

    1. Oh, thank you Summer. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your kind encouragement.

  8. Your title drew me in over at 3Word and I was so excited to see that when the little “inlinkz” thing got through interpreting the link, it was taking me to you. it’s kinda like a slot machine when you aren’t sure “who you’re going to get.” 🙂 YOU, my friend, are a real prize. I love this and am always encouraged to hear others admit to the struggle. When age is added to mess, we get a message! Love yours!

    1. Oh Christi, You’re so kind. You made my day! How you bless my heart with your words of encouragement. Thank you sooo much!

  9. Kristin Taylor says:

    I definitely want to tidy up my life. Too often I think about everything around me and don’t take the time to tend to my insides first. Such encouragement for me here today. Thanks for linking up at #ThreeWordWednesday.

    1. Oh, thank you Kristin. It’s a constant process. I’m so thankful God is willing to work on me again and again. How He loves us in spite of our messes. His goodness overwhelms me!

  10. MB I’m thankful this encouraged you. I am confident that because God has gotten me through past messes He will be faithful to get me through future ones. So thankful for His faithfulness.

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