Don’t Give Up

Don't Give Up

A few days ago, I took a trip back to middle school. Not in the literal sense, but in my head. I was surrounded by sticky floors, kids racing around on bright wheels, and 80’s music.

We were at the neighborhood skating rink.

It was my oldest son’s first time on skates and for thirty minutes he spent as much time on the floor as he did on his feet. Within an hour, he was ready to leave.

“It’s hard, Mama,” he complained, giving me his best tone of defeat and stepping off the big rink.

I knew it was. I could see he was trying. But I also knew if he kept going and allowed his body to adapt to feet on wheels, he would love it.

“I know it’s hard, buddy. But that doesn’t mean it’s okay to give up.”

He skated slowly back over to the small rink, struggled over the lip of outer edge, and made another lap. Then another, and another.

When an hour passed and it was time to leave, he was hot and sweaty, but he didn’t want to go.

“Can we come back again next week, Mama?”

I smiled and told him we’d be back soon.

In the short time it took this local business to blast some of my favorite flashback tunes, my son went from frustrated and defeated to proud and ready for more. He went from complaining to celebrating. And all it took was a little push.

You can do this. Keep going. Don’t give up.

The situation reminded me of a conversation I had with God as I walked our dogs on a cold, star-filled night. I told him I was tired. There were areas in my life where I was ready to quit, and I needed wisdom and guidance.

Sometimes, when I pray these prayers, I believe somehow God is going to make everything better and the situation will miraculously change. Occasionally, it does. But often, God’s response is the same as mine was to my son.

You can do this. Keep going. Don’t give up.

I once heard someone say there is nothing in life worth having that doesn’t require a fight. A struggle of some sort. An inner decision where we say no matter what, we’re going to keep at it.

The apostle Paul tells us,

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

1 Timothy 6:12 NIV

Deep down, I know I have to keep fighting. I look at everything in life I hold most dear: faith, marriage, kids, ministry, writing and relationships. None of them are easy. There are seasons of joy, doubt, and suffering.

But when those moments of clarity come, I see how God uses each one to refine, to grow us, and mature us into beautiful reflections of his glory. Even when I don’t feel his presence, he carries me through those moments of weakness.

The struggle isn’t a signal to stop, but a sign keep going.

Can I come alongside you and tell you a few things today?

God sees your work. He sees your effort and each step you take toward him.

He knows your struggle. He is there with you and will help you, just like I helped my son in those moments when his feet faltered.

He’s a good father. He isn’t up there, looking down his nose or pointing his finger at you. He longs for you to come to him with your struggles, your worries and disappointments.

His Spirit will help you. Keep going. Don’t give up.

 

*Linking up with these communities: #RaRaLinkup, #IntentionalTuesday, #TellHisStory

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26 thoughts on “Don’t Give Up

  1. what an important life lesson you gave to your son! It’s God’s hope for us to, to keep on keeping on, to being the Little Engine’s that Could! (one of my favorite book for children). I love how you encouraged him with challenging him..and how I remember how hard ice skating was! Blessings this New Year! Visiting from #IntentionalTuesday

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    • God speaks to me through my kids so often, Kathy. Sometimes I don’t see it right away, but oh how he uses those little people in my life! Thanks for stopping here today, friend.

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  2. There are times in my past when I fought God hard through a struggle. Sometimes, I even convinced myself it was OK to give up. The struggle just seemed like more than I could bear. I can’t take those moments back, but I can move ahead learning from those mistakes and seeing God’s refining through the hard times. Thanks for the sweet reminder, friend:)

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    • Yes, I take great comfort in the fact that he’s not finished with us yet. Thank you for sharing Kristine. I think we’ve all had those moments. May we filled with Him this year as we press forward!

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  3. How easily we think that giving up is okay and that the fight to keep going is not worth it all. But it more often is than not! Thank you for your encouraging words, Abby.

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  4. Thank you so much, Abby. The lesson with your son is so valuable. Your post gives such hope to keep getting up and keep going because God’s got us. This line really brought tears to my eyes – “But when those moments of clarity come, I see how God uses each one to refine, to grow us, and mature us into beautiful reflections of his glory. Even when I don’t feel his presence, he carries me through those moments of weakness.” Blessings to you!

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    • Trudy, God is always teaching me through those little ones. I often say they teach me as much as I teach them. So glad to hear from you today, friend. (hugs)

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  5. Such good encouragement here, Abby. I also expect God to change things and make it all better, but His ways are much higher than mine. He IS a good father, how lovely to remember He’s with us in the struggle. My anthem for the second half of 2015, kind of a challenging time, was Good, Good Father. He is perfect in all of His ways! Looking forward to sharing this tomorrow, friend!

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  6. Wow. So true, Abby! God never said life would be easy. But, with Him by our sides, encouraging us on the way, we can do it! Thanks for sharing about your son’s experiences on skates. I haven’t skated for a few years, but I always loved it — though at first, much of my time was spent on the ground! LOL

    Blessings, Joan

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  7. Love this, Abby. I go through give up seasons often where I wonder if it would be easier to lay things down rather than press through. But you’re right…hard isn’t an indication that we should quit. Thank you for the reminder today, friend. I needed it!

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  8. Oh what memories the skating rink dredges up from childhood…! Good and bad! Your last lines bring to mind that song “You’re a good good father”…. it’s been on my mind a lot lately and indeed he is! Always ready with encouragement. And you’re right anything worth having is worth the hard work required. We want easy but that isn’t necessarily what we need. Thanks for the kick in the pants to keep going today!

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  9. Abby,
    I truly needed this post today…I am weary…spent. As I am apt to do – I have pushed myself to the brink yet again. Am I ever going to learn to pace myself so that I don’t have this exhaustion that beckons me to quit?? Thank you for being God’s voice to me today. I know He is encouraging me to keep pressing on. A good friend also reminded me that the battle is not mine…the battle belongs to the Lord. He will fight for me if I would just remain still. Thanks, as always, for the encouragement!
    Blessings,
    Bev

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  10. Abby,
    I used to love the skating rink field trips growing up! I hate that I never learned to skate backwards. Thank you for the reminder to get back up and press forward. I’m so thankful that God comes alongside us to pick us up or catch us when we fall. Glad you were able to encourage your son and blessings to you and yours in 2016!

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  11. Love much of this, Abby, but especially this —> “The struggle isn’t a signal to stop, but a sign keep going.” It’s so easy to shrink back in defeat. Your words are oxygen to the weary. High-5, my friend.

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