Three years ago this month, I was in a difficult season and feeling very overwhelmed. Work/life balance was basically null and it was all I could do to just survive.
My sister had just passed away in a sudden and tragic way and the collateral damage seemed to be seeping into every area of my life.
I just couldn’t go on anymore.
One morning, on my way to work, I shouted in my car,
“I quit being creative! I quit writing! I quit working toward my dreams! I quit it all.”
It was a defining moment for me, and I had truly made up my mind to stick to my declaration.
Until I came home from work.
There was a long/skinny package on my doorstep. I brought it inside and dumped the contents onto my kitchen island. A roll of wallpaper and a note fell out. I hadn’t ordered any wallpaper, so I was curious as to why it was sent to me.
I unfolded the note to find that a friend of mine who I hadn’t talked to in over 10 years sent me the package. And this is was the first sentence on her note:
"I give you permission to not quit.
Don’t quit being creative. Don’t quit writing. Don’t quit dreaming.”
I'm not sure how long I wept for. Maybe it was 5 minutes, maybe it was an hour. But this letter, these words, reached down into the depths of my pain and found me.
As I look back on that season, what I needed the most was rest. A little breather. A time to step away to gain a new perspective + fill my cup.
"If you get tired, learn to rest, not quit."
This quote has taken me too long to incorporate into my life. Mostly because rest = waiting + waiting = quitting. But oh how different they are.
Quit: to leave; get rid of; resign from; discontinue.
Rest: to cease work in order to relax; refresh oneself; recover strength.
If you don't rest, more than likely you will quit. And rest isn't a bad thing. In fact, it's an opportunity to refuel, refresh, recover. It's an opportunity to exercise wisdom so that you don't walk into a season of burnout.
I think we need to stop looking at rest as a curse word because it's pretty freaking incredible. If rest is what you need, work it into your schedule. Set boundaries around it + protect it with everything you have.
I give you permission to not quit. What power those 7 words hold.
Stop and look around you today; there are hundreds of people in the same place as you.
Some are further along; some are just starting.
One thing is true though: your purpose is not their purpose.
So don’t quit because you’re tired of waiting for things to get easier.
Don’t quit because someone else appears to be doing it better.
Don't quit if what you really need is rest.
Don’t quit because there is fear within you.
Write that book.
Apply for that job.
Open up that business.
Take that vacation.
Step away from your daily duties + breathe.
Reach out to that mentor.
Start that nonprofit.
The only way that you will fulfill your purpose is to DO IT.
The only way that you will reach your fullest potential is to DO IT.
Retrain your brain by pushing past the fear, even despite what YOU think you’re capable of- and…
Do it scared.