Sometimes I wanna...QUIT
Do you ever have expectations that go unmet? Desires unfulfilled? Efforts that aren't accomplishing what you are working so hard for? And you just end up worn out from it all.

That happened to me last week. So many of you have asked about my birthday and I didn't want to tell you, but it ended up being a "not-so-happy" day. Long story. Just a hard day at home with miscommunications that led to misunderstandings and tears. We've had a lot of stress on us all and
the scales tipped on my birthday!

I eventually made it to my special spot around 3:30pm to spend some time with Jesus
but all I could do was cry. I was so sad. So disappointed that my day didn't go as I had planned. After I soaked in God's presence, I had high hopes of some sweet time writing. I just needed to feel like I was making headway on my book - which is due May 1st.

But I didn't have it in me to write. My heart was too hurt. So you know what I wanted to do?


I wanted to tear up my contract and call my editor to tell her, "I can't do this! I quit!"

I'd hit too many walls and faced too many obstacles. I had Dr appts with mom that lasted several hours each and left me scrambling for help with kids and carpools. Seriously, at one Dr office we sat in the exam room for a whole hour without seeing a Dr or nurse. And our stay at that one office was 3 hours total, plus an hour commute. Then an unidentifiable really bad rash showed up on one of my children making me have to cancel a block of writing time I had planned that afternoon. That night Aster woke up every hour on the hour crying.

Then the next day I had a puking dog who also happened to poop on my dining room wool rug and I stepped in it when I was trying to rush out the door to get Aster to a friend's who was going to watch her while I took mom to another Dr appt - which also lasted hours. Then a coffee mug filled with hot coffee slipped out of my hand, crashed to the floor and splattered coffee and a bazillion ceramic pieces across one whole side of my kitchen.

And that all happened between Monday and Wednesday.

Typing it all out makes me laugh now. Thankfully I laughed through some of it so I wouldn't cry. I'll spare you the details of other domestic catastrophes last week. The good news is, we did have a delicious birthday dinner and dessert mom cooked for me and we played games that night.

Life just gets hard and sometimes we wanna quit! I don't know about you, but Jesus won't let me. I have asked Him several times and He always whispers to my heart, "Trust me in this. You can't, but I CAN and I will."

Then He gives me what I need to keep going. I was looking through some files on my computer for something I'd written this weekend, and I found notes from a women's ministry meeting in 2002! In it I read these words MaryAnn Ruff, my mentor, spiritual mom and dear friend had shared with us as a group seven years ago!

From Bill Hybels book, Courageous Leadership.

“Someday we are going to stand face to face with the Son of God who never gave up on his redemptive calling. We’re going to stand face to face with a finisher who didn’t quit when his teachings were criticized. Who didn’t quit when his trusted followers deserted him. Who didn’t quit when he was mocked, beaten, and spit upon. Who didn’t quit when the nails were driven through his hands and his feet. Who didn’t quit as his atoning blood splashed from his veins to the dust beneath the cross.

Only when Jesus’ ministry had been completely fulfilled, when his race had been completely run, did he say those final words. And he said them with high octane, ‘It is finished. My job is done now. I did what my Father asked me to do. I hung in there all the way to the end and I fulfilled my ministry.’

When we meet Christ personally, I think we will all be prompted to say, ‘Jesus Christ, thanks for fulfilling your ministry. Thanks for not bailing out on the way to the cross. Because you endured, you purchased my pardon, you transformed my life, you protected my family, you sustained my church, you changed my world, and you sealed my eternal destiny.’

Hopefully all of us leaders will also be able to add, ‘And Jesus, because of your example and with your help, I finished my ministry too.’ How we’re going to revel in those moments! How glad we will be that we didn’t quit.”

I cried as I read these words. Good tears this time. God was speaking to my heart through the example of my Savior who never quit. And it was as though MaryAnn were right here reminding me, encouraging me and pointing me back to the One who called me. The One who is faithful. Then, the next morning, I got a text from her saying she was praying for me and even though we are miles apart now, she is with me. More tears!!

I pray today that no matter what you are facing, how hard it may be, how much you just feel like quitting - you won't. You will read these words and remember all that Jesus went through because His life was an eternal investment. And so is yours!

I pray you'll find strength to keep going. To never give up. Because Jesus never quit and He doesn't want you to either!

“So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lord’s work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.” I Corinthians 15:58


Anonymous Jennifer Renee said...

Reading this made me want to cry with you because of all you went through last week. I can relate to that feeling of being warn out and just wanting to quit. I've had many of those types of days where it seemed like nothing went right and all I could do was to break down and cry. I've been going through an area in my life lately where I've wanted to just quit. For about a month I've been trying to make some needle point items for about twenty-three women. I haven't done this in over ten years and the first few things I made I didn't like and got frustrated and threw away the items along with the several hours it took to make them. Thankfully the materials don't really cost too much. God let me know that it was Him who put this idea on my heart and people were going to be blessed by it. Renee, I'm sure you already know this but God gave you the idea for the book you're working on and I know people will be blessed by it.
Your post today made me think of Matthew 26:39 "And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt" (KJV). Jesus prayed this way two more times (verses 42 and 44). Reding these verses made me think that Jesus felt like He had a weight on His shoulders that He wanted taken off. During those days of feeling like we want to quit we should say not my will but Your will Lord. However, for me it's not always easy going through the hard days and putting things in God's hands.

Blogger sagreen125 said...

I felt what I am facing in a week, like you. Having to face family and know it is never but worse than I expect. There is part of me that does not want to go, cause I know all I will do is CRY.
You see in a week, my adopted almost 3 year old and I will make the treck, 6 1/2 hour drive to my daughter and son-in-laws house to babysit my two grandkids.
The expectation that ends with me crying and hurt, is my dad and sisters, who live in the same town not ever coming over to see me. Let's say no communication unless I do it.
So instead, just last week, I began to pray that God protect my heart and no expectation with them. That instead of crying with hurt, cry with joy and laughter my grandchildren will bring. They do anyway.
Plus the day my daughter and son-in-law go away for anniversary is my birthday. So not having any adults around for 4 days is hard. But I know that God will be with me, and that He will comfort and love on me.
So thank you for your post. I feel more like conformation He will do some great things for me. He will be there with me.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Renee for these words this morning. What a blessing to my soul. :) I've been going through some health issues that really beat down on me this past week. To the point of dropping to my knees and praying for God's will to not be the same as the thoughts that were going through my mind as to what kind of disease I may be facing. I know that Jesus is here with me through every muscle twinge and pain. That He will never leave me and that all of this will be for the glory of God. The "thorns in our sides" will make us stronger in our faith when we allow it. Keep strong and hang on. For the plans of our God are to make your prosper and not harm you. Blessings to you and your family. ~ Leanna

Blogger Joyful said...

Oh Renee...first I just wanted to sit down and cry along with you. I've had those days too and they seem extra hard when they fall around a day that we feel is set aside for something special. Glad you had a good dinner and some fun games before the day was over.

I am in awe how God speaks. How the Lord would provide just the encouragement you needed and then even reinforce it with a text message from your friend. What a compassionate and gracious God He is to us. Knowing each of us personally and intimately.

This has spoken to me deeply too as this week especially I have set aside for prayer to seek the Lord in something I had taken on, and quite honestly feel the need to pull back on and possibly release. I jumped in before God said 'go' and now I'm seeking Him to see if I need to surrender this endeavour. His message here is "Don't quit". The thing is I know I can't keep doing it the way I was doing it as it has robbed me of my time with Him in the morning...but maybe there is another way. I will continue to seek His will in this.

Praying today will be a wonderful day for you. If you think of it, will you pray for me? Since Friday I've had something of concern appear in my right breast. Making a Dr's apt this morning. Also, Dad goes back into the hospital for day surgery tomorrow. Sometimes I just wish we could have 24 hours without some kind of concern, but as I was reminded yesterday by a friend, God holds the next 24. :)


Blogger Tiffany said...

I had one of those weekends. Frustration and things not going as planned, throw in an irritable 3-year-old, and I felt like I was at my whit's end. As I was rocking my youngest last night I prayed for forgiveness and for the strength to continue because I knew I couldn't do it on my own. I was ready to quit! Thank you so much for this post. It gives me hope and encouragement to keep going - to rely on God and his word to get me through. Thank you!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

how is it you always speak just to me,or so it seams thank you for your honesty and sharing that your life is real and just like everyones else i have had the exact day you had many time and felt so alone and wondered why just me. thank you for letting me know that there is more than just me and that our heavenly father loves us and is there. Faith i need to work on that....

Blogger Tonya Ingram said...

I love the way God gave you exactly what you needed through finding the notes from the conference as well as confirmation the next morning when MaryAnn called you. SO LIKE GOD to bring reminders through notes and/or people at just the right moment.

I had a similar encounter a couple of weeks ago where my very good friend and mentor (and also the one responsible for brining me back to Christ) was on my mind and I had been praying for her. We live in different cities, so I emailed her and told her she had been on my mind. Little did I know that He had something in store for me by speaking through her words of encouragement and telling me exactly what I needed to hear, and she didn't even have a clue why I needed to hear it... BE STILL, DON'T DO ANYTHING.

God did not give you all of this to quit and I know you know that, but sometimes we all feel like we want to quit and run away... far away! I can't wait to read your new book.

Blogger Mocha with Linda said...

I am so sorry you had such a frustrating and disappointing birthday. I can so relate, especially to the taking-mom-to-the-doctor issues. Being in the sandwich generation is so hard sometimes. I'm glad the evening went better.

That book excerpt is wonderful. Yet another reminder of how Christ took on everything we experience! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Blogger Teresa Henry said...

I just wanted to say thank you so much for your honesty and your heart...those words spoke so deeply to my heart.

Anonymous Melissa Taylor said...


I saw this posted on Twitter and I knew I had to click the link. So glad I did. It was just what I needed today.

Thanks so much. None of what you went through made me laugh at all, (except the stepping in the dog poop part). I'm sorry I can't be much help right now, but I am doing something huge for you. I'm praying. You can count on that.

Love You to Pieces and then some,

Anonymous Andrea Doering said...

Renee--this is your editor--I am SO glad you didn't call to say you quit! Thanks for being honest. We are in this together--Andrea

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Renee, Thanks for being honest and sharing your struggles with us. Someiimes I tend to think you guys have it all together and everything is perfect. I felt your pain but also laughed as I read your post only because I have been there and you can laugh when the time passes but it IS NOT funny at the time. I am sorry that happened to you but I believe that you are doing something great for the Lord and the devil is trying to attack you and get you to quit. So thankful you listened to your Heavenly Father- He will be with you and He can do all things. I know that I am not alone in saying that I will be praying for you:)
Angela T Ramsey

Blogger Renee Swope said...

Thank you for your sweet comments, concerns and prayers. We are all in this together and we need to know we are not the only ones whose lives are crazy and whose circumstances are too much to handle sometimes. But also that Jesus is right there with us even when it seems like He might be busy helping someone else.

I am so glad my struggles give you hope in yours. Let's keep pressing in friends. Keep hanging on to Jesus.

And Andrea, your note made me smile. I wondered if you'd read this :-)

Blogger B His Girl said...

Maybe in your struggles God is giving you a deeper insight on what you are writing. The enemy is trying to pressure you to throw in the towel. Glad you are hanging in there.

Blogger Jill said...

Great words Renee! At times when I try to wrap my mind around what is going on in my life and where God is leading it doesn't make sense at all! ANd I too face that temptation to quit, so thankful you were reminded of His strength and glad you shared that with us as well. Blessings to you as the race continues, Jill

Blogger Sharon Sloan said...

Renee: Thank you for your honesty. How it ministers to our hearts.

I kept re-reading this scripture last week as God was calling me to "an hour" that troubled my heart. He reminded me that there, in the sometimes difficult place of obedience (in life and in ministry) His name is glorified as we yield to His Spirit and will.

From John 12
23Jesus replied, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

27"Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28Father, glorify your name!"

v 24 in NKJV says "unless it remains alone"....I don't want to remain alone.

v 27 - Wow...Jesus said His heart was troubled....but "it was for this very reason I came to this hour"

v 28 -- He is glorified!!!!!!!

Thanks for not quitting, even though your heart was troubled. God will be glorified in your obedience!

Blessings, hugs and prayers,

Blogger Pat said...

Oh Dear. Beautiful!!
Write on sister!

Anonymous Lisa V. said...

Thanks for being so real and vulnerable. I know what you've written today is going to help so many ladies. You certainly have inspired me.

You are awesome, I hope you know that and God bless you for being there for your husband, your kids, your ministry, your friends.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I feel so bad when I go through this and really beat myself up. Now I now it's all part of the journey that God has to mold me. I look up to you and feel so much better knowing you have days like this as well. It means so much that you reveal this to us. We are all in this journey together to hold each other up!

Anonymous Anonymous said...


I am having one of those weeks too and your post encourages me not to give in to my fear of failure or feelings that overwhelm me when I have days that cause my heart to be anxious.

Thank you...and Happy Birthday :) Robin

Blogger JustJoy-Filled said...

Renee, thanks so much for your encouraging words! Jesus knew how much I needed those words this morning, and as His faithful servant, he used you to encourage me! Thank you Jesus!

Blogger Diane Jaquay said...

Oh you poor dear, days like that are just the worst, aren't they! I'm sure we've all had them, the difference is in how we handle them. Going to the Lord is always the best solution, no matter what the problem, that's for sure :)

Blogger Becky said...

All I can say is AMEN, and thank you. I really needed this reminder.

Blogger Melanie said...

I am facing the passing of my 12 yr. old son, Andrew. I am well acquainted with wanting to quit.

Blogger lisasmith said...

What a beautiful word!!! Renee, I cried with you reading this. Sometimes we have those days, months, years but I love this scripture and am committing it to memory. You have a beautiful life, sister.

And, could you pray for me today? I just had a biopsy and have reread your wonderful testimony and am asking God for that kind of peace along this waiting week. thanks! warm blessings! lisa

Blogger Eagles Wings said...

Dear Renee,
Such great reminder! So sorry you had such a rough week also!
On the flip side, the preschool director at my church wants to use your devotion to share with all the teachers (2-5) years old to encourage our teachers... So cool!
God Bless!

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Anonymous Becky said...

Having a similar week this week Renee, and was tempted to throw in the towel this morning. You've encouraged me to continue to "fight the good fight". Thank you for sharing your heart with us!

Blogger Wendy Mueller said...

Oh, my sweet sweet friend. Thank you for this today. I have been at the point of quitting many things because of circumstances over the past few weeks. Everything just seemed too hard for me to handle on my own. Thank you for the reminder that I do not have to do this in my own strength. I have Someone else's strength who is much stronger than I. I continue to be amazed at the beauty that you see.

Anonymous JenRene Owens said...

i was just in this place the other day. A blessing to see another "jenrene" can relate! smile
Thanks for the verse and acknowledgement of difficulty.
JenRene Owens

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