Giving up is one of the hardest things we can ever do. I have given up many times, and I’m still here because I knew when it was a losing battle.
Giving up feels like we’ve lost, like we’re not trying hard enough. “Just a little more, and maybe, just maybe, there’ll be breakthrough,” is a familiar thought that many of us have when we just don’t want to give up. But how long are we going to “kick against the goads” (Acts 9:5).
I had a job where I just fought so hard to keep that it was stressing me out. I was kicking against the goads when everything I did to try to keep the job made me feel like a failure. Nothing I did was working. And God wasn’t answering me the way I thought He should.
Finally, I just gave up and resigned instead of trying. And it was the best thing I had ever done. If I hadn’t had that experience, I wouldn’t have gotten to this stage where I know who I am and what I’m good at.
As I look back, I can see the changes that happened to me as I went from contract to contract, learning how things are done in different places. And the experience I have gained through the pain has shaped me and my writing style.
It is the same with writing. Years ago, I had an idea of a novel about a strong-willed woman. I started it but got stuck. I stopped struggling with it and shelved it. A few years ago, I picked it up and reworked the surrounds and circumstances and now it’s nearing completion. But again, I’ve hit a snag and started something else while I let it stew.
And that’s the beauty of shelving things and moving on to another. The flavours develop, we see the issues we faced earlier and have better ideas when we come back to it.
Even Jesus told his disciples to move on when move on in Matt 10. There are so much more that we need to do. Don’t waste your time when God is showing you the time isn’t right.
Stories are always better if you know when to give up and move on to bigger and better things. And when you’re ready, God will let you revisit the old story and I promise you, you will see it with new eyes.