Do You Ever Just Want to Give Up?

August 21, 2007

I’m there. I am completely there right now.

Everything hurts. My head is pounding and my stomach is a mess. My heart feels like it has been ripped to shreds and then rolled over (I’m thinking steamroller). My pride is severely wounded. My confidence is completely shot. Everything hurts.

Everything feels like it is too much for me. I kind of wonder how I am going to make it through the next week. I kind of wonder how I am going to make it through the next few minutes.

I just got done crying so hard that my nose bled and I nearly threw up. I’m actually not sure that I’ve ever cried quite that intensely before. Even the night that I got the phone call telling me that the most important person in my life was gone.

It started in that place. “Oh, God, I miss her.” And then the gasping and heaving and clawing and sobbing and writhing.

It doesn’t go away. It doesn’t stop. It doesn’t just magically get better. I still miss my mother terribly and I still can’t have her back.

I sit here asking the question, “Seriously, how long?” This world is a miserable, wretched, broken place. And this is one of those times that everything within me is united with the cry of creation. Come back! Seriously. How much longer until You bring justice? How much longer until You fulfill Your promises?

I am almost certain that, if the Holy Spirit were taken from me for even one second, I would completely implode. My frame is far too weak and brittle to stand against even one of the millions of things that are pressing in on me.

My life feels like a total disaster right now. A shattered mess.

My body is flipping out because I left the night watch. Seriously. I think I really was made for that schedule because this just isn’t working. Even when I get enough sleep.

Someone I care a great deal about is “evaluating our friendship” and warned me in advance that they would be regularly inviting all of my friends over and excluding me for the next few weeks. While I suppose there may be some shred of hope in that time of evaluation… from where I am standing, it looks like I have been completely discarded. I’m not even sure where I would find even the tiniest bit of confidence to be in that friendship again if this person does decide that I have any value. So, really, what is left if they don’t decide to throw me away, after all?

I have another friend who has been totally there for me and is still… right there. But our friendship is remarkably confusing and awkward. I’ve never had so many DTRs in my life as I have had with this one person. And believe me, there’s nothing happening there. But he’s close enough that I freak out from time to time. And I am puzzled by how difficult it has been to just simply walk out a good, healthy friendship. Admittedly, the questions and comments of some of my friends have not been too helpful in this matter.

Then we have the Daniel Academy. What I expect to be my phenomenal failure of 2007. I seem positioned for a great many failures right now… but the Daniel Academy is going to be a big one. 11 students who will suffer because of my emotional instability, the resulting procrastination, and my total inability to exercise good stewardship of the responsibility that has been given me. 11 students who I want(ed) to serve… but mostly just want to completely bail out on right now.

I was completely unprepared for the first day of class… and it showed. Even if I do manage to pull myself together, I will suffer the consequences of that first day for quite some time. If I could back out now without breaking my contract, regretting it a month later, and absolutely loathing myself for a REALLY long time, I would totally do it… right now.

I hate it when people ask how I am doing. I either lie and say “I’m good” or end up being shamefully honest with them. No matter how little I share of what a mess I feel like my existence is right now, I always end up feeling guilty for spewing any of that junk at them. Then again, I feel fake when I give the expected and socially acceptable “I’m good” response.

And then we have the bookstore. I absolutely love the bookstore. It has been pretty stressful lately and I feel like I am completely in over my head. But I love the challenge. I thrive on the challenge of it. I wanted to scream when I learned that we had lost YET ANOTHER cashier while I was still desperately flailing my arms about to try to get my head above water with the schedule. At the same time, I was rejoicing at the distraction of it.

The bookstore has become almost a drug for me right now. There’s a reason I stay there all the time. It helps me procrastinate with the Daniel Academy. It keeps my mind occupied enough that I can’t spend too much time thinking about how completely shattered my life feels right now. It distracts me from the pain that I am feeling at the loss of my mother. There’s no way to describe how much I miss that woman. And how much I feel like I need her right now. Especially right now.

I’ve probably notably disappointed at least 50 people in the last week alone. I’m sure I’ve offended plenty. I don’t even want to think of how many I may have hurt.

I feel so irresponsible right now. Like such a disappointment. (That is, to everyone except God… and the handful of people wo have been occupied enough with their own lives that they didn’t realize how upset they should be with me.) Where would I be without His steadfast love?

God keeps reminding me that He is good. He keeps jumping in to rescue me at all of these really opportune moments. Another, “Hey! I’m on your side and you’re going to make it!” But I’m still stubborn and foolish enough to doubt. He reminds me again and again that His grace is sufficient. But I’m not sure that I am going to figure out how to embrace and walk in that grace.

Self-hatred is really hard to avoid.

I believe Him. I believe His promises. I KNOW that He is greater than all of this junk in my life. I know that He can carry me through this. And I think that my pathetic little yes is strong enough that He’s going to do it. But it would just be so easy to give up right now.

Part of me wonders if this is what the wilderness really looks like. Or am I just being overly dramatic about my problems. It feels kind of wildernessy… when He takes me out into a barren and wretched place and then proceeds to strip me of every crutch… every comfort… every other source of pleasure in my life. I hate it. I absolutely hate it. But if it teaches me to lean on Him and love Him… it’s worth it. So long as I don’t fall away.

How do I cast off the idea of giving up completely? When I look at everything around me, it seems like the only solution. Yet I know that it’s not. I know that I can overcome through Him. I know that He is the one who lifts me up. I know that He is violently committed to saving me.

The Lord, the Lord God… compassionate and gracious… slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. I am so grateful for who He is. My life would be hopeless without these truths.

It is all going to get better… in a little while…



  1. You haven’t been discarded. You have value. Things are broken right now, yes. The process of fixing them may suck, yes. It has to be done though.

    I love you. We can start talking through all this in a few more weeks…I’m praying for you.

    ~ Lauren

  2. And I’m sorry I’m a part of any of this. I wish I weren’t. Still praying…

  3. I’m praying for you today, and I will continue to pray.

  4. 1) Overly dramatic about stuff = Not a chance. You’re going through some multi-faceted un-fun-ness and I would worry about you more if you flitted through like nothing was wrong.

    2) It is way, way, way too early to write off TDA as a failure. A bad first day still leaves you with lots of days to recover.

    3) Good for you for agreeing with the truth about God’s power in your life right now. I know it’s not a magical emotional fix that makes everything happy. But it means that you are, in fact, going to make it.

    4) I love you a lot and I’m praying for you. If there’s anything at all–ever–I can do for you, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

  5. I love you and I know He will see you through.

  6. In answer to your question: definitively yes, especially lately. You’re one of the primary reasons (the only ones greater would be God-ish; and, to be honest, you may outweigh those, but I’m not diving through that murk just yet)–and not just because I don’t want to mess up your life with whatever kind of departure, but because you bring me joy and hope. You make life good, for me and for others. Know that. Yes, and truly believe (because it’s truth) that your Heavenly Father and your Bridegroom rejoice over and delight in you. Remember that they LIKE you and value you. And so do many of the rest of us (I’m inclined to say that any who don’t just don’t know you and pbbbbt on them for not expending the little bit of effort to do so).

    You won’t be a failure at TDA or at the bookstore. I’d bank on it (hey, wouldn’t that be a cool stock market? 😉 ). But, yaknow what?, even if you did fail, I’d still love you. You do well at nearly everything you do–you do very, very, very well (yep, as much as I hate to say it, my own daughter is one of those people whose excellence sometimes makes me sick with jealousy)–but your value isn’t a measure of your performance.

    Your losses are–and, yes, even your momentary failures may be–significant and substantial, but your beauty and your worth easily outweigh it all. And if that weren’t enough, you’ve got a Bridegroom who’s willing to do anything and everything on your behalf. What I wanna say (but I’m not sure you’d like) is that He’d even cheat–He’d scam His own system (that’s my version of Lewis’s “deeper magic from before the dawn of time”; um, I guess that’s why he’s the successful writer and I’m not ;-p) to accomplish not only your preservation, but your success and triumph.

    Hang in there, kid. You matter more than you can understand or imagine. Again, that’s not pressure to perform; that’s just an affirmation of who you are.

    Oh, and, hey, how about that transparency. Yep, that’s my girl. 😀 Truly, I am proud of you. Your strength and your honesty amaze me and your ability to put it into meaningful words makes me glad to know that we share DNA.

    I love you.

  7. I remember telling one of my kids earlier this week that transition is hard, and having anyone tell you that only makes it harder. I’m so sorry you’re hurting, and I’m praying for you.

    I was a successful classroom instructor for several years, and can really relate to feeling awful about the first day.

    I think the aura of ease and preparation that great teachers exude comes not from being at ease, or being prepared, but from practice. No one in my experience finds teaching easy at first, and everyone who cares gets dramatically better at it with a little practice.

    I think the feelings you expressed about it means that you do care very much, and that you had a *real* first day. Take heart! (John 16:33) You have all the ingredients for success, and you’ve already survived what may well be your toughest-ever day. TDA has made a fantastic choice to entrust this class to you.

    Grace and favor.
    Grace and favor.
    Grace and favor!

  8. You’re going to make it. For real. You will come through this time stronger in your faith, with a deeper understanding of God than you can even begin to comprehend right now. And yes, I get that this doesn’t do a thing to help you right now. Just know that I am praying for you. If you need anything, anytime, just call. Or write. Or whatever.

    You are going to make it. For real.

  9. friend, everything i can think of to say to seems trite… as i was reading your entry, all i could hear was sada rogers singing in my head “turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, look full in his wonderful face…” in the midst of all the swirling and craziness, one thing i have always admired about you is that you rightly remember the Lord. better so than pretty much anyone i’ve ever known who experienced pain on this kind of level. the Lord is so much in love with that about you, how you find yourself completely fragile and useless and in a heap on the floor and still you say his name and know you need him, how you seek him in brokenness though he feels ridiculously far away because you believe that his promise is true, how you love him with that kind of love that only you can offer because no one else in the whole world can love like you do. you move him, christine. even in the desolate hours, even in the breaking and reality of emotions we don’t like to admit we have because they feel ugly. you (literally you) put them before the Lord and you don’t act like they’re not there. that is how fellowship with the Maker is supposed to look; he knows your frame and he knows what he put in you–he’s not afraid of you, not even one bit. you just keep doing what you do, and be okay with it already.

    and if any of that came out trite, i apologize sincerely. it’s interesting where a little bit of prayer can take a person.

    i miss your friendship-in-the-tangible in a very real way. let us figure something out soon.

  10. […] compelled to write this blog, and, before I did, I went back to catch up on any new comments to Do You Ever Just Want to Give Up? and there was Kacie’s comment saying just what I was thinking. So maybe I’m not the […]

  11. Kacie, I don’t know if Christine thinks your expression trite (I’m pretty sure not), but I certainly don’t. You’ve said what I wanted to say but probably better. Thank you.

  12. Hey, ooh, that interstitial? Does that happen automatically (based on my link)? It’s kinda cool and kinda creepy all at the same time. And it makes the subsequent comment kinda (but not completely) redundant. At least I know there’s never a need to comment if I link-blog . . . and I think I can learn to work with it. Ok, I might like it . . . though it did freak me out for a second.

  13. I’ve been there. Like actually there. Snot, writhing, gut-wrenching pain, seemingly unanswerable questions and all. I don’t have any wisdom to offer. Just an “I know.” I know the pain and I know that God is so good.

    And I don’t think you are a failure at the Daniel Academy nor do I think you will be. Those kids aren’t going to remember their first day nearly as much as you might think. They’re new too, after all. Some of them have never actually been in a real school building. And you help me a lot at the Daniel Academy. This whole teaching thing is hundreds of times easier having a friend such as yourself with whom to do it.

  14. I want to give up now I cant take my life anymore it sucks and i just want to end it…. god please help me for what I am about to do.

  15. i give up on life it sucks

  16. I found your post late last night when I googled this same question on my phone…and in that tiny screen, reading your words brought me to more tears. Reading your faith in print and the responses of your friends and family helped me more than you will ever know…but I think most of all, clicking on the page to see that you are still out there, still writing all those years later, gave me a peace needed to go to sleep last night…realizing what I know to be true, that God will see me thru…its just I appreciated the testimony of your blog as a reminder. So, thank you.

    • Erin, thank you for the encouraging words! I am always grateful to learn that the choice to simply write and to be real and open has impacted someone else. I love that we can all do that for one another… remind each other of the truth, encouraging and lifting one another up!

      Sorry it took me so long to respond! I apparently don’t get comment notifications anymore. (And I have definitely neglected my blog more than I meant to.)

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