The words shocked me. They were untrue descriptors of me but still I was left wounded. I had uttered the words, “I feel like quitting,” in a private conversation during which I expressed my deepest sadness. What should have remained private was now being revisited in a public forum, entered as evidence in what was no more than a kangaroo court along with other out of context quotes. This truly wasn’t going to end well for me. “You are a quitter. You told me you felt like quitting so you are a quitter.” The mock trial ended and I left for my car. I took my painkillers as I had so many times before so I could endure the hour and forty five minute drive home and began my journey.
Your biggest problem is you don’t know when to quit.
“You are loyal to a fault, you keep your word in situations where you should just move on. You never give up at great cost to you.” This is the truth of who I am, the truth often spoken to me before that day and yet, the words, “you are a quitter,” still swirled through my head. They seemed to have super human strength. They had super powers. They could leap reality and destroy history and dominate my being. The next day as the IV needle pierced my skin and the infusion began to dull the unrelenting chronic pain so that I can push through, so I could do my work; the same words swirled around my brain, “you are a quitter.”
The words wouldn’t go away.
“You are a quitter,” kept attacking me, wearing away at me, causing me to become overwhelmed. I could not stop thinking about those words. As untrue as they were, they were consuming me. During my time at this job I had had two surgeries and yet no one knew. I still stood up and preached. I still carried out my duties. Every week I would head off to the pain clinic, endure 20-30 pokes of a needle to inject freezing into my neck so I could survive. Every two months I would add the infusion to my pain control regiment. I was beating the odds. I was working when I was told it was not possible. I was dragging my body out of bed. There is no question that God was performing a miracle and Dave was performing his best impersonation of a stubborn guy who doesn’t know how to quit.
Now I am quitter.
I have quit letting lies become my reality. I have quit being so hard on myself. I have quit letting the words of others be the ammunition of Satan to destroy the work God wants to do through me. I have quit allowing people to void my emotions and use them against me.
I just hope I don’t quit being this new type of quitter.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)