I completely gave up last week.
I got slammed with negative comments. Some like, “Give up. You know nothing.” Others like, “Why would I listen to you? You are no one.” Even some such as, “I don’t see Christ in you- and especially in the things you write about.”
And that was on Tuesday.
I’ve been putting together a set list for a night of worship. I sent it off to some of my music peers that basically responded with “this might be the worst schedule I have ever seen. None of this makes sense.”To make things worse, the media projects that were on my plate had come to a stand-still. Nothing was working. Everything was ugly. And I had no inspiration to dig into them and fix them. Everything seemed to be in a strange disillusioned mess.
I felt like everything I was doing was receiving the answer from that one guy from Billy Madison.
I was stressed out. Angry. And done. And at one point (around 3am), I decided to give it all up and pursue another path. Maybe gas station attendant. or high-end real estate. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, I just knew that I didn’t want to do this.
You know what the ironic thing is? I do this at least once a month.
I knew that starting a ministry blog, I would receive more negative comments than positive. I knew announcing that I’m working on a worship album would turn heads to tell me I can’t sing. I knew starting a ministry under my own name would bring more heartaches than joy. So, if I knew all of this, then why do I doubt everything I do?
Because I’m human. And humans like to quit when the going gets tough.
I guess what you should know is that I didn’t give up. But when I think I’m just about to give up, I put some thoughts into action to overcome the adversity. Here are 3 things you can do to avoid having monthly identity crisis.
1. Surround yourself with people of encouragement.
It’s hard enough to step out on a limb of faith with others – but doing it by yourself pretty much has “I QUIT” written all over it. I get down pretty easily when someone tells me I know nothing…but it’s those few people who give me encouragement that makes me pursue my passions even more (Proverbs 12:25).
2. Remind Yourself Why You Started What You Started.
No one said to me, “Josh, pursuing your calling is most likely going to be the easiest thing you have ever done.” I was told multiple times “Josh, you are called to do this; but know that this road is extremely rough, and it’s going to sometimes be discouraging.” You have to remember why you are doing what you are doing. That goes for everything and anything that you do.
3. Know the difference between edification and discouragement.
There is a fine line between edifying someone, & making them feel like trash. I have witnessed both. I’m sure you have had conversations with people where you leave knowing they truly love you, and want to see the best for you – then there are those conversations where you leave wanting to throw everything away because that person made you feel like a complete failure. I’ve witnessed those who find joy in seeing me fall & suffer, & those who rejoice in seeing me change my path for the better.
Well, that’s about it – my identity crisis in a nutshell. I’m sure I’ll have more down the road, but trust me when I say that these three points help me get through those times when I’m ready to just call it quits.
Who do you surround yourself with to encourage you? What do you do to help edify other saints? Are you the person making others feel like they have failed? Leave you comments in the section below.