I’ve been suffering with a disease for most of March. This sickness is rampant, and it doesn’t care who you are or what you do. And while illnesses like the bird flu and influenza hit the headlines, this one is only whispered about, leaving the person who gets it stunned, helpless and isolated. What is it?
Quiticitis grows silently, undetected, until it takes over, and there’s a fight for your life to get rid of it. Think you might have it? Take a look.
People Who Get Quiticitis
Anyone who is working on a big dream is a target. This disease will stalk you like a lion to its prey no matter which are of life your big dream takes you.
However, no one is safe from Quiticitis. We all run the risk of catching it. If you ever thought once that you would like to quit something, you have the ability to come down with this disease. Beware of the things that can make you susceptible like exhaustion, grief, loss of connection with fellow Christians, loss of time spent with God, and huge odds stacked against you.
- Loss of Joy
- Loss of Purpose
- Loss of Motivation
- Was it God’s calling for me to do this?
- How do I know God’s calling?
- If God really called me, would I be questioning it now?
- Do I have any talent for this at all?
- Isolation from People
- “That person is so good. I could never be that good. I should quit.”
- “If only I had _____ (fill in: money, a house, talent, friends, etc) like that she does, then I’d be _______ (fill in adjective: happy, satisfied).
- I could never be like him.
- That person is so confident in God’s calling. Why am I questioning it?
- You say things like…
- I’m not good enough.
- It’s not my thing.
- It’s too hard. I’ve tried, and nothing works.
- I guess I misheard God.
Oh, I had Quiticitis bad. I even had my resignation letter typed up for this very blog. March was a tough month. My Grandpa-in-law died which was sad but also exhausting with a 2,800 mile trip with a little girl. Upon return, my own Grandma passed away. I also have 4 anniversaries in March of very dear loved ones who left for heaven way too soon. Then we traveled out of town for a writer’s conference.
I walked through the doors of the conference only because it was too late to get a refund, and I’m a tightwad. I was going to see this thing through and then quit. Go home, sleep, stop writing, and live. I felt like it was God speaking to me when the keynote speaker spent time relating how she had quit many times. Her words were comforting…
“If you feel like quitting, quit. God will bring you back to it if that’s His plan for you.”
As I considered this, I realized that it’s not really quitting if you think that someday you will come back to it. No, quitting is tearing down your webpage, stopping all social media related to your career, burning what you have written, and throwing the computer out with the garbage. When nothing remains, not even the ashes, that’s when you’ve quit.
I’ve seen churches fold. I’ve seen businesses fail. I know people who have left a good career for something else. I’ve seen people quit their M.A. program with one course to go because they gave up. Not one of these situations did the people say “Oh, I’ll keep this sound system because I might need it later.” Nope. Every shred of that dream was given away, thrown out, and never ever saw the light of day again.
That’s quitting. That’s Quiticitis killing dreams.
Right now I don’t know if there is a cure. Despite a small break and a lot of naps, I am still suffering from it. I sent my work in progress to my husband, minus the last part that needs to be written, and had a relapse.
It’s not good. I should rewrite it. This and that needs to be fixed. I don’t have the energy, strength or motivation to fix anything anymore. I should just quit.
And there it comes again.
I should just quit.
Never spoken out loud, because that would be too vulnerable. Never posted on Facebook, because we’re supposed to maintain a happy, successful attitude at all times. Never asked for prayer, because that would admit that we’re floundering.
However, I have found a few things to help in case you are stuck in this trap like me.
- Rest. Often Quiticitis hits when you are exhausted. Note my statement. I don’t have the energy or strength to fix it. I’m wiped, exhausted, worn out, pushed to all limits emotionally and physically. I don’t have energy to write. Creativity flows from us when we are rested. If you are fighting Quiticitis, don’t push it. Take a break. Go for a walk or nap. The laundry and dishes will wait. The manuscript isn’t going anywhere. Rest.
- Pray. There is no shame in crying out for God to reveal Himself to you. That’s a cry He longs to hear from us. Ask for His strength and comfort. Ask for His direction. Ask for Him to sustain you and calm you. Pray for renewal.
- Read the Bible. Do not fear is in the Bible 395 times. The pages of the Bible are filled with comfort and rest. Find the passages that give hope and meditate on them.
- Find friends. Withdraw from the people who bring you down. We are extremely sensitive to negativism. Surround yourself with people who encourage you. Try not to drain them, but lean on them for a little bit. Let them know of your struggles so that they can pray for you.
- Be aware of the fight around us. Too often we ignore the spiritual battle that surrounds us unseen. But never lose sight that Satan does not want one thing to succeed that may further God’s kingdom. I don’t have the exact reference because I’m too tired to go find it, but C.S. Lewis says in Screwtape Letters that “if someone is doing nothing, then they are no threat to Satan or his demons, so they are left alone. It’s the ones who are working in God’s plan that need to be attacked.” If you are fighting Quiticitis, perhaps you are in God’s plan and running into opposition. If that’s the case, rest, pray, use your sword (the Bible), and stand firm.
As I end this, I feel another wave of Quiticitis coming over me.
But then I read Psalm 138:8, “The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever – do not abandon the works of your hands.”
I have a purpose. God’s word is forever. His love is forever. And I will never be abandoned, nor will He abandon the work He is doing through me. As another wave of Quiticitis rolls over me, I realize that I don’t care if my work becomes a success. All I want is to follow God’s plan for my life. If that means Quiticitis wins, then I’m okay with that. If God’s plan is for me to keep writing, I’m okay with that, too.
I should wrap this up with some words of hope for you of how I’ve followed my own advice, and I’m back to writing 5,000 words a day. Unfortunately, that’s not true. I’m still resting. Perhaps as I rest, God will show me once more His plan. And that’s all I need.