How many times have you screamed in anger, “I AM DONE!” Not just a little bitty ‘done’, but DONE, DONE, DONE! I’m finished. Forever. No turning back. Just done! Boy, if I’ve thought this once, I’ve thought it a million times. When frustration overwhelms or I can’t control a situation, all I want to do is get away from it as fast as possible and throw that darn towel in. “I don’t need this!”
Maybe your ‘done’ tends to be more of a broken and painful ‘done’, or perhaps even a despondent one, but it’s a ‘done’ nonetheless.
Stress can have a profound impact on our lives and even those who normally possess a ‘fight’ mentality, can succumb under the right (or wrong) conditions to a ‘flight’ behavior when pushed to the brink.
Reasons we feel ‘done’
- We can feel done when overwhelmed by responsibility.
- We can feel done when dealing with chronic, debilitating pain.
- We can feel done when drowning in financial debt.
- We can feel done when we can no longer effectively manage a relationship.
- We can feel done when ongoing frustrations push us past the point of sanity.
- We can feel done when we feel wronged and rage rears its ugly head.
- We can feel done when disappointment or rejection cause us to spiral into depression.
- We can feel done when grief is unbearable.
In our human, broken, sinful state, feeling ‘DONE’ isn’t uncommon. And sometimes, depending on the situation, the healthiest choice is to call it quits, but most often, acting on an emotional, knee-jerk reaction is the worst possible choice.
Whenever thinking about trials, I can’t help but consider Job’s plight. If anyone had the right to feel ‘done’, it was him. We know that Job lost everything – his health, his possessions, his family, etc. And it’s important to note that Job had been a very blessed man, enjoying a large family, great wealth, and much success, so when he fell, it was an incredibly LONG way to the bottom. Reading about his situation is one thing, but take a moment and insert yourself into his life. Can you even imagine what it felt like to have every single facet of his entire existence unravel around him? He was literally left with nothing but God, and yet, he was amazingly okay with that. Talk about a man of abundant and powerful faith. In spite of it all, Job never cried ‘done’.
And God doesn’t want us to either. He will let us know when we are ‘done’, but it’s not our call to make.
On our worst day, most of us will never encounter a situation nearly as grave as what Job endured, but that doesn’t make our struggles any less significant or difficult. Just one of the hurdles Job had to overcome could spiral someone to the point of no return.
How do we stop ourselves when we are in the middle of a temper tantrum or in a moment of despair? When we are feeling that we have more than we can handle? How do we step out of the situation and invite a more level-headed approach to prevail when we can’t see straight enough to embrace a clear path?
Today, I’ve got five tips that can make the difference between melting down and making progress.
Prevention – Most of us know where we get tripped up. We know what lights our fuse and what has the propensity to rock our boat. Avoiding such situations, when possible, can go a long way in dodging disaster. I’m not advocating for ducking out on something that requires your attention, but when prudent to avoid a destructive situation, have the strength to do so. Set yourself up for success not failure.
Discipline – If an unsavory or challenging situation is likely, strategize for how you’ll attack the obstacle. Prepare yourself. Suit up for battle. Don’t get caught off guard, but instead, have a positive and helpful plan of action in place with a framework of predetermined thoughtful, intentional, and beneficial steps.
Consider the Consequences – The key is to do this when you are clear-headed. Aside from God’s influence on my heart, there is nothing that keeps me on the straight and narrow more than considering the consequences. The last thing I want to do is more harm than good, and if I can see my way clear to understanding and acknowledging the harm that will be done from an inappropriate reaction, I am far more inclined to make a better decision on the front side.
Action Team Member – Confide in someone you love, trust, and respect. Share your challenge openly and ask for help. When needed, you’re much more likely to reach out to someone who has already been briefed and knows exactly what you’re dealing with. Use this person as an accountability partner as well, setting up checkpoints along the way. Check out our Action Team Guide by clicking here.
Lean on God – You are NEVER alone, NEVER without His grace and provision, and NEVER left to your own devices. Admittedly, there are times when you may feel that way, but as a Believer in Christ, God is by your side every step of the way. Don’t allow your feelings to call the shots. Cling to the truth and invite God to be your guide.
The reality is God WILL give us more than we can handle IF we’re trying to handle things on our own. Left to our own strength and ability, anything and everything is too much, BUT with Christ firmly planted in the center of our lives, we will ALWAYS be equipped to handle all that we are given. And when it’s time to walk away or say ‘enough’, He will make that abundantly clear. In ALL things, listen for God’s direction.
I’ve been working through a particularly difficult relationship challenge for years. Walking away is something I’ve contemplated many times over, but God has not released me from the responsibility of trying. Instead, He’s equipped me to handle the situation with more grace and peace than I’ve ever known in my life, and trust me when I say that grace is NOT a natural characteristic for this girl. This is ALL God! He’s calling the shots and abundantly blessing me through it. Is the situation resolved? No. But honestly, that isn’t the point. Had I cut and run, I would have missed out on critical lessons from God, beautiful blessings, and the opportunity to grow closer to Him.
Has the strife and heartache along the way been worth it. Unequivocally, YES! (It’s hard to believe I’m even saying this but I am! Glory be to God!!)
God desires genuine joy for your life, He wants you to walk in confidence and He delights when you grow through challenge. With your faith firmly planted, there is no obstacle too great to overcome, no situation without hope, and no circumstance which warrants an unhealthy, angry, or despondent ‘I’M DONE’.
It’s easier to walk in faith when things are going well, but allow God to claim victory in your life by trusting Him during the difficult moments as well.