I’ve just finished chapter six of 5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit, by Nicki Korziarz, and let me tell you it’s rough. Chapters five and six covered the third habit which is: “She stays open to the movement of God”. Chapter five convicted me as the ones before it did, but chapter six down-right hurt. Apparently, I am a quiet quitter, “It’s the quiet place where she starts to step back and draw lines of division in her heart. She slowly cuts herself out of projects, and people” (Korziarz). Then Korziarz begins to talk about character and that sometimes we’re waiting on God to do something but He’s waiting for us to work on our character. “Here are some signs quiet quitters may still need to work through their character a little more to match the calling God has for them,”
Sign 1. Excuses become their attire of the day
Sign 2. They stop responding to e-mails, phone calls, and text messages about their commitments.
Sign 3. Attendance at meetings surrounding their commitment becomes less frequent.
Sign 4. They pull back from being around other people who ask too many questions.
Let’s just say I identify with ALL of these. I felt like those people on television shows who dramatically fall down the stairs and make the “umph” sound with each bump, as I read each of these signs my heart “umphed”. I live for excuses, I’ve burned down relationships and opportunities by not responding, if I do go to a meeting surrounding a commitment I always sit to the back, and I pull back from people in general. When did I become this person?!
It just sucks when you’re given a mirror to your character, and it’s not a pretty sight.
But I can either wallow in where I am or move out and step forward. I’m deciding to move out and step forward. I don’t want my character to prohibit God from using me, or allowing something beautiful to happen in my life, something I’ve even been praying for a while. “Quiet quitters are closed, closed, closed. Closed to the process, closed to conversations, and ultimately closed to what God is doing” (Korziarz). I don’t want to be closed, I want to be open, so He can use me.
So if you read these signs and realize you’re a quiet quitter too, and one who needs to work on their character, here are some tips I have for both of us.
TIPS FOR STAYING OPEN
- Read the Word DailyWe won’t even know what to look for if we don’t know what He wants. We can’t begin to be open to God’s movements if we aren’t opening His Word on a daily basis. He didn’t expect us to start a life with Him without knowing what He looks like, sounds like, and wants from His children. He gave His Word for a reason, to be read, memorized, treasured, and obeyed.
- Surround YourselfI tend to pull an Elsa and be the queen of isolation (I’m quite the ruler too). But I’m learning I need people. I need to surround myself with the right people. The people who will build me up spiritually, tell me when I need an attitude check, or when I’ve gone a little too far down the rabbit hole. We need Godly encouragement from real voices, not just motivational books.
- Dream on PaperI’ve always loved writing on a blank sheet of paper. I find something magical about filling up space with words and dreams. Take a blank piece of paper and write your vision on it, the dream you’ve had for awhile, you’ve prayed about, or maybe you have yet to give it to God; which brings us to the next step….
- Throw Away the PaperI’ve realized dreams I had long ago, were replaced by new ones. I thought that was bad when I realized what had happened, but I know that when I align myself with God’s plans, mine will be changed, but I won’t care because His plans for me are always better than what I had in mind. So take the piece of paper you wrote your dream on, throw it away and pick up these verses
- “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” (Proverbs 3:5-6). “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11). I believe these verses are essential to have in your arsenal as you learn to stay open to the movement of God. They’ve always been great reminders and encouragement to me. I continually struggle with giving my hopes and dreams up to God, but I’m starting to come to grips with the fact He’s in control of everything, and that’s a good thing.
- All of this doesn’t always mean giving up on your dreams, sometimes God uses your dreams, but we have to willing for them to change to match His purpose for us.
- Believe in His DreamsThis just reiterates the last step, but it’s an important reminder. When we begin to start staying open to the movement of God, it will be hard to switch gears from looking from our perspective to His. But His perspective will keep us on course. I’ve realized just because His Word is a lamp to guide my feet (Psalm 119:105) doesn’t mean He’ll illuminate the whole path beginning to end. Usually, He’ll give me what I need for today and continue to do so day after day. Just as He did with the Israelites when He gave them enough manna for each day, and they couldn’t hoard it or it would rot. His goal was for them to trust Him on a daily basis to meet their needs. It’s hard to believe in His dreams for us when we don’t know His end result, but we can believe in His plans for us because He loves us and literally died for us, so I figure He’s pretty trustworthy.
- Work out the Kinks in Your CharacterNone of us like being told what we need to fix, at least I don’t. I struggle with criticism I don’t ask for or completely agree with, but I’ve come to accept it’s necessary for growth. Realizing my character may be keeping God from using me and moving me forward really hurt and felt like a blow because I feel like I’ve been on a treadmill that’s yielded no results. But I did get this result, realizing I need to work out some kinks in my character. Maybe you need to come to that point so you can move out and step forward from where you are physically and mentally.
I don’t know if this is convicting to you but it sure is for me. I now at least have a goal, a plan to work on my character and allow Him to chisel things away so He can get me where He wants me and where I need to be. That may not be a place I expect or maybe it will be, I don’t know. I do know that though this journey is getting harder, it’s definitely going to make life fuller and more enjoyable in the long run. To spin off a Peter Pan quote, To stay open to the movement of God will be an awfully big adventure!