See it through or pack up and go
“I will be so glad when this day is over,” I told Dave that morning. “I know I’ll be okay, but I just want to get it behind me.”
“The only problem,” he replied, “is there is no way out of this; you’ve got to go through it.”
This was my first day on a new job. A new environment, new co-workers, new patients, and new protocol. I just wanted the day to be over so I knew what this new job would entail. Yet the only way to get ‘er done was to walk through that day – moment by moment.
The hardest thing about life.
Relationships have got to be the hardest thing about life. Financial struggles can be a woe, and health crises can be a pain. Yet when relationships go sour, we’re most tempted to just pack up and run. Yet, the only way out is through.
That’s because in that moment, life is just too hard. Sometimes you’ve tried everything you know to do to find a way through the problem. Other times, you’ve tried to talk through the trouble. When there seems to be no way to resolve the conflict, all we want to do is be done with the folks with whom we have the conflict. So we want to pack our bags and run.
The troubles follow us. Packing our bags includes packing up our personal baggage. That’s what we take with us. So our troubles follow us, one way or another. Unresolved conflict remains just that: conflict that is unresolved. Unresolved conflict heaves on the guilt and the pain. It wears us out and straps us of energy. It follows from behind, and we find ourselves looking over our shoulders constantly, analyzing, and questioning.
That’s not the way to resolve conflict. There’s no reason to pack up and go in order to get out of the conflict. That is because the only way out is through. (You can read about learning to stay here.)
Instead of avoiding the issue, we need to face it head-on, when we can. It would be easier to avoid situations, to ignore them. Yet that’s not the answer. Instead of avoiding situations, we need to keep on being truthful and caring – even when it hurts. Rather than wallowing in what isn’t working, we need to take a look, first, at ourselves. We can find answers there, and our answers will show us what we ought to do.
When relationships are difficult, I ask myself these questions. The answers help me know what I should or shouldn’t do next.
- Have I done what I can to resolve the conflict?
- Am I willing to accept responsibility for the pain I may have caused?
- Am I convinced that what I am doing and where I am is the place and the way God wants me to be? If so, then I have no reason to doubt my calling to be here, now.
- IF I think I must leave or move, is it because this is what God is calling me to do, or is it because I just want out of this situation?
- Have I searched my heart to be certain I am responding the way God commands me to respond – (Ephesians 4:32). Am I being kind? Is my heart tender? Am I working on forgiving because I have been forgiven?
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
A this really happened example.
There was a man Who could have opted out of his own death. Legions of angels were at His disposal – but He knew the only way out was through. There was only one way to save the world – and that was through His death.
He could have called twelve1 legions of angels to bring Him down off that cross. Our Savior could have refused to go through with the plan. He begged God to allow Him to forgo the cross – but He prayed for His Father’s will to be done. Jesus chose not to call those angels; instead, He made the choice to go through it.
When life is too hard to handle, too difficult to digest, and too stormy to sleep, remember this: choosing to pack up and go is not the answer. There is only way out, and that is through.
Keep walking through the conflict, praying for wisdom and for grace. When you are where God wants you to be, and when you are being who He wants you to be, then there is no need to give in to the temptation to pack up and go. Remember that things worth having are worth fighting for. Do what you can do – it will be an sweet offering of perfume to your Master. Allow the storm to make you stronger and allow the bitter to make you sweeter. Don’t give up and don’t quit, ’cause the only true way out is through.
1 One legion is approximately 6,000 soldiers. Twelve legions? 72,000.