This is post 2 of 5 in my series called, MySpace is YourSpace.
Awhile back, I asked for reader’s gritty responses to 5 deeply personal questions. I created an email account so folks could log in, answer questions and email the answers to that same email address. That way, I was able to create an anonymous space for open, honest answers.
The second question I asked had two parts:
a. “Have you ever wanted to just walk away from your life, spouse, kids, job or ministry?”
b. “Did you walk away from any of the above? If yes, why. If not, what made you stay?”
Below are the 4 ANONYMOUS and UNEDITED responses I received. The 5th one is my own. (I’m the long-winded one.)
Age Range: 30-33
“Sure, I think everyone goes through those moments. There are times where you want to point the finger at everything and everyone but yourself when you’re trying to address why your life isn’t going the way you had hoped.”
“No, I didn’t thankfully. Though there were times…I think you have to be honest with yourself. Again you HAVE TO BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF because you’re not a victim and these things aren’t just happening to you. You have a say and can affect them for better or worse. You have commitments, responsibility and if nothing else, you have to realize that we’re all imperfect people and we’re all going to have problems. I’m not saying there’s never going to be a reason to walk away from those things. I’m just saying you have to honestly assess them. Is your spouse abusive? Get away. Does your spouse not treat you the same as when you were dating or have your kids turned out in some unexpected way? Then you might want to talk to the husband and learn to adjust to the kids.”
Age Range: 26-29
Relationship: in a relationship
“yes. At least three or four times a week i want to run away and start over, in a place no one knows me. ive even thought about leaving my family behind. my children. thought i know i couldnt do it, its crossed my mind. i wish for a different job daily. my ministry has already been abandoned with the exception of the bits here and there i say to my kids about God.”
“I walked away from church because of shame from my life style. my failures. my divorce. i could never walk away from my children, my life would have no meaning and id probably do something terrible.”
Age Range: 34-37
“I have quit some jobs because I didnt want to do them anymore. No regrets there. I left my life behind a couple times. If I talk specifics you will know who I am :)”
Age Range: 30-33
“I walked once. I walked away from my family, my job and my ministry in one fell swoop. I did it because my heart was breaking. It was the kind of heartbreak that takes away every single thing you possess. The pain was so intense.. I was losing myself and I honestly thought the only choice I had was to leave. I begged God to make it better by the time I came back (yes, I came back) but it was not all better. I still had to live through the pain even after being gone and returning. If I had to do it again, I would not change a thing. If I had not walked away then I never would of returned and I learned so much about myself on the journey back.”
RESPONSE #5 – ME:
Age Range: 34-37
“Absolutely. I think it’s something most people think, dream or scheme about at one point of their life, especially those in the Over 30 Club.
I sometimes get overwhelmed by my sense of responsibility, leadership and morality. There are times when I just want to turn in my keys, pack up my car and head out of town. When those thoughts of pounding the concrete creep in, it’s because I feel a weightiness around my neck. I look at my duties like shackles and my moral guardrails like a prison.
I watch people do whatever they want, whenever they feel like it and my face turns shades of jade as their cheeks blush, shoulders drop and feet fly. I long for that itch to be scratched, that thirst to be quenched and that race to be run. This isn’t just about sex, mind you, despite the ring of double entendres in that last sentence.
It’s about life.
Yes. I’ve walked away from people, places and things in my life. I walked away from a job because of an unhealthy, immoral relationship that I helped cultivate. I walked away from friendships that I allowed to become gruesomely septic. I walked away from people who took pleasure in reminding me of my past. I walked away from a church that was more concerned with posturing than the poor.
I’d like to say that I ran from these things, but sometimes the walk was more like a slow dance with look backs, side steps and twirls.
Sadly, there have been moments where I also walked away from what I know to be Truth and from what I know to be Love. I lusted for the ‘freedom’ others had and stuck my fingers in my ears singing, “lalalalalalala….I can’t hear you!” like an obstinate child.
I’m thankful that all of my walking has brought me to where I stand today. I’m thankful that the weightiness that sometimes feels like a prison, is actually freedom. And I’m thankful for the Grace that covers my steps no matter which direction they go.”
What about you? Have you wanted to walk away from it all?
Remember, you are not alone in this.