Posted by: JennyRain | October 20, 2009

Should I stay or should I go now?

Knowing whether to stay or go is often a difficult decision.

In my own life I have wrestled with questions of whether to “stay or go” many times. I have asked this question in employment situations. I have made this inquiry of my communities of faith. This question has been pivotal as I have examined relationships.

There are times when leaving is the best option.

If where you are or who you are with have outlasted their usefulness for your growth, if they are hindering you from fully expressing gifts and talents you have been given, or if you are just passing time, it may be time to go.

Years ago, Kara, a boss of mine realized that I had “quit and stayed” at my job. After attempting to get me reassigned into another contract that was pulled the very day I began, she lovingly sat me down and said,

“Jenny, you are languishing in this job. You have touched every task area on this project and there is nothing left for you to do here. You have taken every training class possible to build your skill set. We love having you here and you are an asset to this project, however, your loyalty to us is hindering your career growth.”

She was right. I just needed a push out of the nest to realize it was time to fly elsewhere.

Thanks to Kara and that conversation, I landed a new job within weeks and the next two years of my career set the trajectory for where I am now. Had I not left when I did, my loyalty to the project and to my co-workers would have been detrimental to my growth.

But what about blooming where you are planted?

In 2004 I moved from Virginia to Georgia. About six months after I moved, I began questioning my decision to move. Two years after I moved, I was longing to return to Virginia. People here in Virginia were on their knees praying for my return. Others were saying, “We all know you are going to come home.” Yet, God was not done with my time in Georgia yet.


2006-2008 were two of the most healing years I have had in my life. Had I been amidst the distractions of Northern Virginia, I may have missed out on an experience that has changed my life forever. There were times I did not think I could endure another minute of middles-ville-Georgia, yet God had a plan for my time there and I am so grateful I was not released before His time with me there was completed.

What does God say?

For me, my faith in Christ is a huge component of the decision-making on whether to leave or stay. Additionally, because “healing” is my number one core value, I also believe that there is wisdom in our bodies, minds, and hearts that cannot be ignored as we endeavor to pursue whether leaving or staying is the right course of action.

I do believe that often God can see around corners that we cannot and staying (or leaving) is the best course of action because of something in the distance that has not yet been revealed to us.

However, I also believe that we (I am guilty of this too) can hide behind a religious smokescreen of “Well, God is totally in control so I need to pick up my cross and bear it” to justify embracing our fear of change so we do not have to step out in faith.

If we want to know what God says about staying or leaving, we have only to open up His word for answers.

When the Israelites had turned an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh Barnea by the Mount Seir road into a forty-year journey, God said to them:

You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Break camp and advance into the hill country of the Amorites… (Deut 1:6)

When God decided to move me from the safe traditions of Catholicism and Episcopalianism that I had known all of my life into a Non-Denominational church, He reminded me that staying in a faith tradition simply because it was what I had known was not what He was calling me to at that juncture. Had I not moved when He said move, my faith would have been stunted significantly. It was definitely time to go.

In 2006 as I wrestled with my job-less-ness and dwindling funds and questioned why I was still waiting on an answer from God about what next, I decided I was going to begin job searching again. After making the decision to begin applying for a waitressing job, God reminded me of this scripture:

It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. (Acts 6:2)

Are you kidding me? Is that really in the Bible?!? Who knew!

Needless to say, I did not apply for the waitressing job because in this case it was time to stay. Two weeks later I received a donation from a relative that payed for my expenses for the remainder of that year. One month after that, I started on a healing journey that has been pivotal in my future. Two months after that my church in GA hired me to work enough hours to cover all of my expenses.

So how do we know what to do?

Had I not left some relationships, I may have never met my wonderful husband John. Had I not stayed in Georgia, my character might not have been sufficiently developed to embrace and flourish in the amazing job I am in now. So how do we know what to do?

These are my simple guidelines. First – Pray, pray, pray! Second – if you are a Christ follower, meditate on Matthew 6:33.

Get out if:

1 – You are losing tremendous amounts of sleep over where you are or who you are with

2 – Your health has been detrimentally affected

3 – God says “Go!”

4 – Habit and/or fear of change have placed you in a “rut” (rut = think of a car wheel stuck in the mud – like the scene in My Cousin Vinnie – remember?)

5 – Loyalty is hindering the full expression of your gifts

Stay if:

1 – You are a follower of Christ and have had no clear indication of release from God

2 – Though your heart is hurting, your character is growing

3 – God is using you as a change-agent and you are seeing change occurring in that system/person/event/process (If things are getting worse, that may not be the place you need to be)

4 – You are prone to “quit and stay” or “cut and run”   – these are simply defense mechanisms (think fight or flight)

It’s not a tried and true science, but it has been effective in my life. My prayer for you as you wrestle with whether to stay or to go is that your hearts and minds would be sensitive to God’s voice and His leading of you – not man’s. It is God’s wisdom that is able to see around the corner as well as intimately into the situation you now find yourself in and it is God’s grace that will give you the strength to stay or to go as He is calling.

I’ll be praying for you.

Should I stay or should I go now?
Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go there will be trouble
An if I stay it will be double
So come on and let me know 
(The Clash)






  1. Well said…and I thank you.

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  3. […] weeks ago I posted an article entitled Should I stay or should I go now that discussed whether or not to leave from a certain […]

  4. […] When I decide to befriend someone, I become fiercely loyal and often protective. If I decide to work somewhere, I have been known to be loyal to the detriment of my own career. […]

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