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Like a woman cooking a large family meal, I have a pot on every burner right now. Front right is the woman who has given up on her husband. Back right is the child still going the wrong direction. Front left is the young woman who has given up on her family. Back left is the woman who sees no hope in herself.
 
I keep a spoon of prayer stirring in each pot where someone teeters on the edge of writing someone off.
 
According to the Free Dictionary by Farlex, the idiom to write someone off means "to give up on turning someone into something, to give up on someone as a dead loss, waste of time, hopeless case, etc."
 
This usually comes with the phrase, "I’m done."
 
I’m done with him.
 
I’m done with her.
 
Writing people off is tempting for three reasons:
 
1. We are worn out. We are to-the-bone weary with trying to understand or help or forgive. Fatigue causes us to throw up our hands in defeat.
 
2. We have no hope. Nothing changed last year. Nothing has changed this year. Why in the world should we expect anything to be better next year?
 
3. We have drifted from the gospel. We have forgotten that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8, NIV). We have forgotten that Christ pushed past His own weariness and pain and trudged on for the sake of love. We have forgotten that Christ held hope that we could become whole and blameless.
 
I see you today in that difficult relationship, so weary you can hardly take a breath. So much pain has been inflicted that you feel you will never be healed. You’ve been in the middle of the relationship challenge for so long that you can’t lift your head up and imagine things could ever change. It seems impossible to you. It seems impossible to everyone else.
 
But there is the gospel.
 
As we pull up close to the gospel, we remember there is hope for every man to be transformed when the light of Christ shines into his or her darkness.
 
So, what to do with a person who causes you struggle like this?
 
If you're determined not to write them off, then the alternative is to write their name on your heart. Vulnerable place, the heart. But either way, there will be wounds, yes? Better to pull a person in close and suffer long than to shove him away.
Christy Fitzwater is the author of A Study of Psalm 25: Seven Actions to Take When Life Gets Hard. She is a blogger, pastor's wife and mom of two teenagers and resides in Montana. Visit ChristyFitzwater.com for more information about her ministry. 

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