The Other “F Words”, part 3

I once put 2 CUPS of salt into a recipe of lasagna instead of 2 teaspoons.

Ok, actually I ran out of salt after a cup and a half, but still…  Inconceivable that anyone could be such an idiot?  A failure?  I know, I know it’s hard even for me to believe.  I can only chalk it up to the fact that I was multi-tasking and my mind was elsewhere.

You’ve never made a stupid mistake?  Or failed at something serious you worked hard for?

Did you fail your driver’s test the first time?

Fail to make the varsity tennis, football, or swim team?

Been fired?

Have a failed marriage?

Failed to get a promotion you applied for?

Failure.  Another uncomfortable “F word”.

Even writing the word brings feelings of humiliation and embarrassment.  A sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Experiences, choices, words, I’d really like to forget                    (another f word) :).

I have plenty of failures to reflect on.  I’m a passionate, aim-fire-ready kind of gal.  Leap before you look.  It’s all good.  Enthusiasm wins the day.

As a result I’ve inadvertently stepped on toes, lost money, received rejections for less-than-best work submitted too quickly.

Maybe your pattern is different, but you can still think of failures that make you cringe.

As I’ve been reflecting on failure I’ve read some inspiring stuff.

“Grace means our failures don’t define who we are anymore; they just shape who we’re becoming.”Bob Goff

“If you know you are the Beloved, you can live with an enormous amount of success
and an enormous amount of failure without losing your identity.
Because your identity is that you are the Beloved…” Henri Nouwen

Somebody asked Winston Churchill one time, “What most prepared you to lead Great Britain through World War 2?

This was Churchill’s response: “It was the time I repeated a class in grade school.”

The questioner said, “You mean you flunked a grade?”

Churchill said, “I never flunked in my life.  I was given a second opportunity to get it right.”

What we would like to delete, God wants to complete (I’m sure I heard that pithy little saying somewhere, but I can’t remember where)

But how do we translate all this peppy talk into anything more?  We all are going to fail, but what’s next?  How do we “fail forward” as I think John Maxwell said?

Stop trying (or crying) for a minute and hold your “failure” (whatever it is) before God and say,

Here it is Lord.

Use it.  Redeem it.  Teach me from it.  Show me my next step.  But don’t let it define me, paralyze me, or tempt me to turn from You.  Thank you that I am Your beloved child.  No matter what.”

What have you failed at that God has redeemed?

5 thoughts on “The Other “F Words”, part 3

  1. I wonder, as I read this, if we really KNOW that we are accepted and loved by others (and God) until we fail and they see us without the mask of success we all wear all the time. Without the mask, God (and my True friends) don’t so much join me in the pity party, they find ways to say, “Me too.” I bond so much better when I admit my failures and fears I’d rather forget, finding others who have felt the sting… and been mellowed/grown as a result. Love this life-giving sharing of truth…

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  2. It is so easy to become part of the self pity party. Not only is this message important for each of us to read, but to help share it with others who feel self-doubt and fear of failure (like a 17 year old filling out college appications). Thanks for sending this message to me this morning.

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    • So true! Katy’s time of college application was one of self-doubt that is seen with a healthier perspective in retrospect. Hard stuff to see God’s presence and power in our weakness when we’re in the midst of it!

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