Failure. Not a fun word to say, read or even type. Often times we avoid talking about failure because we think that if we talk about it then it might happen.
By definition failure is, “omission of expected or required action.”
Let me ask you a tough question, when was the last time you felt like a failure?
In your job?
With you kids?
With your spouse?
I’ll share mine with you. We’ve been trying to loosely (if that is even possible) sleep train our almost 8 month old daughter. After 5 consecutive days of putting her down for scheduled naps without much of a fuss, I thought we were making progress.
On day 6, she wasn’t having it. I followed the protocol the best I could, and even turned off the monitor so I couldn’t see or hear her fussing in hopes that after a few minutes she’d turn over and go to sleep. I had meant to turn it on after 5-10 minutes to check on her, but once I got on the phone with my mom I completely forgot.
After our half hour conversation, I suddenly remembered that she was still upstairs and I needed to check on her. I turned on the monitor to hear and see her still crying, but it was different.
Her cry was unlike one that I had ever hear before. She was deeply sobbing into her hands, and she was so hysterical she couldn’t catch her breath.
(Sleep training is such a hot topic for debate, and that is not my intention for this post, my intention is to share with you a transparent and vulnerable moment.)
When I saw her in that state of desperation, my heart dropped. I ran upstairs to get her and immediately picked her up and attempted to comfort her. As she struggled to catch her breath and calm down, I struggled to hold back my own tears as the guilt started to build up inside of me.
Then came the flood of failure and shame-inducing thoughts.
How could you let this happen
What kind of mother are you to let her cry like that
She depends on you and you abandoned her
You failed her today
YOU ARE A FAILURE.
Oh if we could count the number of times we internalize something that happens as a character flaw, instead of seeing it for what it was… a mis-step. (I suspect for you, like myself it is too many to count)
I want to encourage you, sweet friends that you are not a failure. You are not the sum of your past mistakes, or even the mistakes you will commit in the future.
You are the sum of your past multiplied by His unending grace and mercy.
Let’s say A-Z represents your past and 0 represents grace and mercy.
A x 0 = 0
(A+B+C) x 0 = 0
A number times zero is always zero. Anything we’ve done, once multiplied by God’s grace will always return God’s grace.
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:23-24
and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. Romans 1:4-5
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” James 4:6
In Christ, “Failure” literally isn’t an option- only an opportunity for God’s grace to pick you up and keep you going.
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Hebrews 12:1-2
Be encouraged today!