I MARRIED SOMEONE WHO IS THE DEFINITION OF ACHIEVER. UNFORTUNATELY. When my husband took a strengths/personality profile, the words to describe him were: achievement, competition, leadership, strategic. All this to say, if I want to beat my husband at ANY game, I have to pray for divine intervention.
We were enjoying a weekend at the lake with my family. (My husband and I were dating at the time.) Nature. Reading. Snuggling by the fire. A perfect setting. That is, until the games.
Connect Four was our undoing as a couple. I was determined to win. He won the first 3 games, but he couldn’t win 4, 5, 6, skip to 10 in a row, could he? Oh, but he could. And he did. (At this point I was in desperate need of a hug, which I wrote on in the first post of this heart encouragement series.)
My attitude was fairly stellar after the initial game. I even kept my cool after the 3rd game. I began to feel slightly antsy during the 5th game. But after game 10, 6 Diet Cokes, and no pride to speak of, I was finished. I couldn’t allow myself to fail one more time.
My husband and I haven’t played Connect Four to this day. Eleven years of marriage later and
the mere mention of Connect Four causes my body to twitch with anxiety . The only word that fills my mind is failure.
To fail: To fall short of. To be lacking. To lose strength or vigor, become weak. To stop functioning or operation.
Failure. Hope lost. Failure. Self worth in question
. Failure. Mourning of loss. Failure. The reason I have lived life avoiding any risk. Failure. More about what others will think of me versus what God is asking of me. Failure. Being terrified to try again. Failure. Satan’s prime opportunity to steal my hope, purpose, and joy.
Jesus is my best friend, even when I label myself as a failure. His plan and promises for me don’t change, even when the college ministry I helped start is shut down. His extravagant grace doesn’t change, even when I respond in anger to my children and husband. His lasting hope doesn’t change, even when I am crushed due to infertility. His unconditional love for me doesn’t change, even when I look to sugar and caffeine for comfort instead of to Him.
My failures don’t change how Jesus sees me. Jesus isn’t shaken by
my past, present, or future failures. I shouldn’t be either. The song, “The Stand“, says, “He (Jesus) stood before my failures. And carried the cross for my shame.”
Every man or woman who did something great in scripture, failed. If they would have allowed their failures to cripple them, they never would have accomplished miraculous things for the Kingdom.
Instead of hiding from or being defeated by failure, Jesus says:
You are going to be ok, learn from it, and draw into Me.
I will use your failures to minister to others.
I don’t remember your shame, I don’t keep record of your failures.
I will never leave you or turn away from you when you fail.
Your failures do not define you.
Take risks for My Kingdom in spite of the odds of success.
Trust me and you will be equipped and strengthened to do what it is I am calling you to do.
Choose today to live life to the fullest. Through His Spirit. Failing, but learning from it. Risking it all for the sake of His Kingdom. Laying aside fears to stand in faith, love and hope.
1Peter 2:6b “…and the one who trusts in Him, will never be put to shame.”
Have you ever experienced failure that crippled you to try again? What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
© 2012 Standing on Peace