I feel like lately my life is so very chaotic. I have a lot of energy that I don’t know what to do with, life is overwhelming me, and my upcoming trip to Australia is starting to become more real and my fears becoming more potent. All of that combined with not having enough alone time to journal and process things, and I think I am going a little crazy (but what else is new). I feel like my mind is a chaotic entanglement of thoughts, words trying to untangle themselves and find their way to the surface.
As I sit here, trying to calm down my wandering thoughts and trying to make sense of what I’m feeling, I pick up the book Love Does by Bobb Goff. As usual, I find myself in my own little world, curled up with coffee, my new journal and ink pen and the oh so perfect coffee shop environment which I just adore. Although it is kind of hard to focus on the book when my mind is going a million directions. That’s when this quote pops out at me and immediately has my undivided attention. It might as well have been bolded, italicized and in capital letters.
“ The thing about our God is He intentionally guides people into failure…and the whole time He is endlessly patient”.
And God whispers ever so quietly “ What would our life look like if you viewed your failures that way?”
What if I chose to look at my failure and tell it that my God is greater? Because isn’t it natural to see failure and put yourself down, drowning out any hope with the thought that your failure defines you?
My life has been me constantly trying to reach perfection, trying to fit in and trying to be like those around me. When I was younger, I always wanted to be taller like my siblings, I wanted to be more athletic like them, and I wanted to be more fit like them. I’ve always wanted to be able to dance as well as my sisters and friends, and I have always been so afraid of failing. Afraid of failing, because it means I am not good enough, I don’t have a plan and my ideas of how I want my life to turn out is crumpling under the oppressive weight of insecurities and failure.
I know that when I look into the mirror, more often then not I allow my failures to define me. I tell myself I’ll never change, I’ll always be a failure and there is no point in trying to change because I already know my choices will lead me to failure, disappointment and self hatred.
That’s when this small idea starts to weave its way into my heart, like a small river slowly flowing into a great cascading waterfall; God is about to shatter all these perceptions I have of failure.
What if Instead I looked in the mirror rand asked God what He is trying to show me through my failure? Instead of viewing my failure as failing myself and God, what if I viewed it as evidence that I so desperately need His grace, and that it is sitting right there waiting for me?
God isn’t expecting perfection. That alone shakes me to my core, because I’ve lived my life around this idea of perfection. Yet God allows me to fail because when I fail it highlights my need for Him and reminds me that He is waiting, endlessly patient with arms open wide.
Maybe sometimes, it takes failing over and over. I am stubborn, I run away from God and I try to do things on my own. I fail, and I think I somehow have to try harder to fix the situation and myself. It isn’t until I come to that point of complete and utter desperation, that God so lovingly embraces me, rejoicing because I have finally come home to Him.
It makes me think of the story of the prodigal son. The father didn’t go chase His son down. He didn’t condemn him and tell him he was a failure. No, he let the son walk out his decisions, he let him fail, allowing him to come to that point of surrender.
Then when the son finally came home, he was waiting, full of love and grace. He had prepared only the best for his son.
Such a beautiful picture of Gods grace and love for me, and you. Sometimes God lets me fail, He lets me make mistakes because He knows that is what I need to learn and grow.
He isn’t in my face, telling me what to do. He isn’t condemning me or judging me. No, He is sitting there, patiently waiting, graciously waiting for the day I will come to that beautiful point of full surrender.
So, if God showed me one thing tonight, it is to not be afraid to fail, to not be afraid to stumble and to stop striving for perfection. To know, I will never be perfect and that is perfectly okay. He sent Jesus to live a perfect life for me, so I can stop trying so hard.
I will screw up, I will try and run back to the very things that tried to kill me, I will hurt others and get hurt. I will push God away, thinking I know better. I will at times, choose to listen to the enemies lies and at times chose to live in fear. Yet every time, God will so lovingly and patiently bring me right back to the foot of the cross and I will fall to pieces as my composure shatters, overwhelmed by the Jesus who I serve.
Overwhelmed by the way He loves me, brought to tears because I don’t deserve His grace. Yet He sits there, waiting, helping me when I stumble and carrying me when I am weak. All I can do is raise my arms in surrender, giving my all to Him.