Everyone you know has messed up. We’ve tripped. We’ve cursed. We’ve hurt. We’ve missed the big deadline. We’ve not delivered quite what they were looking for. For some reason, failure stings more than anything else. We can’t help but beat ourselves up and make the situation we could learn from turn into a tragedy. I’ve been through quite a few seasons in life where I couldn’t help but feel like I could not stop failing. Task after task, I felt like the world and all control was slipping out of my hands. Failure caused me to run away from God and to seek other things to comfort me. We’ve all been there. Today I want to remind you how important failure is and why we should celebrate it.
A few weekends ago in church, my pastor brought up a quote from Winston Churchill that will not leave me. When asked about a big failure Churchill had faced, he simply replied, “I did not fail, I had two chances to get it right.” As soon as these words left my pastor’s lips, I knew they were meant to release me from the guilt I have felt at past “failures.”
In middle school and high school, I participated in speech and drama (also known as Forensics). For seven years, I memorized pieces, acted, and took up every Saturday at a random high school or middle school competing against other young actors. Before finals, we would all gather around to watch them post up the results in the cafeteria. Once finals were over, our results would be announced in front of everyone. For a long time, I was just thankful to final. As time progressed and my talent grew, I became angry when anything less than first place was handed my way. Nearly every weekend felt like a failure, a slap on the wrist. I became so angry when I would lose and I even recall throwing things after one major loss (I was extremely mentally unhealthy, obviously). Loss equaled devastation to me and I did not take two seconds to understand that I could have learned and improved from each one.
Jeremiah 8:4 says, “This is what the Lord says, ‘When people fall down, do they not get [back] up?'” You have failed, yes. But you are still here and well enough to access an electronic device to read this post. When we fail, we must not only get back up but learn from the way in which we failed. Try and try and try again. We all hear those stories of athletes or scientists or authors who failed hundreds of times before they ever got it right. They’re a cliché but it is so true. God gave them a vision (whether they believe that or not) and they continued to work towards their goal and learn from each mistake.
In order to learn from failure, we have to understand that failure does not determine our outlook. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 says, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” If we can think about this verse whenever we feel like all hope is lost or that we can never get it right, we will change the world. We are pressed, but not destroyed. Hurt, but not broken. We have failed, but we are not failures. No matter what happens, we cannot let our failures be who we are. We must learn to get up, walk away, and learn. I encourage you all today to remember this and take it with you always.
I just wanted to let all of you people know that I will not be posting next week as I will be spending some quality time with my family in Mexico! Don’t worry, I’ll have a beautiful Mexico post to make up for it and I’ll be posting as much as I can throughout the week on Instagram! Thank you so much for all of your support. I’ll see you next week! x