Today I was afforded a fun example of failure for my children. Ok, I’ll be honest, it wasnt fun, it was humiliating, but the way we’ll laugh about it forever…that will be fun.

I’m a childrens pastor. So, I find myself on stage semi regularly, and I’ll be honest, I’m rarely nervous about it. It’s something that is easy for me. If you’ve ever done strength finder, woo is my top strength. I know it’s something I’m good at. Needless to say…today it wasn’t…except for in that sad, pathetic, “oh Lord she’s tanking” sort of affection you have for… say…a one legged puppy…

Maybe for the first time ever, I got on stage in the main sanctuary flustered, out of breath, and disoriented. Sure I had ran up a flight of stairs, but how many times have I ran in having done that? And today I was panting like an obese woman having just gotten off of the optical. No, I mean I do partially blame the stairs (stairs are the actual worst!) combo’d with the late rushed panic of realizing the akward silence that everyone’s been waiting on you to show up. Yes, this was my nemesis. Pair that with a couple unexpected faces in worship that I hadn’t planned to see, and what you had was someone painting, sweating, mumbling, and making no logical sense. Hello to my newest unwelcome friend…anxiety attack. I think I asked for Trunk or Treat candy no less than 5 times…if you could understand it between the gasps of air that is. You think I’m joking if you werent there, but the Sr. Pastor asked me if I’d just ran a marathon befor I got up there. Olympians have made less out of breath speaches after crossing the finish line. The nodding “go on, you can do it” faces from my friends made it all the worse. Don’t worry, thankfully I find laughter to be great medicine for a weary soul, so please, laugh away…this warrants it.

It wasnt until the prayer that I felt normal. Talking to God calmed me. And to be honest, I think herein lies the truth of today. My aha moment. I’ve been operating on my own quite a bit, asking God to take my daughters health, and handling me on my own. It’s not until I come face to face with my own failure that I realize how very incapable I am. I leave for a mission trip tomorrow morning, just this morning one of the women shared how she feared she would get in front of people to speak and freeze, and no words would come out. I remember having the specific thought that, that would never happen to me, I’m glad I’m so good at public speaking…touche God, touche…

Failure is an interesting thing, its something we all fear more than anything and yet, something we’ll all achieve more times than we we could ever imagine. Today we had a guest pastor speak at church who said he spoke at a pastors training where 200 of the 250 pastors used the same word to describe how they felt God saw them. I knew the word immediately, disappointed. Oh yeah, I feel that on the regular. In my heart of hearts, I know this is indeed not how God sees me, but it takes reminding.

Now before this goes much farther, let me be sure and say, my kids have tons of examples of failure from me. Tons! Most not so funny as today, and far grander in scale of failingness. But I came home after this big humerous, completely emberassing example, and wrote my oldest daughter a letter. She turns 18 next week while I’m gone, and I hope I’ve taught her about failure. I hope I’ve taught her that it’s ok. That we all fail. And we are not defined by the sum of our failures, or accomplishments. Not by those who love us, and certainly not by God. I hope I’ve taught her to use failure, to laugh at it, learn from it, and then move on and totally tank and screw up in all new ways next time, because that’s how we grow. I hope I’m a good example of this in my life.

One thought on “Failure

  1. Well said sis! I pray that I am never judged by my failures but that I learn and grow from each and every scenario. You are a great mother and a great example for your children. Love you and pray you have a safe trip!


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