Failure

Sometimes, you’re minding your own business, and it just sneaks right up on you. You had other plans. Like, worrying about finances. Obsessing over your kid’s cupcake consumption. Mourning your skinny jeans. And then, out of no where, it hits you.  A deep, powerful sense of gratitude. An unshakeable knowledge of God working good according to his purpose. In the midst of all of your struggles and hardships. And particularly, all of your failures. I have felt failure deeply this year.  I didn’t get into any of my top three chosen graduate programs.  I poorly managed our finances leaving us unable to pay bills, or to enroll Ellie into the activities (like gym and swim classes) that she begs me for.   My body failed at keeping and nurturing a baby.  I felt like we failed in purchasing this house, in an area where safety feels so uncertain.  I failed at maintaining friendships with the ones closest to my heart, but furthest away in location.  I failed in doing a job given to me well, and had to walk away from it.  I failed at being a good communicator, a loving wife, a reliable friend, a good mother.

Or, that’s what I thought- even if I never voiced it that way. Even if I never realized that was how I felt until now. But this morning I woke with a strange, new sensation.  It was deeper and fuller than peace.  It was wider and more encompassing than thankfulness.  My kid, for whatever reason, was still sleeping when I woke.  (And still is, for that matter, which is why I’m able to write to you).   I gently scooped her head from my arm, and tiptoed downstairs to find the coffee my husband always makes for me before he leaves for work.  I breathed thanks for his thoughtfulness, his loving kindness toward me and us, his little family.  I am so blessed to have this man as my partner, and I thanked God again that Ellie has him as her Papa.  I scrolled through some Instagram photos and found myself so thankful for my friends and the way God’s blessed them in their jobs, and on their vacations, and with new babies.  I looked at the way the sun came right into my living room and remembered how much I love this old house, and our wonderful neighbors.  And I thought about how if I got into those grad programs I would never have been able to do the job I am doing now- which is fun and exciting and challenging and fulfilling and an answer to pray in more than one way.

I thought about how I would have reacted, even a year ago to all of the things we have lived through this year and saw God’s hand in highlighter across the last few months- drawing me further up and further in.  To trust Him more deeply, love Him more fully, and learn how better to love His people.   I am changed because of all these, “failures”.   I am kinder, gentler, more forgiving, more aware, more joyful.   But the best part is that I am more confident than ever that He has everything worked out already for me, and it’s for my benefit.

I’m so very grateful today for all the things I have and for all the blessings to come, even if they seem at first to be failures.

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