I have been feeling like a failure lately, with all the late posts and all the stress It’s really begun to stack up…
But there is a God in Heaven that saved me. A God that loves me. A God that will lift me from the earth when I am too weak to do it myself.
For that, I can never be thankful enough.
For the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.
It’s gonna work out.
As I’ve gotten older and pieced together my purpose little by little, I’ve learned something I thought I learned a long time ago.
Everything is alright.
See, I’ve fallen into this super cool habit. I overschedule myself with various projects, unable to laser in on one thing and I try to do all of it at once, which then leads to me going into overdrive as my due dates fly by me because I put too much on my plate. Couple that with my job and my relationships, I turn into a roving ball of stress and trip over the smallest inconvenience. “Oh, my microwaveable pizza isn’t cooked, this needed to go right because if it didn’t my whole day is going to be thirty seconds off. I can’t let my day be thirty seconds off that all adds up!”
Stuff like that, you know?
Maybe not. That’s kind of crazy, but it’s my kind of crazy. I love chaos. My favorite times to work are times when I probably shouldn’t be working. I love writing late at night, and when I can’t sleep, much like right now, I choose to fill that time with writing instead. I come up with the best ideas when I am engaged in something where I can’t easily reach for my phone or a pencil to write it down. I take on so many projects for the rush of doing it all. I regularly chase the high of accomplishing herculean tasks.
I used to accomplish a lot of them, too. Starting out I finished a novel in a month, barring the fact that it was not worth publishing when I finished it I was so proud of finishing it while still working 40+ hours a week, maintaining the blog and spending time with my friends. There are times where I yearn for that superhuman strength again. Anymore, I get tired after cooking dinner.
But this isn’t so much about the victories I’ve had, healthy ones or not. It’s more about my failures.
See, I fail a lot.
I get angry easily, I lose my cool, I comment on the mentality of other people so often.
A kid I used to work with told me about this book, The Four Agreements, it was a self-help book about the power of your words. Sounds a lot like The Secret, which I bought into for a while. The same thing, just about the power of your thought. These books do something the same, every one that I’ve read, at least.
They all say that the power rest upon your shoulders.
You can change your entire life just by thinking about what you want, you can change who you are by watching your words and promising yourself things. You can do all things through the power of you who strengthens you, it says.
Don’t get me wrong, The Secret and the mentality behind it helped me a lot in my youth, but I’ve grown out of it and over it. I’ve been born again pretty much all of my life. For a while there in high school I researched other forms of faith and found that nothing else could answer my questions like The Bible could. I remembered that after I had *thought* so hard about my books selling big and me making it. I remembered that after I *made promises* to myself and others that I would be a good boyfriend and a good son, and still failed at those things.
That failure felt so bitter to me. I had done everything I was supposed to do, shouldn’t I have been rewarded or at the very least, compensated for my trouble. At this time of my life I had stopped leaning on God for most things, praying only when I needed something from Him. The weight I felt was nearly unbearable, and the misery that it brought with it is still difficult to stomach.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
I often wonder why we turn to these self help books and other mantras to protect us and guide us. Especially since we are so weak on our own. Don’t misunderstand, the power within the human soul is incredible. The resilience we can have to fight and push and keep moving forward despite all odds is hard to accurately describe, but I think, there is an unseen force there.
I know there is for me.
All of those small victories I’ve had in my life, the big ones too, obviously, all of them had to come from somewhere.
I’ve lived a short time, but in that time I’ve seen the power of God so many times. Overwhelming love coming through in times of utter darkness, compassion when there is nothing but hate around. The list can go on and on, and I have been on the dark side of many things. The relationship with my Sunflower and her family, one that comes to mind immediately.
When we first began dating and their relationship soured because of me, I wondered to God if I was doing the right thing. I felt guilty and responsible for what had happened to them, but as time has gone on He has reminded me that His plan is greater than anything I could imagine. The feeling of comfort I’ve felt from His presence is better than any self help book or promise from man I could find.
I’ve talked to you about a lot of my failures. For those who’ve been following the blog for more than a couple years have likely seen a big shift in my attitude and the way I write, because when I started writing on this blog I was still living in this world where I believed I could do everything myself. I could be the master author/musician/poet etc. that I’ve always wanted to be. I believed I had the power to do anything because of what I held within my mind. I hid my failures from you and pretended that everything was perfect because that’s the image I wanted to represent.
But, after a long and hard conversation with myself about why I began this blog, I decided to stop that. I’m sure I’ve leaned too far in the opposite direction, but it’ll plane out. Don’t worry. I am protected and supported by a God who loves me with a love I will never understand.
My failures are not God’s failures.
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
That’s really important to remember. I’ve spent my share of time mad with God and myself over things that didn’t go my way. Lost jobs, relationships etc. I blamed Him for the failure of myself, and believed that He didn’t want me to do this thing that I felt I was called to do.
This is the case from everything to failed writing projects to missed lunch dates with my mom. I am really good at holding grudges against God, especially when I do it without so many words.
That’s why I’m writing this today.
I have been an author now for five years, by author I mean published and with a novel and such. I published my first book in 2014, and since then I’ve written six more. Each of them different, each of them a piece of me. I’ve waited to finish editing and publish them because I am afraid of failing. I’m afraid of the things I’ve written not being good enough for the public. I am afraid of going back on all of the promises I made for myself when I was a boy. In the same breath, I had a hard time dealing with the thought of commitment when my Sunflower and I began dating. I was afraid of all that commitment meant. I would give up so many freedoms, I would dbe chained down by a woman who didn’t want for me what I wanted. I was afraid. When I began serving again I was afraid I would fail at that. When I got a job outside the serving industry I was afraid I would fail, I still am.
I am always afraid that I will fail.
But my failures are not God’s failures.
God has been with me since 2014, He has been with me since 2001, and even before then He has been watching me because I am His child.
When I fail, God does not look down on me ashamed and angry. He looks down with forgiveness and love.
I know this, because all of those things I am afraid of failing, I haven’t failed. My writing has only gotten better, because I quit relying on my thoughts and promises and began working every day at being better. My relationship is not a failure, because I have been blessed with a woman who wants the best for me. One who inspires me to do the things I love and to live the life that God set out for me, and welcomes me with open arms when the world was too hard on my newly softened flesh. My work has not failed, I have been given chance after chance to prove myself and to improve myself.
There can be a million more of these second chances and affirmations in my life that I’ll never understand, because I am a sinful creature by nature. I have fallen and failed more times than even I can count a day, but because my God loves me, I am not a failure.
I’ve long loved the saying “fall seven times, stand up eight.” Because it fills me with a kind of determination that few other things do.
Sitting down to write this, not knowing exactly what I wanted to write about, I came to realize that the saying above came from the bible. It’s funny, you know, how often God speaks to us through our day to day lives. All we must do is listen.
In summation. I am a wretched, confused, sinful failure.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
I am a man afraid of many things, despite my bravado and arrogance towards those fears.
2 Timothy 1:7
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
I am a man who falls seven times, and gets up eight because I rely on the strength of the Lord.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
I am a failure, but I am God’s failure.
Thank you for spending time with me to read today. It truly means the world to me. I’ve loved getting to do this new series with you + I think I will continue it into the future. If you have something on your heart, reach out + I am more than happy to pray for you/with you. Religious or not, it doesn’t matter to me.
I’ll see you soon for the next post. This weekend is pretty dense already.
Categories: Umbral Dawning