Failing is part of the plan.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Had a small epiphany yesterday. I always have them when I drive over that beautiful Santiam pass...I should drive that more often!

It was just this. My American Christian upbringing taught me that God has a "perfect plan" for my life and my job is to find that. You know...all the stuff about "finding God's will for your life...God's good, pleasing and perfect will"; the stuff about not letting the "good" take the place of God's "best", all that. You know what I'm talking about?

I'm realizing more and more as I grow and learn about life, my Christian upbringing taught me some wrong ideas. It's true. Or at least I learned them wrong...that could certainly be the problem! :-) My epiphany yesterday was that God did not make one perfect course for my life and on any given day I'm either on it or I've gone off course. The truth is that what God has planned for each of us is a journey, an adventure. And here's the bigger truth. On that journey that God has planned are successes AND failures, and all these are meant to be seen as part of His Plan for us. It's hard for me to accept failure as "part of the plan". No one wants to fail, but what I'm realizing is that...sometimes God wants us to fail. And that's part of the plan. Who knew?

It gives me a sense of freedom. Fearing failure tends to freeze you up. In order to make sure you're not taking the wrong step, you don't take any, you know? I'm not so afraid to make the wrong step, the wrong choice today. I'm realizing that my God is big enough, and in fact, very happy to weave my wrong decisions into the beauty of our journey together. I think the only really wrong thing I can do at this point is decide not to do this journey together with Him. That's the only real mistake I could make, and after all we've been through together in the last few years, there's just no chance I'm making that decision...sooo...we're good.

It definitely makes me feel more alive...the fact that I can make choices and decisions not fearing failure. I think I'll even be less likely to actually fail if I stop fearing it. And when I do, I can laugh easier, because hey...that was part of the plan, silly girl. Not that failing will ever be easy. I think it's always gonna hurt. But getting muddy gives me an opportunity to learn the best ways to clean mud out of good clothes. Getting bumped and bruised gives me an opportunity to learn how best to clean and bandage wounds. Failing makes me good company for others who have failed. And that is my longing, after all. I want to be like Jesus, and He was such a good companion to the failing and hurting. I really like Him so much.


Marilyn said...

Great epiphany Jen! Now you're gettin it. I think Ted Roberts has a book called "Failing Forward". Might be worth checking out - haven't read it completely myself - but failing is definitely a part of our character building. God is good - especially when I fail! - love The Mom