Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Failure is Not the End of the World

"One of the good girls most basic fears is failure."- Emily Freeman, Grace for the Good Girl

I can't do this... so I don't even try.  If I can't do it well, what's the use?  Fear of failure has kept me from experiencing life as I could.  I'm afraid people won't like me.  I'm afraid I'll look stupid (that's a big one).  I'm afraid... of being afraid.  Now that.  Is.  Deep.

Freeman talked about this avoidance because of fear in chapter 16 of her book... I'm reading it along with scores of other women and chatting about it on Facebook.  They don't know anything about me... will never meet me in public.  So yeah, I'm not afraid to talk to them about my fear of failure.  I'm pretty sure not many people will read this blog, so I'm safe there... which gives me the permission to try.

I'm one of those girls who has a comfort zone mapped out directly around her body.  Mine includes my couch.  It also includes my bed, and occasionally my office at work.  I know what is expected there.  I don't have to worry about something that I'm unfamiliar with.  Reading and surfing the internet and folding clothes... yeah, I know how to do those things.  (Which doesn't explain why I don't like folding clothes).  Being a Mom and and a wife and a Christian?  Well, sometimes I'm not sure how those things look.  And that means I have to step out of my comfort zone... try new things, different things.  Putting away the old Lauren has been an endless process, but I'm daily peeling her back to let the reformed, transformed, redeemed one shine through.  Thank God that He is patient... and long-suffering!

This explains why for my first month as an RN I wanted to throw up every time I drove to the hospital. What if something was going on with my patients that I didn't understand?  What if I missed something?  I'd surely be a failure... and being a failure is the worst thing.

Or is it?  Failure can actually be a good thing... it lets me see my weakness.  Now my old, comfort zone sitting Lauren is saying... "How can knowing you're weak be a good thing?" Because... if I don't know I'm weak then I can't fix it.  Fixing things is a hallmark characteristic of my comfort zone good girl... because when things are fixed, all is right in the world.  Failure lets us see our limits... but also allows us to see the One who is limitless.  Through Him, we can be strong... and work on our areas where we don't measure up. 

"We can't make life work the way we want."- Freeman.  As much as I want to plan out Caleb's future, I can't.  As much as I want to dictate Wallace's thoughts and make him be the way I want him to be, he is who he is.  As much as I'd love to have a happy ending to this thing called life, sometimes it's hard.  It's supposed to be.  (Thanks, Mama Eve.  On a side note, Caleb and I were discussing the whole fallen world and life is hard thing yesterday.  "Why do we have to have bad things?" he asked.  "Because Eve ate the apple and sin happened and we have to endure hard things because of sin." I explained.  Great answer, hmm?  "Well.   I wish she would die." He exclaimed.  "Um... Caleb, she did.  And we have to, too... That's what the whole punishment was about.")

Anyway, life is hard.  Times are tough.  But we have hope... Hope of a Savior.  Christ in us.  "If your life is hidden with Christ in God, then failure loses the power it used to have over you."

Loses its power. Failure... fails.  Frees me from my comfort zone.  Allows me to take a step into the unknown without being afraid of looking stupid, or wrong.  Failure isn't the end of the world. Sometimes, it's the beginning of a whole new life... of freedom =) grace for the good girl by emily p. freeman

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