I get it. Failing at something REALLY sucks. I am SUPER competitive. It doesn’t matter if I have done something once or one hundred times, I still want to be the best. Not because I hate you and want to see you fail, it’s just this innate drive to win. And really, I think it’s a God given strength.
But you see, with this ultra-competitiveness,
has also come a lot of failures.
There was a specific youth rodeo championship saddle that I worked at and had a goal to win for 7 years… I never won it.
Even though I graduated a valedictorian and had a stellar ACT score, I didn’t really get any amazing scholarships and still graduated college with student debt.
I haven’t gotten any masters or doctoral degrees.
I was actually engaged to a guy that I didn’t marry (praise God), but to many that still could have seemed like a “failure”.
If I’m honest this blog/influence platform/ministry has taken WAY longer to grow than I thought it would, and it is nowhere near the place that I dream it can go.
(Sheesh, that list was rather depressing to write, lol.)
But you see, I’ve learned to NOT let those failures define me.
Because as soon as we let our actions-wins or losses- define us, we take our eyes OFF of Christ’s ability in us and put them on OUR ability. And our ability pales in comparison to that of our King.
And I know you may be like, “Ok, great. Faith, that list is NOTHING compared to how bad I have screwed up. You have no idea.”
And to some extent, you’re right. I have not walked in your exact shoes and on your exact path… But I know that God desperately longs to redeem it. And I’ve read too many scriptures and heard too many amazing testimonies to believe that He can’t or doesn’t want to redeem your story too.
As long as there is breath in your body, there is hope for you to still accomplish God’s amazing destiny for your life.
You may have made some pretty epic mistakes, but God is REALLY good at taking broken things and making them beautiful.
Isaiah 61:7a NIV
Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of your disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance.
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6 Tips to start dreaming again after failure
1. Give your heart time to heal
This truly will vary based on what the failed dream was, how much time and effort you are willing/able to put into the healing process.
But as for any heart healing, it is of upmost importance to take your heart to the Healer. Even if the failure was your fault, God still longs to heal your heart
This is also crucial so that you do not carry those wounds into your next dream.
2. Get really solid on your identity in Christ
We were loved before we ever did one single thing to serve the Kingdom of God. We were pursued when we were at our very worst. Your worth to God is NOT rooted in your achievements- or lack thereof.
3. Sit with the Lord and allow Him to speak His purpose and destiny over your life.
God has a beautiful story written just for you, a fulfilling, powerful, amazing part for you to play in building His Kingdom. But we have to seek Him to find out what it is… correction, we GET to seek Him to find out what it is.
4. Honestly evaluate what went wrong that contributed to the failure
Sometimes it may be something as simple as “I didn’t really do my due diligence in preparation”, “I wasn’t actually in shape enough to win that race”, “I had never put that kind of pressure on my horse before”, etc… Sometimes it may be a little deeper like “I was speaking words of defeat and expecting victory.”
5. Set a new goal
I love Jon Acuff’s advice here to give yourself twice as long to accomplish it as you think it will take. (His whole book “Finish” is an excellent resource)
6. Keep the vision before your eyes
Keep the vision of success, the vision of victory before your eyes not reminders of the failure. The clearer we can get and stay on our God given vision, the easier it will be to stay focused.
Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV
Forget the former thing do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
When we love God and decide to lay down our lives to honor Him with everything that we have and everything that we are, He is able to take the broken and fragmented pieces of our lives, and weave them together into a beautiful story of grace and redemption.
God works all things together for the good of those who love Him.
No, God absolutely did not cause those bad things to happen to you to teach you a lesson. Nor were those dumb moves “all part of His plan.” What kind of good, caring, loving father intentionally tortures their child to teach them a lesson? None.
HOWEVER- He CAN take those dumb decisions and wrong choices and STILL bring our beautiful, God authored destiny to pass when we give Him the reins and walk in total surrender-willing and obedient.
So don’t give up hope.
God is NOT done with you yet.
And if you need a little bit of hope to get you started, you can borrow some of mine. ;)
Pray with me:
Father, I repent for not walking in full and quick obedience-whether it was intentional or just out of ignorance. But I am determined (whether it’s the first time or not) to surrender my entire life to you. There are no walls, no boundaries. Nothing is sacred. Take everything that I am and everything that I have. I am Yours. I trust you to give me beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair, and to proclaim freedom over the areas that the enemy has held me hostage. Come have Your way, Jesus. Revive broken God dreams. Remove desires that are not of you, and give me new dreams and visions for the things You have for my life. Jesus, I love You and I trust You. And I am excited to partner with You in the good work that You have for me to do.