The Fear of Failing

Sixteen years ago there was a twinkle in our eyes. We had been married for 3 years and were just barely starting to get into the habit of being married. We were just the two of us. We managed to keep the furry kids alive without too much damage to their mental health, so we thought maybe starting a family would be a good idea. Our oldest daughter joined us, coming into this world knowing nothing and depending on us for her every need, including keeping her safe and healthy. There was a healthy fear of failing mainly due to the fact that there was no instruction manual that came with her. We knew the basics, she eats and drinks therefore she has to poop and pee. She is active therefore she must sleep. She will cry therefore we have to comfort and provide security for her. We could say that we succeeded in the basics. The failure came in the extras, but with the failures came times of growing and learning. We as parents were far from perfect in the decisions we made but we know that she felt loved and was loved.

As we are about halfway into her sixteenth year, she now has two siblings and is now showing us how to better take care of her. There is still the need and the obligation to push her though. The fear of failing is huge. There are two teenagers in the home now and the youngest will be one in a couple of years. The internet and social media are major influences in the lives of our teens and have already told us and proven to us that we have failed. My oldest has this fear of driving. She got her permit a couple months ago and made a plan for herself to get her license before winter next year so she wouldn’t have to walk to school. It’s a great plan, it’s a plan we can help her with. It’s a plan that will not get off the ground if she won’t get behind the wheel. It’s a plan that will fail if she can’t get out from behind the fear.

The pastor today talked about wearing the armor of God. The thoughts, and fears and attacks that we do to ourselves could be stopped if we just wore the helmet of salvation. We would know our worth if we had on the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith, sword of the spirit, and the belt of truth. We are our worst critics and instead of listening to the world around us and going to the word of God instead we would have more weapons at our disposal to take on the attacks against us. My eldest doesn’t think she can drive safely, yet she does well when we do get her behind the wheel. As a momma I have to remind myself that I am not a failure when my kids choose a path that I might not have chosen for them. As a mom I am called to fight for my kids, I am learning the only way to do this is on my knees talking to God.

I have a fear of failure. I don’t like the feeling of failing. Everyday I know I fail at something. It is only because I am far from perfect. I know that from my failures I will learn. Just as my daughter will learn to drive, I will learn from what I did not get right. Joy comes from not being perfect. Imagine if every morning there was a mandate that you had to give up something special to you for every failure you had that day. I would stay in bed. Our bodies physically would not be able to handle the amount of stress trying to be perfect would put on us. Did you know that our bodies respond to when we are stressed, depressed, and in pain? It sounds like a silly question but our bodies even respond to the failures that we have. Our immune systems aren’t as strong, our mental capabilities to take on things lessen, we don’t have as much energy to do things. The flip side is when we know we can’t be perfect and when we embrace the fact that we will fail but can grow from them, our bodies are healthier. We look at life differently because we know we don’t have to constantly prove to ourselves and others that we are perfect.

Having failure built into the learning process and allowing ourselves to get used to failing will take away the fear of failing. If we know our worth in Christ, we don’t have to worry about what we look like to the world. We can fall on our face just to get right back up to keep going forward. Failure no longer is a bad word. Joy comes from knowing that I wasn’t called to be perfect, I was called to be willing. I am a momma to my three kids because I was willing, and because I was willing failure comes with it as well as succeeding. My daughter will fail many times before she gets comfortable with the life skills she has to learn, but she will also succeed in them. Fear is a powerful force, but being loved by God and knowing your worth is much more powerful. Until next time:

Ego says, “Once everything falls into place, I’ll feel peace.”

Spirit says, “Find your peace, and then everything will fall into place”

Marianne Williamson

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