But, as I get older, these instances of failing are beginning to look less like moments of insecurity, and more and more like progressive opportunities. I'm not saying all failure is good. Certainly there are times that failure is outright sinful, and my repentance is as necessary as my humility in order to reap the full benefit of God's hand in my life. But, I am saying this: The only difference between failure and progress is perspective.
This struck me the other day when I was considering my frustrations as a parent (a common theme here on PARDYMAMA!) I was biting my tongue, taking deep breaths, and praying through another moment of choosing peace and patience over my all-too-reactive anger. I imagined how God must be looking at me through parental eyes - how He must look at all of us at times - and yet, He's not having to take deep breaths and settle Himself down over disappointment in us. It's not that I don't disappoint God (absolutely, this should be obvious!) but, rather, that He can see the big picture - where I'm headed - the lessons I'm gaining, and so forth. I just pictured God smiling earnestly at me and encouraging me "Oh dear Emily...you'll get it. Remember my Words. Trust in Me. Depend on ME."
When I fail, something inside me (I would consider this "something" to be the Holy Spirit utilizing my conscience and conviction) tells me to do better next time, to stop relying on my own strength so much, to remember that there's a better path (albeit, often harder) and to choose differently in the future. This recognition gives me unfathomable hope to change, be better, act differently. This is the Spirit of Christ in me, working through even the most mundane or tumultuous moments.
THAT isn't failure...that's progress.
Seeing my weaknesses from God's perspective allows me the security to move forward, embrace grace and forgiveness, and grow in the progressive depth that my faith offers me in my actions. It also reminds me of this verse:
2 Corinthians 12: 9-10
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ my rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.We all do our best to hide our weaknesses and avoid failures. But, when failures come and the temptation to shirk into our own insecurities is quick to follow, I hope you take a deep breath and choose to embrace the progress Christ offers in those quiet moments. I know He's still working on me, and I'm so grateful for each moment of progress I encounter, even if it takes me some time before I can step back and appreciate the true perspective of how God uses it in my life.