Free to Fail

“It is high time for the church to remind our broken and burned out world that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a one-way declaration that because Jesus was strong for you, you’re free to be weak; because Jesus won for you, you’re free to lose; because Jesus succeeded for you, you’re free to fail.”Tullian Tchividjian

Free to fail, what a thought!  I grew up very insecure and felt very much like a failure.  I failed again and again at life, at relationships, at about everything I tried, but then I became a Christian.  Lying on my bed one night, I prayed “God I hurt, I can’t take it anymore, I just don’t want to feel anymore – I want to die, I don’t want to go to heaven, I don’t want to go to hell, I want to just not exist.  Please help me, I know this is wrong.” and then I cried myself to sleep.  When I woke up the next morning, I turned over in bed and looked out of the window and saw it was a new day… A new day… and I had hope.  I hadn’t known hope in a long time, but I woke up with it that morning and my life was changed.  God did it; He gave me a gift, the gift of hope!  What joy I felt.

Years have gone by and life has failed me, people have failed me and I have failed them.  I know failure and have come through it, but I still fear it.  The fear of it paralyzes me at time.  I’m not free to speak, to act, to write because I fear failure.  Not only do I fear failure, I fear being rejected, being mocked, being hurt and those fears paralyze me.  I become like the man who hid his talent, buried it in the ground, because he knew that if he lost it… so he just buried it.  That’s me; time after time I bury myself.  I actually picture it – when I’m afraid, when I feel I’ve let people down, when I let myself down, I picture myself crawling into a big hole in my backyard and burying myself.

I read an article recently about letting your children fail and I realize how my fears have affected them – I don’t want to fail, I don’t want them to fail, so I protect them, I shelter them.  I don’t want them to know the hurt, the pain I’ve known, I want them to be happy and to succeed.  I want it for them.  But you know, I also want it for me.  When they fail, I feel like I’ve done something wrong, I’ve let them down, I didn’t say the right thing, I didn’t respond in the right way and I realize I expect perfection.  Not just from them, but from myself.  What a burden I have put on, not only myself, but my family.  I pray that they will forgive me and that I will forgive myself.

But then I look away from myself and I am reminded that God loves me and I love my children.  When they fail, or when they fail my expectations, I don’t stop loving them, I don’t see them as failures, I see them as my children whom I love dearly.  It’s not about what they do or don’t do, it’s about them – it’s about love.

By Tami Munden