The words read failed in the right-hand corner of the paper. “You are a failure” You always fail at these things. You are worthless.” These thoughts rang in my head as I stared at the sheet of paper in my hand. I had just taken a four-hour exam that held my future. This has got to be a mistake. How in the world did I fail? I studied half a year for this. I folded the paper quickly and shoved it in my purse. I stepped onto the elevator and the thoughts continued. “Everyone knows you were taking this test today, you can’t tell them you failed. They are forever going to see you as a failure. You will never amount to anything.” I reached my car and collapsed in the seat. How did this happen? I just threw my entire future away, by failing this test. I had just failed my licensing examination and I had no clue how I was going to move forward. I called my parents and told them the news while sobbing. I ugly cried all the way home.
Failure is something I had not experienced in a long time. I was furious. I was furious with myself and furious with God. I could not believe he would allow me to fail this. I prayed so hard and studied harder than ever. For once in my life, I felt like God had failed me. It pains me to even write those words but that is truly how I felt. I had never been so upset. This was my future and I felt like I was following where God wanted me. Not to mention I paid a lot of money for the examination. Days went by and I began to distance myself from the Lord. I stopped attending my young adult group and paying attention in church.
One day, God spoke to me and he whispered gently, “I am going to use this failure.” It was painful to hear but this verse came to mind. “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you” Hebrews 13:5. I had memorized this verse long ago when my grandfather shared this verse with me when he was going through cancer treatment. With that simple whisper “ I am going to use this failure.” I began to adjust the way I had been thinking. I realized I had bought into the lie the enemy had told me “You are a failure and God failed you.” Yes, I did fail, but my worth is not based in my performance on an exam, even a national one. God did not fail me. He was with me every step of the way and he has something better for me. I want to encourage you if you are in a time where you feel like you completely blew it. God is not finished with you yet. He has not left you. He is walking with you in this time. Remember he will never fail you and will never leave you. I challenge you to memorize this verse and every time you feel defeated or doubt God’s faithfulness pray this and repeat it over and over until you truly believe it with your whole heart.
How God is using my failure/ lessons learned:
These are a couple of things I have learned from my failure. I challenge you to reflect on your failure and see how God is using it. God has a purpose for everything and every struggle we go through. So, take this failure and let God use it for his glory!
Written by: Rebeccah McCully
Failure. It is something we all deal with and can be incredibly devastating, even debilitating at times. There were times in my life where I felt like the Linkin Park song, “In the End” was my anthem. I felt like I would try to do better, try to succeed even harder just for nothing to happen and all of my efforts to amount to nothing.
If you know my story, you know that I struggled with an eating disorder as well as a few anxiety disorders. At the time, I felt that these were my greatest failures. I wasn’t doing well in school, I was thinking about dropping out of college, I almost quit my job because of this—I had truly felt that I had failed not only myself, but my family, and most importantly my God. I truly believed that God was letting me suffer as punishment for not being a good enough Christian, or not trusting Him fully.
I remember one Sunday in church, we began talking about this concept of the “wilderness”. When we are walking through the wilderness in life, we are looking everywhere but to God for answers. We need to stop and look to Him to be our light and our path. This struck a chord with me and that day I decided to stop trying to dig my way through the wilderness but to stop and look to God to be my protector and guide my path as I was on my way out of this very dark and scary place.
I began counseling and seeking wisdom from professionals, it was there that I remembered that God takes our darkest moments and redeems them as a means of making His perfection, grace, and mercy known to the world. He did just that! My recovery wasn’t linear, please hear me on that. I still have days where I feel like I am stumbling over stray branches or taking wrong turns. There are still days that are hard. However, I am remembering that the Lord is consistently taking that time of “failure” and turning it into a time of incredible redemption and faith. Every time you take two steps forward, praise Him. When you take a step back, praise Him. When you go rolling backwards down the hill, still praise Him. He is making a way for you and using every failure as a means of bringing glory to Himself in the period of redemption.
“Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19b