"I am a failure!"
That phrase used to taunt me as a teenager and still attempts to scream through my mind these past few months.
Have you heard the same self-accusation lately?
There were times that I felt empty, utterly useless, or that I am not doing "enough". I realized in those moments that I was making comparisons of myself to those I considered successful and achievers of great things.
Was I being lazy? Definitely not. I can stay pretty busy, too busy sometimes.
I was comparing my abilities, accomplishments, social status, and physical appearances to those who are achieving wonderful goals and changing lives through amazing ministries.
"What am I doing with my life?" I would ask myself. I am still trying to find my place in a new community, teach developmentally delayed children, and strive to be qualified to direct a ministry that is teaching English in a community still foreign to me.
Will I ever "feel" qualified? Probably not. But will I do my best to work in the places God has led me to with the strength and abilities He has granted me? You betcha!
Have you ever "felt" fully qualified for a task or new responsibility that is thrust upon you? To be qualified does not mean that one has to be perfect or extraordinary. Isn't that a relief?!
"Don't assume you have to be extraordinary to be used by God. You don't have to have exceptional gifts, talents, abilities, connections. God specializes in using ordinary people whose limitations and weaknesses make them ideal showcases for His greatness and glory. (1 Cor. 1:26-29)"
Do you notice how our emotions can dip up and down depending on our circumstances?
One day everything is going great, life is wonderful, and your future looks bright and promising. Then the next day you hear a bad report, or perhaps someone gave you their honest opinion about your outfit, or you are simply tired and stressed out. Life is no longer feeling wonderful and you are suddenly filled with uneasiness and doubts about what lies ahead.
Raise your hand if you've ever felt dizzy from the roller coaster ride of emotions.
Can I admit something to you? I am still learning.
I am still learning how to recognize the taunts from the enemy of my soul. Those taunts that scream out how unqualified, worthless, forsaken, and useless I am. Do you ever hear those same taunts?
I have learned that I CANNOT and MUST NOT determine my value based upon how I "feel" but upon what I "know".
I know God loves me.
I know I am saved from my sin.
I know I am not perfect.
I know I do my best at what I've been given.
I know that God is my strength
I know that He cares.
Do you need to be reminded of the same truths? There is an enemy of your soul that can use lies streaming through your emotions to bring you to a place of hopelessness, fear, failure, discouragement... you name it. That is a tactic to keep you from recognizing that you are part of a wonderful story that God is writing.
As my story is being written out those emotions and feelings try to smother me but I've called them out.
Yes. I may feel lonely but I know God is with me. (Psalm 23:4)
Yes. I may feel hopeless but I know God is the source of my hope. (Psalm 71:5)
Yes. I feel uncertain about the unknown but I am not the only one. I know I can trust God to guide me one step at a time.
This, also, I do know. I am nothing on my own. I can try and try and try some more to please others, to accomplish everything on my to-do list, or to exceed all expectations and probably not succeed. But failure isn't final. You can look up, grab the Shepherd's hand, and get back up.
I can. You can. We can.
Failure does not define me. Failure does not have to define you.
You can be confident in the truth that God, in His faithfulness, will complete what He has begun.
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
This encouragement was first written to the church in Philippi as the Apostle Paul affectionately writes about his confidence in the believers based on God's good work in them through His grace. (Phil. 2:13) That amazing work of grace in us is dependent on our cooperation and response of faith. (Phil. 2:12-16, Romans 5:2)
So, my friend, even when those taunts remind you how often you've failed just look into God's Word and know that your story is not over yet. The Holy Spirit is ready to write a wonderful masterpiece on the tables of your heart.
Are you ready?
For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
Have your feelings of failure ever tried to define you? In what ways did the Holy Spirit help you overcome? Feel free to comment below.
Written by: Sonia E. Vargas
My name is Amber Marshall. I graduated from Free Gospel Bible Institute in 2019. I left Bible school with an overwhelming desire to help others, but, like many, I wondered how I could. This blog is my chance to do that using my passion for writing. I pray that anything that is published on this website ministers and blesses others!