By Ashley Vaughan
Failure. That’s a word that can make even the coolest cucumber break out in a cool sweat, or set the most confident person’s teeth on edge. It’s a word that haunts and keeps you up at night.
Recently, a friend at church asked the seemingly harmless question of, “What’s new in life?” I casually shared about a new job I started, and then the conversation quickly led to me admitting to all the feelings of insecurity and the utter terror of potential failure that had made me wake up to 2am panic attacks three weeks in a row. Every morning. 2am. Assailed by a barrage of accusations that I was headed toward absolute failure.
I don’t think I’m alone in this experience either.
How often have you also stared at the ceiling in the dark, wondering if you are really cut out to do this homeschooling thing? Will your kids be ruined? Can you really give them what they need to succeed in life? Or will it all be a colossal failure?
My friend heard me out — all the insecurities, all the fears — and probed even deeper, subsequently drawing out that I was ultimately afraid of being found worthless and unwanted. (Deep breath.)
Can you relate?
A little further on in the conversation, he said something that struck me, and I’ve been meditating on ever since. He said, “In the places where I feel weakest — where I feel most unworthy of love — that is where God puts an exclamation point on His love for me.” (Mic drop.)
So when you or I are not as organized as we would wish, or get overwhelmed too easily, or just don’t have all the right answers: God is shouting over those insufficiencies just how much He loves us.
You might say, “Well that’s all well and good, but how can I know that is true?” That’s a good and valid question, and one I wrestled with too. Then God brought to mind 2 Corinthians 12:9a, But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (ESV). He doesn’t declare me unlovable in my weaknesses — that’s where His grace and power get to take center stage.
Or, as the lead singer for Tenth Avenue North, Mike Donehey, once said, “Your loveliness to God does not rise and fall with your usefulness.” Other people’s love may rise and fall with my usefulness, but God’s love is constant and steady. I don’t know about you, but that gives me incredible comfort. No matter how much I mess up, God’s not going to give up on me.
So the next time you are lying awake at night, fretting about your weaknesses, wondering if you will end up being an utter failure, remember this. This is where God puts an exclamation point on His love for you, and His grace is sufficient to carry you through. He didn’t call you to be perfect, He calls you to just follow Him. And remember that His grace is more than sufficient to redeem all your mistakes. God’s got this — and He loves you!