Have you ever poured yourself into something with such intensity and fervor that you were sure it was going to amount to a spectacular final product? Have you ever invested so much of yourself somewhere that you weren’t sure who you’d be if it didn’t succeed? I’m sure we all have in varying ways over life. What happened when that pouring, curating, praying, doing, investing…came to nothing? In the end you realized you couldn’t keep that wilting plant alive, you’re relationship wouldn’t stand the test of time, you won’t succeed at that business, your idea wouldn’t take off; what did you do?
Recently I’ve found myself living out the proverbial millennial catch-phrase “I just can’t” with something that I vowed to myself “I totally could, this time”. Nope, I totally can’t. Failure is my only option in this case. The more I begin to breathe this in the more it can actually become empowering. I’m not saying that we should all give up on the things that are hard in life, but there comes a time when failure can actually be more beautiful and maturing than continuing to struggle with something that’s just not going to succeed.
I think the hardest part of failure is the hit it takes to your pride. No one wants to admit they were wrong, or they couldn’t cut it, or they tried again…and again, only to end up unsuccessful and embarrassed. But here I am, people….announcing my own failure! And as it turns out, it’s not as bad as I thought it would be. It’s actually quite empowering. Owning my failure. Admitting that I just can’t do it anymore. Ending the lies I tell myself about how it’ll all work out if I just try harder and keep pressing forward. No more. Giving up actually breeds health and a new sense of purpose.
By admitting defeat in this area of life, I open myself up to endless new possibilities. I wipe the slate clean and announce the coming of a new season free of the striving of my past. And I welcome that new season with open arms. Arms that are stronger and a heart that is humbled and far more mature from the previous seasons than it ever could have been without a “just can’t” experience.
I’m not one to give up easily. Heck, I can’t remember many times at all that I’ve given up on anything I truly cared about (except for piano lessons but that’s another story). I will darn near kill myself before I raise my white flag in defeat. But this time, I give up. I just can’t anymore. It’s not going to work. This chapter of my life must be laid to rest so that the Lord can truly glory in me. There must be less of me and more of Him. But if there’s one thing I’m learning about failure it’s that the Lord appreciates these seasons just as much as our successes for the learning that leaks out of disappointment. Failure is valuable. Now, no more going around that mountain.
Onward and upward, my friends.