Tatum Hardin

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Navigating Life Through Failures

First Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

As many of us have, I used to let my life be dictated by the failures and successes I encountered. I assumed that if someone achieved something that meant either
a.  I should be doing that too
b. they are better than me and my self worth would diminish further

Over the past four years failure has pushed me to grow more than I ever thought possible. From my friendships, relationships, work, and school I struggled in almost every aspect. I remember thinking that it was so odd that suddenly everything became harder and more stressful. Looking back, I can now clearly see that it was life changing and rearranging things for me so that I would later be able to firmly establish myself as a person.

My "failure" began in one of my classes sophomore year of high school. I would study for hours and hours, and then wake up two hours earlier than usual to study again. Although my effort was there, the grade was not. I couldn't understand why my dedicated studying and focus wasn't helping with the test. Soon the class ended and my body ached from the grade I "earned". In reaction, I developed an extreme amount of test anxiety which still causes chaos in my life today. To say tests don't stress me out still would be a lie, however, I have learned a valuable lesson. You do not always earn failure, and failure does not define you.

With the knowledge that I am not my failures, I then began the quest to find out just who I was. For some time I wandered around mindlessly guessing at who I thought I was or could be. After some time I made a harsh discovery. For although I am not my failures, I am the lessons I have learned from them. I began to notice that my core personality traits and distinctions originated from my failures. What made me my own person was the challenges that I went through that later formed my unique thoughts and morals.

Soon after this realization, my luck began to change. I was passing tests and successfully maintaining my stress. What was supposed to be challenging, now seemed easy because I entered tasks fully prepared and equipped. And I know this is not a ground breaking discovery. The phrase, "If is doesn't kill you it makes you stronger", seems to be plastered on every motivational poster, but sometimes we forget the weight of that statement. We forget that everything has a purpose, and has a place in God's plan for us. 

As a Christian this just shows the loyalty and compassion of Christ in our day to day life. Although we are put in these times of stress and disappoint, God promises us that we will be delivered from the hard times. My deliverance from this type of failure took years, which means God was hard at work at this time preparing me for what He knew was in my future. I encourage you to not not become discouraged from failure, but instead maybe become a little excited because that means God is working to prepare you for something great.


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