When You Feel Like a Failure

I know this post is longer than what I usually write, but stay with me. I want to take a break from my travel posts to share something that has been on my mind for the past few weeks.

This week I feel like I’m sitting in a big puddle of failure. It is soaking through to everything and it sucks. Emotionally, physically, spiritually – everything! My house is a total mess. I made some dumb financial decisions at the beginning of the month and so I’m suffering financially. I am slacking on my diet. I am snapping at my husband when he doesn’t deserve it. I have missed not one, not two, but THREE workouts in a row. This is not me complaining about my life, this is me sharing things that are all completely and entirely my fault. I’m screwing up.

So what do I need to do when I feel like I’m a total failure and everything I touch turns to crap? I know some people who would say I just need to get a positive attitude and focus on changing my self. But what if that is not enough? I need something more than self-motivation.

I know some people would say that I should turn to my husband and my friends, that I should ask them for encouragement. But what if even they aren’t enough? What do you do when even the words from the people you care about the most aren’t enough to lift you up?

No matter how many times you try to motivate yourself, no matter what people say to encourage you, there are times it just doesn’t work. And I know I’m not the only one that this happens to. You can say your mantra of peace and remind yourself of the things that you know are true about yourself, but some days you need more.

Where do you escape to clear your mind and renew yourself? Traveling? Pouring your heart into your work? Picking up a new hobby or skill? Changing your hair cut or taking a day off? Buying a new outfit? Tell me, did it work? Is it long lasting?

No… I don’t think those are the answers. All these ideas are temporary. The newness wears off after awhile and you feel the same. Then the cycle continues to repeat over and over again until when…?

Before you start spiraling into depression by just reading this post, there is something else I want to share with you. Truly, I wish that you were sitting here in front of me so that I could take your hand and tell you this in person.

Today out of the blue this verse came to me, a verse that I haven’t thought of in a very long time. It brought me encouragement, and I ask you to read it, even if you aren’t a spiritual person. The prose is still beautiful even if you are not a believer in Christ.

 I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
 He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him.

For me that verse is extremely meaningful. It changes things in my heart. I feel like I need a whole other post to explain why that is so encouraging to me, but I will try to be brief.

When we accept our failures, it means that we give up trying to be perfect. We realize that we can’t do it all alone. And that is freeing to me – not because I will forever be imperfect and depressed, but because I have someone to help me. Not just someone who will tell me I look pretty or to keep my chin up. This person reaches deep inside my soul and is capable of mending the very fiber of my being. He touches pieces of my heart that no one else can reach. God hears my cries and is here to lift me out of this pit of all my failures. I am not just talking about feeling better for a few days, or forcing a smile on your face. I’m talking about healing. Do you know what that feels like? In Christ I am a totally different person. When God looks at me, he doesn’t see all the things that I’ve done wrong, or all the ways that I feel like I’m screwing up. He sees perfection. Complete and utter perfection.

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