For When You Fail

topics:
Grace

Last week was bad.

Not the kind of bad you can blame on a broken dishwasher or a lost job or someone else.

It was a week filled with me, failing.

I wasn’t a great mom or a good wife. I yelled too much and didn’t listen enough. I was short-tempered and impatient and just generally stressed. My family was frustrated with me.

At one point, I finally put myself in time out, which is another way of saying, I locked myself in my bedroom and ate a lot of chocolate and left my husband in charge of All The Things. My cat joined me and within minutes she was mad at me too.

Cat on bed

Sure, I can come up with excuses that might justify some of my behavior. But I had a choice how to handle my frustrating week.

And I failed.

It hurts to admit it, even though we all have days (weeks) like that.

We live in a world that doesn’t like failure. It’s ugly and messy. Our world wants perfection: Perfectly manicured people who never mess up.

Maybe it’s because when we fail, there are always a handful of people ready and waiting to point it out. Failure makes us uncomfortable, unless it’s in someone else and then it’s news.

Failure makes us want to cover up our mistakes, to excuse them. Failure makes us want to run away.

But we were created to fail. Because it’s in our failure that we see our need for Jesus, the One who never fails.

Through my mistakes and pain and spills and why am I freaking out about a sticky floor-kind-of-day, I am drawn to the One who runs to me. He does not turn away from my shortcomings. He is not afraid of my humanity.

I cut my hand chopping veggies the other night, before I could even grab a towel, the blood in my body rushed to the wound. That’s what it was created to do. Our blood was designed to wash out the impurities and clot to protect us.

It’s a lot like the wounds in life. When I fail as a parent or a wife or person, Jesus’ blood goes to my injured heart. It rushes to the place I hurt. Because that’s what it was created to do. 

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)

He is there to wash away my regret and my sin, to help me forgive myself, to remind me that every day is full of new mercies.

Because really failure is an opportunity for grace, to give it to others and receive it for ourselves.

When I fail, it’s the perfect time to fall into Him.

by Kristen Welch, We are THAT family

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  1. 1

    Kristen,
    I love the line where you say, “Because it’s in our failure that we see the need for Jesus, the One who never fails.” Beautiful! I know few people who have come to know Christ personally who have not failed (majorly) at least once or most likely multiple times. That’s why His mercies are new every morning. Thank you for a beautiful reminder that Jesus rushes to cleanse us and love us!
    Blessings,
    Bev

  2. 2

    I just love knowing I’m not the only one with weeks like that.

    • 3
      Stephanie Duncan says:

      Good morning Kristen,
      I’m a first time reader and writer. Thank you so very much for your loving insight. I am feeling quite the failure this morning. I am in the midst of a painful situation with my husband and don’t know what to do. Therefore I continue to fail by talking about it. I know I should take it all to my Saviour and I am praying constantly. But somehow it still consumes me and I find myself talking to my friend or my sister about it.
      I believe that God has created us to be a reflection of His great power IN the weakness of our fallen natures. To show the Universe that, though born fallen , that He can keep us from falling and present us faultless before the throne.But when we do He sends gentle reminders of His All sufficient Grace. Please me in your prayers.

  3. 4
    Harveen says:

    Beautiful reminder of His endless mercies and grace:)

  4. 5

    New mercies every day – what assurance this gives in our messy and imperfect lives. Thank you for this reminder. Beautifully written.
    God bless.

  5. 6

    John 15:5 I had one of those weeks too! Hang in there!

  6. 7

    Me too! And there is no place to go lock yourself away when you are riding in a semi with your husband and having a meltdown! Thank you for sharing. The hard part for me comes in the letting go, forgiving myself and him, when nothing seems to have changed on the outside. I am running to Jesus to change me on the inside, since there is so much I do not control outside. A friend reminded me, “this too shall pass”….hang in there. Jesus never fails! thank God for that!

  7. 8
    Jessica says:

    This was greatly needed. Thank you!

  8. 9

    Ha! We don’t have a job and my dishwasher is broken! Thanks for putting my failures in perspective. I’ve felt like one big failure for a long time and have been trying to understand why I can’t get it right! “Failure is an opportunity for grace, to give it and receive it”…it helps knowing the reason I’m such a mess! Blessings!

    • 10

      Thanks, Kelly. It’s been a long time for me, too. Always nice to know I’m not alone. If I were more like Him, I’d say I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. Good to have he words of others reminding me there’s a way out for me and you at any time.

  9. 11
    Kimberly says:

    I had one of those weeks too. I couldn’t figure out why I just couldn’t pull it together and stop letting my emotions get the best of me. It was very frustrating to feel like I was lacking in self-control. Now I’m thankful for it because thanks to your post I now see what I went through this week as a reminder not to grow too complacent or too independent. Maybe God wanted to teach me a little less about self-control this week and a little more about “God-control”!

  10. 12
    Lucy M says:

    “He does not turn away from my shortcomings. He is not afraid of my humanity.” WOW!

    I so needed to hear that today. In the midst of my failure as a friend, my “human” companions have turned away from me. It’s hard to not feel like my humanity is despicable to them. What one may call “boundaries” feels like utter rejection to my ever beating heart. I’ve been asking the Lord to help me love in spite of it all. I so want a “time out” from my life for the next year. The hardest part is staying engaged in relationship with people when living through failure but I am slowly learning that I truly can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Thank you Kristen.

  11. 13

    These words jumped out to me!
    “It’s a lot like the wounds in life. When I fail as a parent or a wife or person, Jesus’ blood goes to my injured heart. It rushes to the place I hurt. Because that’s what it was created to do.

    “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)

    He is there to wash away my regret and my sin, to help me forgive myself, to remind me that every day is full of new mercies.

    Because really failure is an opportunity for grace, to give it to others and receive it for ourselves.”

    The beauty of blood. The blood of Jesus!
    Your post was just what I needed to hear.
    Blessings Always~
    Jan

  12. 14
    Tina Crispin says:

    Wow….that was such a great word of truth. One I need daily. The enemy so wants us to focus on our failures and blur our view of the One that covers and heals them all. Thanks so much for your sharing heart it comforts us all to know we are not alone…bless you my new friend.

  13. 15

    Thank you for your transparency! How many years I wasted hating myself for failing. I wish there had been someone to lift me up and tell me it was part of life, humanity. I pray today someone reads these words and understands these truths

  14. 16

    Thank you for this truth! It seems that when I fail, I don’t just fail a little bit, I have an all-out failure production. In those moments I have no other option but to turn to the One who doesn’t fail, because I have to have something to hold onto. What great mercy and grace God pours out on His children daily!

  15. 17

    I love what Kimberly wrote above. I know I needed less of ‘self control’ and more of ‘God Control’ because I, too, had several days of frustration recently that put me in need of putting myself and family in God’s hands. There was no option in those circumstances I went through. It was a humbling experience….and necessary to re-align in my mind that when I am weak, God is strong. And, it is ok to be weak and completely dependent on our dear Lord. For that I am so grateful! Thanks for the reminder just when I needed it!

  16. 18

    I love your writing..I follow your blog because you don’t just write about the good stuff your family does you write about the normal aggravating roller coaster rides I think WE all are on and helps me feel that I’m not the only crazy over the top(only sometimes :) )mom/wife/friend.

  17. 19

    When you write: “But we were created to fail.” I scream no inside! We were created to be the perfectly manicured people that the world still wants. I do believe Genesis 1 and 2. We weren’t created to fail; we were created to live lovely perfect lives in harmony with our creator but we failed. We still ache for that perfection, the whole world does. So that’s why, and it’s okay. But they need to know the gospel, which you did say in the next line:
    “Because it’s in our failure that we see our need for Jesus, the One who never fails.”
    Also I read in The Good and Beautiful God, we are not sinners saved by grace; we are new creations who are bothered by the wrong fruit growing on our newly grafted tree. If we were still sinners our sin wouldn’t bother us.
    I don’t mean to be corrective in this comment nor to put you down in any way. God knows I’ve had those days of failure too, and he’s forgotten them even if I haven’t! But his forgiveness covers my memory of them with gratitude. I am so glad you write here, Kristen Welch, and for being That Family!

    • 20

      I agree … that we were not created to fail. Through the fall of man and the temptations of Satan, we do fail. However, we are redeemed and forgiven by the Father, who does not fail.

    • 21

      I’m with Beth and Lois. I could not get with the theology of “created to fail”. We have Satan (not) to thank for that.
      But bless you for making us think.
      :)

    • 22
      Barbara says:

      I can completely relate to having ‘those’ days when everything seems to be at odds, and failures come thick and fast, self control fleeing to be replaced by fury at the seemingly unfairness of life in general, and the hot pursuit of doing it ‘my way’! But being born to fail is something that I do not believe, it’s obvious that man was created to live in perfect harmony with God our Father. Because at the end of creation God looked at all He had done and was well pleased with it! So we have no excuse, we know what things are supposed to be like, and what our sinfulness has done to destroy our own peace of mind. I despair of myself, and then throw myself on God’s mercy because I know that when I am at my worst, there is only one Person left who could love still love me, and that Christ’s perfect sacrifice has saved me. And then the repentance and gratitude fills my heart, and tears flow. Lord you are faithful, and patient, forgiving and merciful.

  18. 23
    Beth Williams says:

    I’ve had months like that! My job has changed drastically for over a year now and my attitude went down hill. I was unhappy at work and home. “Because it’s in our failure that we see our need for Jesus, the One who never fails.” That sentence speaks volumes to me. I have come to rely on Him more and more. I go to Him in prayer several times daily about myself and others.

    This turn of events, job wise, had turned me back toward Jesus. Praise God!

  19. 24
    Latonya says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I was led here and met here by God’s truth. You really blessed me.

  20. 25

    Sometimes, it feels like I create far too many “perfect times to fall into Him”. It’s a relief to read that others fail and fall, too. And it’s a call to rest in His arms as I wait for his fresh blood to renew my own. Loved this, Kristen.

  21. 26

    Thank you, Kristen. When I saw “fail” I locked in on your words.

  22. 27

    THANK YOU FOR THE ENCOURAGEMENT I NEEDED IT

  23. 28

    Wow God’s timing is perfect :) I woke up at 2am thinking can people handle the truth of who I am? I’m a mess, my life doesn’t come in a perfect package. The Lord calls me to the things of the world. He says it doesn’t matter, open up to the small miracles that rush pass. Return to yourself, having learned a new understanding of the heart. Yes, you are being brought back…who you truly are is a place of love. If I could only believe that about myself. Accept all the mistakes as part of my journey, trusting in his mercies and grace. Today can be a good day, a day to accept limitations and be willing to know you are loved far more than you can imagine.
    Thank you for sharing it makes me feel more real

  24. 29

    Thank you for your honesty about failure, Kristen. You say the world doesn’t like failure–I don’t either! I disappoint myself when my faith falters, when discouragement creeps in, when all the fruit of the Spirit aren’t on brilliant display. But, praise God, he doesn’t expect perfection, any more than a loving parent expects his child to be perfect. God is interested in growth and progress and comes alongside to make it happen (Philippians 1:6). So I must confess my failures, dust myself off, and receive his grace anew to begin again. Surely he is pleased when we turn to him and persevere.

  25. 30
    Marinalva Sickler says:

    I have company in failing. My family is reduced to me and my grandson. I have to tuck all my failures in and be good in hating myself till I ask for forgiveness. Thanks for sharing!

  26. 31

    jesus? he stops and he stoops. and i read those stories over and over again to remind myself that he isn’t rolling his eyes at me with his arms crossed. he WANTS to help me….hard to believe during those days. ahem….weeks….

  27. 32

    Isn’t God neat? He knew that you, someone I have never met, would go through a trying time, so that I, someone you have never met, could be encouraged and uplifted.

  28. 33

    Wow thanks

  29. 34

    Great post! Reminds me to rest in the finished work of Jesus and His Amazing Grace…”These things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!”–Habakkuk 2:3 The Living Bible

  30. 35

    It’s so easy to give grace but often so hard to extend it to our own failures. Thanks for sharing and for the reminder.

  31. 36
    Katie B says:

    Thank you, thank you! So thankful when people can be real. So thankful God really does use all things for good and you can minister all of us ladies. Beautifully put to another had-a-rough-week gal.

  32. 37

    Refreshingly honest. Encourages my heart to give more grace to myself…and to others. Often my failures propel me to strive more, try harder for perfection. But it’s all in vain. I want to be like you and allow my failures to make me fall more into Jesus. Thanks for sharing from your messy heart and messy life. I’m messy, too.

  33. 38

    How true and marvelous. Thanks for sharing this!

  34. 39
    Felicita says:

    Powerful!! Thank you!

  35. 40

    Thanks for the reminder that God gives us grace. The devil uses the moment to make us feel we are the only ones who have failed. And that no one has failed as big as I have. But when people are willing to share it makes me feel like I can be forgiven again and I’m not the only one.

  36. 41
    Crystal says:

    Ah Kristen…I shared with you in the bad week last week. Thank you for your words. How refreshing and what a great reminder. I’m so thankful for that grace!

  37. 42

    Great post. These are words of encouragement that women and moms of all ages need to hear.Bless you!

  38. 43

    Thank you for expressing this difficult concept–at least difficult to practice–into heartfelt words that I will add to my grace notebook to remember God’s grace is what I need for myself and for others.

  39. 44

    I needed to read this today. Its just how my past week went as well!

  40. 45

    I like the reflection on how “the world” expects us to be perfect and I nodded in agreement with quite a few things.

    However, I have to disagree with you when you state that ‘But we were created to fail.’ Why? Please carefully consider the following:

    Paul told people in Ephesus ‘For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do’ (Eph 2:10).

    We fail for many reasons but the key thing is, as you pointed out, is ‘Because it’s in our failure that we see our need for Jesus, the One who never fails.’

  41. 47

    Thank you Kristen, for this gentle but very important reminder. It has come at a good time for me. It is just like God to drive a message home through others He loves. Just last Sunday, I got off to a very bad start. I was impatient, and snapped at my husband over something that never happened anyway. I had been asking God to cleanse my mind and purify my heart, so this behavior was not in line with what I had been praying. That very morning, while in church, I had a very humiliating experience. Right away, I saw that as God putting me in my place. I apologized to my husband and God. I then got my Bible and did a study on Pride vs. Humility. I typed all to the appropriate passages, and the footnotes for each. I intend to go to those often.
    Thank you again for the reminder that God in His grace forgives me, as well as my husband. It also reminds me to be forgiving of others and to leave all judgment to God.

  42. 48
    auturie says:

    I really needed this I have weeks that I am not happy with and at times I feel like God is mad and don’t care for me anymore but thank you for reminding me God still loves and care for us

  43. 49

    Than you Jesus for everything and that includes Kristen!

    • 50

      I love how God knew I needed to read this today. My 3 kids are now grown and 2 of them I have very good relationships with but my 18 year old who I raised from 3yrs old as a single parent I feel I failed so deeply in raising. All those self recriminations and regrets the enemy whispers in my ear, God wants me to wash away with the blood of Jesus. I will re-read this again and again to remind myself that as a mom I was never perfect but I am forgiven and Jesus wants to heal not only me but these children. My prayer is that they all have a call on their hearts to allow the cleansing blood of Jesus to come over them and to be forgiven and to forgive others.

  44. 51

    Thank you for this beautiful reminder, Kristen. It made me reflect on what I had been experiencing for the past two weeks. And one thing is sure, when I become proud, God puts my feet on the ground… and even when His reprimand hurts sometimes, it is His way of saying I LOVE YOU…

  45. 52
    Kay Hollon says:

    I loved that! It is all so true with all that breathe! God will see us through it all, if we believe! And you have a gorgous cat!

  46. 53
    Ailsha Walters says:

    I hate being in the thick of failure but love the fact that God is poking me to notice what I need to change in my life, whether it be about myself or with someone else. I have noticed it strengthens my relationship with Him and with those around me. Thank you for the reminder Kristen.

  47. 54
    Etim Uwem says:

    Great post. Really blessed by it. Thank you.

  48. 55
    Rebecca Elizabeth Satyanathan says:

    ALL PRAISES, GLORY, HONOR AND BLESSINGS TO JESUS CHRIST, our LORD GOD AND SAVIOR ALONE…AMEN!

    THIS WAS GOD’S WORD AND REASSURANCE TO me!

    I have had 5 painful failures, and each entailed work and alot of money.
    I feel like I have not progressed at all, but…PRAISE GOD ALONE, HE WILL LEAD, DIRECT, GIVE STRENGTH UNTO, BLESS, GUIDE AND PROSPER all of us….all of us who TRULY TRUST, HAVE FAITH IN AND BELIEVE IN HIS HOLY NAME, AND DEPEND UPON HIM ALONE…AMEN.

    AND SO JESUS, HERE I am…Rebecca, PRAISING, LOVING AND TRUSTING YOU ALONE, no matter what…AMEN.

  49. 56
    gramma tink says:

    Expectations of Christian grandmas are also high. We are supposed to have it under control because we’re older, wiser, longer-lived as a follower of Jesus, setting an example. But we have bad days and bad weeks occasionally also. ” For every new level there’s a new devil”, applies here, and a new expression of God’s power to overcome awaits me for the asking, but even grandparents you trust are gonna be tested to or beyond their limits, so please cut us a little slack too….we are all on the same journey.

  50. 57
    Itala Simone says:

    Dear Kristen,
    I read with attention your story and I exactly know how you feel in those days ! This is absolutely normal because “we’re sinners” … but our Lord loves sinners (not sin) and he tells us in His word “In your anger don’t sin: don’t let the sun go down while you’re still angry, and don’t give the devil a foothold” (Ephes. 4:26). I often remember this verse and find it very encouraging because I realize that the Lord knows us very well. So let us close our day in peace with everyone, first of all in peace with Jesus. God bless you all!
    Love, Itala (from Italy)

  51. 58
    sonia Joseph says:

    ” we live in a a world that doesn’t like failures” How true ! The pressure of always being right, doing right, speaking right, behaving right is a great challenge that is beyond our capacity to handle. sometimes i can be my hardest critic! Yes, i am in Christ & i am a new creation ! It is also true that i live in a an imperfect world with imperfect people. We who are in Christ are being transformed into HIS image but you see “HE is still working on me & you”and one day,” failures” will not accompany me to my new home, till then i will rely on HIS grace, that he promised is sufficient.

  52. 59

    I understand what you are saying, and agree with you up to a point. Yes, God is gracious and merciful and desires to turn our mourning into gladness, our failures into praise. However, I respectfully disagree with your comment that we are “created to fail”. I wonder if you might have meant to say we were created to experience perfect relationship with God, but when sin entered the world, so then did imperfection…and failures. But God already had a plan and He gave us a “way out” through the death, burial and resurrection of His perfect Son.
    I agree that if not for our failures…and subsequent turning to and reliance upon God Almighty…we might miss out on experiencing His handiwork and blessings in our lives. To Him belongs the Glory.

  53. 60
    A Jones says:

    If we were ‘created to fail’ Jesus would not have exhorted us to ‘be perfect’

    Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect – Mathew 5:48

    There were indeed many who perfectly pleased God (the Desert Fathers and Mothers and countless many in the early centuries)

    Modern ‘TV’ christians gets almost everything wrong, about God, Life, Salvation, etc. God is more viewed as a ‘supporting figure’ sweeping everyones failures and sins under the carpet always than a father who loves as well as punishes.

    The talk is more about how God ‘changes’ and ‘bends’ and comes to our aid, rather than how we should ‘bend’ and ‘change’ to ”his will”. [ Serious distortion of theology]

    God loves them who cares to obey his laws and who strives for it.

    Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? SO RUN TO WIN!
    1 Corinthians 9:24

    We are NOT called to run a race which we cannot win !!!

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