Gosh, every life-changing lesson I learned when things were going perfect, said NO ONE EVER.
Creative businesses are oftentimes birthed from personal pain.
I listen as a college student tells me about how her greatest obstacles have taught her to glimpse her truest self.
My father’s death was an invitation to live in awareness of God speaking through simple, tangible, everyday experiences.
We learn most from our mistakes, from our failures, from pain and suffering and black bruises.
Yet there is something in our human nature that wants us to avoid failure at any cost.
Just hurry up and fix it.
Move on. Get over it.
I’m afraid we have it backwards, friends.
My biggest failures have actually paved way to more authenticity, more freedom, more of an eternal perspective, and less of an emphasis on what I do. I can feel my shoulders release as I write.
Failure, I’ve come to applaud you, and I trust there is a nuggety lesson waiting to be learned when we next meet.
Would you agree? Have your biggest lessons been birthed from easy street or mistakes?
All weekend I’ve been saturated in the truth that beauty from hardship is beauty appreciated.
Maybe it was in the swing my hubby built- hours of sawing, measuring, and white-washing. The four of us donned floppy gloves and varnished the heck out of it, only to discover the while paint had dried gross yellow, which made our poor swing look like Bruiser had lifted his leg on every square inch. And that made us sad. Clear varnish = Big. YELLOW. Mistake.
Sure we failed. But only temporarily.
The next day while Bry was at a meeting, the boys and I painted one coat of WHITE, very NON-YELLOW chalk paint, then two. We cranked jazz music and brushed our hearts out. Later, while they rested, I soaked up one of our pastor’s sermons online, and today I’m still thinking about his words surrounding authentic love and hospitality.
Painting is like gardening- it offers much time to get lost in the sky, in one’s thoughts, in the peace at the gradual process.
I thought about so-called failings in my past, the times I hadn’t been able to pull it together because of massive transitions. I thought about when we’d lived at my folks with a toddler and a newborn as we experienced every major life transition AT THE SAME TIME.
Because that’s how we roll.
As if we’d planned it.
You know what would be fun? If we lumped all these crazy changes together. Yea! Let’s short sale a home and look for a place to live. And while we’re at it, let’s process a job change, and shifting communities and churches and friends. And what the heck- let’s throw TWO YOUNG CHILDREN in the mix to make it really fun. And maybe I’ll shower once in a while. And did I mention we were living at my parent’s home through all of this? (bless their hearts).
Cue situational depression and a small-ish dose of IN.SAN.I.TY!
It was not how our life was supposed to be. It was an epic fail, or so we’d questioned.
Time offers perspective that one can’t typically see in a fog of suffering.
Hindsight sheds grace rays on the sweet reality that those hard months- and yes, they were beyond hard- were pivotal to the memories our oldest has of living with his grandparents. When Tanner lost his grandpa at 4 years old, those months spent with them are what stand out in his mind. Even now.
Failure isn’t always what it seems. Suffering and pain and mistakes are pinpricks in the bigger scheme of yellow varnished slats.
When we stand back, we see with brave clarity that those marks of perceived shortcomings, were, in fact, opportunities to be human.
To be imperfect.
To extend compassion and grace for others that are hitting their heads against the wall wondering when gray clouds will lift.
There’s a beautiful truth in journeying much, failing often, and appreciating the realness today brings.
And today I say with whole-hearted confidence, When I’ve failed, when I’ve suffered, when I’ve experienced pain and shortcomings and mistakes, is when I’ve GROWN the most.
And with failure, an awareness of beauty like never before.