When You’ve Messed Everything Up

red ink

You were called. You were created with a specific purpose and plan, but what happens when you mess it all up? You have no idea how many times I’ve asked myself that question and then prayed for God to allow me to live out my purpose even when I’ve made such life changing mistakes.

Praying for God to allow me to live out my purpose comes from the thoughts that say I’m somehow incapable of doing so because I’ve made mistakes. These thoughts don’t come from God. Think about it. Why would he create me for a purpose but then not allow me to live it out? Why would he give me scripture like Psalm 139 that says all the days ordained for me were written in his book before I was even born but not allow me to live those days out for him?

Have you ever messed up so badly you thought your whole life had to change its course? I mean, on the surface there are things in your life that may have changed whether it’s something with school, friends, moving to another city, changing the dynamics of your family . . . the list can go on for days. The fact is, we ALL mess up, and we tend to do that more than once in our lives. We ALL make a decision here and there that change the appearance of our lives. That doesn’t mean we are erased from that book mentioned in Psalms 139.

Teachers and Red Pens

As a teacher, I’ve graded many papers over the years. The first thing I decided when I became a teacher was that I would not use red ink. Instead, I’ve always used more fun colors: pink, purple, green, and turquoise. I did that because I hated seeing red ink on my papers when I was a student. In my head, red ink meant failure, and I didn’t want my students to feel that way. Red ink meant I couldn’t receive the goal of a 100 because I made too many mistakes.  I’ve learned the fun colors don’t really matter at all.

Teachers have to use red ink, or any other “fun” color ink, when grading papers. If we use the same color as what the students are using, it would be difficult to tell the difference in which writing is the teacher’s and which is the student’s.

God wrote a wonderful, perfect story where you are the main character. Because he knew your purpose before you were born, he wrote it everywhere throughout that story. Do you think God didn’t anticipate some detours along the way? He is the author of your story, but you are the co-author and have been given a pen as well. The cool thing about God as your teacher is that he doesn’t use red ink (or pink or purple or green). His pen is the exact same color as yours, so when you make mistakes, anything he writes kind of blends in with the things you’ve written, and it’s hard to tell the difference in which writing is yours and which is his. He’s able to use those mistakes in your story and tie them in with the next chapter he had already written for you. He doesn’t put a big X your paper, and he doesn’t rewrite the ending. Most importantly, he doesn’t count off of your final grade. He takes what you have written AND what he has written, and you still end with a 100!

Just because you messed up doesn’t mean you can no longer be who you were created to be. God knit you together in your mother’s womb, and your purpose was woven into your very being. It cannot be changed.

Romans 11: 29 says, “God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.”

Read that verse again. The calling on your life, the purpose you were born to live out, is irrevocable. It cannot be altered or taken away. It is woven into your DNA. Of course, God will allow you to live it out even when you’ve messed up and regardless of how drastically you’ve messed up. Don’t stop now because that would only allow the enemy to win. Use your mistakes to make your purpose even stronger. Who knows . . . you may even reach people you never could have reached before because of those mistakes.

Live your purpose. After all, that’s what you were born to do!


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