Don’t Hide Your Failure

Don’t Hide Your Failure

Last week, our high school group was talking about Abraham and how he was tested. There was a question in our small group time after, “In what areas of your life were you tested last year, and how did you handle it?”

It was so easy for us to talk about the tests that were difficult but where we came out on top. But then I kind of threw them a curve ball. I asked them, “What ways were you tested, and you failed?”

**Cue the crickets chirping**

I wasn’t going to let them off that easily by moving on to the next question because, let’s face it, we all had some tests where we failed. We likely had one or more where we failed miserably.

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to talk about our successes to others or show our lives in perfect pictures on social media, but for whatever reason we don’t show the mess or talk about the failures? As women and young girls, we tend to stay to ourselves when we face hardships or failures. We have to change that.

Every time we smile for the camera while we’re hurting inside, and every time we talk about how wonderful life, job, school, or family is without mentioning the turmoil that has been happening, we are doing something destructive not only in our own lives but in the lives of others whether we’re doing it intentionally or not. This is all a part of the enemy’s plan.

Ephesians 5 says that what is in the darkness should be exposed and brought to light. We need to talk about our weaknesses, failures, and struggles because if we keep them hidden, they can manifest into something much darker than we could ever imagine. I’ve said often that the only weapon the enemy has against us are his words. He lies to create fear inside of us so that we turn from God’s divine plan for us and fall into his darkness. In 2 Timothy 1:7, we are told God did not give us a spirit of fear and timidity but of power, love, and a sound mind. When you know there’s something you need to bring to the light, but you begin to fear what other people will think of you, please know that is the enemy trying to stop you in your tracks because he will not have a hold on you anymore if your area of weakness is brought to light. That fear is actually the indicator that you need to bring it to light! Allow someone to speak life into that area of your life, and allow them to help you grow and move past whatever that weakness is.

Loosen that belt and BREATHE!

One of the things God has shown me over the years is that allowing others to see our imperfections and failures does something amazing. It makes us relatable, and it can change the life of someone else.

Have you ever known that person who has it all together? You know, the perfect family with the house that’s always clean, perfect grades, always happy, sharing pictures of her many trips where everyone is having a blast, and it seems like she is almost untouchable because things are always going so well for her? And usually you look at her life and see all the areas of your life where you fail. Surely I’m not the only one who has experienced this, right?

This person may be your very best friend. She may even be someone you look up to and want to learn from because you want to have a life like hers. So what do you do when you fail miserably at something? Do you talk about it with her? Probably not because you think she can’t relate to your problems, and you don’t want her to judge you and dismiss you because you don’t have it all together.

Am I hitting close to home yet?

So think about that person and how you feel when she shares some of her miserable fails and posts pictures of the car ride to their beautiful vacation, the one where all the kids are crying and fighting with one another. What if she posts the pictures of her when she first wakes up in the morning with no makeup and hair disheveled? How do you feel then?

For me, when I see that “untouchable” person share their real life, I get the same feeling I get when I loosen my belt after eating much more than I should have. Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about. I am able to take a deep, cleansing breath – a sigh of relief.

Why is that?

It’s because I feel a little less like a failure because, whether I’ve intended to or not, I’ve been comparing my life to hers. Hers seems untouchable because, well, it is. When you only hear and see the high points of people’s lives, you assume there are no low points, and you question why you have so many. Then, those low points are all you can focus on, and they begin to consume you. Then, you try to do everything you can to make your life look like hers, and it’s exhausting. It’s also impossible.

Let’s not do that to one another. Let’s talk about our failures. Let’s show people that there are messy moments in our lives. Let’s take back our power, the power given to us by God, and put the enemy back in his place!

We are God’s daughters. We are going to fail. We are going to have some messy messy moments. We are also going to have some great successes. Can I let you in on a little secret? When your life is filled with successes and no mess, it sure is hard for others to celebrate those successes with you. But, friend, when you bring your failures to light and let people know that sometimes your life is messy, and then you have a success . . . wow! People will come out of the woodwork to celebrate alongside of you.

Today, sweet friend, I pray that you bring your failures to light. Of course, you prayerfully choose who to bring certain things to for counsel, but don’t be so quick to delete that picture that shows you don’t have it together. It proves that you’re real. It allows people to know they aren’t alone in their own failures. I pray you take back your power over the enemy in this area.

I would love to hear from you. Are you willing to comment on this post and share one of your ultimate fails? Who’s brave enough to be the first to share?

From Lysa TerKeurst's book, "Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions"
From Lysa TerKeurst’s book, “Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions”

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