My girls are nine and eleven and just recently learned how to ride a bicycle without training wheels. As I watched them fall with frustration, count their bruises and continue going back for more, I felt like the worst mother in the world. Why hadn't we taught them sooner? Would they become adults who couldn't ride? Soon, they were riding without fear and even inspired their brother to do the same.
Around that same time that they were learning to ride, my nine-year old was invited to a roller skating party for choir. Both girls wanted to go. They had never skated before and were eager - and anxious - to learn. I watched my oldest fall multiple times in her first attempt around the rink. That was all it took for her to quit. No more skating for her that night. However, E's story was different...because, she kept going. No matter how times she fell, it seemed as if she had something to prove. She was slow and mostly held onto the wall for support, but she persevered.
I am both of them. They are both me. There are some times when my fear of failure is so strong that it paralyzes me. Then, there are other times, when I count my bruises, grab onto the wall and risk failure because it makes the victory even more sweet.
Sometimes the fear of failure steals the beauty we were meant to create.
If what we are called to do is in God's will for us, we truly can't fail...
we simply may not have the same meaning as God for the word "failure."
To me, failure means it doesn't turn out the way I wanted it to. To God, it means I didn't pick up the brush.
-Angie Smith, What Women Fear
Several months ago, I felt God was calling me to pursue opportunities to write and speak outside my current sphere of influence and the boundaries I set had set for myself. I knew this idea was from God simply because it was risky and it was something I never would have thought of doing. Ever.
So, I sent an email to a local Christian camp, introducing myself and my calling. The first response was encouraging, but not exactly what I expected. I sent the required follow up documentation and then I waited. And, waited. Finally, at the beginning of July I sent a follow up email. Then, I waited some more. Yesterday, I received my answer. Thanks, but no thanks. That wasn't exactly what the email said - it was much more kind and eloquently written - but that's what I read.
It is still fresh and I'm not exactly sure what I'm feeling. It was something I really didn't want to do, but felt God pushing me. Why? Was it because He wanted me to do it or because He just wanted to see if I was willing to try? Obviously, at this point I believe it was the latter. There is disappointment, but also relief. There is a sense of failure, but also of success.