failure is not an option

by | Sep 22, 2023 | blog

Yesterday my husband asked me to re-hem his suit pants. It’s an easy enough task on the sewing machine, but it wasn’t cooperating. The thread became such a tangled mess that what should have been a ten-minute repair turned into over an hour of troubleshooting, trying again, and cutting thread. So. Much. Thread. Total sewing failure. Those pants were moments away from becoming frayed capris before I gave in and sewed them by hand, with minimal blood loss, thankfully.

It reminded me of this week’s episode of the Even If podcast where Kristie Lowe’s guest talks about a time when she obeyed God’s call on her life, and it turned into a disastrous adventure. She called it “failing faithfully.” In concept, it’s when things don’t work out like they were supposed to, but we remain faithful to God’s calling and lean on His goodness. I’m paraphrasing, and the story had much more beauty and depth to it than I’ve included here. Go listen to it to reap blessing and wisdom that I cannot convey in my retelling. But it spoke to me in my sewing failure by reminding me that even good things can turn into disasters.

I so want  to believe that if God calls me to something, He’s going to make it glorious. Sometimes instead He refines me for his glory through a call, and it doesn’t turn out the way I had envisioned. In other words, things don’t work out like I think they’re going to, and I feel like I’ve failed. This is especially terrifying since I have taken a leap of faith to follow God into a calling where the odds of failure are particularly high, and the margin for success incredibly low. I don’t want to be refined any longer; I just want to be a part of the glorious outcome.

I must have been wrestling with failing faithfully all night because I awoke with a line from a song on repeat in my mind. “He’s faithful through generations, so why would He fail now? He won’t”

(Firm Foundation, Maverick City Music). Because God never fails, the outcome of something He’s called me to do in faith can’t be a failure. I’m gonna say that louder for the pessimist who lives in my head and has scabby fingers from hemming pants. Because God is faithful, I can’t fail. My successes will not always look like I had hoped, but they count, nonetheless.