What Does “I Am a Failure” Really Say – Part I

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  Thomas A. Edison

When I started this “exciting adventure” back in January with my career, I asked God what lesson He wanted me to learn because I was ready to learn it quickly and move on to the Promised Land.  Knowing what I know of God, I don’t think He laughed at me, but maybe He let out a chuckle or two since He knew that the lesson I really needed to learn wasn’t even on my radar back then.  I thought maybe I needed to learn about trust (which I did) or faith (ditto that one too) or maybe even perseverance (yup, still learning all three as a matter of fact).  Then I got to thinking maybe He wanted me to learn how to walk into my destiny.  After all, it was years ago (around 2005) when I asked God to please show me what purpose He had for my life because I didn’t want to just exist – I wanted to live a life that mattered for Him.

Well, as much as He has taught me about that aspect of life as well, I don’t think that was the “lesson” He had in mind.  I think there was a bigger lesson involved that I’m just starting to grasp.  There might be more lessons and I might be delaying the Promised Land because I haven’t learned them yet, but I definitely have my radar up, listening for what He has to tell me.


However, the lesson I’m referring to is this one:  There were too many “I’s” in my statements.  You see, when I first started this journey with a reduced income in August of 2013, I couldn’t shake the fact that I felt like a failure.  I couldn’t provide my part of the income for my family, I couldn’t get the next part of the journey going fast enough, I couldn’t produce the results that I knew (thought) needed to happen.

Then in January when I faced the loss of complete income, I hate to admit it but I lived a little in denial.  I didn’t think it would take too long.  Even though others tried to reassure me that God had it and that they were willing to help fill in the gaps until God revealed the next step, I didn’t think we would need that help.  I had complete faith that God would swoop in and rescue us as He has done many times before.  I believed that our adventure was going to be short – over February 1st, maybe with a few bumps still needing to be dealt with, but He would provide the answer and the next step of where He wants me during this time in my life. I was all ready to give Him all the glory too! After all, our journey started in 2013 so it had almost been two years already.  I had been faithful and obedient and thought I’d done all the right things – the things He wanted me to do.  And, when our adventure wasn’t finished on February 1st and I was still hearing silence from God instead of direction, those feelings of failure and worthlessness reared their ugly head again – only this time much, much stronger.

During this time, I continued, with my husband’s blessing to wait on the one job I felt God was leading me to full time while applying for part time work to help fill in the gap.  I rejoiced that I finally started hearing His voice in what kind of part time work to apply for, reassuring me once again that He had something permanent for me, but helping with the gap filling.  I also heard specifically the goals He wanted me to work toward with my writing career and I have embraced those with a renewed excitement as well.  Yet the feelings of worthlessness and being a failure continued.  Come back next time as I realize what God has been trying to teach me for two years.

© Cheri Swalwell 2015


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