If you have never read or received a Proverbs 31 devotion in your email inbox, I would love to encourage you to sign up for them. It is a free service through the Proverbs 31 site, and it is a great way to always have a new devotion without worrying about keeping track of another book.
I received a devotion last week from Renee Swope called Failing Forward. It was the devotion I received on my birthday actually. It was wonderful and I really encourage you to follow the link above and check it out, but come back.
So, you're back and you read it, right?
Well, it was really timely for me when I read it. I felt encouraged by it, and considered it a good devotion and moved on. I thought about it off and on for the next few days, but wasn't making the connection that God was trying to show me.
Cut to Church today...
We had a really great message on being a lukewarm Christian. My pastor asked the question of who felt that God would find them to be lukewarm, something God would prefer to vomit from his mouth (Revelation 3:15-17).
This question completely broke me. I have only been putting in the motions lately in the ministry that I am called to. I have been phoning in my parenting because I am struggling to come to terms that I have to be a mom who works outside the home more hours than I want, and I am just too tired and frustrated about not getting to do all I WANT to do, that I haven't been giving my all to the things that I NEED to do. I also have not been honoring God in my friendships. I haven't been investing in them like I should and I have not been honest with them about what I am struggling with.
So, while I was making all these connections in my heart, one of our deacons came over to pray with me and my hubby. He had not one clue about what was going on in my heart, just that we raised our hand that we would like prayer. He prayed with us and he asked God to encourage us to fail forward.
Did he seriously just say "fail forward"?
That is NOT a common phrase. I have never heard it before.
Yes I have.
In the devotion that kept running around in my head.
The one I got on my birthday.
CONNECT. THE. DOTS. GIRL.
If God says it to you once, you should pay attention.
If God whispers it to you again, in the prayer of a friend, girl, hit your knees and thank Him for loving you enough to keep saying what you need to hear.
God wanted me to know that he saw my struggles, and he saw the way through, but I had to keep going. I had failed and stopped. I hadn't failed forward. No pushing through, trusting God to work within my failures to complete his plan. His plan stopped when I did. He needed me to move forward so his plan for me could continue on.
If you are struggling with failures of any kind, please go back and re-read that devotion linked above, then hit your knees and KNOW that God can work it through to his glory, but you have to keep moving forward.
I am so glad I have a patient God, one who is willing to say it twice.