Do You Have a History of Failure…Like Me?

I remember my first speaking engagement. I was asked to speak for a women’s tea for a sweet little church in the mountains. My primary contact didn’t give me a lot of instruction as to what she was hoping for. I didn’t ask very many clarifying questions – just planned a bible study that I thought was really good and would work well.

When I arrived, I found out not only was I woefully overdressed (I wore heels. WHY would ANYONE wear heels to a cabin in the mountains??), but I realized I also did not come prepared for the kind of event this was intended to be. I panicked.

I changed my content on the fly. It was awful. I will never forget the glazed over eyes trying desperately to keep up with me. And the polite “Amen” after my closing prayer. It.Was.Awful. And then they generously took an offering. A very good offering. Which I didn’t deserve. It was just plain awful.


You’d have thought I had learned. But it happened again last week. I was asked to come speak to an all-boys lock-in for my church. It just needed to be a simple devotion. For boys. Ages 5-17. (Yeesh!) I prepared. Spent time working on it. And…it was awful. Just plain awful. {sigh}

I’ve been in ministry for nearly 20 years. I work really hard for any opportunity I have to teach about the love of God. I don’t take it lightly. But sometimes I don’t get it right. Like last week. And plenty of other times before that. I feel very disappointed in myself when this happens. I mutter to myself. Dwell on it. And don’t let it go very well. It becomes personal. But last night as I was laying in bed replaying the night and teaching the lesson the *right* way to my invisible audience, God was faithful to remind me of this:

There are plenty of individuals in the Bible who didn’t always get it right. Who struggled to complete the mission God wanted them to accomplish. Who doubted God’s calling. Who found it hard to see themselves through God’s eyes. Can you name a few? How about…

Abraham & Sarah in Genesis 18

10 Then the Lord said, “You can be sure that I will return to you about this time next year. Your wife Sarah will have a son.” Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent behind him. 11 Abraham and Sarah were already very old. Sarah was too old to have a baby. 12 So she laughed to herself. She thought, “I’m worn out, and my husband is old. Can I really know the joy of having a baby?” 13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘Will I really have a baby, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for me?

Moses in Exodus 4

10 Moses spoke to the Lord. He said, “Lord, I’ve never been a good speaker. And I haven’t gotten any better since you spoke to me. I don’t speak very well at all.” 11 The Lord said to him, “Who makes a man able to talk? Who makes him unable to hear or speak? Who makes him able to see? Who makes him blind? It is I, the Lord. 12 Now go. I will help you speak. I will teach you what to say.”

Peter in Matthew 14

29 “Come,” Jesus said. So Peter got out of the boat. He walked on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when Peter saw the wind, he was afraid. He began to sink. He cried out, “Lord! Save me!” 31 Right away Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “Your faith is so small!” he said. “Why did you doubt me?”

Thomas in John 20

27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here. See my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

Does your fear of failure keep you from stepping into the unknown for God? Or believing His ability? Or does your history of failure make you want to quit trying? Yeah…me too. But I want to challenge you to push those doubts aside! Pull yourself up by your bootstraps, my dear sisters in ministry! This is not what God has called us to. He does not want us to listen to the enemy of our souls. We are reminded over and over in His word: God has confidence in you! He’s taking you and molding you through each experience, positive and negative, into the woman He envisions you to be!

“Then you will know that I am the LORD. Those who hope in me will not be disappointed.” Isaiah 49:23

“See, I am doing a new thing!” “I am working all things together for good, because you love me and are called according to my purpose.” “All things are possible to [she] who believes.” Isa. 43:19; Rom. 8:28; Mark 9:23
Have a great weekend of ministry my friends!
Be Blessed,


  1. WhatCanIDoToday says:

    I just had to remind you that you are a blessing to me in so many ways. :) Your heart is beautiful it touches many- including The Father. :)

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