Back in high school, we had a homework assignment that I didn’t like the subject, I had no interest, and I could not understand it. There was no way that I was going to get this done within the time frame assigned. I knew that I had to give it my best effort. If I didn’t, I thought with all sureness that I would fail. And, I didn’t like to fail. Failure. It is the one thing that we have to deal with at least once in a lifetime. Young or old. Feeble or strong. Failure will always be an option. It is just, “Will we regress to it?” or “Will we grow from it?” All the time, we are graded on our failures and success. But there are times when we shouldn’t have to relate this to that. No matter what the situation and which way the outcome, they are opportunities for growth. If we choose to use them to our advantage, instead of letting them be our handicap.
I didn’t know what I was going to do. I knew there was no way around it, no other choice than to get through it. I sharpened every pencil in my box, probably more than once. I straightened ever paper, and emptied ever folder. I guess it was my lame attempt to execute a distraction to the inevitable. I think mom must have caught on because she had been watching me from a distance. You know that mom thing; the whole “I have eyes in the back of my head” thing. Grrrr, how i groaned at mom’s spidey sense. But, it was in that moment that she spoke something to me that would forever teach me a valuable lesson. One that I would need for the rest of my life, and in turn, I would value her committal ways to alter the outcome just by the way I thought about things. She said, “Red, what’s wrong” and I began to rant into the moaning and groaning of ever thing that possibly be wrong with this assignment. Without reluctance, she listened. She however then looked me, directly into my eyes as if to look at my heart and say, “Failure is only success not trained for. And how do we train for success, by failing.” And, forever something would change in me.
Since that moment in high school, the break or make it moment, I have realized that failures, mistakes, and accidents would happen. I have made more than my fair share of them. I have lived. And, I have learnt a lot. I have regressed, and I have overcome. Despite my failures and short comings, I didn’t allow myself to be defined by either my success or my failures. I began to learn that I had to bloom where I was planted. I had to value every moment, and seize every opportunity to take a chance and grow. I had to learn that the outcome wasn’t about the grade on the paper, it was about an internal report card that stated I TRIED.
I would not be where I am today without the failures and mistakes that I have made. I would not comprehend the valuable sincerity of the moment if I just relied on my success. In fact, if that were the case, I would still be in high school sitting at the desk in my room facing the fears of failure and avoiding the success of accomplishment. It comes in so many forms. Failure and success. And, one of the biggest failures you could ever commit is to doubt yourself, so much that you was to never try. I would not have became a mother, I would have never went back to school for my GED. I would never gotten married, or even took a chance on the road to recovery. And, mostly, I would not be sitting behind a computer screen talking about this today. I would have run a long time ago and never stopped running. But, I can’t because the story I tell today about what Jesus has done for me, the trials and obstacles I have walked through maybe the one that heals someone tomorrow. And, if that were to happen, it would make each grueling and painful step worth it. Every broken bone of encouragement, even the painful full of hair ripped of band-aide that says “you can do it”.
As for me and that homework assignment, well I completed it. With satisfaction, humbleness and grace I wrote a story about ‘If I could ever be a writer, what would I write about”; and the next morning during first period, I turned it in with a sense of pride. Yeah it, much like life, had a lot of corrections on it that needed to be addressed. Sentences that had run on for way to long, and many times I had used the passive voice where I shouldn’t. And, a lot of times where I used clichés when I should not have gotten caught up in the mundane. I indeed completed that assignment. There was one area though, at the end of paper that required no red marks or remarks. All it simply said was, Failure is only success not trained for. And how do we train for success, by failing. I got a B minus on that paper. Most cherished one ever. Until next time, have a glass of good ole sweet tea with a slice of faith. And, be blessed and less stressed.