When You Feel Like You’re Mostly Just Failing


There’s this girl I know, this girl with a wrecky house, and she never seems to be able to stay on top of things. Well, she does good for like one whole day, but it’s hard for her to keep up with these three kids of hers who create as much chaos and disorder as a small tornadic disturbance.


She tries, though. Every day she tries so hard. Though, it’s a little bit difficult because she feels likes she’s mostly either hungry or tired. She sometimes wonders if there are any other emotions in the world besides hungry and tired, but then there is an occasional hour or two in the day when she has a fleeting amount of energy and gumption.

Like, right after she drinks a large glass of sweet tea. Yes, right after that, she does acquire a minute amount of happy motivation to conquer the mess and make her little space good and peaceful and right again.  Though it does cost her something. Unfortunately, it costs her fourteen extra trips to the bathroom, as a large glass or three of sweet tea would have it.

So, that helps. That is, sweet tea helps and coffee sometimes. And naps help a heaping amount, though she wonders if her children will turn out okay if they watch one video too many or several online clips of PBS.


And this girl I know, she often thinks that she’s just the sum of what she does. Like, at the end of the day, when she’s gathering up the stray socks and the errant toys and there’s still this ridiculous mess, everywhere a mess, she sizes herself up and decides that she’s mostly just failing.

Because, did she really teach her kids anything that day? I mean, she had great intentions of helping them learn to read, but she ran out of time between the dishes and the laundry and making some things for them to eat.

And she wanted to teach them responsibility but she felt like she was mostly hounding them to pick up their stuff and she yelled a few times and she never sat down to read them any Bible stories so she doesn’t know if they will end up knowing Jesus or loving Him after all.


Yes, I know this girl who often listens to her feelings, those feelings that preach at her until she’s worn out and her perspective gets all skewed.

But, then she recalls to mind that feelings can lie and so she preaches back. It’s hard work, because she’s hungry again, remember, and oh so tired, but I know this God who helps this girl when she lifts up her eyes and reaches out her hand. His arms are always open toward her and He whispers into her heart some truth.


He reminds her that she isn’t the sum of what she does. No, she was made for more than that. Because life isn’t about her doing, but about her becoming. And all through the struggle and strain, her Jesus is helping her to become more like Him.

When God looks at her, He doesn’t see her the way she sees herself. Her perspective is skewed because of all her self-condemning, but His perspective is perfect because He views her through the context of His blameless Son.

Jesus is the rose-colored lens that God looks at His children through. Jesus already got it all right. He already did everything right.  And when He went to the cross, He took on all our flaws and our failing and all the blame. God turned His back on Christ and condemned His own Son so that His face could always be turned toward us when we look up and His arms always open when we reach up.

So, this girl I know, she wakes up another day with all this hope tucked down in her chest. And she decides not to get her worth and value from her doing. Because she can see a glimpse of who she’s becoming. And besides, she’s in Christ. She’s a new creation. Everyday, her God is making her new and He’s redeeming all the scuffed up, flailing places.

And He’ll help her with this mess and He’ll show up in the mess and she’ll find beauty even here, in all the wreck. And He’ll help her just relax a bit and enjoy loving her children, too.

So, she’ll smile and make some more sweet tea and intend again to teach those kids to read and how to share and be thankful as they attempt to restore some semblance of order to this disheveled place.

And she’ll still feel hungry, way too often, and mostly tired still, but she’ll have the deepest joy, I know she will.

Because that girl I know, well, she’s me.

Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore.

Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other.

God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you. (2 Corinthians 5:16-20 The Message)


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