I actually just met her too! One morning I woke up to an email asking how she could be a part of The Well. You better believe I was jumping for joy because someone I didn’t know wanted to write a post on my blog! WOW. We met up & got coffee, and I got to know this sweet girl a bit. I found out that her mom actually told her that she needed to get in contact with me & write for The Well. She is so passionate about writing & she loves the Lord a lot & I’m so thankful for this new friend. As I read her post, I received encouragement in an area that I too had been having a hard time with. I pray that you are all refreshed by Lauren’s open heart.
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I don’t have an impressive resume.
I don’t even have a Snapchat.
I’m disappointed with my ACT score.
I’m disappointed with my math skills.
I’ve never had a boyfriend.
I’ve never been a size 0.
Some might say I’m kind of a failure and there was a time I believed them.
Truth be told, I’ve always been hard on myself. I guess I’m scared I’ll end up mediocre and not make an impact. I find it easy to walk around with my head down, thinking that I’ll never do or be good enough.
But I know unrealistic expectations usually lead to disappointment. So why do I have them in the first place?
In some ways, high school was the beginning. My life was full of self-inflicted pressure to perform well– as a swimmer and a singer. No matter how much effort I put into my activities, others were always improving while I was “failing.” I never felt like people understood me, if anything they underestimated me. So I set out to please my peers, teachers and coaches in hopes that they would notice my dedication. When this became my goal, I also obsessed over my mistakes. I couldn’t be happy if I messed up. So I began to believe the lies that I needed to be someone else to reach my goals. I would stay mediocre if I didn’t change myself. I would be a failure if I didn’t work harder.
I felt stuck– and I felt like a fool.
But you know what?
If you let God help redefine your idea of success, you will no longer see yourself as a failure.
This way success isn’t the dream—honoring Him is. This way may not be as appealing as trophies and applause, but it will last for all eternity. After all, failure and success are just two words in the dictionary. The world defines success as having a steady job, happy family, and beautiful home. While God’s version of this word, is so complex we can’t even fathom it. Failure is seen as low grades, loneliness, and being ordinary. While God wants us to realize that if we look to Him, we can stop feeling like a failure. So there’s no need to wrestle over success and failure because His purpose goes beyond them. Bottom line, He’s asking us to get still, check our hearts and allow Him to expand our understanding.
As I was saying earlier, I like to obsess over mistakes. With that decision, I’ve just invited myself to a lonely pity party. And, the only one celebrating is the Devil. If we want to avoid this mindset and feel fulfilled, then we first need to understand one thing. God doesn’t ignore dedication. It’s actually quite the opposite. Our sweat and tears matter more to God than we understand. 1 Samuel 16:7 says, “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” He doesn’t see me as a failure. He isn’t concerned about my resume and relationship status. But He does care about what’s happening on the inside. And, today He wants us to be able to say:
I feel free—and I don’t feel like a failure anymore.