A couple of Sundays ago, a dear brown skinned woman walked into our church foyer and asked me what time the service started. I asked her if she wanted to know what time the morning service was or what time the Truelife Espanol service was. Call me red faced when she explained to me that she is from the Marshall Islands! Thank God He covers our mistakes with His grace. She came forward for prayer at the end of the morning service with tears streaming down her face and I was privileged to be able to pray for her.
I was not so fortunate with a visitor some years back. Evidently my focus was not on what I was doing when I greeted a visitor at the front door, then just a few moments later re-introduced myself to the same lady in the women's restroom! Way to make some someone feel unforgettable! I don't think she ever came back.
My most infamous moment might be the Sunday morning that I noticed people snickering as they read their Sunday morning bulletin. I had typed up the bulletin which contained an announcement for an upcoming baby shower, including a list of items that the mama to be still needed for her baby. Let's just say that it's best if you remember the all important consonant R in the word t-shirts.
Those are all relatively harmless and innocent faux pas, but I am pretty sure that all of my mistakes in ministry haven't been so laughable. I could definitely write a post of my misadventures in marriage and motherhood as well. Yet, there have been a lot of failures on my part in those areas that brought me to tears instead of laughter.
BUT GOD, the two most beautiful words in the English language. But God has time and time and time again forgiven me for my failures, covered my mistakes with His grace, and helped me to get back up and dust myself off and keep going. Faux pas and failures don't have to be fatal. Sometimes the best cure for the first one is just to laugh at yourself. And here's what I've learned about dealing with failure.
The cure for failure is to:
- humble yourself before God, ask for His forgiveness and accept His grace to deal with your past and to strengthen you to walk in His ways in the future
- humble yourself before others by apologizing to anyone you may have hurt or offended in the process of your failure
- refuse to stay stuck in your place of failure - get up and keep going forward!
And now, let me leave you with the famous words of Anne of Green Gables,
"Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?"
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