Feel Like Failure? Sometimes Down is the Best Way Up

by | Mission Burnout

So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continully woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives…” Romans 8:28


So when we feel like a failure, we’re to believe every detail of our life is woven together by God to bring about good? Faith over fear. Really?

I mean, think of Joseph from scripture. He was despised and betrayed by his own brothers. Abandoned and left to die in an empty well…by his own brothers. Sold into slavery by…you guessed it, his own brothers! Falsely accused of rape. Punished for doing the right thing. Imprisoned and forgotten by those he helped.

How about those details? Part of God’s perfect plan? Meant for good? Really?

Feel Like Failure?

What are the details of your story? What chapters of your life leave you wondering, Was that God’s perfect plan for my life? Really?

More to the immediate, what adversity are you facing today, my friend? A setback, a problem, or a frustration? Will it, too, work out for good? And fit into God’s perfect plan?

Or do you feel more like you’re on an off-ramp? Like you were cruising along, but then suddenly, a tire blew. Or perhaps it feels like you’re moving backward. Headed in the opposite direction from where you want to go. Or maybe at this moment, you feel completely stuck wondering, Where do I go from here?

Free Solo

OMGoodness, I for sure identify with all those emotions. Been there and have the t-shirt. Okay, I don’t have the tee cause I’m not a t-shirt kind of girl. But the pain and frustration are etched on the topography of my life. I know what it is to feel like a failure. To feel burned out.

That said, I absolutely believe in the goodness and faithfulness of God. The problem is, though, at times, I just don’t see how it all fits together for good. But then, one night, God gave me an awesome visual!

Larry Dale and I were watching Free Solo, the exhilarating, captivating story of rock climber Alex Honnold on his quest to scale El Capitan without ropes or any type of safety equipment. Talk about faith over fear!

Sometimes Down is the Best Way Up

The face of Yosemite’s magnificent El Capitan is a 3,361-foot wall of sheer granite. That’s like three Empire State Buildings stacked end to end. And this dude, Alex, is up there with only his fingertips and sneakers. What?! Crazy amazing!!!

But here’s the thing that struck me. His quest to summit El Capitan was a masterclass in how to deal with adversity. So many times during his ascent, the best path up was actually down. Or across. Around. Or wedged into a crack. So rarely was his best path straight up. And that revelation got me wondering…

What about each and every downturn we all experience in life? What about all the sideways traverses we encounter? Or the tight spot crevice crawls we face? Could it be they are all for our good?! Brilliantly necessary and beautifully orchestrated for our own personal journey to the summit?

Could it be that the circumstances that make you feel like a failure are actually you overcoming adversity, and you just can’t see it yet?

Defy Reason – Choose Faith Over Fear

Think about it; fear and faith both ask the same question. They both ask you to believe in something you can’t see.

All of heaven is counting on you to show up and fully engage your beautiful life.” Bob Goff

So, as you face times of uncertainty, points in life where you say, like Alex, That move is really insecure. I don’t like it. Choose faith over fear. Choose to believe you’re overcoming adversity even when things seem messy. Remember, sometimes the best way up is down. Or sideways. Around. Or through a crack. Remember, God goes about things in ways that defy reason.

God will not allow anything to keep you from fulfilling your life’s purpose. Let’s go back to Joseph for a moment. Despised, betrayed, abandoned, falsely accused, imprisoned, forgotten. But Joseph believed to the core that what was meant for evil, God would turn for good. And so, time after time, Joseph chose faith over fear. Ultimately, Joseph was promoted to second in command of all of Egypt and helped save the nation from famine.

You’re not controlling your fear. You’re stepping outside of it.” Alex Honnod

Zigs and Zags, It’s all Progress

Progress is never a straight line. Progress zigs and zags. It expands, then retreats. You will move forward and then back. Up and down. Then sideways and back again. To fight the erratic rhythm of progress is futile. Expect setbacks. They’re inevitable, and they’re also positive indicators you’re making progress.” Marie Forleo

When you feel like a failure, challenge that thought. Is it true? Huh? Noooooooooo! You just need a new perspective. Flip the script in your head.

Everything is preparing you for what’s next. Everything is working for your good. Significant things are happening even when you feel like a failure like you’re stuck or encountering setbacks. You’re growing. Evolving. Transforming.

Keep choosing faith over fear. No matter the obstacles, the zigs, the zags, you’re always moving toward the same compass point – fulfilling the purpose for which you were created.

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Thanks for stopping by! Until we meet again, remember – Trusting in Jesus, you’ll have more treasure than pockets. From my heart to yours,

Sandra Adcock Signature