Failing Forward

My life motto is keep moving forward and you know, it’s always an encouraging idea – a nifty little maxim to stick in my back pocket, worthy enough to tattoo it on my back one day (just to be ironic), but I used to find it difficult.

Moving forward.

Okay, yeah. I can, I can do that… except for most of the time it feels like I’m failing forward, like I’m screwing up every step of the way. A lot of the time, I find myself whispering, “Okay, God, good luck using this thing I did or this situation I’m in for Your glory.” Somehow He always does. He always pulls through. Everything always works out. No matter how often we sin and return to the musings we know won’t give us life, He’s waiting, arms open so freaking wide.

Forward is forward. Speed doesn’t equate to success. We’re meant to stumble. We’re meant to struggle and find rest in Christ.
Although keep moving forward has motivated time after time, the truth is…

God carries us forward and without Him, I’d be at a standstill regardless of how many times I tried pulling out that little maxim from my back pocket. Contrary to popular belief, He doesn’t smite the world and inflict pain for His enjoyment – I’ve heard so many say that they hate God, because He idly watches us suffer and laughs (I’ve actually said that before).

What?
He wants to see us find joy in Him.
He wants nothing but the best for us.

We all have those habits that we turn to for fulfillment, knowing that they won’t leave us feeling satisfied (for a lot of us it’s because we choose to hang out with the wrong people, which can mean that we might not be intentionally engaging with other Christians enough). It’s scary to return to God after we sin in that way – when we give something else God’s purpose to carry us forward. At least, I used to be scared to return to God. I guess the more blunt way of saying that is that I was scared to repent. In fear I would say, “God, I messed up. I’m sorry. Will You take me back? Is this the moment where I’ve become too much to love? Is this the part in my story where I’ve fallen so out of grace that You’re done with me?”

He never deserts and I can’t believe that for the longest time I bought into the lie that I could do something that could separate me from His love. I thought that even if I sincerely came before the Throne with a heart of repentance He could reject me.

The Gospel says the exact opposite.

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord…” (Acts 3:19, NIV)

I read through my journal the other day and saw this magnificently encouraging quote by David Guzik:

If one does repent, that in itself is evidence that they have not truly fallen away.

My thought to you would be this: do not be afraid to repent, to come before God with all of your crap and say, “Here I am.” All He wants is your heart, no matter how tarnished, ugly, and beat up it looks. He will make it beautiful. Every time. I promise. Also, remember to repent. Do not make repentance a concept we merely talk about as Christians, because it’s literally at the center of our doctrine.

Keep failing forward, guys. God’s got you.


In other news, I’ve officially finished my sophomore year of college and I start my junior year on Monday! I survived finals even though I’ve come out of it looking like this. I read through the syllabus of my Maymester class and my professor is NOT kidding around. I’m taking a 4000 level Criminology course in the time span of three weeks.

I’ll definitely be updating you on how the whole “GET GAINS!” thing pans out, as well.

Me: The gym? What even is that? How does one “work out?” Six meals a day? What is food? Protein shakes? What is protein? Salad? Am I a rabbit? Why is it green?

I’ll be auditioning for The Voice in June in Oklahoma City just for the experience. It’ll be a lot of fun and I’m hoping to learn a lot about how rigged it is.

With hope,
Donaven

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