Have you ever been so hard on yourself that you never allowed yourself room to fail? I grew up thinking that way. From a very young age I felt like I was never good enough, even if I put my best foot forward it simply was short of what was expected.
Wether it was my home environment, school or just life around me – even back then when social media didn’t really exist and a land line telephone was how you got hold of your loved ones, the world still screamed out at me ‘ why bother trying? You always do and you never get it right ‘
It was a young age that I realised I do not like failing but not because I failed but because of how others made me feel when I did. I was under the impression that nobody fails, clearly it was just me because then why would my dad or my teachers, even friends ridicule me for always getting things wrong. I thought to myself, they must always get it right for them to have this expectation of me to get things right the first time, all the time.
Fast forward to about 20 years later, I was sitting in church where I was doing an internship program and the speaker had a box with words written on tiny pieces of paper. The task was for us to grab a word out of that box and ask God how it applies to our own lives. As people down my row were taking their words I saw what some of them said words like PROMISE, LOVED, GRACE, CHOSEN, WORSHIP etc….. so I got hopeful for what mine would be but to my dismay I got the word MYSTERY! Seriously! I thought to myself, couldn’t I have gotten something nice like loved or chosen? Little did I realise how big a role that word would play in my life for the years to come. In fact it is still a word I am getting revelation on.
HOW THE WORD MYSTERY KILLED THAT SILENT EXPECTATION:
something that is difficult or impossible to understand or explain.
For someone who didn’t like to get things wrong I didn’t like the fact that I didn’t get why I got this word, I mean even the definition of this word is ” impossible to understand “
That is when God whispered to me very gently and said Tam, that is the tension of knowing me ( God ) in this world. Even though you have a relationship with me and I am always with you, you will never fully understand my power and greatness. That is the beauty of mystery, you need to put your trust in it and rest in the mystery of who I am.
Ok thats so deep, let me get practical real quick.
1: Not knowing everything all the time is not a bad thing
stop trying to figure things out all the time. Sometimes we don’t know what the future holds and to be quite honest sometimes it is for the best. God knows and he is for you not against you, every plan he has for you is to grow you and because he loves you. Rest in the mystery of not always knowing and trust in the one who holds your future.
2: It is ok to fail
Firstly, just because you might have taken longer than others to get something right does not mean you failed. I just thought that somebody needs to know that. I needed to know that and I wish someone told me that sooner.
secondly, what is failure anyway? I think we all have a different definition of what it means in our own lives but when that silent expectation either from others or even ourselves does not get met then we think we have failed. Life is simply a test you didn’t study for so actually you can expect to fail. Our greatest achievement is not in never failing, it’s in rising up every time we fail. Easier said than done yes but if you can rest in the mystery of simply not being perfect I think you can slowly give yourself room to fail and be ok with it. Just always remember to rise up again!
3: You can find peace in mystery
Have you ever found that the older you get in life, you realise how little you actually know. I think there is wisdom in coming to that realisation. Like I said previously I think life is one big lesson and if we do not learn from the good and bad times, when those ‘ tests’ come we will get caught off guard. When you come to the realisation that peace comes from not knowing all things but being ok with that, then when mystery ( what ever shape or form that takes in your life ) shows up at your door step you won’t even try to figure it out. The peace of God will over whelm you and you will rest in the unknown!