I Failed In 2012

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Have you felt that 2012 was a failure? Our Voice Sherea shares how God used her struggles this past year for His redemptive work in her life. 

This year my family and I were hit pretty hard – from all sides. I managed to gather up enough strength to remain sane and keep myself encouraged.

To some, I may appear as a coach, a social media mentor -if you will. I helped everyone to stay motivated on Monday; tell their testimony on Tuesday. I encouraged folks to drink water on Water Wednesday. I reminded us to be thankful on Thursday and stay fit on Fitness Friday. To most, I am a goal setter, go-getter, and married over 21 years, and a mother of three beautiful children.

To some, I may appear as a failure. I’ve failed at keeping my childcare business, failed at my home ownership attempts, paying my bills on time, keeping my promises on past debt with friends and family, finishing my school courses.

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In my opinion, 2010 was the best year ever. Things were going well.  In addition to my 18 side gigs, I had a full time job with health benefits for my family and me. Not just any job, but a job I loved doing. I was living in my dream home, in my favorite city, with my kids going to a great school. We were actually living out our goals and dreams. 

The first week of January came with an abrupt intrusion.   I found myself like the wheat and the tare. I was doing goal workshops while in the process of moving. I started a new business helping people to accomplish their goals and dreams while simultaneously packing up my own vision boards onto a U-Haul truck. We had moved from a 2200 sq ft home to a 900 sq ft home along with two storage bins.

When 2012 rolled around we found ourselves packing up again. Shortly after, my job had to downsize, I lost over half of my income and health benefits.  My husband and I had to make a quick decision due to his teaching position, which was seasonal and sporadic. This caused us to jump ahead and move without any delay. Due to the circumstances of full-time income being reduced to less than part time wages, along with no business income or health care for our family, and additional cost for two storage bins, we were put into a difficult circumstance. In addition to that we also had to occupy the use of two of our friends’ garages. This is the physical and logistical explanation, however, it does not even begin to compare to the emotional impact it had on my family and I from having to leave a place that was 2200 sq ft to 900 sq ft and from there, to less than 400. I found myself asking God what is all this about?

A few months into our new place, I remember going to the kitchen counter sticking my head in the shelf and just crying, clearly, I was at the “more than I could bear moment”. I’m 42 years old, I work like a crazy woman, I’ve made poor choices, and I asked God why this was happening?

God quickly interrupted my tears and showed me how rich I really was. He reminded me about what remained, and not what had been lost. Initially, I thought God was stripping me and taking everything I worked hard for. Later, I discovered that He was taking away all the drama that burdened me, so I could be the daughter He died for.

I do not make the ideal income. I do not want to live in my brother-in-law’s family room for the rest of my life, but ask me if I’m happy with my life – I am. I am blessed, I am rich.

I have a great opportunity right now that most people do not. I have an opportunity to follow my heart, my goals, my dreams and passions and there is no price tag for that. You can’t go and buy a passion-filled life at Macy’s.

Now, I am a firm believer in getting what you really want, but in this season I had to make a choice between what I want and what I really want.

This year, God has challenged me to think on good things, be faithful in what I already have, to ask for what I desire, not because I’m weak but because I want to remain strong and to wait on Him.
It appears that I have less, but I have so much more. It appears that I may have failed, but I’m just getting started.

In this crazy economy, things may not look the same for you as they did last year or the year before. You may feel like you’ve taken two steps forward and five steps back, but please don’t look back. Keep moving, enjoy the moment, and learn to count what’s left – not what’s lost.

Here’s what I’ve learned about failure; failure is falling down and staying there. Success is getting back up. I’ve failed many times and I’ve gotten back up many times.

I’m up now – but this time, not moving forward as quickly, but learning to live in the moment. To enjoy the richness of love and true friendship.

I asked God for strength that I might achieve.
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health that I might do greater things.
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy.
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.
The Prayer of an Unknown Confederate Soldier

Here’s to 2013! My Best Year Ever!

Image Credit: geralt/Pixabay