Emotions can be tricky things. I've learned to refrain from depending on them, to choose to base my life and actions on what I believe to be the truth. Even so, I'm still affected by emotions.
A couple of years ago I was fired from a job after working for a company for 7 years straight, and then on and off (as they called me to come help them out in situations) for another 3 years. The termination was really about politics; some regional consultants has changed and those new to position people did things differently than I. I do not know another way to describe these folks than to say that many people would consider them low class - extremely crude and foul mouthed (I'm not talking about the occasional cuss word here, I'm referring to explicit sexual talk and intense swearing), and into drama, gossip, and vendettas. Unfortunately, I got on the wrong side of them and a couple of them basically set out to get rid of me. Since I was the one who lost her job, it could look like they were successful.
But I knew that I was in the palm of God's hand and nothing happened in my life that He did not allow. I chose to trust Him.
Initially I was bewildered, hurting, and devastated. Then I got past all of that and was hopeful; I believed that God would bring me another, better, job. Then after completing countless job applications, going to many job interviews, and dealing with rejection upon rejection, I finally had an interview with some people who I really liked. They offered me a job, but it was doing something I'm overqualified for; it's something I did for another company 16 years ago, pays 57% less than I'd been making, and did not allow me to utilize the skills I'd worked so hard to acquire. After much prayer I decided to take the job until I could get a better job.
Through all of this God has been faithful and we have always had all our needs met, although I have had to utilize a large chunk of my savings. I started this other job with high spirits, still believing God would bring something better my way.
It's been 8 months now and I'm still at that job. They're super happy with me and I enjoy the day to day work and people. But I still long for more, and continue to apply and interview for other work. I've even studied and added a certification onto my credentials during this time.
Lately I find myself struggling with discontentment, feeling disconnected and sad. It's not because I've stopped loving or trusting God (I mean, God could never allow me to get another job and I'd still choose to love Him and believe that He's got my best in His plan), and I'm still actively involved in service to others. It's just that my emotions have been having a hard time lately.
It is in the midst of this situation that I came across these words from Micah 7:7-8 during my devotions this morning:
As for me, I will look to the Lord for his help. I wait confidently for God to save me and my God shall certainly hear me. Do not gloat over me my enemies! For though I fall, I will rise again. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord himself will be my light.
So today I've been thinking about how failure shouldn't be a surprise in life; it should be, in a certain way, expected. Expected in terms of the fact that if you try challenging things, failure is a definite possibility. Logically, if you try often enough, the probability of failure increases. I'm thinking that somehow failure needs to be part of the plan, looked at as a step in route to achievement.
I know that I've learned a lot from my failures in life. Failures in marriage, with my children, in jobs, in interviews - in every situation when I have not seen the goal met, I've learned in the process. This doesn't negate the fact that failure is painful, just accepts the truth that it is inevitable. I adore the simplicity of that line in Micah: "though I fall, I will rise again".
I'm also thinking today about how failure does not have to equal defeat. God is not just the God of second chances, he's the God of countless new beginnings! That both my own mistakes and misdeeds, as well as that of others, will not keep me from His plan.
What about you, how does failure figure into your plans?