May You Fail

 Vision

Today, three fans took the time to unlike me on Facebook.  Three.

I stare at the number in disbelief and wonder what I’ve done to cause three people to unlike me all in one day.  The heavy weight of fear and inadequacy presses down on me.  There are dishes in the sink and an unfinished post and a houseful of children who have waited while their mommy writes and for what?  For three less fans than yesterday.

My gut hurts.

I hide for a while, but God finds me.  I am a bit ashamed to see Him here because I have failed.  I have failed to make a return on my talent.  I have failed to live up to my calling.

God bends to whisper a prayer in my ear.  May you fail.

May I fail?

May you fail to make this gift your identity.  May you lose a few readers now and again to remind you that you are already adequate, already loved, already enough.  I have formed you, and I know you.  I knit you together and wove this gift of writing into you so that it is almost inseparable from you.  Almost.

But you are more than the sum of your followers, you are more than the success or failure of your last post.  You are more than a writer.

You are my beloved child. 

And I have chosen you for this.  But I love you in spite of this.

When you fumble with the words, I do not love you less.  When you pen something powerful, I do not love you more.  Separate yourself from the gift enough to know that I am the only thing that defines you.

May you fail at penning words that have no power.  It is tempting, isn’t it, to fill a page with beautiful, soulless words?  It is tempting to write for men rather than Me.

But you—you have the words of life.  You have the gospel, the very words that shape eternity.  Write them even if they earn you no earthly fame.  Write them boldly.  Write them well.  But do not fail to write them.

Some will hear and turn to me.  But others will hear and turn away.  Leave it up to me, Child, to change the hearts of your hearers.

May you fail at growing numbers without growing your heart.  Let the words rumble around and refine you first.  Tell your story from the cracks because that’s where my light shines the brightest.

Can you see me glorified in your brokenness?  Press your pen into it.  Strive to be transparent, a little broken, and a lot redeemed.  Let people in to your story—all of it.  Leave out the parts that leave out grace.  Trust me to work in and through and in spite of your weaknesses.

You may be surprised to see how I can make something beautiful of it after all.

May you fail at doing something great for me.  Let me do something great through you.  I do not need your offering, Child.  I do not need your sacrifice.  All I want from you is your humble availability.

Be willing.  Be moldable, and do not worry about what I have given to someone else.  Be more interested in my vision for you than in your dreams for yourself.  It may not look the way you think it should, and you might stumble and trip along this path.  You may fail in the eyes of men, but not in mine.  I will accomplish my purposes in you. 

There is no failing in that.

Kristen, Five in Tow

Kristen

Kristen is the main character in a story in which a redemptive God takes a reluctant mother on a journey to find and reclaim her story. Now the wife of an Army chaplain and mother of five, Kristen writes about the joy of being part of God's audacious plan.

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  • http://www.natashametzler.com/ NATASHA METZLER

    and this is why I love you, Kristen. :) Beautiful post, so full of truth.

    • http://twitter.com/fiveintowblog KRISTEN GLOVER

      And that is exactly why I love you too, Natasha!

  • http://jasonandkelliwoodford.blogspot.com/ KELLI WOODFORD

    oh wow. you hit me right where it counts, Kristin.
    these words are solid gold. apt and sharp as a double-edged sword. thank you for tackling such lies we all believe from time to time. (and this has been one of those times for me, too.)
    i receive the grace of this encounter and the truth proclaimed.

    • http://twitter.com/fiveintowblog KRISTEN GLOVER

      Thank you, Kelli, for being real with your struggles too. May God break us both of our tendency to look down instead of up.

  • KM LOGAN @LESSONSFROMIVY

    I tend to view failure in terms of fruit. Facebook likes aren’t necessarily fruit in my eyes, but a heart growing closer to God is. Love this post.

    • http://twitter.com/fiveintowblog KRISTEN GLOVER

      Amen–and may my heart be the first to grow closer to God through this ministry!

  • http://twitter.com/MelanieAnneTN MELANIE MOORE

    I can’t tell you how much I love this. I have felt like I am consistently failing at my blog, and the blog “cliques” I can never seem to get in to… I really needed this. This was written for my heart today. Thank you.
    love,
    Melanie

    • http://twitter.com/fiveintowblog KRISTEN GLOVER

      Thank you, Melanie. I wish I could give you a great big hug!

  • http://www.TheBeautifulDeep.com/ KRISTIN

    So powerful Kristen! I feel like I need to read it about 5 times to let the truths you shared sink in deep. So blessed and moved by this today!

    • http://twitter.com/fiveintowblog KRISTEN GLOVER

      Thank you. I think I need to do the same. I am so prone to wander.

  • CHRISTY FITZWATER

    Kristin, you’ve encouraged me today. I just lost my job and am in limbo waiting to see what direction God wants me to take with my life. I’m going to hold onto your good words today -to be more concerned with God’s vision for me than what my own little brain can imagine for myself right now. THANKS.

    • http://twitter.com/fiveintowblog KRISTEN GLOVER

      Oh, Christy. We are in a state of limbo too. My husband lost his job nearly a year ago, and we have been waiting and seeking ever since. I will be praying for you. May you not grow weary in the waiting, and may God quickly grant you a vision for His direction for you.

  • http://twitter.com/Missindeedy MISSINDEEDY

    Kristen, this was so perfectly timed. Perfectly. God never ceases to amaze me with His ability to use a blog post to remind me of what’s important. Holding onto his vision for me instead of my hopes for myself – yes! Oh, yes.

    • http://twitter.com/fiveintowblog KRISTEN GLOVER

      It amazes me too! I heard a quote that said something to the effect, “I write to know I am not alone,” and it is true. Every time I write, God shows me that I am in good company, surrounded by saints and fellow witnesses of His grace and mercy.

  • CHRISTINA @ YOUTHFULHOMEMAKER

    Kristen-
    I have been blogging for 3 years, and I still feel discouraged because no one comments on my blog, ever. It is like no one cares if I wrote or not…
    Thank you for this post. :) it means a lot to me, it’s just what I needed to hear this morning!

    • http://www.simplyremindme.blogspot.com/ BETH HILDEBRAND

      You are not the only one…this was encouraging!

      • http://twitter.com/fiveintowblog KRISTEN GLOVER

        It looks like we’re all in good company! May God use each of today as He wills, and may we all be content in it.

    • EMILY WIERENGA

      oh friend… may God fill you up with such comfort and joy today… praying for you.

    • http://www.toodarnhappy.com/ KIM HALL

      Take heart, Christina. I gave up my blog once because I didn’t see a purpose and it didn’t seem like anyone was reading it except my dogs as they sat beside me. :-)
      Even if no one is commenting, it doesn’t mean you aren’t touching people somewhere. Whether you reach out on your blog, or encourage someone because of your blog, it is a good thing. The tougher part is accepting that we just don’t necessarily know the folks who we have been able to help.

  • CONNIE IN THE COUNTRY

    Beautiful! I enjoy writing too…and am finding in my despair and in the brokeness of a disease more powerful than me, that he daily loves and heals me! Keep writing and being humble.

    • http://twitter.com/fiveintowblog KRISTEN GLOVER

      “He daily love sand heals me.” Amen.

  • EMILY WIERENGA

    Oh… breathless. Yes. This. This is what we were made for. ((Thank you))

    • http://twitter.com/fiveintowblog KRISTEN GLOVER

      Thank you, Emily.

  • http://www.toodarnhappy.com/ KIM HALL

    This resonates so loudly: Be more interested in my vision for you than in your dreams for yourself.
    It feels like almost daily I am doing a soul-check and finding myself chasing the wrong thing: numbers, money, likes. I ask for forgiveness, do that sometimes painful realignment, and move forward.
    This is a lovely reminder of what is truly important-thanks!

    • http://twitter.com/fiveintowblog KRISTEN GLOVER

      It’s hard when the numbers are so prevalent. It’s almost impossible to ignore them altogether, but thankfully, God is gracious to us even when we fail!

  • ADRIENNE

    Beautiful! This can apply to so many things in life, for me, not my writing but other areas. Thank you for this beautiful post!!!

    • http://twitter.com/fiveintowblog KRISTEN GLOVER

      Thank you for reading, Adrienne.

  • http://lmbartelt.wordpress.com/ LISA BARTELT

    I am so afraid of failure sometimes. Thank you for the reminder that failure in my eyes or someone else’s eyes is not the same is failure in God’s eyes. Such beautiful words.

    • http://twitter.com/fiveintowblog KRISTEN GLOVER

      I am learning that my failure is a means to bring others to Christ. The whole world is filled with failures, and each of us is longing to know we’re not the only one. When I am transparent about my failures and weaknesses, God works.

  • ALIA_JOY

    I love this post. Yes, I know this feeling so well and it always brings me back to those same words. In failure we find our faith. Where the foundation really is and what we’re building on. Thank you.

    • http://twitter.com/fiveintowblog KRISTEN GLOVER

      “In failure, we find our faith.” YES.

  • http://twitter.com/CPConfessions JOY B. RUDOLPH

    I needed to hear this today. Thanks for reminding us of this right perspective.

    • http://twitter.com/fiveintowblog KRISTEN GLOVER

      Thank you, Joy.

  • http://www.quenchourthirst.com/ RENEE PIERCE

    A tearful thank you. So well written. YES! This is why we do what we do. You so beautifully penned our calling. Thank you.

    • http://twitter.com/fiveintowblog KRISTEN GLOVER

      Thank you for reading and being in this ministry with me!

  • DIANA

    I have been struggling, and am so thankful that I read this when I did. God continues to guide and direct me, it’s when I forget to seek Him that I get confused and discouraged. Thank you.

    • KRISTEN

      YES. He does continue to guide and direct. I’m particularly thankful for that in my life right now.
      –Kristen

  • KATIE @OPERATION:LEAP OF FAITH

    L.O.V.E. Thank you. (And I’m about to go become a fan, so you’re up one now.) :)

    • KRISTEN

      Haha! I didn’t realize that this post comes across as a plea to friend me and never ever never ever un-friend me, but it does! Thanks for the love. :)
      –Kristen

  • http://gretchenlouise.com/ GRETCHEN LOUISE

    Oh yes, amen and amen. Thank you for this, Kristen.

    • KRISTEN

      Thank you, Gretchen! You have been such an encouragement to me. In fact, it’s because of you that I’m here! Blessings to you, my friend.
      –Kristen

  • SHARI MILLER

    Thank you for helping us to focus on what matters most, God’s will for our lives and not our own desires. Such a beautiful and moving post!

    • KRISTEN

      Thanks so much for reading, Shari.
      –Kristen

  • http://www.facebook.com/leslie.hoyer LESLIE MICHELLE HOYER

    Beautiful

  • SANDY @ RE

    Beautiful words, Kristen. I’ve blogged for almost 7 years and people like and unlike me all the time on FB and Twitter. I’ve learned that when I’m writing about my passions and mission, I really try to put away the numbers and discouragement of comparing myself to others. If I get 1 like in a day now, I’m happy, because I know I touched one person. It’s also easy to feel like a failure when you don’t get in to certain blog “cliques.” Maybe we’ll be miserable and it won’t be a good fit to be in the groups that we think we belong in. I love your ending paragraph. Sometime’s it’s the lesson to just be willing. Very true. I’ve experienced that. Thank you!

    • http://www.fiveintow.com KRISTEN

      Thank you, Sandy! I am joining you in your commitment to put away the numbers. The good and the bad of blogging is that we get instant feedback from our posts, but instant feedback is deceptive. We sow and sow and sow, but sometimes the harvest is far off. Most of the time, I don’t think we have any idea what God does with our words. Perhaps that’s a good thing. It keeps me humble and dependent, and that is much better than feeling successful and self-sufficient.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kellywsmith KELLY SMITH

    absolutely BEAUTIFUL! so thankful you were obedient to allow Christ to work in you through this post. I am sharing it with a bunch of my blogging sisters today! thank you so much for your encouragement and reminder that we are doing all in and through HIM!

    • http://twitter.com/fiveintowblog KRISTEN GLOVER

      Thanks for sharing, Kelly!

  • THEWORDWEAVER1

    Sometimes life gets overwhelming for the readers… I know I have unliked and unsubscribed from blogs in an attempt to regain control over my sanity and my inbox. It rarely has to do with the writer, more with me. I recently went through and tried to weed because I had information overload. Perhaps this was the case….

    The lesson is beautiful and beautifully expressed.

    • http://twitter.com/fiveintowblog KRISTEN GLOVER

      It’s so true! I have no idea what is going on in the real lives of the people who happen by my blog. I take things personally when I have no business doing so. Thank you for that reminder.

  • Pingback: GOD WANTS YOU TO FAIL | FIVE IN TOW

  • SIMPLYDARLENE

    What if there were no comment boxes, follow options, likes, tweets, and what-nots, would you still “press your pen into it”? I would. Yes, I would.

    Thank you for this. God’s timing and connecting of the dots amazes me for today I was ready to break my pen into selfish bits.

    BLessings.

    • http://twitter.com/fiveintowblog KRISTEN GLOVER

      Yes, and I would too. In fact, I might be happier if I could not so easily judge my worth as a writer by the things my eyes can see.

  • MELISSA ANTHONY

    Thank you thank you thank you.

    • http://twitter.com/fiveintowblog KRISTEN GLOVER

      Blessings, Melissa.

  • http://www.trueaimeducation.com/ JANINE

    Kristen, you speak right to my heart. I’m so glad to know you and read your blog. Keep writing and reminding me what it is all about! His will be done!

    • http://twitter.com/fiveintowblog KRISTEN GLOVER

      Thank you, Janine! I am so thankful to get to be a part of this group of women who serve by writing. You are one of those, and I’m so glad!

  • KRYSTLE W

    Usually when I get emails titled “Five in Tow” I wish my world could stop while I devour the newest post of one of my favourite writers. Lately, I’ve asked myself before I start reading,”can her post today really touch my heart like all the previous ones or today will it just be words I can’t relate to on a screen?” I begin to read and am quickly reminded, your writing is a gift from God. Please forget about the numbers, Kristen! I’m of little importance to this world, but of great importance to God. You’re writing encourages and ministers to me, an exhausted mother and a child of God. I’m sure I’m just a drop in the bucket of many that your writing is affecting! You’re laying up treasure in Heaven, and I for one am thankful!

    • http://twitter.com/fiveintowblog KRISTEN GLOVER

      You are so right, Krystle. Thank you for being such a dearly-needed iron to my iron. You always sneak in and encourage me when I need it the most.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1103139415 LORRETTA STEMBRIDGE

    Needed this badly especially tonight….all my “must do’s” are taking over my deep “desire to do’s” and I needed to hear His word to us. Thanks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/karrilee.aggett KARRILEE AGGETT

    YES!!! SUCH a great reminder!

  • http://twitter.com/lifefordessert LOGAN WOLFRAM

    Kristen, this is beautiful and amazing and so so true! Less of me and more of Him! I absolutely LOVE these words girl! Know that these words, these words my friend are nothing but completely full of success…because they are completely full of Him!

    • http://twitter.com/fiveintowblog KRISTEN GLOVER

      Less of me and more of Him–please, Jesus.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000056423605 RACHELLE REA

    Thank you for this.

  • CREATIVEVI

    touched my heart. Thank you for sharing your whispers from God. He meant those for more than you, and now I can carry them with me too. May God whisper, hold and carry you. Now go be with those kids, :)

    • http://twitter.com/fiveintowblog KRISTEN GLOVER

      I guess that’s what we’re called to do, as writers: take the whispers and shout them from the mountaintops. It is not always easy to do, but it makes it easier knowing you all understand, have been there, and can help.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashley.ditto.507 ASHLEY DITTO

    Oh thank you for this. I have been right there, crying and wondering why. But the best advice I ever got was “God will replace those likes with real people.” Ah, amen. Bless you today, sweet sister!

    • http://twitter.com/fiveintowblog KRISTEN GLOVER

      That is good advice!

  • http://profiles.google.com/alymae29 ALYSSA SANTOS

    We tend to grasp tightly to so many things instead of holding tight the truth of who we are in Christ. I tell my kids “any little thing can be an idol” and so often, I am the one gilding something into a thing to be worshipped. That we could plant our feet firmly into the soil of truth, then, we can simply grow and be and bloom instead of toil. Thanks for this post — wonderful reminder

    • http://twitter.com/fiveintowblog KRISTEN GLOVER

      Yes! Luther said that our hearts are idol factories, and it is so true! Any little thing can turn into something by which I define myself. I am so prone to wander!

  • http://www.fivedaysfiveways.com ABBIE (FIVE DAYS… 5 WAYS)

    Beautiful, as always, sweet friend. And a reminder I definitely needed to hear!

    • http://twitter.com/fiveintowblog KRISTEN GLOVER

      Thank you, Abbie. I almost sent you the draft after our little Facebook conversation about some of these things. I think God is doing a work in both of us.

  • JENNIFER

    Amazing. Thank you for this. I felt the Spirit speaking through you right to my heart.