Devoted Blog

Freedom to Fail

September 13, 2017

Blog by Megan Paraiso

There’s not a lot more in life that’s as frustrating as failing. And what’s even better is that the longer we live, the more we fail. How encouraging! The good news is that even though frustration and disappointment come with failure, so does clarity. Since moving to Richmond five years ago and taking on a pastoral role alongside my husband, I have worked a few different jobs and become a mom to two beautiful girls. Between pastoring, working, and mom-ing I have failed time and time again. And while I don’t like the feeling I get when I fail, I am learning to embrace it. It’s just what comes with the territory.

For so long I was paralyzed by failure. If I’m being honest to you and to myself, shame and guilt were and still can be the loudest voice I hear. When you’ve trained your mind to allow those voices in for so much of your life, you don’t always realize just how clouded and unGodly your thinking really is.

A couple of years ago, I was working for a great company in a role that was the most challenging job I’d had yet. It highlighted all of my weaknesses. Every day I was praying for wisdom and for God to cover me in the areas I lacked in.  I was working hard and giving it my best just to have my boss about six months later tell me she thought I would be better in a different role if I was open to it. Honestly it was a blow to the chest. I was disappointed in myself and God. I thought that if I was working the best way I knew how and constantly seeking God for help, why would He allow me to fail. All the hard work and what I thought was progress, just to get asked if I wanted to move into a different position that could be “a better fit”. God revealed to me in these months more about myself than He’d done before. This season of failure taught be to be kind to myself, to allow myself to make mistakes without carrying shame and condemnation. And it taught me that I am indeed not going to be great at everything I do (I know, shocking right?) no matter how hard I try and no matter how much I rely on God. I will fail.

It’s a beautiful thing walking in this freedom to fail now that I am a parent, because I don’t know any area of life that you can possibly fail more in! You are in constant communication with little people who can’t always clearly communicate back and you are responsible for teaching them how to appropriately and effectively communicate and live in society. I love it though! I get to shape these little minds to not walk in shame or guilt, but in the freedom to make mistakes. Things that I want to get mad at, like my munchkin spilling milk all over the floor, or drawing all over my white ottoman, or head butting my face out of excitement or stripping down to the nude just to freely pee on floor, are things that I am learning to just let go of. It’s not worth getting worked up over and it’s definitely not worth making my kids feel terrible over.

Thank God for seasons of failure that are now enabling me to raise my children to live with their assurance in Jesus rather than in their abilities.