“I can’t do anything right,” my daughter cried! “No one has called me back for a job, I failed my driving test, and my brain froze completely up when I was taking my ACT! Why am I such a loser?”
My mind raced with all the possible things a mother should say, but I finally opted for silence. (Hey, the Bible says that even a fool is counted wise when he keeps silent, and I was just trying to be wise!) After 25 minutes of my daughter’s sobbing (and my silent prayers for wisdom), I finally said, “It’s going to be OK, baby girl. Now. It’s time to put your chin up and try again!”
Then, I pulled into McDonald’s and treated her to a mocha frappe. Because that is what every good mom does. Right?
Young or old, we’ve all been there! Plans that were so well laid, just crumble down around our feet. We find ourselves back where we started, asking ourselves, “what next?” So what exactly should we do when life kinda stinks?
Remember God’s blessings. It may be hard to stop and count your blessings when you are walking out of the BMV empty-handed, but you gotta start somewhere! Think back to your past accomplishments and thank God for the ability He gave you to achieve those goals. Start naming the people God has placed in your life to direct and guide you. Think of your friends and family! God has blessed you so much, don’t forget that!
“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:15
Leave the past behind. You can’t move forward in your life if you are chained to all that is wrong in your past. It’s OK to grieve for what was lost, but don’t stay there too long. The longer you dwell in self-pity over ruined plans, the longer it will take you to accomplish your goals! Sometimes moving forward means not looking back.
“…this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13 & 14
Realize you can’t do anything in your own strength. It’s easy to pat ourselves on the back when things are going right, but as soon as something goes wrong we cry out to God, “why did You do this to me?” Reality is, we can’t do anything without God! It is He who gives us the strength and wisdom to accomplish our goals. When our plans go up in smoke, more than likely, we were relying on our own strength, and not God’s! As Christians, we should remember that God can do His best work through us when we are completely empty of ourselves.
“…My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9
Make sure your plan is also God’s plan. Have you ever found yourself standing with your well-laid plans in shambles at your feet, and realized that maybe you should have asked God about your plans, first? Me too! Asking God to direct us and show us His will before we make plans, can save us from a lot of heart-ache later. Before making plans, set aside some time to pray about it. Then, open your heart to hear God’s answer. Sometimes He will speak to you through your daily Bible reading, other times through the Sunday message from your Pastor. God has also placed people in our lives who can give us good advice. Seek counsel from your Pastor or a friend who has been saved and serving the Lord a little longer than you. Remember, God promised to give wisdom to those who ask!
“Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.” – Proverbs 19:20
Get up and try again. Wipe those tears off your face! I am always teaching my children to not allow fear to rule their lives. Whether it is a failed relationship, a lost promotion at work, or – even a failed drivers test, we can’t allow fear of failing to keep us locked in our comfort zones! God has promised that we are more than conquerors through Christ. That means, that through Christ, we have the power to conquer our fears. The victory is not in defeating our fears, but in our obedience to God despite our fear!
“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” – Romans 8:37
The next time you feel like life kinda stinks, and you just want to curl up into the fetal position on the floor and cry, start counting your blessings. After you’ve named several reasons to be thankful you are alive, leave the past and all your stinky failures behind. Once the stink starts to clear up a little, you’ll be able to realize that any strength you do have comes from God, so make sure you consult Him before making new plans. Then, dry up those tears, get up off the floor, and try again!