About a month ago, I was sitting in church with my fiancé, reflecting on our week (which felt like a hard-fought battle), physically holding his hand but spiritually reaching out with my hands wide open, ready to cling to anyone who had anything to offer…
The thought rang so loud in my mind it was almost audible: “Can anyone share their mistakes with me?”
I can’t even begin to tell you how blessed I am with women who pour into me as a leader, who have spent years showing me the ropes—how to put together successful events, how to run ministry teams, how to even determine what “success” is. There are a lot of leaders who are willing to tell you about what they’ve learned in achieving their successes, but I needed a leader to tell me what they’ve learned in walking through their failures.
In that moment, I just needed to know that we weren’t alone—that we weren’t the only two people leading ministries who felt disgustingly drenched in humanness sometimes—that our overwhelming desire to overcome the flesh in the way Paul describes it is something we all struggle with, regardless of how spiritual we are or what leadership positions we hold.
I needed someone to remind me that, usually, when God is up to something, so is the enemy. The enemy doesn’t go after lazy followers because he doesn’t have to.
I began to question why we try so hard to cover up our messes when it is our messes that most explicitly display the power of the Gospel. I understand we should use wisdom and discernment in sharing our failures and that context is everything. But that’s just it—context is everything. And within the context of a one-on-one personal relationship, I needed someone in ministry, I needed a pastor’s wife, I needed a strong-believing woman to kneel down to my level, look me in the eye, hold my hand, and whisper to the little girl inside of me that I can’t be perfect all the time.
I thank the Lord that He has provided men and women with spiritual maturity to do just that for us as a couple. Some of those same women who taught me how to run events have also taught me the most fundamental thing in life—running to Jesus.
Every week when my fiancé and I go into pre-marital counseling, the pastor doing our counseling asks if we have any questions for him based on the reading/activities/Scripture study we went through together in our workbook. Whether our workbook has us discussing finances, in-laws, or anything in between, my fiancé always asks the pastor, “In what ways do you feel like you and your wife failed in this and could’ve done better?”
This has absolutely changed the direction of our conversations. This is an important thing for all of us to know:
We almost learn more from someone else’s failures than we do from their successes because they had to overcome their failures to get to their successes. Failure teaches us something success can’t.
May we be leaders who use wisdom and discernment, always leading in transparency as we share about the power of God in our weakness as the only means for any of our accomplishments at all.