My sons have played soccer since they were five. They’ve dabbled in other sports but have consistently competed in travel soccer. We eat, breathe, and live soccer. So, imagine my surprise when my firstborn, Chance, at the beginning of his 7th grade year said, “Mom, I want to play football.”
First of all, he’s never played American football.
Second, his current stature was of a prepubescent miniature human ranking the smallest in his class.
I tried to talk him out of it, but then I realized my role as his mom was to foster a safe environment for him to try things and make decisions on his own. So he enrolled. Two weeks in, he said, “Mom, I hate football. Everyone has been playing since they were little, and I’m not good at it. I want to quit.”
I knew this would happen, but you’ll be happy to know I didn’t say that. Instead, I said, “Honey, we’re never good at things on the first try. And honestly, you may never be the best at football. That’s ok. I just need you to put in effort because you made a commitment. Our family doesn’t quit when things get difficult. We work hard so we are better than we were yesterday.”
Guess who stayed in the whole season? All of us.
We all go through seasons we loathe. For some of us, we don’t know if we can keep going for another day.
...you’re neck deep in diapers and just want sleep.
...your kids are grown and you question your purpose.
...you feel trapped in your job, marriage, or life.
...you’re in the middle of a divorce you never asked for.
...you’re picking up the shattered pieces of your heart, again.
...you don’t feel the presence of God and you wonder if He’s abandoned you.
You’re in a physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual famine.
Joel 2:25 says, “I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten…” God promises restoration. The famine will end. He goes on to say, “You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied…and my people shall never again be put to shame.”
Failure is certain. What matters is how we respond to it. Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again--more intelligently this time. So embrace failure and let it make you better.
Don’t stop showing up.
Don’t stop practicing.
Don’t take yourself out of the game.
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