I can’t even count the number of times recently that I have said to myself or someone else, “I feel like I’m failing at everything!” It has felt like my new life motto. The sad part is that I’m not really in a particularly busy season of my life. That’s part of why I feel like I’m failing so much. I look around and I know that I should be able to handle things right now. There are technically plenty of hours in each day to accomplish the things I need to get done, I’m just not sure where all those hours are going.
Have you ever felt this way? Whether you’re a mom or not, or whether you work or not, doesn’t really matter. We all wear dozens of different hats, playing all kinds of roles and try to make it all work. Here’s just my quick brainstorm of some of the major roles I’m trying to fill.
- child of God
- mother of child one
- mother of child two
- small group leader
- dog owner
- financial manager
- nursery volunteer
If we received a letter grade for our performance in each of the roles we play in life, I’d currently be earning a big, fat F in just about every category. Failing at everything. Or so I feel. The laundry is so backed up that my kids have been going to bed in clothes because they don’t have any pajamas clean. My five-year-old daughter asked me to help her clean the dishes piling up in the sink last night because she was sick of looking at them! I’m so far behind in my to do list at work that I think my boss might be wondering if I’ve actually been showing up for work in the past month. My dog’s hair is longer than mine and I don’t even know when the last time someone played with him was. I’m sure you get the point.
Pause and make your plea to the right person.
The other day I just stopped all my stress and sat down with my Bible, a notebook, and God. I told him all about my failures. I told him how sorry I was that I couldn’t measure up to the person He created me to be. I apologized for laziness, misuse of my time and resources, and everything else I could think to blame things on. I prayed for strength and wisdom. I prayed for help. I was totally honest that I knew I was failing and I knew that He had given me everything I needed to do better, but I was still failing!
I thanked him for His grace, but pleaded with Him to help me to stop messing everything up! I told God that I knew He wanted me to be more faithful and to do more with the blessed life He has given me, but I needed Him to show me how because try as I might, no matter how hard I worked, things just keep falling through the cracks.
I want to serve God, but I can barely get dinner on the table every night.
I want to love my neighbor, but I’m ashamed to even talk to my neighbor for fear that they heard my child throwing a temper tantrum in the backyard last night.
I want to give generously, but I keep wasting all our money on junk instead of stewarding it more responsibly.
I want to “work hard as though serving the Lord, not man,” but I also really like being lazy.
Discover your true purpose.
And then, I opened up my Bible. I had no idea what to read or where to go. I just started thumbing through the pages and skimming over the highlighted and underlined passages. I stumbled across this:
The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being. (Acts 17:24-28, NIV)
God made the world, God created each and every one of us for one purpose. The entire reason that the human race exists on this earth is so that we “would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him.”
I am not created to be a good mother. I was not created to be a great employee. I was not designed for the purpose of spreading the gospel. My purpose in life is not to create a legacy of greatness. I was created to seek God. I was designed to reach out to God. My purpose in life is to find God. That is it. That should be my sole aim. Every part of my destiny is wrapped up in God’s desire for me to seek Him and find Him and know Him with all my heart.
It doesn’t matter if every dish in my kitchen is dirty. It doesn’t matter if I run fifteen miles a week or none at all. It doesn’t matter if I’ve looked at my budget today or if I haven’t thought about our bank account for a month. It doesn’t matter how many friends I have. It doesn’t matter how much I serve, how much I give, or how much I’m thankful. The one and only thing that matters in all of the world is me seeking Him, reaching for Him, and finding Him.
De-prioritize everything else.
How often do I prioritize sitting in silence listening to my Savior? When was the last time I stopped everything on my agenda and simply poured over Scripture to learn more about my Redeemer? What would my life look like if instead of trying so hard to accomplish greatness, I simply tried to learn more about the greatness of my King?
We all lead many different roles in our lives. And even if we pray daily for God’s strength, we might still fail at every single duty. But the one and only duty we were actually created for is to reach out for our Creator with all of our hearts.
I have a hunch that somehow, in God’s greatness, the answer to all of this “failing at everything” that we women regularly experience is simply to de-prioritize everything. God doesn’t need us to do anything. He “is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything.” He determines the times, the places, the circumstances. Our one and only priority is seeking Him. And once we find Him, in Him we will find the answers, the strength, the time, the energy, the everything we need to make everything else a perfect, beautiful success.
Seek Him with all of your heart, with all of your energy, and with all of your abilities. Nothing else really matters.
Today’s action step if you feel like you’re failing at everything:
Stop everything and spend some time in prayer. Grab your Bible and a journal and seek God’s face. Even if it’s only for five minutes, give Him your undivided attention and sit in His presence for as long as you can.
Share in the comments what you are doing to make sure that you prioritize seeking God in the days to come.
Book Recommendations to help
A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World by Paul E. Miller
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Life Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp