Monday, 25 February 2013


Failure. Even the word conjures up bad feelings. I have often felt in the past that my life has been marked by failure. In primary school, I failed to be accepted and was bullied. I failed the entrance exam for the secondary school I wanted to go to. I walked out of mock exams because I had a panic attack. I failed to control my emotions and was depressed. I failed to get the grades for medical school straight after school. I didn't complete my degree in St Andrews. When I did get to medical school, I failed my exams. I have had eight years of university education and nothing really to show for it; and now, yet again, my body has failed to maintain its health.

I think that the worst part of failure is knowing that you're not good enough. When I have failed at things in the past, it was always accompanied by a sense of shame and embarrassment."What will people think?" would feature in my thoughts. I started to fear failure, especially in academia, and as a result my anxiety increased to a level that was unmanageable. It would also stop me from doing things in case I failed at them. 

But that was then. My perspective on failure has completely changed.  There are lots of things that I have succeeded at, but that is not the point. The success that I have had does not make me feel better about the times I failed; one does not cancel out the other. What has changed my perspective is looking back and seeing how, through failure, my character has been built. There are two ways to respond to failure - stay on the ground or get up and run. The greatest lesson I have learned from these experiences is perseverance. It is still feels rubbish when failure comes but having the resilience to bounce back trumps that feeling because I know that it is only temporary. I am a strong person now, not because of failure itself, but because of what God has taught me through those experiences. Whatever happens I know I will not be given more than I can cope with. This gives me freedom to attempt new and challenging things with the crushing fear of failure.

I may not be good enough at lots of things in this life but that doesn't really matter anymore. Through my own strength, even though I tried as hard as I could, I could never meet the requirements to have a relationship with God. It was only through believing in Jesus that the infinitely large chasm could be crossed. Now I know that because I have faith in Jesus, I will always be good enough for God because when He looks at me He sees me covered with the perfection of Jesus. So even though, by human standards, I may continue to fail and not be good enough, I will always be good enough for God.  

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