It’s one title with multiple meanings.
We’re nearly approaching our day to leave and head home, so that’s a prominently present reality in our minds; simultaneously as prominent, in these past few days, was the notion of certain failure in a couple of areas. To be more specific, I mean that Chrystel and I were recently both faced with a sense of failure in some of things we had wanted to accomplish or live out. It was worse knowing that it came now so close to the end.
It’s almost a given, though, isn’t it? –failure when trying new things and endeavouring for great goals. It’s not necessarily required; it’s just a part of life.
That’s why I’ve come to feel that I should neither be so surprised nor so hard on myself when it does happen. Too often, we despair or condemn ourselves when we commit a mistake, as if we’ve forgotten that we’re human and that it’s a natural part of our existence. I was taught that it at least demonstrates that you’re extending yourself beyond your limits and stretching your comfort zone (when it’s fueled by something other than stupidity, of course.)
The most important thing to remember, though, is that we are not defined by our mistakes — or even our accomplishments, for that matter. Your identity still remains intact if you remember why it is that you really matter in life. (You matter because God loves you, to state the simple obvious.)
We concluded that our focus should not be on the mistakes, but on how we deal with them and what we do about them. It can be okay as long as we take responsibility and ownership for our errors. At the very least, we know that’s what our parents will care more about when we get back.
I guess that’s another good meaning for this title. Leaving failure. You leave it behind after dealing with it rather than holding onto the memory and letting it affect you. Grace and forgiveness are really what make it possible anyway. With that, and with not giving up, it usually turns out all right in the end. Keeping hope is massively important; and the reality is that God will always be there to help bring things to complete restoration.
In the end, it wasn’t as dramatically disastrous as we had felt it was in the moment (another good thing to keep in mind.)
Incidentally, here’s the other huge thing I learned: When something bad or difficult happens, and a girl goes into a mood of utter despair and everything is gloom and doom, oftentimes all that’s necessary is to let her talk on and on and vent it all out. You keep your mouth shut and simply nod your head and say an occasional “M-hm. I understand.” Then, once she’s done, you can rest in peace and stop fearing for your life. I’m speaking very generally, of course….