Failure Won't Define Me

Failure Won't Define Me

Even though the world might misunderstand, I know who I am and God does too.
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Do you ever feel like the world hates you? Because sometimes, I do. People misunderstand you. You make mistakes, people see it and they think it defines you. Do people know me as the girl who did that? How do I show my face in here again?

"Though he may stumble, he will not fall,
for the Lord upholds him with his hand."
Psalm 37:24 New International Version (NIV)

Have you ever felt like all you’ve done is mess up? Because I have. I make mistakes, though I probably should have learned my lesson from the first hundred I’ve made since coming to college. At times, I’ve found myself three steps behind where I need to be. More than once I’ve had to stop and step away from the situation in order to step closer to God. When those times come, like losing a battle, I retreat and find refuge in God’s word. There’s one story that I’ve returned to a few times, it’s about David.

In the Old Testament, 2 Samuel, chapter eleven, David commits adultery with Bathsheba. He saw her bathing on her roof, immediately was overwhelmed by how beautiful she was and acting as king, he ordered for her to be brought to him. They slept together, despite her being married, and she became pregnant. Instead of stopping there to realize his mistake, David took matters into his own hands in an attempt to fix the problem. He ordered for the woman’s husband to be sent to the frontline of battle knowing that he would be killed. The man was killed and David felt it was then, acceptable to marry Bathsheba.

Now, wait. You’re probably thinking, wasn’t David the one who killed Goliath with a stone? Didn’t he write most of the psalms? And do we not call David the man after God’s own heart? David sinned and he didn’t even realize it until God sent the prophet, Nathan, to tell him. David angered God and as a result, God took the child’s life.

Despite committing adultery with Bathsheba and having her husband killed, David still is the one that killed Goliath, he did write over seventy psalms, and in Acts, he is called a man after God’s heart.

“After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’” Acts 13:22 New International Version (NIV)

Just like David, we make horrible mistakes and they sometimes have horrible consequences. Can you imagine the amount of guilt David felt after his son died? Whenever I make a big mistake that I end up regretting, I always go back to read this story. Because when people hear of David, they don’t think of him as the man who committed adultery. They think of him as the man after God’s own heart, the man who wrote psalms, who was king, who was a shepherd boy, who brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, and to whom God told “‘Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’” 2 Samuel 7:16.

David messed up but people don’t know David solely by his mistake. When I mess up, it feels like all that people see is that and they don’t see who I actually am. Maybe that’s true, people are judgemental. However, I’m not the only one making mistakes in this world. When people look at me and see me making mistakes, they have no right to judge. Sure David sinned when he slept with Bathsheba, but we all sin and fall short of the glory of God. I don’t look at David as an adulterer. And I hope people don’t label me by the mistakes I've made.

"For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble then calamity strikes." Proverbs 24:16 New International Version (NIV)

This is life, stuff happens. Don’t let the guilt from your mistakes overwhelm you. Don’t be too ashamed to show your face. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone messes up and it has some effect on their reputation. I’m sure David regretted sleeping with Bathsheba and having her husband killed, but in the end, he had another child with her.

“And they named him Solomon. The Lord loved him.” 2 Samuel 12:24 New International Version (NIV)

I won’t deny that I’ve made a ton of mistakes since coming to college. I’ve messed up a little and I’ve messed up a lot. Even though people might judge me by what they’ve seen, I choose not to let their judgment define me. Even though the world might misunderstand, I know who I am and God does too.

“...But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead” Philippians 3:13 New International Version (NIV)
Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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To Everyone Who Hasn't Had Sex Yet, Wait For Marriage, It's The Right Move

If you have not had sex yet, wait.

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Premarital sex is not a new concept, no matter how much people like to pretend it is. You can trace scripture and historical texts back thousands of year to see that lust and fornication have been a problem since… well, since we humans have been problems.

They tell you in sex ed that sex causes you to form a bond with someone. They throw some big chemical names at you that are apparently in your body and cause that emotional attachment to happen, then you move on (or back to) how important condoms are and why STDs are so scary.

As a middle schooler or teenager, you can't understand what it means to become permanently connected to someone as a result of a quick, physical act.

If you haven't even had your first kiss, you really can't imagine what it's like to develop such a complex and intimate connection with someone because you have yet to feel the butterflies in your stomach from a kiss. So you really don't know what it's like to have a whole different type of feeling in your stomach.

You never forget your first love. It's one of the most cliche things you consistently hear, but it's true. Ask anyone. I guarantee your parents can still spurt out their first love's name in a few seconds. And most people never forget their first time. I know all my friends can recount that often awkward and slightly terrifying moment as if it happened an hour ago. When you mix those two, especially if you are in your teens, oh boy.

You never forget that. No matter how hard you try.

Everything you hear about sex is true: it's amazing, fantastic, life-changing, etc. There's a reason people have done it as frequently as they do, for as long as they have. But every time you sleep with someone, you leave a piece of yourself with them. Every time you choose to take that final physical step with someone, you cannot go back and collect that piece of your dignity and soul that you left with someone.

So, imagine what happens when you break up with someone you've slept with. Or that you just hooked up with. You have given someone a little slice of yourself forever. And you can never get it back. And imagine what happens when you do that multiple times. You give a piece of yourself to five, 10, 15, 20 or more people. Then you meet the person that you want to spend forever with. And you no longer have that whole part of you. You've given pieces away, and you can no longer give those to the love of your life.

So, save those pieces for your future spouse.

If you have not had sex yet, wait. If you have, consider not giving more pieces of yourself away to people who are not your spouse. Sex was created to be between two spouses, nobody else. So we need to try to maintain its integrity.

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(12-10) 11 Bible Verses To Ease Your Mind During Finals Week

Through God, all things are possible.

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Finals week seems like one of the most important weeks in a college student's life. Every waking moment is spent studying (and most moments are waking moments because your sleep schedule is messed up). There may be a few moments of weakness; some tears may be shed. Overall, your stress level is through the roof.

Well, this is the time for you to rely on God, not to blow-off your spiritual life. He is there for you -- His love, His dedication, His patience, His care. You need to place your Faith in The Lord. Through God, all things are possible.

1) When you are overly scared about your cumulative final exam. 

"So we say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?'" -- Hebrews 13:6.

2) When your anxiety and nervousness are getting the best of you. 

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." -- Joshua 1:9.

3) When you cannot stop ruminating on your past mess-ups and failures. 

"Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." -- Philippians 3:13-14.

4) When you are placing too much pressure on the outcomes of these exams.

"Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." -- Colossians 3:2.

5) When you are exhausted from studying and need to rest. 

"When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet." -- Proverbs 3:24.

6) When you are wondering if the stress is even worth it.  

"For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again." -- 2 Corinthians 5:14-15.

7) When you are worried about how these exams can affect your future. 

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." -- Jeremiah 29:11.

8) When your need for control is getting the best of you. 

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." -- Isaiah 55:8-9.

9) When you are feeling alone. 

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." -- 1 Peter 5:7.

10) When you are stuck in a study rut. 

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." -- 2 Corinthians 4:18.

11) When you need some inspiration. 

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." -- Galatians 5:22-23.

Take a deep breath and know that you are almost done with the semester. Good luck and happy studying!

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