It's human nature, nobody is perfect. We are all created perfectly imperfect in the image of God and we were created to make mistakes and sin. But, we were also created to learn from our mistakes.

So often we make mistakes that are small, we may excuse them or ignore them because no one wants to admit they're wrong. But, sometimes, the mistakes we make can be detrimental to our current or future situations.

FAILURE is a word I don't believe in. I don't think anyone in life ever FAILS, I think we all make mistakes and mess up, I think we all have times we wish we could have done better, but that doesn't make it a failure.

When we make mistakes, we learn. When we learn, we become better; better people, better friends, better learners and better children.

Recently my brother began writing his essay for his college applications and his prompt was "Describe a failure you experienced..". Originally, he began writing his essay around that prompt; he wanted his essay to reflect the hardships his family went through while he was in high school (my life-threatening illness & my grandma battling cancer) and how it had effected his education. He wanted to demonstrate that he realized he couldn't control the health conditions of me or my grandma, but he could control how he did in school. The kid is tough, he has been through things most high schoolers never experience. He had to step up to the plate and hold down the fort while his family's health was deteriorating right in front of his eyes. He had to put on a brave face and act like he was doing ok so my parents wouldn't be more worried than they already were; like I said, he's tough.

When we sat down last weekend to talk through his essay brainstorming he told me the direction he wanted to go in with his essay. He read me the prompt he chose to go off of and how he was going to explain why he had "failed" in his performance in school. He then went on to say he wanted the college essay readers to understand all that he learned from the family situations he was in and he wanted to acknowledge the success he's had since taking back control of his education. He was a resilient kid in the face of adversity, and to me, that is far from a failure.

My brother isn't just tough, he's extremely smart as well. I mean the kid has so many amazing qualities about him that it would take up a whole other article. He has a great GPA and a great SAT/ACT score, plus he's a phenomenal golfer and an overall well-rounded kid. Does he wish his GPA could have been a little better while he was dealing with his family life crumbling around him, yeah of course he does, but the GPA he had then was NOT a failure!

I told him I loved the topic and direction he was taking his essay in, but that I hated the prompt. I had him change it to a different prompt in which he could address the same topic he had wanted all along.

It was so important for him to know that nothing he has ever done in his life was a FAILURE. That is such a negative word. I wanted him to acknowledge the fact that sure, he may have made some mistakes, but so has everyone else. I knew, as he continued writing his essay and editing it over a long period of time, he would start internalizing his high school education as a failure (I mean I would too) & NONE of his hard work in high school was EVER a failure!!

Nothing in life is a failure. Nothing you put your hard work and effort into is a failure. We all make mistakes, and that's what we are supposed to do. We were born with Original Sin, we were born flawed.

It is not the mistakes that we make, but what we learn from those mistakes that define us a person.