on failure in the wilderness [and eating in my bed.]

I should have written a blog last night.  It’s not that I didn’t have time–I was eating take out on my bed in a hotel room and watching HGTV like it was my job because I don’t have cable at home and PROPERTY BROTHERS!  Really, this is research for when I buy my farm, right?

 girl on bed.

Seafood turned out to be a poor take out choice because a hotel room is smaller than you might think and fish more potent than you might imagine.  After a mild panic that all of my clothes for the week would now smell of fried fish, I brilliantly tied up the bag, stashed it in the bathroom trash can, and shut the door for the night.  You might wonder why I didn’t just take it to the lobby, but that would have required more clothes and seeing people.  So, now you understand.

There was a time not that long ago when this all-or-nothing extremist would have been paralyzed after missing a blogging day.  I would declare my attempt unsuccessful and give up completely on this 31 day commitment.

If I couldn’t do it perfectly, it wasn’t worth doing at all.

If I didn’t get it right, I might as well give up.

If I wasn’t making progress, then I must be losing ground.

The only harder than trudging through the wilderness is carrying that pressure while you walk.

And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”

Numbers 14:4

“We can’t do this, we might as well go back.”  The Israelites are no strangers to wanting to turn back, wanting to give up, wanting to return to the start.  And as many times as they’d failed, I can’t say I blame them.  They blamed the Lord, they blamed themselves, they blamed Moses–but whatever way you look at it, their failures would have sent me running back to the start.

Some of us are overwhelmed by the many times we get it wrong on this journey.  Some of us are so afraid of taking the wrong step that we can’t even figure out where to set our feet.  And some of us simply believe our very presence in the wilderness is the result of a failure on our part.

Some of us are beating ourselves up over poor choices made and others won’t make any choice at all because we’re terrified it’s the wrong one.

The wilderness oozes with lies about our performance and failure.  Our tender spirits are fertile ground for those lies to take root, and if our failures don’t lead us in circles, our thoughts certainly will.

But the challenge of the wilderness is to keep moving forward, despite failures or mistakes.  To pick ourselves up and recover and move on.  To believe that one misstep doesn’t disqualify us for the task and doesn’t negate the progress we’ve made.

There’s no room for perfection on this wilderness way.

31 days of truth.

This post is part of 31 days of truth from the wilderness.  Click here to see all blogs in this series.

  • Susan Roy

    Love your honesty – we can all relate!

  • Jimmy

    if you can’t win… don’t play… am I right? doh…

    • http://kellychadwick.org/ Kelly Chadwick

      I was waiting for this comment from you. :)

  • Carrie Hokanson

    It is hard not to believe our presence in the wilderness is the result of our failures and missteps. Typically, I go crazy trying to fix it, figure out where it all went wrong… and well I did a lot of things right so don’t I deserve a little promised land by now, God?! so where is it? Nope, still in the desert. So why try at all..Then I feel guilty for feeling entitled, and I think ohhh this is why I am in the wilderness. Then start the cycle all over, feeling guilty and trying to fix it all.. blek. this is my brain in the crazy, but your words refresh my weary spirit. Thanks, Kel.

    • http://kellychadwick.org/ Kelly Chadwick

      Yes, exactly, this cycle of crazy! So thankful for you along this journey!

  • Jeff Davenport

    For some reason, I couldn’t send you a FB message (?!)… so my message goes here:

    Please continue writing. This is all so good… good… good. It’s been medicine for my soul. I hate that you’re in this season, but I’m thankful you’re writing during it… sharing your thoughts and throwing back the curtains to let light in.

    Keep it up. You’re a talent and I appreciate your spirit and the words flowing from it.

    -Jeff Davenport