failing before starting

How do you fail before starting? Well, I did just that. I had the desire to begin writing some of the things I am learning, experiencing, thinking. I wanted to name this blog something that fit my personality – maybe something catchy. Driving around my old stomping grounds (I miss you – here come the misty eyes), I came up with “a joyful adventure.”

Adventure was a given. It is the word I use to describe all kinds of daily experiences. My family thinks I am a little crazy as I find adventure in so many things – like when God buys my soda at the gas station (you can ask me about that later), or when I find myself chatting with a stranger, or when I join a neighborhood boot camp. Adventure is EVERYWHERE!!

Joyful just seemed to fit. It is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22), and I believe it is a choice. It is a word I want to describe my life, my heart, my interactions. So, the name was determined.

And then…

I failed at joy.

Before my first blog post, I failed at joy.

In the process of packing up my home of 21 years to move to another city in another state where I only know a handful of people, I failed at joy.

Basketcase would have been a better description. My precious, kind husband has experienced too many unexplainable tears. He blames it on hormones, which is a big possibility, but it is also much deeper. I was having a hard time explaining it.

It wasn’t the goodbyes (although those were tough) – I was (I am) very excited for this next part of our journey. It wasn’t getting rid of things – that was extremely freeing. After getting our kids off to their spring semester of college, I think I have pinpointed it.

It is fear. It is doubt. It is sin.

I was afraid of what I was going to do. For those who don’t know me, I am a stay at home empty nester. Having lived in the same area for the past 24 years, I realized my identity has been tied up in the many things I was doing at our church, in our community. I was moving to a new place. It is like a blank page that is exciting with so much promise yet terrifying with all the unknown. Insecurities, I didn’t know I had, surfaced, and I believed the lies.

When people ask you what you do, what will you say?

How will you find new friends?

How will you fill your days?

In these questions, I doubted God’s goodness. I doubted His sovereignty. I doubted His plan. I am so thankful that failure isn’t final. My failure to walk in joy and trust God is not the end. It was just a moment in my adventure. I am thankful that God graciously and patiently showed me the sin in my heart. I am so thankful he reminded me that my true identity is in Him alone. I am thankful for forgiveness.

I am spending 2018 reading through the New Testament. I am asking God, like the father in Mark 9, “I believe; help my unbelief.” And, I am asking Him to let me walk this adventure with joy. There is so much joy to be found in my new neighborhood, and I don’t want to miss it!

So, if you are experiencing some of what I have been feeling. If you feel like a basketcase, I am praying that you will stop and look to Jesus. I am praying you will join me in asking God to help our unbelief. I am praying that you will join me in receiving God’s grace that he lavishes on His children (Ephesians 1:8). I am praying that you will find joy in your adventure.


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