Growth is a funny thing. It’s something we all want and desire. It happens every minute of our days until it becomes very evident one day with a wrinkle here and there to the first gray hair appearing. Growth can be fun and it can also be a tough thing to endure. It’s not based on feelings or want and then on the other hand it can be based on your attitude of embracing it whether growth will happen for you or not.

But there is one constant in growth and that is mistakes, lack, or failure. Without the appearance of these “negative” things we would never know our need for growth. Nor would we aspire to grow and go for more than we are experiencing right now. They are motivators given to us from our Heavenly Father above. He tells us he is made perfect in our weaknesses (1 Corinthians 12:9). It allows the fullness of whom our Heavenly Father is to manifest in our lives causing us to live bigger, brighter, and better than we could ever hope or imagine. Without him and our deep need to have him (us recognizing our own lack) we cannot live the successful lives we were so eloquently designed to have.

Was our ABBA Father just having a sinister moment or a bad day in creation that he put this “necessary evil”, as the world would call it, into place? Absolutely NOT! It’s quite the opposite of anything evil but the existence of the deep love of our Father who valued us so greatly that he gave us the ability to choose him and not to be forced to love him and grow in him. Wanting us to realize that we have a great need to have him, want him, and desire him to be with us at all times.

Once again in my life I am reminded of my great need that I have to allow my Papa to manifest all that he is through me to impact the lives of those that I touch; that I am a carrier of his love to be shared with all within my reach. But that can only happen when I am dependent on him, embracing growth and all it has to offer me. Realizing that my failures don’t define me but point me back to him and my commitment to have all that I was so eloquently designed to have through his great love for me.

Growing up I was always independent and responsible almost to a fault. Never knowing when I should rely on other’s wisdom or when to ask necessary questions that could save me heartache and disappointment. I often took the route of relying on myself and I can figure it out all on my own. And this behavior followed me into my marriage as well. It was not hard for me to figure out that it caused a lot of conflict between me and Tom as I did not always play team well with him. Leaving him disappointed and discouraged by my behavior. Causing him to feel disrespected and not trusted. To say we were on crazy cycle is an understatement.

But I not only was perpetuating the crazy cycle with Tom, I also came to the deep realization that I did not trust God either. So I couldn’t give to Tom what was necessary because I couldn’t do it with God either. Thus started my journey of emotional healing and repentance to the Father as I learned to trust him and others, especially Tom, and how to be interdependent and not independent. It was pretty rough at first for me as the Lord made it really evident to me that if I didn’t get on this path of learning to trust my papa I would never have the marriage I wanted. Because you can’t give what you don’t have and all things filter down.

I swallowed a lot of hard truth pills in this process from the Lord. Especially learning to own my part in the breakdown of the relationship no matter what. Even when I didn’t feel like it was my fault. I had to learn to put Tom first above myself and to see life from his perspective and trust God with his heart and his character changes. Not as easy as it may sound. To go from self preservation at all costs to dying to self for the betterment of someone else knowing that my precious Daddy had something better for us if I would stay the course.

There were a lot of tough growing moments and seasons; also, a lot of not allowing my emotions to dictate my responses and actions. To be honest, I failed a lot. But I didn’t stay there. I kept picking myself up and going after the next opportunity the Lord brought to me determined to overcome and to be all that he destined me to be. Those closest to me watched me walk this journey over the past 21 years even cheering me on in my weakest moments. But now I have a marriage like no other. It’s everything I hoped for. I trust Tom immensely and we can have a breakdown without silent treatments or yelling. My failures kept pointing me back to the Father who patiently taught me what I did not know – leading me to great success in my marriage and life. I willing chose life in the Father even though quite often it felt like death.

My failures and mistakes point me back to where I lacked and needed more of him to shine through me –illuminating my path of growth and success. He makes me who I am and nothing else. Not even myself can take the credit for who I am because if it wasn’t for him showing me the way to all things, I wouldn’t be who I am with my ability to love and forgive all. He chose to call me perfect despite my lack, mistakes, and failures. He has called me to laugh at myself in my foolishness and has laughed with me encouraging to keep going forward and embrace the next opportunity he brings my way by provoking me with “I dare you to try this one!” With much expectation of greatness in his voice he continues on to say, “You can’t even imagine where this one will take you! I am elated with joy for you! Please try one more time!”

So I too dare you to defy the odds of what culture says about failure, mistakes, and lack. I dare you to wrap yourself in the Father’s embrace whose says you are perfect despite any of it. I dare you to sit on his lap and laugh with him. I dare you to believe what he believes about you and your growth process. I dare you to wholeheartedly live out each opportunity he brings your way no matter how big or how small. You are more than enough and your failures don’t define you but point your way to him. It is your time to spread your wings and fly. Soaring high in Him. Picking yourself up again and laughing with him saying, “Oh yeah! Go ahead! Dare me one time and watch me soar! I have nothing to lose because I have you!”

Michelle Preble
Transformation Director

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