Fear of Failure

We knelt on the floor, close to the ground with the dim light and high ceiling covering us. We grasped hands as we spoke the concerns of our hearts, and we believed that He would hear.

That night as we sat as a group of women, our husbands in another room, we shared openly and honestly. And even though all of our requests were different, the underlying feeling of fear in each story was palpable.

Feeling tired and frustrated as a mother. Holding worry for a sibling with cancer. Watching parents’ health decline. Carrying a rotten work-week long after the office was closed. While all the requests were different, it struck me that we all were afraid.

We were afraid that our children who wouldn’t obey were a sign that we weren’t good mothers. We were afraid that we couldn’t be the rock for our sister in her time of need. We were afraid of the helplessness involved with sickness and disease. We were afraid that we weren’t the good example that we had hoped to provide. We were afraid of failing when it mattered.

And as I listened to these requests for prayer, knowing the condition of my own heart, I felt so convicted. Why do I let this fear of failure consume me? Why do I judge myself so much more harshly than I would ever judge anyone else? And why is it so hard to give to God that which I cannot do?

I thought about this idea all week, and, of course, I was tested today. My children were defiant, and I didn’t feel well. If ever I needed them to obey, it was today, but they didn’t. And I found myself internalizing their bad choices, making them about me. I must not know how to discipline. If my children don’t respect their own mother, how I can ever expect that they will respect any authority figure? What am I doing wrong that they don’t care?

I had forgotten that they are imperfect creatures, and they are young. And while they fed off of each other, as children so close in age tend to do, I fed off of the lie that I was failing and, therefore, ruining my children.

And that is when God whispered in my ear.

You haven’t leaned on me.

I don’t believe that God is some genie in a bottle whom I rub when I need a quick solution; instead, He is there to walk with me when I have a long haul. And I needed to let Him walk with me, admitting to Him that I needed help, accepting that I’m not perfect, but believing that I wasn’t ruining my children, either.


photo via photobucket.com

I am sure that I have many failings as a mother, and I’m sure the Super Nanny would love to teach me a thing or two. But I’m also sure that I go before the Lord most every night and every morning on behalf of my children and in my own quest for wisdom. And I know He hears me, and I know He honors my prayers.

And He hears you, too. He knows the fears you carry, and He wants to carry them instead.

None of us will reach perfection. All of us will fail. And that’s okay.

He didn’t expect any different, so why should we?

14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.[f] And by him we cry, “Abba,[g] Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children (Romans 8:14-16, New International Version, 2010).


Do you let the fear of failure take over? How has God dealt with this fear you carry?

Or share your own journey that you are currently taking! What is God teaching you? Link your post below!



5 thoughts on “Fear of Failure

  1. Or at least I tried…but I don't see it. Do you have to approve it first? If so, you may see two of the same from me (I tried twice), so just delete one.


    1. I'm so excited you're linking up this week! That's fine to link with something you wrote earlier–everything you've written recently has been awesome. I'm not seeing your link, either, so let me investigate. It can take a few minutes to show up sometimes, but I would think it should show by now…I'll get back to you!


  2. Couldn’t help but wonder, if the husbands in another room were expressing their own doubts/fears. Whether they were good enough as a husband and/or
    daddy; maybe both. Were they providing well enough for their families? How about job security and room for promotions? Men don’t usually express these issues to other men; but probably harbor them.
    We all have fears but you are so absolutely right that we need to lean on HIM.
    Jo, the Super Nanny, doesn’t have all the answers either. Wouldn’t you love to see the “take outs” from her shows?:)


    1. The men finished much quicker than the ladies, so I'm not sure they all unburdened their hearts like we were. But you're right–I'm sure they each carry their own fears, too.

      I would love for Jo to come over without the cameras. Of course, everyone would act fine while she was here, but I seriously would love to hear her tips. I have a certain child in mind who could probably give her a run for her money.


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