Wednesday, July 4, 2012

From the Desert to the Valley: Even in the Season of Failure, Praise God!

Close Encounters…

If I would remember correctly, I've had some close encounters with failure.  My earliest would be getting, I think, a couple of red marks in nursery.  (I'm not sure though. I was just three then.)  My second was in grade 6.  I was really slow at typewriting.  My fingers would often slip through the keys of an ancient typewriter and I had to struggle to get each of them out.  I was "pasang-awa".  I was also terrible at Chemistry.  I didn't know what the subject was for, and so I would use the whole hour to draw, to fold papers, and to hope that I wouldn't be called for recitation.  But graciously, I passed.  

When I was in college, there was a time I was busy chitchatting with my seatmate that I had failed to hear what our professor was teaching for the following week's law exam.  Apart from these, I don't remember failing much anymore.  

In terms of love life, I had never tried.  Thanks to God and my parents for keeping me safe from this kind of failure.

Girl with a Big Mouth

I remember my prayer to God earlier this year.  I told God, “Lord, feel free to bring me through times of failures so that I may succeed.  I cannot never fail.  Through these failures, make me grow closer to You all the more.”  

Season of Failure

And I guess, prayer answered.

Recently, years after I graduated college, I feel like God is leading me through a season of failure. I could sing the phrase, "from the desert to the valley" straight from the heart.  The desert is the waiting stage, while the valley is the failure stage.  I was in waiting stage when I started the blog.

Let me share with you how I define the season of failure.  The failure is not the subject, or the person, but the moment of time when circumstances being faced by the person “lack success.”  You may have other terms.  It may be a “season of difficulty,” “a valley,” or “a trial.”

My season of failure is comprised of being turned down by companies that I’ve presented to, I’ve auditioned and applied for.  Take note of its plurality.  Week after week, I would receive, a “No.”  Most of the time, I did not know for what reasons.  I cannot put into words the gravity the “No’s” had on me.  Sadness is an understatement. 

Whispers of Encouragements

God has worked wonders in my life through this valley.  In the midst of the loud discouragements I can see and hear all day long about the pursuits, His whispers of encouragements calm me and make everything worthwhile.  

There was one day, I got to talk to some family members, friends of family members,  and my own friends who have told me to not register the business, to perfect the products first, to create different kinds of products, and basically to do something else.  I was actually thinking of cancelling all the meetings I had for the whole week and to reschedule them again when I feel more confident of this endeavor.  During my prayer time, through His still small voice, He reminded me of what I learned that Sunday, “Walk by faith in My word first.  Your emotions will follow.”

Three times in the past two weeks, God has allowed me to dream of Mori Notes.  In one dream, my friend was telling me to go pursue Mori Notes because it will help the housewives.   In my second and third dreams, I had so much orders that it was overwhelming.  

Just a few days ago, I was asking God, should I really really pursue it or not.  I felt an assurance in my heart, that wherever I go, He is also there with me (Psalm 139).

His whispers make me realize that I am still on the right track.  And as long as God is with me, I can walk through the deepest valley victoriously.

Whenever you receive a “No,” praise God!

Just this morning, I was asking God, why do I have to experience failures.  Why do I have to be turned down.  Here are some realizations:

  1. A “No” may be God’s way of nudging you using His rod and telling you, “Don’t go there.”  Like a clueless sheep, I want to try anything and everything that comes my way, and that interests me.  But not all are beneficial.
  2. Failure is very humbling and it can make you more dependent on God.  It makes you realize that you are no superwoman… you are actually a nobody.  When you get a “yes,” it’s not anymore dependent on your abilities, but God’s.
  3. It allows you to appreciate, enjoy, glorify and be grateful towards God more when you get an unexpected blessing or a “yes.”
  4. The bigger the failure, the more impossible the deliverance, the greater God’s glory is revealed.  Failure gives you a story to share that will bless others.
  5. Failure adds strength to your character, determination to your pursuit, color to your story, wisdom to your decision making, and endurance to your greater trials ahead.
  6. A failure is a test of faith in Christ.  Will your faith and vision of Him shake if you were shaken?  A suggestion from “A Woman of Influence” by Pam Farrel is to make an altar for God.  An altar is built to remind God's people, from generation to generation, God's great work.  Write a song or a poem.  Draw or paint.  Create crafts or sculptures.  Stone by stone, etch there truth about God’s character.  And whenever you get a “no,” look at your altar.  Praise God for God’s character never changes. 

Here’s a sample calligraphy altar I made of God:

 Even in the season of failure, praise God! :)