Feeling like a Failure
We all experience feelings of defeat at some time in our lives. Whether in our families, at work, relationships or in our faith-life, it’s a commonality we share. Life has its “ups and downs.” The competitiveness of life may make us feel as if we have lost the battle. In our prayer life with the Lord this can be felt, too: the feeling of not giving our best to God when it’s time to pray and reflect.
I have experienced this feeling. It is a feeling of sadness that my mind cannot slow down enough to experience His love. I know that He loves me either way, so I continue in my prayer each day. I pray for His enlightenment to guide me in my faith life. I also pray to move beyond the feelings of failure that come into my heart during these moments.
What to do to Move Beyond the Feelings
I have heard many a priest/religious speak of not giving much thought to the passing feelings life brings each day. One former spiritual director advised me once to observe the feeling come, but then observe it leave. I tried that for a while, but it doesn’t always do the trick. I say that with a laugh because it’s good advice. I think we all have times when even the best advice doesn’t seem to work. It is then I look up to the heavens and ask for the Holy Spirit to help me. I know God is with me even though I feel apart from Him at times: times when I feel defeated by life. It usually isn’t very long before things start looking brighter. I have found it is not an “overnight” process. It does take time.
Step One: Confidence in God
Separating ourselves from our feelings of defeat truly is a process with the Lord. He waits for us to walk the path back to Him. It is then we can possess the joy of life.
I believe the first step in the process is having confidence in God’s love. Having confidence in His greatness and providence. Turning to Holy Scripture can enlighten our minds and give us something to hold onto. God’s word is our inspiration.
“Therefore, let us go forth with confidence toward the throne of grace, so that we may obtain mercy, and find grace in a helpful time.” -Hebrews 4:16 NAB
Tidbits of God’s word are elements we can cling to and repeat when we need a boost of confidence. As this scripture states, we will find God’s mercy. We will also find grace at the right time when we need it. Despite “feelings,” this grace is still present. What a gift! We can hold on to God’s promises when we read His Word. Meditating slowly will help. I have found the simple action of meditating can help erase the failure. His love makes things better.
Taking Confidence with God to the Next Level
“Therefore, having such hope we act with confidence.” -2 Corinthians 3:12 NAB
After receiving new confidence in our hearts, we can take a step forward in love. We step forward toward our families and the world. I think as we pray with confidence, miracles begin to happen in our hearts. This awareness takes practice. It takes time as we slow ourselves down with God. It doesn’t mean we won’t get angry, say the wrong thing at times, or forget to pray. It does mean we can pick the pieces and begin again when we fail. The Lord will smile on and guide us back on good paths with him. Gradually feelings will follow, and we will get a glimpse of God’s own confidence in us. The Sacraments of our Church will be the pillar of the graces we need to do this.
God Believes in You
I once heard the phrase “God believes in YOU. Do you believe in HIM?” I think this means the Lord knows our attributes along with our failures. He still believes in our goodness each day even though we are not perfect. He knows we have times of failure. He still loves us! I think when we truly accept this fact, we can ask this question and have more confidence. Confidence in the love of God. Jesus believes in your goodness and in His mission for your life. Take the time and rest in this confidence. His love is just a prayer away. Be blessed in Him.
Copyright 2017 Anne DeSantis