You may or may not have heard the name Brené Brown, and if you have not, I strongly suggest you look up her TED Talk on YouTube! You’ve definitely been impacted by her work, in one way or another. Brené is a speaker, story-teller, and shame-researcher. As you likely know, the area of shame is a hot topic in our world today, and what I think Brené uniquely seeks to do is very gospel-driven. Her desire is to understand things like shame, empathy, vulnerability, and connection - and it has impacted much of my thinking when it comes to how I show up in my life. In fact, in 2018, my cousin and I read Brené’s book, Rising Strong, and together we discovered how hard it is to be vulnerable, but in the same sense, how worth it vulnerability is!
“It is not the critic who counts…[no, instead] the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly...and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly...”
This figurative man showed up to the fight, even if he knew he’d fail. He showed up with his whole heart, even when it hurt, and dared greatly to love in the face of previous hurt, to start the business in the face of risk, to go for the promotion that felt like a longshot, to evangelize to the person in his family who hates God, to pray for the miracle healing even though it may not happen. The truth is, he, and we too, can dare greatly, even when it’s risky!
....Sounds inspiring, right? Well, it is, but it’s also messy!
You see, this idea of daring greatly has been one I’ve wrestled with a lot the last few years. How do I both dare greatly AND fail well? What does it even mean to fail well? How do I obey God and risk big with wisdom? And how do I fail gracefully, while also still glorifying God? Below are just a few things I’ve learned in thinking, praying, and talking through these issues:
1) Failing well doesn’t mean you don’t risk. If you never risk, you never fail, which means you never succeed.
2) When you fail (and you will) learn from it and keep going! Persevere.
3) Jesus will break your fall, every time. And He can handle your failure.
4) If you risk for Him, it will be worth it - He’s a Master Weaver!
These four truths have kept me going like a buoy in rocky waves throughout the last year. You see, whether others knew it or not, I’ve felt like I failed a lot in the last year. And it’s been vulnerable and crushing at times. I failed in big and small ways in career, friendships, love, housing, finances, business, etc. - and it’s been hard. I’m sure in many ways this will continue to be true. But the central thing I’ve learned throughout all this failure is there will ALWAYS be storms, but there will also, ALWAYS be Jesus.
I was recently the maid of honor in my best friend’s wedding, and one of the gifts she gave all her bridesmaids was a simple metal ring with a wave in the design. This small gift has been an anchoring point for me - it helps me to remember that Jesus is my Strong Tower in the storms of my life. That, like Peter, I can choose to trust Him. And trust, I have.
He will catch you. He is faithful, even when you fail. Because here’s the thing y’all: Failure is part of life in a Fallen world.
I know for a fact it is He who has sustained me. It is He who has spoken life and truth to my weary soul through music, through His Word, through the balm of a friend’s words. It is He who has restored what the locusts have eaten. It is He who has grown me up, pruned me, and dressed me as the vine I am in His hands. I can honestly say if it were not for this last year full of failure, I would not know Him the way I do now, and for that I am truly grateful.
One Biblical story that has been a surprising comfort to me in this season has been the story of the unnamed woman who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment in a crowd. This saint with an “issue of blood” had been to many medical doctors and experienced much failure. She had tried it her way, the world’s way, and any other way she could get her hands on! She was worn out. She was tired. She was desperate. This medical failure drove her to Jesus. It drove her to dare greatly - right into the arms of the Healer! She didn’t just quit, even after much failure. She didn’t lay down and choose apathy or bitterness. No, instead, she showed up for her life and trusted God one more time.
I think that’s the main thing I want to remind you all today: Yes, dare greatly! But more importantly, dare greatly with Christ at the hem. He will catch you. He is faithful, even when you fail. Because here’s the thing y’all: Failure is part of life in a Fallen world.
It just is, we can’t avoid it, but so, too, is risk. So, I say, risk boldly and dare greatly - knowing that Jesus has your back. Or, as Paul put it in Phil. 1:21, remind yourself that “To live is Christ, and to die is gain!”
Witness to the broken.
Go bold in your career.
Show up for your life!
No fear - go all in for Jesus. Dare Greatly - with Christ at the hem.
Bekah Brewer wants to live in a world where discipleship is the thriving heartbeat of the whole Church. When she’s not practicing the art of digital marketing for Media Tractor or editing for her side business (Words Redeemed), you can find her playing soccer, pouring into friends & family, or planning out more times of fun, rest, and growth. Her favorite verse is Philippians 1:27a: "Just one thing: Live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” (HCSB)