Falling (why I’m thankful for mistakes)

I used to be deathly afraid of making mistakes.

Not only as a straight-A student, not only as a classical pianist, but also as a person. I pictured this ideal of who I was supposed to be and found the idea of slipping outside of those imagined lines unbearable.

It has taken a lot to learn to accept the messiness that is me. I’m still learning.

I’m learning it’s okay to get it wrong. It’s okay to change your mind. It’s okay to attempt something you aren’t completely sure you can do. It’s okay to uncover ugliness inside yourself. I’m learning to embrace change and the unknown a little more. But mostly, I’m learning to rest in the grace of God.

canstockphoto15855432When the concept of grace is made real to you, when you realize that the God of the Universe––who could operate any way He chooses––operates in grace, that He longs to be gracious to you, that His grace is available at any time you choose to humble yourself and receive it.. it changes everything.

You realize you are unshakable.

The end of this month marks five years since I moved to Korea, and looking back, I think one of the most important things I’ve learned these past five years is that I am free to make mistakes. I’m not talking about excusing foolishness or forsaking one’s moral responsibility, I’m referring to the freedom to explore new territory and get a little lost along the way.

I used to think God was a rulebook.

I used to think He expected repayment for rescuing me. I used to think He shook His head every time I got something wrong. But the older I get and the more mistakes I make, the more I realize that God is all about relationship––He is LOVE. He didn’t rescue me from darkness so I would feel like I owed Him. He rescued me so I could be with Him. The price Jesus paid on that cross didn’t have anything to do with obligation. It had everything to do with a desire and longing for connection. It had everything to do with love.

So I still don’t enjoy making mistakes. I don’t think I ever will. But I’ve learned to be thankful for my mistakes, because they prove that who I am and how I am loved is not a temporary state that can be lost. Who I am and how I am loved is unshakable.

The best part of failing is finding Him so close beside me, and the best part of falling is having Him catch me. I wouldn’t trade that part of the process for anything.



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After living in South Korea for over 7 years, Elizabeth is back in the States finding a new normal. Currently in seminary, she is enjoying unpacking questions of faith in a new context. Amidst the tension of brokenness and conviction, she continues to find grace. And above all else, she continues to pursue the God who inspires childlike wonder.

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