I’m a firm believer that we must always keep learning, whether that’s in the workplace or our personal life. Part of learning may require tests or testing of ourselves. This past weekend I had the privilege to experience some very intense training scenarios to learn skills on how to better protect myself and my flock (and to gain knowledge that I can pass onto other ladies like you). This training involved a lot of thinking skills, but also adrenaline and the unknown. Then add in being with peers who are there watching you through the process. When the scenario was done, I didn’t live up to my own expectations, and not just once. After one of these scenarios late in the training, I couldn’t hold it any longer. My frustration at myself and grading myself with an “F” became apparent to one of the other ladies that I was on the verge of a meltdown.
Have you been there? I had not in a situation like that. I’m a strong person. I typically don’t show feelings like that to anyone other than my husband. Failure is a hard pill to swallow for myself (and probably many of you as well). But then something beautiful happened. My flock came around me there and reminded me of three very important things…
First of all, no one was grading me. There was no pass/fail. We were there to learn and experience. I was grading myself. Ladies, we need to learn to stop putting a measuring stick up to ourselves. The only measure we need is of God’s fullness in our life.
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. – Galatians 1:10 (ESV)
Secondly, the purpose of the intense training was to set us up for failure so we could learn from it. How better to learn something than to fail at it? Pick yourself up again and go back at it, learn from it and grow. These quotes sum it up pretty well…
“A failure is not a loss. It’s a gain. You learn. You change. You grow.” – Unknown
“Failure is not the opposite of success, it is part of success.” – Arianna Huffington
Finally, I learned that your flock is anyone around you that cares enough for you to stop everything going on and encircles you to protect you from Satan taking hold of negative thoughts. Most of the ladies in this group I have only met one or two other times. Yet, they hugged me and encouraged me. If you are in a similar situation and see another Shepherdess struggling, even if you don’t know her well, jump in to help protect her and build her up.
Let each of you look not only to his own interests,
but also to the interests of others. – Philippians 2:4 (ESV)
Shepherdess, remember to never stop learning, even if there is a risk of failure. Push forward with courage and surround yourself with your faith, and your flock to support you as you go!
“It is better to make a thousand failures than to be too cowardly to ever undertake anything.” – Clovis G. Chappell