How comfortable are you with failure?

I think it’s important to ask yourself “what would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail,” but the truth is, failure IS a potential outcome.

But rather than fear failure, what if we looked at it another way:

 

What if God took what you saw as your greatest failures, and turned them into your greatest blessings?

 

I’ll be honest, we can only see this looking back – it’s real hard to see this in the moment – but I hear story after story of how this is true.

And it’s true in my own life as well.

 

I graduated college in 2008, right as the housing marketing was slowing and the economy was coming to a halt.

After my internship in Washington D.C. ended in Dec 2008, I spent the next 7 months unemployed… with over $25k in student loan debt.

I ended up moving back to Cali and working at the mall… with my double major in international relations and Russian area studies. Lotta good that did me…

 

I felt like a total failure.

I was so ashamed that I couldn’t find a ‘real job’ after college and I felt totally alone – like I was the only person going through that at the time. (I laugh at this thought now – was I really that self-obsessed?!)

 

My parents took an assignment in Bangladesh, and by the spring of 2010 I knew that’s where God wanted me as well.

I was excited for the adventure, excited to get more ‘office experience,’ excited to pay off my loans and start to feel like a real adult.

After maxing out my credit card to even pay for the plane ticket to Dhaka, I was told that the State Department was on a hiring freeze, but maybe the position I was slated for would open up in the fall.

 

You’ve got to be freakin kidding me…

So now this shitty little third world country was my best option?! Really, God? Really?

I had nothing to go ‘home’ to. No job, no car, no hope.

 

What I couldn’t see in those moments of fear and frustration was that God was giving me the desires of my heart…

After a few weeks of baking (because I was bored and had nothing else to do), my dad finally asked me one morning:

“Why don’t you figure out a way for people to pay you to do that.”

And it was like a switch flipped – you’re genius dad!

 

I laugh at this – he probably laughs too given I spent the next two years taking over his kitchen and entire dining room – because that’s when Oh Sweet Heavens! was born.

I had always thought maybe one day I’ll run a bakery or a cupcake shop. I remember walking through the streets of Arlington, Virginia thinking how cool it would be to own my cupcakery. And then God provided me an opportunity to do just that.

 

God gave me the desires of my heart – it just didn’t look like what I had expected.

 

Bangladesh is also where I met my husband, became closer with one of my sisters, played soccer every week, catered weddings and parties for high ranking government officials, surfed in Bali, ran with kangaroos in Australia, rode elephants in Thailand (met up with my BFF from college there too).

It was terrible and wonderful all at the same time.

And looking back now, I can connect the dots. I can see how this all plays together, how all the puzzle pieces started fitting into place.

 

But it started with that original ‘failure’ of not finding a “real job” after college.

 

I’ve got about a dozen stories just like this from friends and clients about how God used what seemed like a terrible situation, and turned it into the greatest blessing.

 

So rather than trying to avoid failure at all costs, what if we start to look at failure a stepping stone to getting where we want to go?

After all, isn’t the real failure never starting, never trying to begin with?

What’s your story? I’m dying to hear how God has transformed one of your “failures” into one of your greatest blessings!

 

xoxo,

Jillian