I looked at the time on my phone and cringed as a dirty word came out of my mouth. My paper that was due at five online was officially eight minutes late. I had worked hard on this paper, written forty one pages, and edited and revised so many pieces until everything fit together in a way that made sense. And now, because of my stupid asthma attack… I might jeopardize my grade because my paper was eight minutes late and counting.
After I finally submitted my paper, a full fourteen minutes late, I curled up on the floor in my boyfriends room and allowed myself to be filled with shame. I had messed up, and made a mistake. I didn’t keep track of time, I couldn’t get my body to breathe and it had cost me. So I was going to wallow in my shame for my Monday had held itself to the highest standard of a crappy Monday.
“Get off the floor, stop pitying yourself. Live and learn.”
I didn’t want to hear the words come out of his mouth. Why couldn’t I just wallow?
“I made a mistake.” I felt the shame on my lips as the words came out of my mouth and were left hanging in the air like fog.
“Yeah you did. Now stop pitying yourself, because it’s gonna be fine. You aren’t going to fail your class.” I knew he was right, but I could still feel the failure inside my bones.
Live and learn is my life philosophy. You can’t spend your whole life thinking you aren’t ready for something because honestly, you probably are never ready. And when you make mistakes, and when you fail… usually you will learn from what went wrong and do things better next time. But even though I am a firm believer in the phrase “ya live and ya learn!” I sometimes can’t help but become consumed by the feeling of being not good enough by my failures. When I was thinking about this as I wallowed in self-pity, a thought struck my brain that a friend told me this weekend. It wasn’t even a thought, as much as just a verse.
John 1:16 “For of his fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.”
God already gave me grace, but then when I mess up he is right there ready to give me more. Because he is saying, “you live and you learn. You’re gonna make mistakes, and you’re gonna mess up. But I am always right here with my arms open saying that it’s okay… you are still enough and it will be okay in the end.”
So yeah, my boyfriend was right. I lived through my lesson, and I learned. Next time I finish a paper a few days before it’s due, I should just do myself a favor and turn it in the same day I finish it. That way the next time I have an asthma attack at the time a paper is due, I won’t have to worry. And realistically, it’ll probably end up being okay.
But it was also a nice reminder that even if I mess up really big, Jesus is still gonna be waiting right there for me to lavish more grace on me. At this point, I’m already drowning in his endless grace. What a blessing to know that there will always be more where that came from.