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Thank God that you fail

Strange that I should say to all of you embrace failure as a gift to become a better person.  For those of us who have failed a course in school or have experienced bankruptcy failure hurts. There is nothing joyful about it. Yet, our failures can make us into more caring and understanding people. When we mess up we hopefully develop an empathy for others when they are honestly trying to do their best and screw up.

When I blow it with my wife, Karen, when I fail to fully understand her needs, I have failed in my communication somehow. I could seek to deny my failure at communicating with her, but how would I then ever learn?  It is far better to admit I have failed and learn from it.

A successful marriage requires hard work. You need to learn about your spouse — their likes and dislikes, their favourite movie, what makes your spouse happy or sad. Your failures in your communication can be points from which to build a more loving and giving marriage.

Guys, here’s a free tip. When your wife is upset sometimes the best thing you can do is hug her. Make her feel loved and protected. Wrap her in your arms and just listen to her heart.

Tell your wife not with words at first that no matter how long she cries you’ll be there for her. You won’t leave her to watch a hockey game. You won’t go out with the guys. You will be willing to sacrifice all the time that is needed to tell your wife in a million different ways that you love her, that she is special and dear to your heart.

In doing this you turn your failed communication into a success. And trust me guys, when you make these deposits into your wife’s love account and do this consistently, you will have a positive balance. That in itself will reap its own reward in your intimacy and in your entire marriage.

In my life my challenges and my failures have helped me in my journey to a closer relationship with God.

I couldn’t understand why I would score very high on one test and low on others. Neither my parents or teachers could figure out why. The doctors couldn’t even determine the reason for this gnawing and unrelenting fatigue.

In high school because I was tired all of the time, I would stay up often past 2:00 a,m. pounding facts, figures, concepts, mathematical formulas and dates in history into my head.

Through sheer determination to do the best I could, I graduate from high school with an 80% average. Yet,  to receive a scholarship at these universities an 85% average or higher is required.

I think that the Royal Canadian Armed Forces will be the best way to fund a university education. I qualify for training in 32 of the 64 fields they offer.  I fail my physical because of poor eye sight and being too skinny.

The recruiter is trying really hard to control his laughter when telling me never to become an auto mechanic. There is one aptitude test where I am given a diagram of an engine all apart to put back together again. They tell us we can guess if we don’t know the answer. It is a multiple choice test.  I choose what I think will be the right way to put the engine together again.

I failed that part of the aptitude test royally. I have followed that recruiter’s wise advice and have never sought nor will i ever become an auto mechanic. Trust me. Having me fix your car would be testing the limits of divine providential care.

I have accepted that I am not gifted when it comes to mechanical or technological things. Yet, my failures in these areas helped point me to my later successes.

I didn’t know what to do for a career until my employment counsellor told me about a government winter experience program. Then, I begin to see God’s hand at work. Out of the 13 government ministries I apply for God closes every door except one , namely to work forThe Salvation Army Bunton Lodge with provincial offenders in a half way house. I am hired as a provincial rehabilitation counsellor trainee.

I would be there three years. I work one year after that as a federal rehabilitation counsellor at The Salvation Army W. P. Archibald Centre.

At the age of 38 Dr. P.T. Williams will finally  discover I have pernicious anemia a.k.a. B12 deficiency after one and a half years of testing. The condition is caused in my case by my body’s inability to properly absorb vitamin B12 in my food. One of the major symptoms of this condition is fatigue. This condition leads me on a pathway of having a great empathy for those who have chronic medical conditions.

On B12 injections my energy and focus improve dramatically. A world of possibilities begins to open up, Closed doors open to further studies in counselling and volunteer work in social advocacy.

What we think of as failure is God just closing one door, so He can open another. Thank God for what the world regards as failure. It’s okay to feel upset and even angry when you fail at something. That’s natural. Failure should hurt because if we learn from our failures we grow. We become more of the kind of people God wants us to be.

There is an old well-worn saying but a good one. We learn by hitting the fence posts of life.  Not a pleasant image, I know. Many members of a church congregation winced when I used this saying in a sermon.

When you scrape your knee falling off a bike only if you love pain, will you deliberately continue falling off that bike. You dust yourself off and get up again on that bike and try riding it again. You do this until you get it right and ride that bike. That takes dedication, an unswerving commitment and a lot of band-aids.

I thank God that I was rejected by the Royal Canadian Armed Forces. This rejection led me on a long and divergent pathway of 13 years to get my Bachelor of Theology degree with honours from Canada Christian College & Graduate School. Since that time I have taken graduate studies in counselling. I am a graduate missions student at South African Theological Seminary. My wife and I will be entering Master of Divinity training at Trinity College in the University of Toronto.

I feel that God may well be leading me to get a doctoral degree in counselling. There is an excellent combined M.A. and Ph.D. program that I am praying about applying to. Please keep me in your prayers as I seek to discern God’s will concerning this.

Thank God when He turns your ordered plans upside down! He is telling you that He wants you to go in His direction and not your own.

If my humanity had won and the doctors had diagnosed my pernicious anemia sooner, I would likely have become a professor of humanities. In fact, in South Korea at Kwandong University if I didn’t have health challenges, I would have probably gone on to become a professor of humanities there. But God had a different plan.

Thomas Edison is quoted as saying that his inventions required 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. All his countless failed experiments led to multiple  successes.  He accumulated 2,332 patents worldwide, with 1,093 of them being in the United States.

As I finish this post I see the lamp that gives me light to see as I am using my laptop. That light bulb is one of Edison’s inventions. Thanks, Thomas, for giving us the gift of light.

On the road to success Edison had a few failures. I will highlight some of them.

1) An idea to build things with cement never took off because of its expense. He did receive an opportunity to build Yankee Stadium, so the idea to construct things with cement wasn’t a complete failure.

2)a Kinetoscope (peep-hole motion picture viewer) with a phonograph that played inside the cabinet never took off. in 1915 Edison gave up on the idea of sound motion pictures. Yet, that later would become a successful invention.

3)Edison could not find a practical way to mine iron ore.

Edison pressed on through all of his failures to give us many of the inventions we use today.  When you get some time, you will find it educational to go through the top 31 Edison inventions according to the online magazine Business Insider.

Let the many successful failures encourage you in your own failures, that you can be successful. To fail at something gives us more compassion for others who fail.  Any failure you learn from is a success because you have made lemonade out of the lemons, out of the failures and defeats of your life.