As a first born who wanted to please I was overly troubled for decades by my many failures. Feeling thoroughly disappointed with myself for a multitude of shortcomings occupied too many hours of my life as I emotionally berated myself or redoubled self-effort to “never fail again.”
My faith in God’s sufficiency for my needs was tangled and trapped in common “you-can-do-it” or “you-should-be-able-to” thinking I’d learned in school, in relationships and in jobs. How I wish I’d known this prayer years ago and the aligning truth “that perfection is my Savior’s endowment” alone. My friend Susanna, who lived as woman, mother, wife and friend over 300 years ago, got the balance right: rely on Christ alone while using all my mind, soul, body and strength to follow Jesus. She felt what I have felt which is a great comfort. It seems we women are especially prone to harshness when we look within.
Wisely Susanna resolved not to think on her failures too much, but only as necessary to learn what God would have her understand about herself and about Him. It seems she understood at an earlier age than I not to dwell on failure. I wish she and I could have shared a cup of tea.
The good news is our Friend the Holy Spirit can strengthen us women to accept our failures as unsurprising given we are all broken and fallen. From that starting point any victory is a wonder made possible by the merits of Christ in me, not my own efforts.
Though God’s ways are mysterious we can pray, as Susanna did, that we may we cease trying to be perfect by our own effort and accept our failures as unsurprising. From this prayer may we then study His Word earnestly and deeply so our focus is turned from our performance to obedience to Christ. It is another key to contentment for us women.
I hope you will join me in this prayer this week. Print a copy of the designed prayer and hang it in a place that will remind you to pray it daily, that it’s truth might transform us as women to our Father’s great delight!