Failing En[courage]d

I’ve been asking for summer hours at work for the last few years, and I was finally offered some recently. Today was my first day of that work, and at 7:15am, I was supposed to meet a group of people and drive out to Yucaipa to do some heavy lifting.

I thought it was tomorrow.

Long story, short, I didn’t have my phone when they called me twice this morning wondering where I was. I didn’t realize it until nearly 9 o’clock.

Embarrassing on so many levels.

I let that team down (who waited at least 30 extra minutes for me), my supervisor down (who helped me get that opportunity), and the ladies who actually offered me the hours. I know I’m one of the youngest employees, so my mistake may affect the way other young people are viewed, and being black and male in a white female-dominated organization doesn’t help either… I sent a couple apology emails and left a remorseful voicemail, all to no reply, and am realizing that I might not get another chance at this.

I’m okay with that.

In the midst of all of the negative that I recognized in myself in this situation, there was a stronger positive. My mistakes don’t define me. A few months ago a mistake like this would’ve sent me into the depression and I would punish myself severely for being a “screw-up” or for “ruining ANOTHER good thing” and telling myself that I deserve my consequences. The last two are still true, but I don’t need to anchor myself to them anymore. I know better now. Carrying that extra weight slows my progress forward while it drains and discourages me. Instead I am tethered to the positive of all of this; the humility I continue to learn, the discipline of using my calendar that I need to stick with, the maturity of acknowledging my flaws and owning up to my failure, a heart that accepts God’s forgiveness and looks forward to the grace coming to help me show who I know I really am beyond the mistake.

In the midst of my shortcoming, I am encouraged.

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