Oh how I hate you so.

I haven’t had many encounters with you so whenever you yield your ugly head I’m forced to embrace you.

Failure is natural. It’s part of life’s process of growth. Every time you show your face, I feel walls of China building because I remember how I felt when I encountered you last.

I feel useless, humiliated and unintelligent when you are around because my heart seeks perfection. I’m always striving hard to do my part to assure that I succeed in life and don’t succumb to your motives. But failure you are still there. Driving home lessons that I will never be good enough for perfection. I’m not perfect, I don’t have the human quality to be, but that doesn’t stop me from trying to be that way. So fear, I will take the lessons you teach and keep putting up walls to prevent you from coming in, but failure is inevitably apart of life. Let’s just continue this love, hate relationship. Failure, keep rearing your head and guiding me to the light. Detour and guide me toward my ultimate purpose and destiny with every encounter we have. Take your position in this journey of life. All the while killing my perfectionist mind one brain cell at a time. I’ll learn from you and strategically move so I can decrease our acquaintances. Thanks for the lessons. You never fail to educate me.

As I approach my 32nd birthday, the feeling of failure definitely kicked in. I’m definitely not where I thought I would be in life. I served in the military for 9 years and my ultimate goal was to continue serving my country for 11 more years but the military is reducing its’ forces. In the next few years, several Soldiers will get the notification that their service to their country is no longer needed. They will be forced to choose employment elsewhere.

Originally when I got the notification of being involuntarily separated from service, I didn’t take the news so harshly. But overtime while undergoing several obstacles to receive orders for separation and transition back home from overseas deployment, I started feeling the emotions of grief. I often ask myself, did I Soldier well? I felt like I did everything according to the Army career map but apparently it still wasn’t good enough. I also questioned myself as a nurse. Am I a good nurse, do I have enough experience and expertise to compete with civilian nurses because all I know is military medicine. I definitely feel like I’m not ready to meet the civilian sector.

Last week I called my friends and asked them to pray for me because I felt depressed. I’ve experienced a lot of things in my life but failure was a new feeling. I always strive to do my best and I’m usually blessed to come out on top. Even in college when changing my major from psychology to nursing, although nursing school was really hard, I successfully completed the program. So now, I’m sitting here choosing a civilian job. Lord, where do I go from here. One thing about failure it can elicit a sense of fear, fear of tying things over, fear of reaching your goals while traveling a different road. I started to get scared. I felt like perhaps I heard God wrong and He never called me to be a nurse. Have I been walking in God’s permissive will all this time?

But this process has allowed me to see that failure isn’t negative. It’s just a redirecting of your path so that you can reach your purpose. Just because you fail at something, there are lessons that need to be learned. And you must believe that you are doing the right thing. God will confirm that you are doing the right thing as well just listen to His instruction.

There are many people who have failed or where rejected before arriving at the correct destination. Oprah Winfrey for example was originally fired from a news broadcasting station, then she was recognized by someone else and she has her own television network. Michael Jordan was originally cut from his high school basketball team; he became one of the best professional basketball players of all time.

Sometimes failure is necessary. There is a song that Fantasia Burrino sings which I enjoy and it says, “I am who I am today, because God used my mistakes. He worked it for my good like no one else ever could. It was necessary.” God has a way of turning negative things into positive. So as of 1 Dec I will no longer be a full time Soldier in the United States Army, but I’m still here and I still have breath in my lungs to make an impact in this world. I am still able to provide nursing care to patients, just in a different setting. I can use all the skills I have learned during my time in the military to help others I encounter. Change your perspective as it relates to failure. Failure is okay. It propels you into your purpose because it allows you to travel a different path and learn new lessons while arriving to your final destination.