You can’t do this, he said to me.
(Or was it I?)
You’ll never be able to do this.
I tried to argue back,
But the words turned over and over in my mind.
It was an embarrassing failure for one such as I.

Just give up. What’s the point?
The proposition was tempting.
You’ll lose your family over this.
It seemed a logical end.
You’re a failure.
I believed him.
Look at what you’re costing your family.
They’re better off without you.
You can’t do this.
You’re alone.

I tried to push through,
Carrying on with my day and my tasks,
But I ended up in the middle of the bed,
Sitting and sobbing and wishing for a way out.
I tried to hear another Voice, but I couldn’t.
The thoughts swirled louder and louder,
My own voice mixing with the other,
Until I could not discern betwixt the two.
I cried myself to sleep.

His mercies are new every morning.

I awoke with new resolve,
Turning once again to the small book on my side table.
I soaked up the words while all was quiet
In my head and in my home.
I ate and I drank and I prepared myself.
Not many days later, it was time to try again.

Failure, he said to me.
You can’t do this.
You’re alone.

He was right, to some degree.
I failed the test again.
But this time I was listening for Another’s Voice.
I love you, He said to me.
I have already succeeded for you.
Listen for what I have to teach you in this.
You are not alone—I will never leave you.

I believed Him.
I sat in the middle of the bed again,
Same place, same circumstances,
But this time clothed in peace and a right mind.

When test time came again, I was ill.
Feverish, sick, unrested and weak,
I was incapable of success on my own.
You’ll fail again, he said.
No, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
You’re alone, he said.
No, He promised, I will never leave you or forsake you.

I had to stand and wait,
My sickly body subjected to the elements.
After much delay, my companion preceded me.
He failed quickly.
Upon my turn I asked silently for help,
I got behind the wheel,
And I drove.

Like pouring water over a dry altar,
Filling the trenches to remove all doubt,
My fever, the delay—
All worked to prove the impossibility
And His perfect Ability.
By His grace,
In the power of His Spirit,
I succeeded.

Give me your failures, He says.
I will redeem them.