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Anything But a Failure

Finally, brethren, whatever is true…” Philippians 4:8

MAF missionary mom Debbie Klynstra There it was in bright red letters across my forehead…FAILURE. It was written in the same bright red ink that the teachers use each day to correct my attempts at writing in my new language.

Of course, no one else could see the letters written there, but I felt the weight of them on me each day as I struggled to make my mouth form words it was unaccustomed to.

Those feelings of failure trickle down into other areas of my life, and I start to believe more lies. You’re not a good mom. You don’t do enough. Others do it better. Then I find myself just going through the motions of each day like it is a race to get through. I realize the importance of “finishing”—knowing the language of my host country—and it frustrates me to not be able to communicate at a deeper level. Though it has been eight months of language study already, my ability to put together sentences remains difficult.

MAF missionary mom Debbie KlynstraI would love to tell you that I’m at the end of this journey and share all that God has taught me, but you have caught me in the middle. Even writing about it brings up the raw emotions of failure… again. To face going to class each day, to be corrected over and over (in the kindest of ways), still wears me down.

“But God…” How I love these sweet words sprinkled throughout the Bible. But God has other plans for me, plans to draw me closer to Him through this journey. As I make time to be in his Word, He replaces the lies with these truths. You are my child. My love for you is not based on what you do. I will lead you beside still waters. And these bring a smile to my face—a smile that’s the same in any language.

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