Wednesday 14 June 2017

Living with Failure

By Keona Tann

For just over 2 years I was a recruit in the Army Reserves. I never actually made it through recruit course so I was never made a private. Why? Well I passed my beep test, a compulsory fitness test, in preparation for enlisting and then I got a groin injury. From that moment on for months, every time I attempted the beep test I would fail. I would feel my groin seize up and I'd stop in fear of injury. I lived in a place of fear and I was left feeling like I had failed for months! Finally, I got my strength back into my groin and managed to pass and enlist. My first attempt at recruit course ended in me needing to leave, within the first week, due to my groin injury flaring up again! So more failure! Then every time I attempted the beep test, which you must pass before recruit course and as soon as you arrive, I would fail! My leg would cramp up and I'd feel as if my groin was going to pull again! For 2 years I lived in this place of failure! My groin prevented me from completing the very first challenge I needed to complete to become a solider! Now during this time, I did complete other training courses and completed them with little difficulty. This made me realize that part of my problem was mentally! I had set myself up, somehow, to fail this test in my mind!
I think life can be very much like that. We may have failed at something so often that we expect failure to be the result!
I attended personal training sessions to strengthen my groin and to mentally prepare for my beep test! They were exhausting sessions that pushed me to my limits. They helped me to see that I could actually achieve much more than I thought I could!

I think God is like that personal trainer - He puts a calling upon our lives, that is so beyond what we can accomplish on our own, that we HAVE to rely upon Him! For where we fall short He extends grace! Where we fail He is faithful! God wants to grow us, mature us and make us into the person He has created us to be. So if you feel as if you’re living in a place of failure speak Psalms 33 verse 22 over your life: ask God to surround you with His unfailing love! Place your hope in Him alone. Hold tight to Psalms 63:3 (NLT): “Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you!”.

Around the time I was struggling to deal with my illness and being discharged from the Army I came across a devotion that discussed Delilah. The theme that stood out to me was how much Delilah was pushing and nagging. I was left wondering if I sometimes pushed for things that would bring a very negative set of consequences into my life. I was struck by a thought that maybe that's why my Army Reserves attempt ended? The bible verse that was used was Revelation 3:7b (CEV): "When I open a door, no one can close it. And when I close a door, no one can open it.”.
As I read that bible verse this thought came to me: A closed door is not God abandoning me and my dreams; it’s His sovereign protection over me!
Suddenly that changed everything. I looked at the closed doors in my life from a new perspective. The Bible tells us in Psalm 84:11-12(ESV): "The LORD bestows favour and honour. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly … blessed is the one who trusts in you!".
Closed doors are REALLY hard to understand! But I decided, that day, that I would place my trust in God! I decided that if that door was closed in my life it was for a reason! I decided to trust that God had something greater planned for my life and being in the Army Reserves would just distract from that! I declared Psalm 84 over my life and decided I would walk in all God had called me to!

So you may be facing failure and you may be facing closed doors, can I encourage you to seek God! Ask Him for wisdom and a clear direction forward. Ask Him how you may need to change your approach or the scariest thing may be that you have to completely lay it down.

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” Napoleon Hill

Keona Tann has lived most of her life in the beautiful Australian state - Tasmania. She has been married to her college sweetheart for over 20 years. Keona and her husband consider themselves extremely blessed to be raising 2 wonderful teenagers. They have also been long time child sponsors with Compassion. Keona's working life has seen her develop over 15 years of customer service experience. Health issues have plagued her for 28 years and over the past 2 years have been severely debilitating. Seeking direction from God her passion for writing was recently reignited. Writing the following mission statement: "I desire to impact the world through the words I share. I long to enrich, empower and encourage others whilst delivering my stories with empathy and understanding." she hopes to launch her new career soon.


  1. What great encouragement: a closed door is not God abandoning us but God's protection over us. Thanks for sharing this, Keona.

  2. Thanks Carolyn! God has been doing a HUGE work in my life to enable me to realize that. Blessings


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