After my 3 year-old daughter Bethany was discovered face down in our pool, I learned something that helped me see my failures in a whole new light.
Leslie: I was in my office when I heard my youngest son yell from downstairs. I raced down the stairs into the backyard where my seven-year-old son had found her three-year-old little body floating facedown in the deep end of our pool. I ran to her side and there was no heartbeat she was not breathing. Immediately I threw her over my knee to pat her on the back and dislodge whatever she was choking on. Except of course she wasn’t choking and I knew that. I goofed up. So I rolled her over and her head hit the deck but there was no complaint.
I tried to give her mouth-to-mouth but it only came rushing out of her nose. So I closed her nose and tried again this time it filled her chest and then just kind of stayed there, it didn’t naturally expel. You know I knew that the oxygen was in her lungs but that’s not where it needed to be, it needed to be at her brain. So I gave her a few compressions, I gave her another breath, another round of compressions, and then she began to revive.
After an overnight stay in the hospital she fully recovered. But it wasn’t until about three weeks later that it finally hit me: God had sent me an answer to my question and I could finally see it.
I could see that I had failed time and time again with her. To keep her safe in the first place, trying to bring her back, hitting her head, coming out her nose, I kept failing. And suddenly I could see that our situation was much like her. I realized that I kept making mistakes but there had been no time to bemoan them. I wasn’t going to sit there and say “Oh I tried to give her mouth-to-mouth but it came rushing out her nose. Darn it.” and “Things never go my way.”, “Nothing ever works out for me.”
There wasn’t time to do that! Each mistake actually provided the feedback I needed that helped me ultimately get it right. If I had stopped for even a second to bemoan my mistakes it could have resulted in her death or a long-term handicap. Failure is just feedback and it’s so long as we have breath to give there’s still time to breathe some life back into it. Yeah we’re supposed to learn from our mistakes, we’re supposed to be sorry about that, we’re supposed to try to make them right, but to dwell on them is death.
You’ve got to stay in motion. I learned to bounce back quicker and focus on what we could do in the moment. I learned that no matter how bad things may seem you always have all that you need to do the thing that needs to be done today. It’s when you start thinking about what you’re going to need next Tuesday or next month that you can get all locked up and useless. You got to put the blinders on and stay in the moment. It’s what you need to do in the moment is to avoid a certain problem in the future then do that by focusing on what you’re doing and not focusing on the disaster you’re hoping to avoid.
Stay in the moment. Do what you can do in the moment.
Host: This has been a little bit of wisdom with Leslie householder. Listen to her podcast and download her books free at ararekindoffaith.com