Forgetting what lies behind and
straining forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize 
of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14 ESV


Getting out with a group of girls is always fun!

So, when my friend Ellen Graf-Martin invited me to attend her Fierce Hearted Retreat with Holley Gerth, I was all in!  Well, at least until Ellen let us know the Friday night fun was painting pottery. Hearing the plan made me want to back out because it was artistic and well, let’s just say I’m not artistically talented {complete understatement}. As you can see in the pictures, my pottery painting was a total fail and this past season has given me lots of reasons to feel like a failure.

Beyond painting an ugly mug, I made the worst anniversary dinner AND dessert in human history… not the meal I had hoped would express my endearing love for Todd. Then there’s the canceled missions trip to Guatemala that was supposed to take flight in March.  To say there were days when I felt like a failure is another {complete understatement}. I’ve had to keep reminding myself…

Just because you fail, doesn’t mean you’re a failure.

Philippians 4:13-14

Knowing Paul wrote Philippians from a jail cell puts his words into perspective.  Paul could have been like most of us and started bemoaning the choices made that landed him in prison, but he didn’t.

Instead of allowing his incarceration to be a reason for sinking into defeat or entering into a blaming tirade, Paul takes his focus off of this seeming ‘failure’ onto the goal ahead of him.  Gaze fixed on the prize for fulfilling the upward call of God.

WOW! That’s really hard to do.

Label Failure X

Rejecting the label of failure and choosing to look towards future success, will make you prosper. 



Failing Forward_John C. Maxwell

In his book Failing Forward, John C. Maxwell rightly says,

“There is no achievement without failure. 
To even imply that it might be possible gives people the wrong impression.”1

Maxwell’s whole book is dedicated to helping people train for failure as he cites people’s stories who have found success through repeated failures, great examples of how to fail forward.

My advice to you today is, don’t let failure derail you from the upward call of God on your life.  We all fail.  The question is, will you be like Micah and announce to the world: “though I fall, yet I will rise”?2 Remember, Just because you fail, doesn’t mean you’re a failure.


Father… I thank you that failure is not final.  I don’t have to live in fear of failure because You encourage me in Your Word that when I fall, You’ll help me get back up.  Let me walk with confidence towards the exciting plans You have for my life and learn to fail forward, not letting the enemy or anyone label me a failure.  In You, I am more than an overcomer! In Jesus Name…Amen

Facebook Live
Jump on my Author Facebook page tonight, for an encouraging message.

Monday, April 23rd
8 pm EST

There’s so much more that God’s put on my heart about Failing Forward that I can’t fit into this little Soul H2O devotion.  I’m also going to be giving away a copy of Holley Gerth’s book fierce hearted to a lucky winner!

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You may have toFacebook Like LIKE my ‘AuthorSherryStahl’ page to see the Facebook LIVE

[tweetthis] Just because you fail, doesn’t mean you’re a #failure.[/tweetthis]

[tweetthis] Rejecting the label of failure and choosing to look towards future success, will make you prosper.[/tweetthis]

Soul H2O BookIf you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you’ll love my latest Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women.


Post in the Comment Section below and bolster the faith of someone else!

Drawing From The Well

  1. Philippians 3:13-14
  2. Micah 7:8
  3. Ps 40:2-3
  4. Proverbs 24:16


  1. Maxwell, John. Failing Forward, © 2000 Nelson Books: Nashville, TN pg. 7
  2. Micah 7:8

 Monday Meditations – Laura J. Davis, Soul Survival – Donna Reidland,
TUESDAY Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
WEDNESDAY Coffee For Your Heart – Holley GerthWord Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
THURSDAY Heart Encouragement Thursday – Crystal Storms, Chasing Community  Barbara Bradford Ottinger
FRIDAY Dance With Jesus Linkup – Susan B. MeadGrace and Truth Linkup – Arabah JoyCounting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market Friday – Crystal Twaddell ELLEN’S PICKS– Ellen Graf-Martin 

Sherry Stahl