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What if we were measured by our failure instead of our success? Would that make us more comfortable with failing?
We didn’t give that any thought until we were asked to share a recent failure.
Coming up with a failure, we would be proud of took much thought. That process alone, showed us that it was through our failures that we grew closer to God. And found new success!
If you read the about page of our blog, you would know that as a former real estate agent and mortgage broker, when the market crashed so did our finances.
We cannot begin to describe the heartache we experienced during that time. How could this happen to us; we are in the business? How will this look to our clients, our friends, and our family? Most importantly, how will our children view our failure in business?
We spent over a year trying to maintain our status quo. Getting our hustle on was an understatement, and it just wasn’t enough. Prior to real estate, Timberley was in the financial industry. So with her knowledge, we made wise investment choices. As a result, that allowed us to float for about a year.
With no new business, we were faced with bankruptcy. As a result we lost our home. It was a tough pill to swallow for someone in our position.
We’ve never lost a house before as we’ve owned several. And this home wasn’t any ordinary house. This house we chose to make our home, as we put thousands of dollars into it. It was our dream home 3200 sq ft single story on a ½ acre lot with a swimming pool, basketball court, playground, plantation shutters, travertine, and more. You name it, we had it.
However, when it came down to the final straw, none of it mattered. Our house was underwater in value. All our savings and investments were drained. And now it was time to admit to our children we had failed in business, and we needed to give up our home.
The night we sat our kids down to talk with them. We remember so clearly as if it happened yesterday. Trying to explain to our 5 and 12-year-old at the time, our line of work, and how the market has changed, effecting our business in which we needed to move, was not easy. To our surprise, the kids not only supported our decision to move, they understood.
We’ve shared the details of that conversation in a previous blog; Does Your Downgrade Look Like An Upgrade? By the name of the title, you can guess our outcome. After renting a home for 3 years, seeking God, and making lifestyle changes, God restored unto us all that was lost.
When we hit rock bottom, we sought God more than ever. He literally became the air we breathed. It was then, we learned to prioritize God more than our business or work. It was then, we learned that it wasn’t enough to know financial principles from the world’s perspective, as we had to learn kingdom finances and what it meant to be good stewards. And it was only after applying those principles that we were could from those failures and try again.
We bought a new home with similar upgrades to the home we previously lost. Our son currently attends college with scholarships and grants, and our daughter attends a career and technical academy high school that cost us nothing!
Although we lost all we had in 2008, the best part about this story took place just last week. Our son sent us a text message at 3:21 a.m. that said:
Of course looking at the time, we were thinking; what was this boy doing at 3 a.m.? What did he watch, do, or was about to get into, that made him have a moment to think of his parents? So we did what any parent would do. We asked him what that was all about?
He explained that a few days ago, he took our daughter with him to drive around and look at all the houses we’ve lived in as a family. They talked about what was happening in our lives at each house.
He went on to say that he was thinking about the seasons we were in as a family and where we are now. As he was driving home from the gym that morning, he kept thinking about how much we’ve come through as a family. And he just felt like telling us how much he loves us.
Now how about that for feeling like a failure? In our children’s eyes, they noticed there were moments, as a family where we grew, where we changed, and memories were created that they appreciated.
It isn’t always the failures that impact our children. It’s how we deal with the failure. During our time of loss, we remember when we met with the attorney he told us we were not his “typical” client.
Those words may not have seemed so comforting in the moment, but looking back those words spoke to the way we handled what seemingly was a failure.
There are some situations in life that you cannot control, which means the outcome may not be what you expected. But through Christ, you can do all things, and it is through Him that you find the strength you thought you didn’t have.
When we choose to go to Him, with humility, and brokenness, He will meet us right there and grant us wisdom, favor, blessings and peace!
Losing all we had wasn’t a loss at all. In reality, it helped us: gain a new perspective in our relationship with God, with each other, how we manage money today, and it was an example to our children of how to respond when we experience difficult times. More importantly, the blessings that come from honoring God in the process, was and continues to be prices less.
Too many times when we fail at something, we get defeated, and give up without trying again. This reminds us of something we read from the book, Think and Grow Rich.
“The most common cause of failing
is the habit of quitting when one is over taken by temporary defeat.”
You see; failure doesn’t stop us, it simply tells us what to improve.
I guess you can say, we were measured by our failure. However, with the outcome, we’ll take that over quick success with no impact to our children. How about you? What failure are you proud to share?
“Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].”
~ Hebrews 4:16 (AMPC)
~ Andre and Timberley Gray
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