What I Learned From Losing

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When I was in fourth grade, I ran for student council. You remember what that’s like, right? You really go all out, making cookies, stickers, posters… anything to possibly sway your classmates to think that you are “qualified” (more like, cool enough) to be an elected official. I remember the flowers with three dimensional dragonflies attached via springs. “Don’t dilly dally, vote for Ali!” My campaign slogan was clearly top notch as were my marketing techniques, and I felt confident.

And then I lost.

Thinking back on it, I don’t know that I actually wanted it. (I mean, what do fourth grade student councils actually do anyways?) I remember being upset, but I’m sure someone gave me an ice cream cone and I moved on quickly. Fast forward a little bit to October of this year. I was a finalist in a local business competition that had a little bit more at stake than the approval of my fourth grade class. It was a long process, and it all came to a head at a luncheon with over a hundred people from the community.

And then I lost.

Let me back up a little bit so that you can understand how I made it to that point. It’s a three step process, complete with doing an executive summary, an extensive business plan and a shark-tank style pitch. It requires you to crunch numbers, dream big and plan for the future. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life as a business owner, because it required me to do a lot of things that I otherwise wouldn’t have done. I did a lot of math (lol, Mrs. Palmore you told me I would need it as an adult and I use it an unfortunate amount) and even more diving into the “why” behind my business. It made me write down tangible goals and figure out steps to achieve them. It made me think about more than just surviving this Christmas season and realize what I was working for. Needless to say, it stretched me more than I realized it would.

And then I lost.

In the last months of the competition, it became everything to me. Any spare thought I had was dedicated to day dreaming or worrying about how it would end up. I would have thoughts of my pitch, running through the things I would say and the reactions to it. I would have thoughts projecting my win at the luncheon, and even worse.. projecting my loss. It was overwhelming. I was so selfishly consumed by worry of my future that I neglected the present. I distanced myself from community, from friends, from the joy that created Lily and Sparrow. I was stuck in limbo, as I waited to know if I would win or not. I used the unknown as a crutch to blame my absence, my failure to those around me, and falling behind in business.

I was fighting so hard for a place at the table. I was fighting to prove that I knew what I was doing, that I had a deserving business, that I was capable of success. I was fighting to earn the approval of so many around me, and even more… those that didn’t know me. I wanted Lily and Sparrow to be a name that people knew. I wanted it bad.

And then I lost.

Losing sucks. But what sucks even more, is realizing that you have been fighting for approval and for someone to tell you you’re enough.  Realizing that as you’ve been sharing posts that scream “you are loved! You are more than enough!” it took something as dramatic as a public loss to make it feel real to you.  I was fighting for approval from people I don’t even know, when someone who knows the depths of my heart looks at me and calls me beloved. I was fighting for financial security, as I neglected scripture that promises provision that is LITERALLY THE FOUNDATION OF THIS ENTIRE BUSINESS. (Referencing Matthew 6:26 here. *face palm*) I was fighting to win, when the battle had already been won.

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
— Matthew 6:26

Because He won. For us.

What are you fighting for? Who’s approval are you seeking? What are you trying to prove? Our society thrives on competition and proving your worth. Our society loves winners. But this is me, humbly reminding you that you have a good, good Father who says you’re enough. He sees you in the hills and in the valleys, and loves you the same. He literally went to the cross to show the depths of His love for you.

 

Gosh. We are so loved.

 

soli deo Gloria,

Alison

The Cure Family

The Cure Family

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