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Give Yourself Permission to Fall

Christmas is my favorite season. It is a time to have our hearts (and tummies) filled to overflowing with love and all things good & beautiful. It is also a time to slow down from the busy, busy, busyness of the year – to let the wheels slowly come to a gentle halt, let the engines cool, and get a new commission for a new destination for the year to come. Exciting, beautiful, wonderful time of year. So I am taking time to unplug and fully immerse myself in this season, being fully present and clearing my soul for space for God to pour His plans for 2015. Meanwhile, I want to give another moment of glory to a few favorite posts and share them with you through the month of December. Have a very merry Christmas, and I’ll see you again in the new year!


I am not a good faller.

I’ve never been good at falling down, and neither am I a big fan of the mess, dirt, and plain discomfort that falling entails.

Ice skating, roller-coasters, running down slopes, walking in the rain… these are just a few things that I’ve kept away from because they tend to involve some slipping/falling down. I like my life, and everything in it, to be clean, neat, predictable, and non-painful.

But I am coming to realize how much I have been missing out on… just because I never gave myself permission to fall.

I never gave myself any room to fall in relationships, work, ministry, life, with God. I didn’t want to make a mess, hurt myself, or become “the girl who dropped the ball”. That is why I always approached life with the same cautious carefulness as a little girl who fell down once and determined never to go down again.

I saw no redeeming quality in falling, so I set a standard for myself that I should do things a certain way, behave a certain way, and be known as a certain kind of person – the kind who doesn’t fall. This meant that I was careful (very), perfectionistic (pardon the bad english), right (so I thought)… which are pretty good things, in the right context. But this attitude also made me wary, afraid, and detached. I was afraid to try new things and venture out – What if they didn’t work out? What if those weren’t good decisions? I had to always make good decisions. I had my world set in order, and I knew my part and how to play that role… but there were times when, inevitably, I would slip up. I loathed myself each time I fell. Thus the self-sustaining cycle of self-loathing and striving continued.

Falling down is terrifying because it is something that I cannot control or plan. Letting myself fall is to let the fall take me where it will – downwards, sideways, into a dirty puddle, or into a painful scrape. But the problem with NOT falling is this – we cease to live. I mean, truly live.

And this is what I am starting to realize: Falling is human. And being human is holy. It is beautiful.

The awesome God who is all-sufficient felt the need to create something special that He could love – human beings. He left His glorious throne and came to earth – imperfect, dirty, messy earth – for us, human beings. He descended to the depths of hell to fight for this one thing – human beings.

He could have created us like the angels, but He didn’t. Instead, He fashioned man in His image and likeness. Man, whose hearts are so easily seduced by sin, prone to wander, and often reject God. And to us all the fullness of His love and adoration are poured out.

God loves us. He loves me.

Not in spite of my humanness, but because of it.

He created me human, and He wants me to live as fully human. Jesus never came to earth to immortalize us – He came to show us how to be fully human. He was the perfect human, the full representation of man to God. The fullness of what it meant to be human, the way God created, had been stolen from Adam in the Garden. Jesus came to restore that, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10)

And He came to make a way for us to be fully human again. That is why He said, “I have come so that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)

In trying so hard to be holy and good on my own strength, I had been denying my humanness. I never gave myself permission to fall, and in the process I missed out on true life.

I am still learning, and much healing is still needed in my heart. But we all begin one step at a time and this is my first step: I am going to give myself permission to fall. And I am going to enjoy the ride.

  • EmilyDecember 22, 2014 - 8:55 pm

    Encouraging post! You cannot be holy and good by your own strength…wonderful reminder!ReplyCancel

  • Hannah DianeDecember 22, 2014 - 9:46 pm

    This is a great post- thank you!ReplyCancel

  • AprilDecember 22, 2014 - 9:50 pm

    Yes, God loves us in our humanness. Love your honesty in your post and will pray for you in 2015.ReplyCancel

  • Jenn StanleyDecember 22, 2014 - 9:52 pm

    Great post, it is certainly an important thing to realize that we are all human and imperfect. Falling is also excellent because you get to see how far back you can come from the bottom.

    Also, it sometimes gives me the push to realize the way I was doing something wasn’t quite right, and teaches me to find an alternate way.

    Happy Holidays!ReplyCancel

  • Nicole W.December 23, 2014 - 12:00 am

    Thanks this encouraging post. See you in the new year.ReplyCancel

  • Lone CarpenterDecember 23, 2014 - 2:12 am

    Very nice post. Have Happy Holidays!ReplyCancel

  • Samantha HawleyDecember 23, 2014 - 2:28 am

    This was a great read. Truly! Thank you for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Joyce@My Stay At Home AdventuresDecember 23, 2014 - 4:42 am

    What a great post. I enjoyed reading it. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Ilona @ Ilona's PassionDecember 23, 2014 - 4:55 am

    Very nice and encouraging post!ReplyCancel

  • LauraDecember 23, 2014 - 5:54 am

    It’s not about the falling, it’s about getting up again. Falling is inevitable, but the manner in which you recover is totally up to you.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica JonesDecember 23, 2014 - 7:27 pm

    This is very inspiring. And so true! We could all use a little falling down to help us with the getting back up part.ReplyCancel

  • LynetteDecember 23, 2014 - 11:03 pm

    Lovely inspiring post, I’ve fallen down a lot recently and being inspired to pick myself back up.ReplyCancel

  • Freda MansDecember 24, 2014 - 12:34 am

    Merry Christmas!ReplyCancel

  • Megan @ C'mon Get CraftyDecember 24, 2014 - 2:52 am

    An excellent reminder – to fall is not the same as to fail, and its all about how you pick yourself up!ReplyCancel

  • TheresaDecember 24, 2014 - 3:31 am

    I can definitely identify with this post. The fear of falling (failing) is always present in my mind. Sometimes we just have to abandon the fear and just “do” or “be.” This is something I look to do in ’15. Nice post.ReplyCancel

  • MegDecember 24, 2014 - 3:33 am

    Great post! It’s often hard to give ourselves permission to make mistakes and fall down. I agree that in the falls is where life happens, where we see what we are made of and how we overcome and grow. Turning to God especially in those moments, gives us great hope as we pick ourselves back up again! Merry Christmas!ReplyCancel

  • JoyDecember 24, 2014 - 3:40 am

    This can be so me! I have so much trouble letting go of life and the desire to get things always right. There is do much I haven’t done out of a fear of failure. Thanks for writeing this.ReplyCancel

  • KimberlyDecember 24, 2014 - 3:44 am

    Thanks so much for this timely reminder: “Falling is human. And being human is holy. It is beautiful.” Your posts are also sprinkled with such grace. I absolutely love reading them.ReplyCancel

  • April | Our Little LovesDecember 24, 2014 - 4:27 am

    seriously – Go you! I’m a control freak, non-faller. This post really spoke to me.ReplyCancel

  • Mary CollinsDecember 24, 2014 - 5:35 am

    I am certainly guilty of trying to make everything perfect, but as you have learned, we are only human. God meant for us to go through life on His perfect strength not our weak imperfect strength.ReplyCancel

  • Danielle KDecember 24, 2014 - 8:01 am

    Such a great, inspiring post. Sometimes the best things happen when you allow yourself to fall.ReplyCancel

  • Dionne DeanDecember 24, 2014 - 8:29 am

    This post is a breath of fresh air. Thank you for your honesty and your transparency!ReplyCancel

  • AngelaDecember 24, 2014 - 8:29 am

    This is such a great post. I am one who hate to fail or fall so I sometime talk myself out of taking huge risk. I am becoming better and taking chances. thanks for the encouraging postReplyCancel

  • NancyDecember 24, 2014 - 12:01 pm

    What an encouraging post, especially during this time of year. Merry Christmas to you and your family. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Rachael BoleyDecember 24, 2014 - 6:56 pm

    I love this! Love “being human is holy” part. So right! I have learned in life that it is in my biggest, easiest falls that I find the most beauty and strength, and it is in those moments I find God the most. He is strong when we are weak… So I stay weak and on my knees from a lot of falls… ReplyCancel

  • Laura WaxmanDecember 25, 2014 - 12:35 am

    I never looked too deeply at it, but I was the same when I was younger. I saw those around me stumbling, falling, being talked about and I decided that I would avoid that as much as possible. As I’ve gotten older, I have come to realize that you can’t live like that. Like you said, it’s not truly living. What a great thing to start the new year off with – plans to truly live!ReplyCancel

  • CarolineDecember 25, 2014 - 5:35 am

    Love that you realized that falling is part of life, it is!!! It’s not easy but it’s normal and falling means you have a chance to get back up and learn something.ReplyCancel

  • Amy HagerupDecember 25, 2014 - 10:48 am

    “Falling is human. And being human is holy. It is beautiful. I loved this series of truths you wrote here. You really made me stop and think about this. God does want us to be holy as He is holy. And yes we do fall. Thanks for the reminder. Go gently now, AmyReplyCancel

  • BismahDecember 25, 2014 - 1:06 pm

    Such an inspirational post!Sometimes the best way to cope with the falls in life is to hear about the encouragement of others.ReplyCancel

  • Alana (@ I have a Future and a Hope)December 28, 2014 - 9:30 am

    I am a terrible fall-er too. I always try to be strong, but that is not always the best. Thank you for this beautiful post!ReplyCancel

  • Susan MahlburgDecember 28, 2014 - 10:04 am

    You put that so beautifully. And there’s something so soothing in the notion that we can release fear and embrace our human potential. A great thought to dwell on right before the New Year.ReplyCancel

  • LaurenDecember 29, 2014 - 4:46 am

    I love this post!! It’s so true, sometimes it’s hard to fall…but it’s important to be ok with it! I need to be better at this myself!ReplyCancel

  • mandy@ a sorta fairytaleDecember 29, 2014 - 6:36 am

    Such a good reminder, thank you! I needed to read this today!ReplyCancel

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