Thoughts of Success & Failure ~ From the AWI Archives!

Sometimes We Must. . . 

Sometimes we must adjust our days and weeks to accommodate life events we hadn’t planned for. Such is the case for me the past several weeks. Friend’s sudden illness, hospitalization and subsequent stay in skilled care threw my usual schedule into disarray. It also intruded on writing fresh content for the AWI Blog. And fresh content is most loved by Google. However, fresh content can be that which flows from the archives with just a broad brush of newness that makes it relevant for a new day.

Such is the case with today’s content which was originally posted in 2016. . . or was it 2014. Never mind the exact year; I’ve pulled it from the archives, brushed it off and given it a fresh coat of relevance for Christian business women who long for success but fail to realize that God’s perspective on the subject is quite often much different than ours. . .  Please read and let us know what you think about “failing to succeed”!

A Few Words About Success!

Let me say this first – SUCCESS is NOT the absence of failure! At it’s best, SUCCESS is overcoming failure. At the least, SUCCESS is rising from the ashes of challenges that might defeat others – but not a woman whose faith is rooted in the Lord!

For the Lord is the epitome  of SUCCESS! Considering he died a horrible death mainly reserved for criminals and laid to rest in a borrowed tomb; one might consider Him anything but a success!

That’s because us humans look at SUCCESS in an entirely different way. We look at it as not falling down in order to rise again! We look at it materialistically. PAPA looks at it spiritually – and what will be successful in the long run!

A few years ago, I asked the following question of a small group of women in business. “In 3 to 5 sentences; define what SUCCESS means to you!” One woman hung her head and muttered, “I knew you were going to ask that.” It seems she had no idea what success meant to her personally!

“How will you know it when it arrives?,” I responded. Indeed how will any of us know if we can’t definitively say what SUCCESS will look like when it arrives!

God’s Perspective Not the Same As Ours!

Years ago, I failed to accomplish something personally important. I lamented the same in prayer, only to hear the following words impressed on my mind – “You failed (pause) to succeed!”

I knew what PAPA God meant. My failure was destined to accomplish a successful outcome; the outcome He wanted. Similarly I might add the same to the plight of the Lord when He “failed” to survive the destruction destined for Him. Only to succeed in the overarching mission for which He was destined!

SUCCESS is not the absence of failure. It is the rising up; learning from the circumstances – and going at it again. Success is in the rising up. For in the rising up – over and over again, we will eventually arrive at the destiny for which we’re designed!

And that is SUCCESS!

A Litany of Learnings. . . 

Those of us who love the Lord and have come into a personal relationship with Him must come to understand that failure is part of the process we call SUCCESS! For failure is designed to accomplish much of the following; and more!

  1. Discovery – failure will help us discover our destiny and purpose. That is, when we . . .
  2. Persevere – when we get up and go at it again because we know in our core that what we are doing is His design – not ours,
  3. Determination – a steadfast consistent rising from what some might call defeat to take the next step in the process,
  4. Patience – learning to hold fast when others would give up and move on to other things,
  5. Commitment –  a holding on for no other reason than we trust God and His course of action for our lives,
  6. Dedication – first to the Lord; then to the destiny He lays before us,
  7. Humility – failure “softens” us for success. Having tasted the tears of defeat; we savor the scent of success knowing that it has come at a great price and at the direction of Him Who is larger than Life,
  8. Knowledge & Wisdom – we ‘capitalize’ on failure in order to succeed. We learn the lessons intended and put them to use on the trail to an ultimate outcome that is much more than we ever dreamed possible,
  9. Hope – while it is not a strategy, it is the core of an abiding, and growing trust in Papa God as each defeat leads to the strength to rise again,
  10. Amazement – nothing is more exhilarating that when we look up from the ash heap to find that it is made of gold. That the value is in it’s meaning. Successful women never lose a sense of amazement at what Papa God does with every minute detail of our lives!

Scripture tells us that we make our plans, but the Lord alters our steps. Some of those steps we will perceive as “missteps”. Steps that must not have been part of His plan. And yet, they may well be. For success comes when we’ve learned to flow flexibly with every aspect of the journey – be it a mountain top or a dark valley.

So today – if you are searching for SUCCESS and reach out to it from the pit; know that the pit is there as your friend – not the enemy. Use what you find there as you rise up, determined to go at it again! Be grateful that the stamina which strengthens you is a gift only God can give you – a woman determined to find SUCCESS, for it is your design and destiny!

Warm blessings,


Linda S. Fitzgerald, M.S.Ed, CEO & Visionary Partner
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
Building a Community of Christian Business Women
The Neighborhood at Facebook
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Linda S. Fitzgerald

I have a fiery passion to see women become all they are designed to be - personally and professionally. I write, teach, mentor and coach with that passion in mind. As an author and prolific blogger, I reach out to women in all walks of life, especially women of faith to empower and equip them for greatness.


  1. Shelli Ginther on March 15, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    Oh, Linda, this is absolutely amazing.
    I define success as inner peace and contentment. Having the joy of the Lord in my life
    . You are so right about failure. If you never fail, that means you haven’t done anything.

    • Linda S. Fitzgerald on March 19, 2019 at 12:55 pm

      Thanks so much Shelli for the vote of confidence. Knowing that sometimes the Lord asks us to fail in order to succeed can make “failing” less of a bitter pill to swallow!

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