• Kirstyn Oliver

Don’t focus on the fall, take the next step.

Parents celebrate when their little ones do something for the first time. Especially when they take their first step. Children will stumble and fall, they do not get it right first time round. Parents, however, do not condemn the falls. They applaud the child on their effort and provide another opportunity to try again and learn.

We all stumble and fall in life, think back to the first fall, sin.

Adam and Eve fell into temptation, they sinned and yes there were consequences for this, but God didn’t turn His back on them and leave them. Instead, He still came to talk to them, and He provided them with an opportunity to learn. Now, after the fall, they would have to learn other things and grow through several opportunities.

Parents don’t fixate on the stumbles, they scoop their children up and say try again. They cheer them on until they get back up again and take the next step. God is like that with us, He is excited, He celebrates, He loves us despite the stumbles and falls.

Sometimes, barriers aren’t even in the way to make us fall, you might not have the serpent like Adam and Eve.

Like a toddler learning to walk, they may stumble and fall on their own. We need to own our mistakes, get back up again and take another opportunity. God’s grace provides us with those opportunities, He doesn’t fixate on the fall. He gave Adam and Eve other opportunities to renew their relationship with Him.

I don’t want us to focus on sin here, although that is an important matter to discuss, but instead I want to focus on the celebrations, the excitement, the joy we have when we achieve something. And to remind you, that everyone achieves their own goals in their own time. Sometimes we might be surprised at an achievement that wasn’t even planned or on our personal check list.

It’s important as a society to respect and acknowledge that each and every single person is different. We all live and work in different ways and God rejoices with every one of us. There is no check list from God that says He will only rejoice in your success “if you do a certain thing” or “if you do it a certain way”.

God gives us many opportunities to live a life full of achievements and successes. We are the ones putting the list in place. God is excited to see you take the next step in your personal journey, even if you stumble, even if you take longer than someone else to reach a certain goal. Don't compare, you are taking the next step of your life.

I’ve worked with many autistic children and young people with learning difficulties and disabilities and to celebrate their achievements with them is such a special thing and something to learn from. From my experience, I could see the joy and excitement in their eyes when they achieved something, even if for the majority of others, it were something considered small. For them, they were successful, they reached the goal, they managed to do it, they hit the target. It didn’t matter what anyone else in the room did or didn’t do, there were no comparisons. They did their best and they took that small step. Us adults in the room would then go over the top with celebrations, because we knew how important it was for them. Just like a parent of a toddler walking for the first time, we would be proud and happy for them.

God is like that, He is happy for you and proud of you, no matter how many times or how many different ways it took you to achieve a small step. Remember from our last blog, at the end of the day, achievement or no achievement you are still loved.

So, take example from someone today who focuses on doing their best, no comparisons, no check list of achievements, simply celebrating the small steps, the stumbles along the way that help you learn and discover other opportunities and the joy in being you, uniquely you.

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