Three Words I had to Learn





“Why do you think I wasn’t selected?” I had slid into his classroom after school because I knew this teacher was brutally honest.

“Not everyone likes you.” He was referring to the faculty selection committee.

My approval addiction was rearing its ugly head.

He went on, “You know how to succeed, but you haven’t learned about failure. Better learn it now or life will teach you.”

He was right.





Just over a year later, I listened to the keynote speaker at my high school graduation.... a prosperous businessman. He congratulated us for our hard work and said we’d be successful if we continued to work hard. Yes! I knew how to work hard. Success would be mine.

Went to college, worked hard. Found my best friend, Tom. When I turned 21, I married him. Success assured.

And then my high school teacher’s predictions happened. Life brought failure.



Fail: Delivering firewood and newspapers didn’t cover our bills, moved out of college housing, lived in a tent.

Now I knew what my teacher meant. I didn’t know what to do with failure. I became an emotional train wreck.

I had to learn three words: 
Get Back Up.






Next Fail: 

Music recording career goes nowhere. 

Get Back Up.













Then: 

Unemployed college graduates, cutting firewood again to pay bills.  

Get Back Up. 









More failure: 
Farmed for three years. Went broke. Get Back Up.

So, Graduates, congratulations on your success. Maybe you already know how to Get Back Up. If so, well done. That’s just as important as knowing how to succeed. I had to learn it the hard way.


“Though I have fallen, I will rise.” Micah 7:8b

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