Friday, October 10, 2014

Pulling a Monica: Friends Series Guest Post

Happy Friday!! It is here, and it's looking mighty fine (as fine as the weekend can look according to the iPhone weather app!) Today we are going to end out the week on a fun note - a fun Friday Friends note, because I love some alliteration! My friend, Sara Jolley, wrote this post for another blog we both contribute to, and I loved it. I hope the Friends fan in you will love it too! Thanks Sara!

Failure: Pulling a Monica

So I have this friend named, Monica. She’s driven, responsible, and a notorious “neat-freak.” Monica always seems to have life together, however she has a very strained relationship with her mother. She’s constantly trying to vie for her mother’s attention and affirmation. Unfortunately, in most of her attempts at making her mom proud, something goes horribly wrong. Her mother’s disappointed and refers to whatever small catastrophe that occurred as, “pulling a Monica.”

Monica is hurt, defeated, and left feeling like an absolute failure.

You may recognize this story and phrase from the popular TV series, ‘Friends.’ If so, you might also know where I am going with this. If not, no worries. We’ll get there.

Matthew 16:18 “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

One of most well-known characters of the Bible is Peter. Peter was a hero of the faith. Several attributes that come to mind in regards to Peter are inquisitive, bold, and faithful. I mean…come on, he was THE disciple Christ appointed to help lay the foundation of the church. He was solid.

I also remember times when Peter didn't seem so solid. He stepped out of the boat to meet Jesus on water, but gave into fear and doubt on the way there and sank. He also denied Jesus three times, after Jesus’ arrest.

Matthew 14:28-31 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Matthew 26:74-75 “Then he began to curse and swear, “I do not know the man!” And immediately a rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, “Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.”

Yet, ultimately when I think of Peter, I don’t think “Man! You remember the time he ‘pulled a Peter’ and denied being a disciple of Christ?” I always think of how faithful and devoted to the Lord he was.

His success through Christ far outweighs his “failures.”

With this in mind, I started to think about the all times I feel I’ve “failed.” Initially this hurt, but then God revealed to me the woman He crafted through those missed opportunities, bad relationships, and acts of disobedience. And I have to say, that woman, is way better than who she was before those so-called failures.

Overwhelmed by God’s goodness and faithfulness, I began to realize the connotation I associated with failure was incorrect.

Any “failure” in your life you can glean God’s wisdom from and grow upwards is not a failure, but an opportunity. An opportunity to further conform to God’s character.

Peter capitalized on his failures opportunities. He did not let failure keep him from experiencing what the Lord had for him. He did not let them paralyze, imprison, or suffocate. He, as my dad would say, “marched to Zion” and kept his sights set on the Lord.

Ladies, I urge you to “march to Zion.” To alter your connotation of failure and see it as an incredible opportunity for God to show His grace, abounding love, and perfect wisdom.

Back to my friend, Monica.

One day her friend, Phoebe, witnessed Monica’s mom using the phrase “pulling a Monica.” What Phoebe did next completely changed Monica’s outlook on the saying she had grown to loathe.

Phoebe used what was meant to put down to lift up. She told Monica to change the connotation, to make “pulling a Monica” a positive thing. 

So next time, you feel like an utter failure think about all God has done and will do through whatever situation you’re in. Say to yourself, with a large grin, “I pulled a Monica." 

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