The Blessing of the Blooper

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. - 2 Corinthians 11:30

Blooper. ˈblo͞opər/. Noun. an embarrassing public blunder. (Definition by Merriam-Webster).

One of the most memorable bloopers of my life occurred when I was just five years old. Somehow, I had qualified to take the exam for the Gifted and Talented program, a special track of classes that would allow me to take extra challenging Honors classes and earn distinction in later years. Honestly, as a kindergartener, this accolade didn’t mean much to me, but I was extra excited to join the select group of students who visited an enigmatic classroom on the other side of school several times a week. Secret club in a room with fun posters? Sign me up! I don’t remember which technicolored striped shirt I wore on the day of the Gifted and Talented (G/T) exam, but I know I was wearing my favorite black jeans. Slightly faded, held up by a chunky belt because I hadn’t discovered my favorite curvy skinny fit (nor did one exist in 1998, I bet), and boot cut so everyone could see my Payless white sneakers.

When it came time for the exam, I sat across from the test administrator as she held up each question on an individual card. I answered each question carefully and thoughtfully, trying not to overthink. At some point, however, I realized that my heart was racing and my tummy flutters were active not because I was nervous about the exam, but because I needed to use the restroom. Badly. A five year old desperate to please, I dared not ask my instructor to use the restroom. I knew the exam was timed (in retrospect, I’m confident they would have paused the time so I could relieve myself), and I also didn’t want to interrupt the instructor. So I shifted in my seat and tried my best to focus on the questions, squirming and squinting for several more minutes… until, of course, little Raven could hold it no more. I won’t elaborate too much, but suffice it to say that I passed the G/T exam. I was also sent home wearing a change of clothes and holding a bag of my favorite (and soggy) black jeans.

Growing up, my family and I were always eager to share that I was a part of the G/T Honors program, but we rarely shared the part where I wet myself during the exam.This is a sillier example, but in general, it’s easier for most of us to share the shining moments and keep the embarrassing and hard stuff to ourselves. I know personally, most of what I share on social media, and with others in general, is what I like to call my highlight reel. Accomplishments, life milestones, and the memories too good not to share. As I age, however, I’m more frequently reminded that the Lord is just as present, just as loving, and just as worthy of the #blessed hashtag in the bloopers of my life as He is in the highlight reels (if not more). And for that reason alone, it is worth sharing the bloopers of our lives with others as a testimony.

But it’s so difficult, isn’t it? Posting about getting the new position? Piece of chocolate cake. Sharing about the 10+ rejection letters that preceded it? Less so. It’s less glamorous sharing family photos around holiday times if we create a caption detailing all the drama and hurt we may have caused one another over the years. And you better believe you won’t see me posting a one-year anniversary of my biggest heartbreak, the first time I experienced the death of a friend, the low funds alert on my bank account, the days when the patients at work yelled at me, or screenshots of my apple watch when I didn’t even finish the workout. And I have never once listed a section of mistakes and trials on my resume.

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. - Psalms 68:19 

Why do we work so hard to mask and cover our hardships? Why do we act like we don’t make mistakes or feel hurt? I’m no stranger to individual and societal pressures to achieve, do well, and make it look easy. Furthermore, as a recovering people pleaser, the last thing I want to do is “burden” others with a list of things that aren’t going well in my life. While it is important to practice gratitude and remain joyful in hope (Romans 12:12), it’s also beautiful to relish in the fact that our ugly tears and brokenness are always, always welcome in the arms of the Father. That’s the beauty of the gospel, isn’t it? That despite all of our mistakes and bloopers, a loving God loved us so, so much that He gave His Son, His only Son, His perfect, eternally-blooper-free Son to the earth to live perfectly and die an innocent death, effectively atoning for the worst part of each of us. Oh, and also He defeated the grave so we could hang out with Him pain-free when this is all over. What better news could there be for a flawed human?

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. - Revelations 21:4

A few weeks ago, a friend at church asked me innocently, “Hey, are you doing okay?” I’m not sure if my makeup-smudged mask gave away the fact that I straight sobbed through the “Waymaker” song at the end of worship, but either way, I gave my best covered smile and confidently replied, “No. No, I’m not.” My friend has the most caring blue doe eyes, and they grew momentarily larger, then softer. Although it wasn’t easy to break my habitual “everything is great!” answer, that moment allowed us to dive into further conversation, which ultimately resulted in me trusting God (and by grace, his people) to help walk with me through a hardship. 

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. - Isaiah 40:29
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. -2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Not pictured: blooper where leaves effectively entered my eyes and mouth.

3 thoughts on “The Blessing of the Blooper

  1. Love this and love YOU, sister! ❤


    On Mon, Nov 1, 2021 at 1:08 PM Peanut Butter Faith wrote:

    > Raven-Deneice posted: ” If I must boast, I will boast of the things that > show my weakness. – 2 Corinthians 11:30 Blooper. ˈblo͞opər/. Noun. an > embarrassing public blunder. (Definition by Merriam-Webster). One of the > most memorable bloopers of my life occurred when I” >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Raven, I enjoyed reading this piece. Very thought provoking. Our brains are wired to naturally celebrate and feel great about the good stuff, making it easier to ignore the bad stuff.
    Looking forward to your next entry.

    Liked by 1 person

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