Posted by: Kris Lindsey | November 28, 2012

Mistakes–the Sequel

I made another mistake in public. I hate making mistakes, especially when they affect others.

When I got back from vacation, it was my turn to lead our Toastmaster’s meeting. I spent an entire afternoon writing intros for speakers and familiarizing myself with the order of business so the meeting would flow smoothly. I practiced key phrases out loud until they floated off my tongue clearly and easily. I was ready.

As I walked into the meeting, thirteen minutes early, Joe turned to me and asked, “Where are the agendas to pass out?”

“Was I supposed to bring them?” Faint memories of the one previous time I’d led the meeting raced through my head. My body stiffened. Yes, last time I did print and bring the agendas. Oh no, I blew it—too late to get them now.

Several members with key roles approached me with panic in their eyes, “Do you have an extra agenda? I need the information to do my part.”

“Sorry” was all I could say as the Sergeant at Arms rapped the gavel to officially start the meeting. Shaken, I took a deep breath, put on my best face, and forged ahead.

Everyone was very nice. “We’re all here to learn, and one thing is sure—you’ll never forget the agendas again.”

At home, I confessed my error to my husband, Bob. Still rattled, I struggled to settle down enough to go to bed.

The next morning I awoke feeling anxious and achy. I’d felt so good two days before thanks to my relaxing vacation and my church women’s retreat. No, I don’t want to feel this way—I want to feel good again.

I walked over to the stereo, selected my favorite worship CD, and sat down to spend some time with God. At the song’s urging, I once again gave God control of my life, starting with the upcoming events in my busy week, then acknowledging God’s sovereignty over everything and everyone around me.

This was a good first step, but my insides still ached, and my mind kept going back to details of the night before. Yes, God, I messed up. I confess. I have no one but myself to blame.

The aching continued.

Two songs later, the pressure in my chest suddenly swelled and a tear ran down my cheek. I disappointed myself, and it hurts. It hurts. Finally, the pain eased.

The next song reminded me God is near. With God at my side, I think I’m ready to get on with my day. I turned off the music and re-evaluated my emotional state. The ache was gone, but I still felt anxious. I eyed the front door and opted for a short walk.

What more can I do to shed this tension? After a few strides, a Bible verse popped into my head. “If we confess our sins, He (will) forgive us…and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Purify us from all unrighteousness. Wipe the slate clean. It began sinking in. With God, my blunder was gone.

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12). I envisioned my mistake as a stone dropping from my hand into a deep crevice–irretrievable. I took one labored step away from the edge, then another as my mistake plummeted out of sight into the past. I continued walking down the street, light and free.

Sometimes I’m too hard on myself, but God is good. When I go to him with open hands and heart, he guides me through my maze of feelings and leads me to a place of peace.


  1. Thank you so much for your honesty. Love reading your post such an inspiration.

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