{On Losing}

You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you might just find you get what you need. {The Rolling Stones}

It was in the back of my mind all weekend. I’m not going to lie: I wanted to win and I thought I had a pretty good chance.

Silas woke me up at 5:30 this morning. I resisted the urge to turn on the laptop before I fed him; I must have some priorities. After getting him milk-drunk and back to sleep, I nervously typed in the web address.


The post was live: And the 8 Relevant 2011 Sponsorships Go To…

As I scrolled through the post I willed my name to be there. It wasn’t.

Immediately my thoughts turned to encouraging the winners. Be happy for them. It has no impact on my merit as a writer. 

What is it within me that won’t let me be disappointed? It wasn’t until 10 minutes later when I was heading back to bed that I allowed myself to admit: I wish it had been me. A trip to Relevant 11, buoyed by the support of a great group of women like those found at (In)Courage, would have made me really happy. To meet face-to-face with so many I’ve met online {sigh}.

Where does it say in the Bible that we can’t feel disappointment? It must be in that same chapter that tells us we can’t accept compliments. Does rejoicing with others mean we minimize our sadness?

I didn’t get what I wanted, but I think I still got what I needed.


My main take-away from the conference this weekend was that I need to quit striving, and also quit holding myself back. That’s oxymoronic, right?

I’m desperate…

…for approval

…for recognition

…for success

That desperation creates a crazy monster inside of me that strives and grasps and envies and stinks. He wants me to claw my way to the top, take no prisoners, all’s fair in love and war. Everything is done out of selfish ambition and vain conceit, considering others as less than myself, and solely looking out for my own interests.

{That needs to stop}

Did I mention that my monster is lazy? For all his posturing, he doesn’t really do anything. It’s all attitude. His Achilles heel is FEAR; the fear inside of me that resists opportunities when they present themselves. I need to quit holding myself back. Which is exactly where this contest was good for me. I finally went for something.


I tried. I lost. But at least I tried.

And I’ll try again next time, all in the spirit that God is in control of the timing, and that the process itself is necessary.

“Write in obscurity. Take time. Don’t jump over the things you need to walk through slowly.” {Mary DeMuth}

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33 thoughts on “{On Losing}

  1. i can feel it. that’s good. i feel like i know exactly how you feel and the page wraps around your thoughts so well. I also can relate. I have the same problem with fear. I’m gonna use that great little encouragement from mary demuth too, it’s too true. you have to take time with those parts and let them shine.

    thanks for sharing melissa.

  2. I SO wanted you to win and was disappointed, too. I know a lot went into the proposal and I know God is grooming you for so much more…this is only the beginning…and I’m NOT just saying that. He is shaping you as a wife, a mom, ministry leader…sometimes our fears in creative pursuits reflect fears in other areas, too, right? so I’m sure God will continue to teach you to step out in faith in those areas, too…

    I had so much fun soaking up all the goodness at the conference with you and especially gleaning from Mary…

    1. Aww…this brought tears, Melissa. I really enjoyed being at the conference with you and Dana, it was so nice to have friends there with me. I’m excited to see what God brings out in you from all that’s been going on, too. :)

  3. I really appreciate your honesty here. It’s encouraging to see in the blogosphere. And you’re right. It’s okay to feel disappointment, it’s what we do with the feeling that matters. Thanks again.

    1. Thanks, Cheryl. I hope it came across that I’m very excited for the people who actually were picked. I know they wanted it just as much as I did, and I know a lot of prayer went into the whole thing. I’m sure that they were the perfect ones for it. :)

  4. I feel disappointment all the time when I don’t win. That’s why I try not to enter into anything that relies on luck. I have the WORST luck.


  5. Makes me think of Coldplay’s “Fix You”

    When you try your best, but you don’t succeed
    When you get what you want, but not what you need
    When you feel so tired, but you can’t sleep
    Stuck in reverse

    Only difference is you’re not stuck in reverse because it’s His power at work in you that propels you forward. Praying and trusting that He continues to work everything for your good. Girl, we have such similar struggles. Is that because we’re both women or because we really are meant to be friends? Maybe it’s both, and more. :)

  6. What’s really interesting is that I *knew* that I wouldn’t win, entered anyway, and feel at peace with it. However, I had a tough time not seeing YOUR face on that list. Really. You are an incredible writer and deserve the best. You will be acknowledged in some way, of that I’m certian. In the meantime, I will continue to look forward to seeing your updates on my sidebar. :) And yes, my dear, the process is necessary. Peace to you…

    1. I’m so glad that you went ahead and entered, Mary Jo. I got so much from the process, and I bet you did too. I appreciate your kind words. They really mean a lot! Thank you!!

  7. Of course you’re dissapointed! It would have been great to be selected but I know that you know if God has something for you then nothing can stand against it. He gave you a dream and talent to back it up. It will happen in His time – but you’re right, it requires you putting yourself out there. God has great plans for you and I am confident that you will not prevent them from fulfillment.

  8. I thought of you as I read the post over at incourage this morning. I took a moment to pray for you. Disappointment is real and it stinks, but your heart is in the right place and I’m sure you will come out better through it all. You are an amazing writer!

  9. sigh. i hear you and i had a very similar thought train going through my own mind when i looked at the post. here’s to trusting god even so. praying for you and i would have loved to see your pretty face on there just sayin’ =)

    1. It would have been great to have both gotten it and met at Relevant! :) We’ll have to have our own retreat. Haha! Or start saving for Relevant 12. :)

  10. Im glad you didn’t win. Then you’ll be too good for us readers. I like you just the way you are. By the way, you are a writer and you have an audience. Keep your head up… or eat a pint of ice cream. Just make sure you live blog it. :)

  11. There’s such wisdom in your response, Melissa. I look forward to seeing how God will use your openness. (And feel free to totally revel in your disappointment for a bit. Stew on it and get it out of your system. We have to acknowledge our feelings before we can truly move forward. I’ll eat a Cadbury Egg in your honor.)

  12. I have a crazy, lazy monster too. I think we all do. He’s called by many names (i.e. Resistance in War of Art). Keep writing because I know a door will open. I want to be able to read about it here when it does!

    1. Glad to know I’m not alone with my inner gremlin. Haha! I loved the War of Art, it really helped me to identify the resistance I was dealing with. Thanks, Tony!

  13. Oh sweetness. I wrote that post over at (in)courage and the whole time I was typing it I was praying the hardest for the women who wouldn’t see their names there. Because there was such a remarkable pool of remarkable talent. And saying no is hard. But listen to your readers up above. They’re a smart bunch. This no doesn’t define your story, it’s just part of the process of telling it. As I’ve said before, you have a gift with words. And what matters more in my book, a gift with creating community. Thank you for giving us your stories. The good and even more importantly, these difficult ones.

    Warmest of wishes,

    1. Your prayers for the ones not chosen were so evident! Honestly, I’m surprised at how at peace I was with the whole thing. I did really want it, but I knew that prayer was involved in the entire process {on my side & you all’s}. The right ones were chosen! There is a multitude of amazing women who are part of the (in)courage community, and I didn’t envy your position in having to pick out only eight. Thank you for your encouragement — here and always — and I look forward to other opportunities in the future to partner with (in)courage! Or, maybe we could just get together for a brownie sundae. Haha!

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