When Failing Wins


Challenges are more often like marathons than sprints. We’re most spent as we near the finish line, and when I can’t see the end, sometimes I falter and it’s tempting to quit rather than carry on. 

“God,” I said, “I’m not entering any more writing contests if I don’t win something this time.” —I almost didn’t enter, but I figured entering my article on failing was  appropriate since I’m so adept at it. Besides, the road to success is often paved with failure. 

Rachael-M-Colby-Tattoo-It-On-Your-Heart-The-road-to success-is-often-paved-with-failure

The best will fail the most.

 George Washington lost more battles than he won. Thomas Edison scrapped more “great ideas” than he ever saw come to fruition. 

The well-played life is not about never falling.

It is about how we roll when we crash, how we walk away after we get up, and whom we walk away with. —Leonard Sweet, The Well Played Life

“There is so much in writing that is out of your control, but none of it is out of God’s control. Will you keep writing, keep  learning, and persevere through rejection?” Bob Hostetler


We can choose to either hide from rejection and draw back from risk or quit quitting and drag our fears into the light of God’s promises and run with the vision He has given us. 

Tattoo-It_On_Your_Heart_CFM_Pastor_Chip_Ganiear_Potential_MiracleWe overcome and healing comes when we yield our hearts, our failures and struggles to God and use them to glorify Him and help others. 

I’m thrilled to announce that my article,  I Hate Commitment (or is it Failure I Fear?) won 3rd place in the 2019 Serious Writer’s North Carolina Christian Writers Conference Tar Heel awards for the short non-fiction category. (NCCWC)

Congratulations to Pastor Chip Ganiear, as several of his quotes are included in this article. (Thanks for the great sermon, Pastor, and for always patiently answering my million questions. 🙂 )


My failure was the inspiration that opened the door for my win—I had to fail to win. Sometimes our winning is hidden in the failing until it’s time.

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. II Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV)

I Hate Commitment (or is it Failure I Fear?) 

I hate commitment. It’s terrifying! Failure to keep a commitment devastates me, no matter how small. So, I shy away from it. I procrastinated… Click to continue reading, I Hate Commitment (or is it Failure I Fear?) 

(Keep scrolling, please.)


Click arrow below for promo video of my interview on #PJNET Live.

*Full video interview embedded at end of article*

Maybe other nine-year-olds were asleep while I stayed up reading late into the night. Mom always saw the light though, whether I huddled under the blankets or hid under the bed. So, I found a new spot. Seated on my bedroom window sill of our 14th floor apartment, moonlight spilled across the pages as street lights twinkled below. It was from this elevated perch that I penned my first words, a poem. 

*Disclaimer: Do not try this at home or anywhere else, (sitting on your window sill), unless you are a professional window washer.

Easter morning, 2017

I hid at the back of the group gathered on the shore for the Easter sunrise service as my young friend Dave’s pastor, Bruce Hanlon, spoke of the early Church greeting each other with “He is risen!” and their response of, “He is Risen indeed!” He then asked us to respond to the statement, “because He is risen,” with what that meant to us. Too shy to reply, I quietly started writing my poem entitled He is Risen, and it evolved over the next two years. 

Scroll down please.


How poetic that the first thing I ever wrote was a poem, and my first win in a writing contest was in the category of poetry. My poem, He is Risen, won 1st place in the 2019 NCCWC Tar Heel Awards for Poetry.

Please scroll down to read He is Risen.

Rachael-M -Colby-North-Carolina-Christian-Writers-Conference-1st-Place-Tar-Heel-Award

Here it is: 

He is Risen

I tried to quell the yearning for a greater something

a purpose greater than the here and now

I chased all manner of both good and evil earthly pursuits

But nothing fulfilled. Not even religion

It was all vain distraction

But then, He found me

I met mercy and forgiveness on the way called grace

Mercy withheld judgment

Forgiveness wiped away my transgression

Grace translated me from servant to friend, from abandoned to adored

Do you want this?

God created you for Himself, for Heaven

That is why everything else misses the mark—just as we do

I fall short, but Jesus is the difference maker

Yes! My Creator is my crutch. I like to lean on Him

He is my healer, redeemer, restorer 

He is the Way and the way maker 

He wants to be yours too

I am a riverbed whose banks cannot contain the rushing water

He rains on me; He reigns in me 

I overflow

He compels me

But I do not walk alone

Here is a highway 

This is my rooftop

Hello, world! 

Can you hear me? 

Do you know my Jesus?

Because He is risen

I have hope

Because He is risen

I know Him

Because He is risen

I can come boldly before His throne

I do not fear death

Because He is risen

I have been translated

From dead in my sin to alive in Christ

From slave to set free and daughter of the King

From bound for Hell to Heaven bound

He is risen indeed!

This world is not my home

It’s just the road to where I’m going

Heaven is my home, and Jesus is my prize 

© 2017, 2019  Rachael M Colby

  1st Place 2019 NCCWC Tar Heel Award


Click below to for my full interview on #PJNET Live 

Did you miss my prior post, Am I Worth it?

I don’t doubt God’s call to #write, but sometimes I doubt myself—I fear #quitting. Remember in the Grinch when the townspeople are shouting at him? “You don’t belong there!” echoed through my mind… click here to continue reading,  Am I Worth It? 

Click here to read my award winning article: 

I Hate Commitment (or is it Failure I Fear?)

Thank You:

Serious Writer for helping equip writers, for hosting conferences and  contests, and for my awards. 

Jerry Jenkins, my mentor, for your incredible teaching and all you provide in your writers guild.  

To my writers group, Faith Warrior Writers—What a gift you are. What an honor to to bear each others’ burdens in prayer, to share our lives, and to help and encourage each other on our writing journey. Thank you to my family who puts up with me and to my readers for your support and encouragement and to all who pray for me and my writing. I love you. God bless you all.  

Most of all, thank you Jesus for the honor to write for You, for your patient leading and the strength to carry on. You are my inspiration, my joy, my passion, my Lord and Savior through it all.

Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God.  II Corinthians 3:5 (NKJV)

“Here’s my pen Lord; hold my hand.”

CLICK HERE to sign up for the TATTOO IT ON YOUR HEART NEWSLETTER to receive my blog posts, occasional notifications of special events, offers, and free downloads by email.

Check out #PJNET Live Monday – Thursday 9:00 p.m. & 9:30 p.m and  Friday 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time as Coach Prasek hosts  variety of guests.  Here’s the link to Patriot Journalist Network. Once on their site click “Enter” at the top of the screen to watch the show.

Waterfall photo by Ana Paes – unsplash.com

Waterfall photo by Sanjoy Saha – unsplash.com

© 2019  Rachael M Colby |  Tattoo It On Your Heart

Author: Rachael M. Colby

Born and raised in Jamaica, award-winning writer Rachael M. Colby resides in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Wife, mom, beach bum, artist, work in progress, avid Tweeter—#HealthyFaithChat leader, Rachael writes to glorify God, encourage believers, and reach the lost. She connects culture’s questions with Christianity’s answers, inspires faith, and motivates through articles, devotions, poetry, and interviews. She has a heart for racial reconciliation and to uplift those who serve in tough places. Her work has appeared on Southern Ohio Christian Voice, Inkspirations Online, the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference Blog, in the compilation books Creative Writing Journal: Faith Inspired Writing Prompts & Hope-Filled Poetry, The Courage to Write: 62 devotions to Encourage your Writing Journey, and Defining Moments: Memorable and Inspiring Stories from Outstanding Leaders, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Well That Was Funny, and in the Oak Ridger newspaper. She runs on copious amounts of coffee and chocolate and a whole lot of "Help me, Jesus." Her WIPS include a compilation of her family’s and others’ stories of their work as civil rights activists (adult and children’s books), and a devotional for writers. You can connect with Rachael on her website, TattooItOnYourHeart.com—a place for seekers, followers, and writers, and on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

10 thoughts on “When Failing Wins”

    1. Thank you, Dianne, and you are most welcome. I will be re-reading my own words to remind myself to carry on in my call to write, I’m sure, and reminding myself and others that success is obedience to God. May He continue to bless you and your husband in all your service to Him.


  1. Very encouraging post! I often overlook my wins and focus on failures, which leads to doubt and disillusionment. What a novel approach you have in looking at fails as wins. Thank you for this new insight.


  2. This is such an encouraging post, and just what I needed to be reminded of today. I’ve had several rejections lately, but I’ve also had some good news and great opportunities put before me. The problem is that I often let the rejections overshadow the doors God is opening. Thanks for this reminder.


  3. Enjoyed your post Ms. Rachael. Failure doesn’t happen when the objective is not achieved my young friend, it happens when you quit trying. We are compelled, to evaluate every attempt and find what we can learn from each one; applying it to your next attempt. Eventually, success is achieved. Congratulations on your awards ma’am. Well done.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: