About the Author

Lucretia is a wife, mom of three, and a TEDx and Q Ideas speaker (Charlotte, NC, 2017). As a former college professor, she designed the popular ‘beginners’ course and study guide, What LIES Between Us: Fostering First Steps Toward Racial Healing. She is the creator and director of the Brownicity.com...

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  1. Lucretia,
    The world says celebrate success, but like you so beautifully pointed out, we need to teach our kids to fail with dignity. They need to know that failure is part of the process and it builds character. There is hope in knowing you can go down on the mat and get back up again….that the match isn’t over. It’s very humbling when your 26 year marriage fails. Talk about feeling like a real failure. The struggle, however, sent me running straight into the arms of my loving Father. I learned that I could crawl hopelessly into His lap and cry on His shoulder. In that struggle, I learned that my identity comes from Him and Him alone, and that one person cannot define it. I believe that struggle leads to surrender and in that surrender we find the sweet spot of our faith. Yes, indeed, struggle is so often the reward. You shared this truth wonderfully!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    ps. I hated piano recitals myself ….at least your daughter persevered to the bitter end!

    • Thank you, Bev, for sharing the key to success from a personal viewpoint–running to the arms of our loving Father. I learned this and what you wrote next after losing my husband to cancer. Being in our Father’s loving arms makes failure into success. Blessings

  2. At some point, I guess we got the American Dream and the Christian Life confused, and there’s some unlearning we all need to do. Scripture gives us words for lament, and we who have grown up in North America with our indoor plumbing and antibiotics need that script so that we can faithfully mourn our own loss and brokenness and also enter into the sadness of others.
    Blessings to you, Piano Mum!

    • “we got the American Dream and the Christian Life confused”
      I love that! An insufficient theology denotes that a life in Christ is void of pain and hard stuff. Life is hard stuff. Life is overcoming. We recognize joy and beauty because of our acquaintance with the hard stuff.

  3. Yes I have felt as if I had struggled so much and failed. Especially in raising my kids. I try as much as I can to provide opportunities and surround myself with Godly people raising my kids and yet it seems my 22 year old is so far from God and wants nothing to do with Him whatsoever. I feel as if I had not done anything to instill those values in him. I continue to pray and trust that in these struggles that I am having, my son is having, may we be reminded of God’s unconditional love and somewhere along the path, my son’s heart will turn back to what is right and what is good. Thank you for sharing.

    • I’m right there with you, Maylee. Mykids were raised in the church and later married wonderful mates. I know God handpicked them and I praise Him for that. My daughter and son in law are starting a ministry, but my son and daughter in law no longer believe in God and haven’t for many years. I tearfully pray for all of them every day and I know God has them in His loving hands and will call them back in His time. Love never fails. I will pray for your son and for you.

    • I am grateful for a mother’s love that fuels steadfast prayers for her children. She is a reflection of God’s faithfulness. Even when we chose to let go of God’s hand — and many of us do, maybe not completely, but in various ways in certain areas in our lives — we are still covered by His grace, mercy, and love.

  4. “I realized I had taught them to celebrate success and had failed to teach them to celebrate struggle.” ==> That right there is gold. So rich, Lucretia. Thank you.

  5. Lucretia,

    We need to teach young children that failure isn’t the end. You must get up, dust off, & start again. Many many people in history have failed. Abraham Lincoln lost a job, failed in business & lost many elections. Each loss brought about some success for him. Thomas Edison failed 1,000 times to make the light bulb. A quote by Alexander Graham Bell: “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” We tend to want to look back at our failures & lament them. We should really analyze what happened, get up & try again. Each failure or trail will teach us something. I have learned to trust God more. He has great plans for us. Let’s celebrate our failures in the midst of them & learn something.

    Blessings 🙂

  6. You have no idea how much I needed to hear this right now! To God be the glory! Thank you for your transparency and perspective.

  7. Thank you so much Lucretia for sharing this beautifully written truth. I HATE struggle! I mean, HATE it! Growing up in alcoholic family, struggle was ever present and meant something was very very wrong and needed fixing. That was my job…”fixer.” When I became a Christian, I thought that equaled “smooth life”…not so! So I have struggled with struggle! I know that God has blessed me and taught me through all the struggles but yet, i was still resisting/resenting struggles. You put words to a truth that I knew but hadn’t acknowledged. I so needed this. XOXOX

    • So true Paula! I too have “struggled with the struggle” and thought a Christian life meant smooth sailing, safety and miracles. Now, I see it actually means a line has been drawn in the sand and the battle is really on because we chose a side. But there is really beauty in the midst of it all. Only Jesus could do that.

    • “I have struggled with struggle!’ That is beautiful. Let’s inhale and let the struggle make us more–beautiful, wise, strong, patient, skilled, etc. Then we can exhale the breath of the Divine.

  8. I love this! Very well written and a very timely reminder. Thank you for writing this peace, what a beautiful illustration. My daughter is very young and I will be mindful to pass this message on. I often try to impress upon her that a failure is NEVER a loss when you learn. That you can learn from failures as much as success but celebrating the failures . . . that’s a novel idea for me. Love it!

  9. Giving thanks for all the struggles is effects for God’s glory amen as He is the the behinning and end tje finisher of our faith and is always with us in the struggle Hallelujah thank you sisters

  10. Thank you for this written word in due season! As we have so many times heard “ the struggle is real”, you put a great perspective on it. Thanks for sharing!

  11. God will be there to lift us if we fall. With the (many) mistakes I’ve made, and that we sometimes laugh about, hopefully has taught my kids that it’s okay. Although we might struggle and not always get it right, what really matters is we tried.
    Thank-you for sharing your story with us today Lucretia.
    Have a blessed day all,
    Penny

    • Thank you Penny.
      I want my girls to know that regardless of the outcome — success or disappointment — God has been graciously giving us success throughout the entire process. His generosity is too expansive to be held until the end. We get to celebrate all that we are gaining along the way.

  12. Love this: “In the trailing dust of defeat and discouragement we left behind, we couldn’t see how immensely the struggle we had gone through had gifted us.” This is so true, but so very hard to see in the midst. Failure is not the end – it is the beginning for those who choose to see it.

  13. Lucretia,
    It was so easy for me to focus on what I thought was the perfect outcome that I would rush through the process to only be left with a shadow of what I had hoped for. What had gone wrong? I had missed seeing the very thing you said, that the struggle might have actually been my reward. Stepping back away from being only goal focused has helped me begin to understand this. Also I think my 4 kids teach me this everyday as I try to guide them through simple and big struggles. Thank you for sharing a piece of your personal family life to help us learn this important lesson. #celebratethestruggle

  14. What a wonderful way to look at failure! I am excited to learn a new perspective. I will shift my thinking about the failures in my life. I have had some doozies and until now I struggled to release them. I now see I need to embrace them for how they have shaped me and influenced me to be humble and gracious towatd others. Wow, thank you for your words of hope and perspective! Game changer!

    • Barbara, you’re welcome!
      Yes, when we acknowledge and celebrate the fruit of our struggle, we never lose. We truly live in abundance, because even when we ‘fail,’ we realize that we’ve won!!!

  15. God’s blessings and anointing upon you all. I’ve enjoyed reading the encouraging words, acknowledgements, and testimonies. I know that even a seed in the ground struggles as it cracks open in the soil is the beginning of something special- yet to come. In all things we are to give God the glory and honor. As we celebrate Him- know that He has great and greater things in store for us if we labor until the end- even when we hurt and feel life’s disappointments. I personally know for a fact that we can learn something from all we go through.

  16. Such truth, Lucretia. ♥ God’s always working in His upside down ways, isn’t He? (Well, to our human perspective, anyway.) The struggle creates the testimony, and the testimony creates the credibility we need in order for that struggle to be used for His glory. That truly is the reward, isn’t it? Perhaps it’s not upside down, but rather full circle! 🙂

  17. Lucretia, it fills my heart with such joy to read your words here today! Beautifully written and such sweet, hard, needed truth. I’m especially hanging on to this: “In the trailing dust of defeat and discouragement we left behind, we couldn’t see how immensely the struggle we had gone through had gifted us.” May we all learn to celebrate the struggles and see the gifts in the midst of them! xx

  18. Umm wow. Yes. Thank you for writing this.

    My husband and I have had conversations about being okay with failure, but we haven’t figured out how to show this well to our kids. Thank you for this.

  19. Ah…Lucretia…this is wisdom earned and learned. One thing I’ve learned (relearned?) recently is in watching my 23-year-old son not get something he had worked tirelessly toward, an opportunity he poured months and long hours into, let alone his heart. To watch him feel the pain of falling short and yet stand tall and receive it as life experience? Oh, my mama heart was full. He learned he gained much more in falling short, and the next time when he pursued a similar opportunity – and got it! – it was much, much sweeter.

    Lovely words, my friend.