Five Ways Mistakes Prove You’re Trying | Guest Post by Rachel Leitch

We have another guest post on the blog today! I enjoyed reading this one by Rachel (a fellow student from the Young Writer’s Workshop) and found her points about mistakes extremely encouraging. I’ll leave you with her…

I hate making mistakes.

It was my first day on the job as a paraprofessional at a local elementary school. I was homeschooled, so it was my first real experience inside a public school. It was all I could do to keep from getting turned around, much less remember where I was supposed to be when, and what I was supposed to be doing.

By the time lunch time rolled around, I’d gotten lost and confused. They’d sent another para to track me down and help me out. On top of that, the rain forced us to the first indoor recess of the year, so not even the lead para knew what we were doing yet.

I was frustrated and overwhelmed. All I wanted to do was go home where there was some semblance of familiar and normal. And to think I had to come back and do this all over again tomorrow?

As I peered in the door of one of the first grade classrooms to supervise recess, a quote above their bulletin board stood out to me.

In big white bubble letters, it said, “Mistakes are proof you are trying.”

That quote has slowly helped changed the way I look at mistakes. (Or try to look at mistakes, anyhow.)

1.      Mistakes are not endings.

When I make a mistake, it’s easy for me to assume I’m done. Finished. Not cut out for whatever I’m trying to do. Not even someone God would want to put back on the job.

But when I’m editing one of my novels, I don’t throw it down and call it quits every time I misspell a word or forget a comma. I fix the sentence or plot point that’s giving me the problem and move on.

God does the same. He helps us through our mistakes, no matter how many times, no matter how long it takes, as long as we keep coming to Him. He wants to help. He wants us, mistakes and all. And He still wants to do amazing things through us.

“Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”

Isaiah 43:19, KJV

2.      Mistakes are proof you are trying.

I have a hard time committing to things sometimes. I doubt myself. What if I get into XYZ and I can’t do it? What if I mess it up?

Then when I do throw my heart and soul into something and I make a mistake, I become embarrassed or discouraged.

Mistakes are not a sign that you’re not enough, or that you’re weak, or that you’re incompetent. Sometimes I’m so caught up in how failure will make me feel that I miss the bigger picture.

Mistakes show you are throwing your soul into something. So release yourself of your shame. God sees how hard you’re trying.

“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.”

Colossians 3:23, KJV

3.      Mistakes are necessary.

I did not like writing that sentence at all. I think of some of my mistakes, some of them still very vivid in my mind, cringe, and shove them back where they came from.

I don’t know why I had to make some of those mistakes or deal with the cringey memories to follow. I may never know.

But other mistakes, I can look back and see how I learned from them. How I became closer to what God wants me to be. The knowledge I learned that I couldn’t have any other way. I try to trust all my mistakes are that way.

“A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool.”

(Proverbs 17:10, KJV)

4.      It’s okay to ask for help.

A quick note—We learn this principle when we’re kids, but forget it when we become adults. We are fiercely independent, often because we’ve been hurt before.

But it’s okay to need help. We can’t do it all. We’re not meant to. At least not on our own. Reach out to God. Allow His power to fill your life. Then find someone you can reach out to when you make a mistake and need help.

“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.”

Ecclesiastes 4:9, KJV

Quick note over.

5.      Mistakes set us up for success.

I still am a paraprofessional, by the way. And I love what I do.

Each mistake is priming you for success—whether it’s changing you little by little or teaching you little by little. That doesn’t mean you’ll succeed the next time and never fail again. It does mean every mistake has a purpose. And one day, we’ll see exactly why.

“And He that sat upon the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And He said unto me, ‘Write: for these words are true and faithful.’”

Revelation 21:5


Rachel Judith Leitch discovered the book of writing when she was seven. She’s been turning pages ever since! When she’s not hidden away penning young adult and middle grade fiction, she’s trying to fit all her reads on her shelf in a somewhat organized manner, rambling through American history, daydreaming at the piano, or teaching students to be just as bookish as she is. In all her adventures, she learns how to shine brighter for the Father of Lights.

For more lessons drawn from books and movies and other stories, follow her adventure journal at!

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