The Secret to Stop Feeling Like a Failure

October 17, 2014 | 2 comments

A Welcome to New Friends

Welcome! Some of you are dropping by for the first time today, coming from Ann Voskamp’s blog, where she graciously allowed me to tell a story today. It’s a pleasure to “meet” you! Pull up a chair…

I’m Jennifer Dukes Lee. I am a storyteller and a grace dweller, and I’ve been blogging about faith right here, since 2008.

My husband and I are raising crops, pigs, a herd of cats, and two humans on the Lee family farm in Iowa.

I wrote a book called Love Idol. It’s for any woman who needs to know that she has nothing to prove — that she’s “preapproved” in Christ.

I’m a journalist at heart. I used to cover crime, politics, and natural disasters as a news reporter for metropolitan daily newspapers. Now, I use my reporting skills to chase after the biggest story ever: the redemptive story of Christ. (That’s front-page news.) I cling to the hope of a cross, and I’m passionate about sharing the Good News through story. I believe in miracles; I am one. I marvel at God’s unrelenting grace for stumbling sinners like me, who have been made whole through Christ. I believe in scandalous grace, and that the cross is the most priceless and costly gift the world has ever seen. I believe that it really is all because of Jesus.

Along this journey, I love to tell the story. (‘Twill be my theme in glory!).

I am a writer for Dayspring’s (in)courage, and an editor at The High Calling.

Most days, you’ll find me right here. And there’s always, always a spot at the table for you. Shall we connect on Twitter and Facebook?

If you’d like, you can subscribe to my posts, which will appear in your inbox three times a week. Subscribing is free. Subscribe by clicking here.

The Secret to Stop Feeling Like a Failure

I always wanted the A.

Anything less felt like failing.

But back during freshman year of university, I unfolded my mid-term grade report, smoothing it out on my desk.

That day, I found this fat D+ on the grid of my mid-term report. I was nearly failing math, and I took it personal. I felt a single letter wrap its whole self around my identity, and I became the D+.

Sometimes you can make the grade. And sometimes, the grade can make you.


We grow up, but still feel 18 on the inside.

We trade mid-term reports for the soft middle of middle-age. And we still go around looking for proof that we’re making the grade.

We know better. We are the Jesus people. And we know that our worth isn’t defined by magazine covers and report cards and the approval that the culture is hawking.

We don’t want what they’re selling.

But we are buying anyway…

Read the rest of the story on on the blog of Ann Voskamp today … 



by | October 17, 2014 | 2 comments


  1. Kristi Atkinson

    Words and stories like these are gift among the rest of the noise online. I’ve been wondering lately if the church really looks like Christ at all any more. With all the temptation to self-promotion, getting ahead, building platforms….
    So great to be reminded by Tozer’s quote that it is not just our time or generation. And the reminder from Jesus’ interaction with his disciples. . . that this is a temptation of all generations to want to be noticed and praised.
    Thank you.

  2. Nancy Ruegg

    The tears came as I read, “What if we would patiently acquire virtue, not seeking human accolades but waiting in anticipation of the ‘divine accolade’?” Oh, yes! And I pray, Lord, help me to embrace the selfless attitude Jennifer describes so eloquently.


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