Last night was my granddaughter’s 5th birthday party. After the birthday festivities concluded, the oldsters congregated around the dining table for some games and laughter.

One of the games was called Quidditch (but that couldn’t have been the name because I just looked it up and that is a sport in the Harry Potter movies, but it was something like that) and involves making sentences out of word cards you are dealt. Like in the more familiar game of Scrabble, word choices can be challenged.

My son played the word “failer” of which another player and I were skeptical with me commenting on it after the play. He gave a definition of “one who failed”.  I reminded him the correct word (according to current grammar dictates) is “failure”. I didn’t challenge the play since it was late and I was tired, but his step-mother did. She won the challenge as the word “failer” does not appear in the Webster online dictionary she used.


But I was thinking about these words this morning as I was driving home from church having just heard 2 exceptional sermons. The main point I got from the first, at the Methodist Church, was that we should follow God’s plan for us–even if it may not appear logical, or even if we don’t feel like the logical person for such a plan–especially if God himself has told us this is his plan for us. The second sermon, at OACF, had several main points, but the one I took home was that when our hearts are troubled we can crawl up in God’s lap.

Well, my heart was troubled over something that happened recently. As an Aspie, it is difficult for me to envision myself being on God’s lap held securely in his arms of limitless strength and gentleness. But I know he created us in his image, so he has a lap and his arms have unlimited strength; and, like always when this scenario is mentioned, and I need it, I tried to envision it and even feel it, with modest success.

Then I remembered (or more likely he reminded me) of a time shortly after my dad’s death when the pastor of the church I attended at the time enfolded me in what I can only describe as a “bear” hug. It is what I refer to as a “squeezy” hug to my grandchildren. It’s my favorite kind of hug, but it is the sort most men, or women, for that matter, will not give to a woman; and in today’s world, I can certainly understand why. I later found out his wife had told him I needed one of the hugs like he gave his children and grandchildren. I was so grateful to both of them because it had been at the time something essential to my soul.

This is the kind of hug I think God gives. It is not a sideways hug. It is not a perfunctory placement of arms around another person in a half-hearted embrace. It is not a cautious hug given with a fear of being rejected by the recipient. It is not something that lasts a fraction of a second and not a fraction of a second longer.


It is a perfect hug.


I cannot feel it physically, but I have learned to feel it in my heart. It is especially necessary that I receive these hugs on occasions when I feel like a failure.

I was feeling a bit that way this morning. Yes, even after just having heard/received two life-affirming, soul-refreshing sermons.

Then, while still in my mind picturing being on God’s lap and in his arms, I realized. . .

. . .even though it may seem like my mind was skipping around like a feather tossed by a wind. . .

I like the word failer much better than failure.

As Rory put it, failer is simply someone who fails; in other words, everyone.

Whereas failure could be applied to a situation, it is a word which should never be applied to a human being’s character.

Sometimes I could be called a failer; but I am not a failure, never have been, and God has never called me this.

Nor are you a failure, dear brother or sister. According to Revelation 12:11, you are an overcomer. Most of the time to achieve an overcomation (another word I made up several years ago but like a lot), one must experience failures (not a person, just an experience) sometimes a lot of them, before success/victory.

Do you think I can request a new word be added to the dictionary?

Author: jacquelinemcdougall

Christian author, daughter, sister, recent widow, mother, grandmother who has not only survived many Euroclydons (fierce storms) in life but emerged from them strengthened and victorious. My true identity, which I still struggle to wear, though, is that of daughter of the Living King.

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