Quote: trying and failing - djedwardson.com
Trying and failing anne of green gables quote

Quote: trying and failing

Recently, I had the wonderful pleasure of reading Anne of Green Gables for the first time. Among the many marvelous and majestic passages, is this little quote.

Trying and failing anne of green gables quote

“Next to trying and winning, the next best thing is trying and failing.”

Anne of Green Gables

In some ways, this could be my motto at the moment. Things have not gone according to plan in my grand scheme of attempting to re-route the universe. I’m not where I saw myself when these best laid plans were put in place. Not anywhere close.

But I’m finding that trying and failing has its own kind of sweetness. Yes, there is grace even in the valley, perhaps especially in the valley.

We cannot perhaps give all the reasons why we are here, why the arrow missed the mark, why the spring hasn’t thawed, why the bells remain still and songless, but we need not hold our heads in shame. We can rest peacefully in the knowledge that we tried. We gave the world our best and in the end, that is all that could be asked. There is joy in the attempt and comfort even in defeat.

We are not alone

And who knows, but that our passing through this valley is no more than a season. We may come through to the other side one day. We may find a hidden path to the heights the next time we set out. But if not, if our journey continues on here in the valley, we may rest content knowing that we have a powerful Friend who walks with us no matter what road we travel.

“Whether in victory or defeat, no warrior can fail so long as he stays true to those he loves.”

The Swordspeaker Saga

So keep trying. Whether you win or fail, let it be glorious. And know that God’s mercy covers both the hills and the valleys.

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Comments (7)

  1. Jenelle June 6, 2020 at 7:29 pm

    I found this very encouraging today.

    In this vein, if you haven’t yet read The Story of With by Allen Arnold, I highly recommend it. It’s one of the most encouraging things I’ve read with regards to writing and being creative, and the story was fun, as well. (I listened to the audio version and it’s REALLY good, and I’m all picky about audio books). I think you’d enjoy the book.

    • DJ Edwardson June 8, 2020 at 9:07 am

      Thanks for the comment and the suggestion. I haven’t read a book on writing in a while, but I’m always on the look out for new insights and ways to hone my craft. I will definitely add it to my TBR pile!

      • Jenelle June 9, 2020 at 10:47 am

        It’s not really a book on writing… per se. It is very much a fantasy story, with a journey that creative people can relate to, and lessons along the way that the author takes time away from the story to highlight. Normally, I think that sort of structure might annoy me, but this was done so gently and encouragingly that I actually appreciated the interspersed, “Here’s the lesson in case you missed it” bits.

  2. E.E. Rawls June 16, 2020 at 11:40 pm

    I love this post. It’s very encouraging. I especially loved this part:
    “And who knows, but that our passing through this valley is no more than a season. We may come through to the other side one day. We may find a hidden path to the heights the next time we set out. But if not, if our journey continues on here in the valley, we may rest content knowing that we have a powerful Friend who walks with us no matter what road we travel.”
    –I feel that this should be made into a quote, or that you should put it in one of your books, it’s so poetic and visual.

    • DJ Edwardson June 17, 2020 at 3:51 pm

      Thank you for that encouraging comment. If that quote encourages anyone, then this post was worth writing. I may take you up and put it on a graphic or even in a story. Thanks for the idea!

  3. Aaron McNutt June 22, 2020 at 2:02 pm

    DJ, I’m glad to know that I’m not the only guy that is a fan of Anne of Green Gables (And the 1985 films–not the more recent video atrocities). To continue with your post, I find great mercy in purposeful “mark missing.” Because of our limited perspective, we often aim at goals in hopes for achievement only to discover later that what we were aiming at something that would have been unhealthy, unhelpful, or just plain miserable. For example, I had recently taken aim at a job opportunity. I didn’t get the job, pouted and moaned about it, and then found out that the candidate that was hired was treated very poorly. That was a merciful miss. I think we could all list a number of others of those providential mercies–confusing and hurtful as they may appear at the time–and find that those denials are profound examples are profound examples of lovingkindness. Thank you for this post, good sir. Good thoughts to ponder.

    • DJ Edwardson June 22, 2020 at 5:35 pm

      A merciful miss. Well put. Yes, we often do need saving from our limited vision. And sometimes that limitation involves not seeing that where we are at is far better than where we are anxious to go. Thank you for stopping and sharing your comments.

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