• Amanda Strauser

Confessions of a Corner Kid

“The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand.” — Psalm 37:23-24 NLT



Most people that know me well know that I can be really hard on myself. My husband even affectionately dubbed me a “corner kid.” Meaning I know God’s character enough to know that He isn’t going to put me in a corner so I’m going to go sit there myself for a while. At least until I feel sufficiently bad about myself so that I will never make the same mistake again. Here’s the kicker though, rarely does my approach at self-discipline ever reap lasting results. What I am beginning to realize here is that by imposing my own form of punishment - by isolating and becoming so focused on my failures - I am missing the growth that God intends to come out of my stumbles. Therefore, I am ill-equipped the next time I come to the same obstacle and I fail over and over again. I am keeping myself bound because I feel I deserve it and self-imposing a cycle that God is very ready and willing to break me free from.

It’s at this point in my writing where I become convinced I must be the only person on the planet that is foolish enough to fall for this scheme and therefore this topic is meaningless to delve into further. But then I hear God’s beautiful whisper saying, “Don’t believe the lie.”

You see us corner kids have fallen into the trap precisely because we love God so much. We desperately want to be good representatives of His kingdom, pure ambassadors of His character. So when we fail, miss the mark, or slip up we feel like we have failed Him.

So here it goes, “My name is Amanda, and I am a corner kid.”

I’m currently coming out of a year of slow growth. Yes, things changed and shifted but there were distractions along the way, squandered time, and missed opportunities. The funny thing is that I have been painfully aware of my shortcomings and beating myself up because of them on the regular. But my God, in His wonderful stern gentleness reminded me of this: No growth is ever wasted, no lesson is ever useless and every opportunity is a chance to shine and stretch and grow more. Every failure affords the same opportunity. The deciding factor is what are you going to do about it.

So my friends, what are you going to do about it?

As for me, I am not going to misuse His grace but I refuse to reject it either. I love Him too much to be okay with just okay, He created me to thrive and to grow and to look more like Him from glory to glory. My story is not written in my failures but through them I will learn, through them I will grow, and through them I will overcome. When my life is lived and my years are measured, this year will still be relevant, it has happened and there will be more after it. I am grateful for the more, I am grateful for the chance to try again and to succeed. And if I stumble, I will not fall because my God holds me by the hand and by that I am assured that I will arrive where He intended me to be all along.


Written by Amanda Strauser