How Do I Recover From Failure in My Life? | Mike Donehey (Tenth Avenue North)

Week 2: Lies We Believe

Combatting the lie: I am defined by my failures.

Mike Donehey‘s stories and thoughts on failure will stick with you. He’s the lead singer of Tenth Avenue North and wrote about not letting your failures define you in the song “You Are More.” If you’re struggling to get past failures large or small in your own life, Mike’s words in today’s video will bring you so much life and freedom!

(Plus, Mike tells an incredible story about how this song changed a drug addict’s life and Wally tries to make Mike cry!)


Mike says, “The biggest relief for me when I’m obsessing about myself is to realize that I’m not my own and it’s not my story. I’m His and I was written into His story. And that kind of takes the pressure off… I make mistakes, but I’m just a part in this story and any good story, you can have a total knuckle-head who comes through and brings something really valuable to the story…

“You Are More” was very rewarding… I remember being so excited to sing that over people…

People live out who they are and who they call themselves… When I was in 7th grade… I was sent to the principles office 42 times… If it weren’t for my middle school principal… I remember one time he caught me with my arm up the candy machine… Every other teacher had labeled me “troublemaker.” Every other teacher had labeled me “lost cause.” So you would expect… when my principal catches me in the act, he’d be like, “See, you little delinquent. This is just who I knew you are.”

You know what he says? He says, “Hmmm… Mike, you’re telling me your integrity is worth 50 cents? You know, I always thought it was worth more than that.” Then he walked out… He just let me stew with it… He lived out that old quote that says, “Treat a man as he is and he’ll remain that man, but treat a man as the man he could be or as he should be and he’ll become that better man.” That was the first glimpse I got of, this name tag of “troublemaker,” I’m actually more than that. He inspired me to be the man he knew I could be and God was saying I was.”

Listen to the life-giving words Mike wrote with Tenth Avenue North. “You are more than the sum of your past mistakes!”


In week 2 of the World’s Biggest Small Group: Identity, we’re combatting the lies we so often believe and learning to replace them with truth. Here’s a verse to think on this week as we learn:

10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

(John 10:10 New Living Translation)

Don’t miss out! This is just one day in a 15 day series on Identity. You can subscribe and get each day in your inbox below.

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    Doris Ripczinski
    Doris Ripczinski
    October 15, 2018 8:43 am

    I remember the first time I heard this song. I have a dear son that has struggled with addiction for 10 years now. The enemy had filled his head with so many lies and as a prayer warrior Mom, I knew this song has a message for my son. I forwarded to him. Then le go let God. That message… the message of grace is written on the refrigerator as I write this and has been for months. We are NOT the mistakes we’ve made! Hallelujah! Thank You Lord! Thank you for this lesson.

    November 2, 2018 5:38 am

    When you told the story about how this song changed a drug addict’s life i cried as I sensed the Spirit of God come over me and tell me I have touched many people. It’s so hard to fathom when I’m wrapped up in the day to day .. I don’t always have the eyes to see… I am one of those who talk frequently of how different we are and our being the sum of the our experiences. Its what makes us who we are…Mercy and Grace play such a big role! Thank you for the song and thank… Read more »

    Shawn Uhlman
    Shawn Uhlman
    October 15, 2018 10:27 pm

    That was an absolutely wonderful story and that song does speak very loudly to me. I know if I were to be defined by my choices, I never would have made it this far.

    Joyce Carter
    Joyce Carter
    July 2, 2020 12:39 am

    I sensed the Real Spirit of God. in this Interview ??

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