What I Learned from a Bout with Discouragement

The other night I was really discouraged. I succumbed to the temptation to compare. I had no idea how many Christian women bloggers were out there, each with a distinct voice and audience. As I looked through countless websites and blogs, I saw better writers, better speakers, and certainly more successful authors. I wondered if I had anything unique to add to the conversation. Is there a reason to continue if everything I create might exist in a slightly different form somewhere else?

Honestly, I probably don’t have any brilliant insights no other Christian has ever thought before. My experiences and struggles have been experienced and struggled through by countless others. Does God need me to accomplish his will? NO. His plan will be carried out with or without me. I am pretty insignificant in this equation.

I talked to my husband who told me I was great (thanks, honey) and that I should keep going if only for my own spiritual growth. I married a smart one. So, I got some sleep and felt better in the morning. I headed to my women’s Bible study where we had written down a prayer the week before. We were choosing something to embrace in the month of January. Our leader asked if anyone had filled it out and I had to flip through my Bible because I couldn’t remember what I had written.

It said:

Embrace humility
Pray Ps. 149:4 “For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation.” Forgive me for my desire for attention. Help me to be humble this month. Humble me.

I had forgotten what I had prayed, but God was already answering the prayer.

I realized I faced two choices with my discouragement. Would I let myself sink into self-pity, focused on myself and my need for confirmation from others? Or would I take that discouragement, and turn it into Godly humility?

Here are some truths I learned:

·         God may not need me to accomplish his will, but he wants me to be part of his plan.

·         It isn’t about me!

·         The attention I think I want should be going to the Lord anyway.

·         While I may not have anything completely new or unique, God uses truth at different times and in different ways to prod, nudge, motivate or enlighten someone specific.

·         If no one ever reads a word I write, as long as I am obeying the Lord in my work, that’s enough for me.

·         Humility in this instance means thinking less often about myself.

So, I will continue taking a step at a time in the direction I think God is leading. I will continue to write what he puts on my heart with the prayer that he will use it in someone else’s life.

Anyone else out there face discouragement? What do you do to take it and transform it into something positive or productive?

Kathy EricksonComment