Discouragement and Its Benefits

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As with any project in life, writing can be full of discouragements.

Well, I have a little story for you guys today, a story all about a writer who definitely experienced some of that discouragement in the long and tedious editing process.

As most of you all know, I’m in the final stages of editing Unknown, but a few weeks ago, my amazing sister kindly agreed to edit the book for me. (Thank you so much. I don’t think I can ever thank you enough!!) And in the course of the many edits she suggested, she came across some scenes she thought I should revise.

Now, these weren’t just any scenes. These were part of my most impactful scenes of the book (or what I hope will be impactful.) In short, my sister suggested that I change the wording in these scenes that presented the Gospel.

Just so you don’t think I’m a heretic or anything, I’ll add a short comment that I only had to change a few sentences. But there definitely could’ve been improvement, and the edits were definitely necessary. In such discussions, it’s best to be crystal-clear about what you’re saying, because readers can accidentally think you’re saying something you’re not saying at all, and you have no way to correct them. Obviously, because you’re not standing over them in most cases. 😊 And I’m also very thankful Kristina helped me out with this (no, she’s not the villain of this story, and she was in no way trying to discourage me.)

Anyhow … the fact that these scenes needed editing upset me deeply, because presenting the Gospel clearly is the most important part of this book. Period. And of course, there were situations in my life that added to my being distressed more easily (e.g., weariness, overall editing exhaustion.)

So I sat there, and poor Kristina had to deal with my sniveling for a bit. She was just trying to be a helpful editor, poor thing. And yes, I was sniveling. 😊

Now, you’re probably thinking, “Why is this crazy author rambling on about her mental breakdowns? No one wants to hear about this.”

I do have a point in this rambling. If I can ever get to it, that is. 😊

Something good came out of this discouragement, and that’s realizing how much I have to depend on the Lord. I wanted to think I was a good enough writer, a good enough Christian, that I could write one of these scenes well. On my own.

But I couldn’t. Even with my best efforts, I would fail without His sustaining grace and wisdom and guidance. As humans, we are weak and frail and helpless. That’s what Jesus told His disciples in John 15:5: “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”

Nothing. Wow. That puts things into perspective, doesn’t it, when we’re trying to do things on our own. No matter what we do—whether it’s write a book, witness to an unbeliever, love our neighbor, live a godly life, write a blog post—we can’t do it without Him. And it’s just the same in our salvation. We have to look away from ourselves to Christ. We must look away from our sinfulness and emptiness to survey the Lord Jesus’ fullness and righteousness, so that “…we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

So, in all things, we must abide in Him (John 15:4) and “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) Without Him, we can do nothing. But with Him, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. (Philippians 4:13)

11 thoughts on “Discouragement and Its Benefits

  1. Thank you so much for sharing, Vanessa! I know I’ve had some similar struggles myself (although, in my case, me, myself, and my inner perfectionist was the villain)…and it’s always good to be reminded to lean not on our own understanding but to trust God! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Awwww, Vanessa, I can DEFINITELY 100% relate to this moment. (The good news is my “editors” weren’t close by, so they didn’t ever see my sniveling 😉 ) but I REALLY LOVED the lesson you learned and that you shared this with us!!! It’s a really great reminder for me, as I’m also in a few editing stages with some of my writings. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!! <3333

    Liked by 1 person

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