When you've made discouragement into a fine art, it takes some artfulness to find encouragement, too - thus the journaling. My journal entry starts out with this:
Why does it seem like every time one big issue goes away, another steps in to take its place? Last year, it was desire for a child. God help me - this year...it's overwhelming discouragement about writing.Call me a temperamental artist, if you will. I am, and I know it for true. Over and over, I have to remind myself why I write in the first place, or why I should write in the first place. It's to glorify God through my profound joy in the task, I tell myself, as well as my skill in my work. However, because it's so much easier to slip into daydreams of fame and obsession with the opinion of others, I usually end up camping there. Then I end up here, and voila! the cycle begins again!
As I journaled tonight, the Holy Spirit opened up my heart to a new idea - that the cycle doesn't have to happen in the first place, and that my struggle, my almost-daily discouragement in writing, is an opportunity for me to learn how to immediately redirect myself away from worldly goals and toward godly ones. If that is what comes of these days of frustration, all of it will have been worth it.
So, if nothing else, I pray that these days teach me genuine dependency on the Lord for my joy, my purpose and my identity. Discouragement is a lousy fine art, after all, and never worth the time that I give it.