Why We Can Be Thankful for the Waiting in Our Writing Journey
I have always admired cypresses. Their shape, like a finger reaching to the sky, resonates with the audacity of the dreams I have. These evergreen, sturdy trees remind me it takes courage to reach to the stars; it takes perseverance and strength to keep open our hearts and cling to our God-given dreams despite disappointments and setbacks.
Friend, we all will have disappointments and heartaches on our writing journey. Rejections will keep coming. Many opportunities will pass us. We will continue to encounter closed doors. They are simply a necessary, vital part of our journey because the road to victory and longings fulfilled lies through, not around, the heartsickness of hopes deferred.
But how can we process our hopes deferred and still be thankful for the journey?
Journaling is a powerful tool in a writer’s arsenal for processing disappointments and tending to the heart. When we set aside time to sit down and record our intimate thoughts and feelings, allowing God to speak to our pain, we are on the best path to process the pain and integrate it into our life and writing.
I love the early mornings when I sit down with my journal and the Bible beside me, inhaling the invigorating aroma of my first cup of coffee. I put pen to paper and start giving shape to the pain inside me so it can materialize before I can release it. I name it for what it is to me: a bitter disappointment, a major or minor setback, an unpleasant surprise, a rejection, a missed opportunity, a failure. I tell God and my journal how this makes me feel. And then I offer it to God with thanksgiving.
I need to admit that thanksgiving is the most challenging part. But when I allow the time for God to speak His truths to me and adjust my perspective, I realize I have many reasons to be grateful.
Here are six reasons that can help you give thanks for hopes deferred:
- Experiencing disappointments and setbacks is part of the process of maturation and preparation.
- Hopes deferred enable us to put our hopes in God alone and foster a deeper intimacy with Him.
- God is leading each of us on a unique writing journey that includes everything needed for us to succeed.
- Disappointments and failure are excellent teachers, exposing the true motivations of our hearts.
- Experiencing setbacks and our response to them can lead to more strength, perseverance and tenacity in chasing God and our dreams.
- Journaling our painful experiences and the insights God gives us is a birthplace for writing articles, social media messages and even books that can inspire and encourage many.
Although it’s very tempting to give up when we have experienced our share of disappointments, rejections and hopes deferred, like the cypress tree piercing the sky we should not give up on our writing dreams. Instead, we can choose to trust God again that He is leading each of us on the best possible path, maturing and preparing us on the way to receive His best.
And in the meantime, we choose to practice gratitude by journaling every step of the way. We choose to thank God not only for the good things but for every negative event because it shapes us as writers, produces character, molds our hearts, and gives us stories to tell and inspire.
Using your journal, how can you thank God today for the most recent disappointment in your writing life? Share in the comments below.
January 24, 2023
January 3, 2023
December 27, 2022