Struggling with the “deadly Ds” – Disappointment, Doubt, Discouragement – Marlene Bagnull, Director of the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference

“Early in the morning before the sun is up,  I am praying and pointing out  how much I trust in you.”
Psalm 119:47 TLB

Some of you know that it took five years and rejection slips from 42 editors before the first book I wrote was accepted for publication. Before that I struggled for several years to finish the manuscript. Self-doubts, and to be honest, God-doubts had me close to giving up many, many times.

The “deadly Ds” – disappointment, doubt, discouragement, even despair – were my frequent companions. What kept me keeping on?

  • Promises such as Galatians 6:9: “Let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up” (TLB).
  • The very first words I ever felt the Lord speak to my heart: “Child, I never said it would be easy to follow Me, but I have promised always to be with you.”
  • My husband who never told me to go get a “real” job even during times when things were really rough financially.
  • My pastor who paid my way to my first writers’ conference and held me accountable afterwards to use what I learned.
  • Friends who year after year babysat my three children so I could go to the St. Davids Christian Writers Conference.
  • The network of writing friends who encouraged me, and Gayle Roper and Anne Sirna who mentored me.

Yes, it took many long, discouraging years but that first book did get in print. The rest – seven other books, the Greater Philly and Colorado Christian Writers Conferences that I direct, the 70 conference faculties I’ve been honored to serve on, and my day-long writing seminars that I’ve given around the country over 50 times – are the fruit of abiding in Him and trusting Him to do what I could never do in my own strength.

The key really is trust, especially when the deadly Ds threaten to derail me. I’m learning that I am free to trust or to doubt, but when I do not trust, I grieve the Lord.

I want to encourage you not to give up and to make registering for the July 31 – August 3 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference a priority. Lodging is available on campus for only $39 a night if you share a room (a great way to make a new writing friend although you can book a single room for $59 a night). I need to get a room count to Cairn University by July 15 as well as a count for meals. So don’t procrastinate! You can still register after that, but the cost for meals will increase and I can’t guarantee a bed for your head.

  • If the evil one is bombarding you with the deadly Ds, trust the Lord.
  • If the logistics of childcare for your kids seem impossible, trust Him.
  • If you can’t see how to fit the conference in during a summer packed with activity and demands on your time, trust Him.
  • If you need more encouragement to overcome your self- doubts, click here.
  • If financially it seems impossible, trust Him. Be bold. Ask family, friends, or your church to help. Apply for a scholarship or email me to request time payments.

The next 15 registrants will receive an additional free one-on-one appointment with a faculty member of your choice. (We do ask you to give us several choices since appointments are booked on a first-come basis.)

Come one day and get two appointments, two days and get three appointments, and three days (with an additional bonus appointment) get FIVE appointments.

Wednesday is a pre-conference day with 18 early bird workshops and an exciting evening session where various faculty will encourage you to “Write His Answer to Issues that Concern You,” but it is not counted toward your appointments. Perhaps one of those appointments will open the door to publication as it did for me.

Father God, thank You that You know the plans You have for us and our writing – and that they are good plans. Help us to trust You when we face the deadly Ds. Thank You for all the incredible people You have brought into my life these past 30 years of directing GPCWC and for all You have done and all You will do a I trust You.

In Him

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

One thought on “Struggling with the “deadly Ds” – Disappointment, Doubt, Discouragement – Marlene Bagnull, Director of the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference

  1. Thanks much, Eddie, for sharing this with your readers. Father, please help us to trust You more!

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