Programming experience is a highly desirable trait for a level designer looking to enter the industry. While there are certainly positions available which do not include any scripting responsibilities, these positions are not as numerous as those that would require scripting.
To put it in a different perspective, given the choice between two candidates for a design position, one with scripting experience and one without, studios would be much more inclined to hire the person with scripting experience. Even if they are being hired for a position which would not initially require scripting, responsibilities in game development change rapidly, and that additional scripting experience is valuable.
Something you might be interested in looking at are the requirements listed for job openings throughout the industry. You'll find things like the following:
- Programming or Scripting experience (C++, Lua, other proprietary scripting languages, or similar).
- Experience creating first-person levels using Unreal, Quake, Half-Life, or similar technologies
- Excellent written and verbal communications skills
Some listings have all of these, some leave out the scripting experience. Overall though, I would say that the listings that require or prefer scripting greatly outnumber those that do not. In addition, having programming experience also opens the possibility of fitting into a Technical Designer's role, further expanding the list of potential jobs you could take.
I'd also throw in that having programming experience can help strengthen communication between you and the engineers you work with, and good communication between disciplines is crucial in game development.
To sum up, I'd strongly encourage you to continue to put your best efforts into learning how to script. If anything, your determination in doing so will be a desirable trait when you go in for a job interview :)
As for an easy language to get started in, I'll make my plug here for Python. Super simple to learn and use.