Today I realized that Jason and I are both writers.
It's not something we're confident in ourselves for 100% of the time. But when we pursue it - and I mean really pursue it - it's like a passion neither of us knew we had the ability to ignite.
Each of us have a gift with our abilities, talents, and personalities. Some we can reflect on and see are similar to those around us, but even so, they are uniquely tailored toward our own stories and approaches.
Jason writes music and lyrics. I may be a little biased when I say he's an incredible writer, but you would too if you heard the process and time it takes to create sounds and words out of nothing but a stirring in one's heart and rhythm's of the Spirit.
He writes worship songs, mostly, and the occasional comedic strums when he's feeling fancy.
I write blog posts, letters and hope to publish a book one day soon.
Though we have different gifts with our writing and creating, they both have a similar intention: to encourage others, lift up those who are suffering, remind ourselves where our hope lies and above all magnify the name of Jesus.
I titled this post "you won't always love your gift" because you won't. You'll struggle with your first attempts at creating, your efforts in a first time gig will fall through, you'll embarass yourself in front of others who seem to be better at the same craft then you, and you'll trip up when you thought you were doing it right. You won't feel confident with what you come up with 90% of the time.
It will suck. Just saying.
That's not good enough reason to give up or quit on what you were literally made for.
So what can I say to you (and myself) when we don't love what we have chosen to pursue:
1) Reflect. Talk a walk or sit on the patio (or the couch, let's be real) and think over what it is you are doing, why you are doing it, and how far you've come when you didn't think you'd get to where you are today with it. Did you start out a complete superstar? Heck no. Was your first attempt worthy of 1 million views? Probably not. Did you learn more and gain more appreciation for what you are capable of doing? I'm pretty dang sure you did.
Write down what it is you doubt and what makes you anxious about what you want to do here, and consider why some of the reasons you may not love your gift are the very reason you can continue working on it.
2) Give thanks. Cheesy and I'm not sorry about it one bit. Seriously, whenever I get the chance to just take a minute and thank God for what He's allowed me to do thus far with my words, life and just everything else - it brings a peace that surpasses any understanding and assures that I'm in His will. Sometimes, I'll be led to write something that I wouldn't have thought to have written about (like this post) because maybe - one of you - needs to be reminded of this truth that I'm talking about today. I wouldn't know, but God does. And that's really all that matters here.
3) Keep on doing that thing. Challenge yourself to push when you have no words left. when you ran out of ingredients and are flustered because you literally just went to the store with your crying baby and can't handle another run. Go on that camping trip you planned last minute with your people even when you feel lazy (okay, especially if you are feeling lazy). Be consistent (to the best of your ability) with your time spent on your passion. I'm not saying to do this one thing all day every day - I definitely don't spend all my hours writing - but be sure to block out time - real time - on your planner for at least 5 hours a week to do this thing. When someone says you can do hard things, it doesn't just apply to making it through an emotional day - it also means learning you had more strength to continue in this craft when you thought you were too weak for it.
4) Reach out. Grab a cup of coffee with a friend to talk about all your feels in what you're doing. Verbalize and put life into what you want to do. When I've done this, it ignites that fire that I thought was all gone and lost. Maybe even share what you've been working on and get some honest feedback from both people who do it themselves and others who are oblivious to it and will say "Right on!" to everything because you simply rock. Take the compliment.
5) Get inspired. This could mean signing up for a conference, signing up for a weekly e-mail from your person/group of inspiration (I highly recommend Hannah Brencher's weekly Monday e-mails - they are the bomb-dot-com), or taking up an online or in-person course. I don't think I'd be the writer I am if I didn't read amazing books or listen to fun, inspiring and relatable podcasts (even the one's I can't relate too as much are so so good to get into, guys).
So as I sit here on the couch with my hubs sitting next to me jamming on his acoustic with the smell of the crockpot meal filling the space, (hello Fall, nice to meet you), my prayer today is this - please steal and tailor for what you're currently chasing:
Thank you, Lord, for creating this passion within me to pursue this craft
And the abilities you've given me to chase after them relentlessly and fearlessly.
Continue to guide me where I need to be, with hands up and heart open.
With doubt + hope sharing space in her heart today,