“Our gifts are not for us, they are given to us so that we can bless others with them." - Pastor Sean Calhoun
A few years ago I took a spiritual gifts test on churchgrowth.org. At the time, I took the test for my church so that I could understand which ministry I should serve. My highest score landed on the spiritual gift of Exhortation, which means encouragement, motivating others to action, application, and purpose.
When I took time to think about my score, I thought about all of the one-on-one conversations I had with people about different concerns in their life. Sometimes it seemed like I always effortlessly knew what to say to them to give them the encouragement that they needed most of the time.
I pondered on how I could use this gift to help others on a bigger platform. I always had a love for writing and in 2019 I decided that I would create my own personal blog, www.karlisacryer.com. My goal was to encourage and inspire others through my own personal growth journey.
During the creation of my blog, I was constantly seeking a full-time job offer. I had been a contract employee for two years. I was doing everything in my power to network with the right people, practice mock interviews, and study for certain job certifications. I received numerous rejection letters from different companies, and it was exhausting, to say the least.
I decided to take a break and create something of my own, outside of work. I started playing around with different blog platforms and I began to create my own content.
For the first time in years no one could tell me “No.” There was no rejection letter coming to tell me I wasn’t good enough or that someone else was more qualified to do this. I was my own creative director. I was in charge. I created my website with a template, and with the help of a professional photographer. We were able to produce some fun photos to shine through for every personal post. The level of freedom was indescribable. I felt liberated and excited during the entire creation process. I realized in those moments that my value was greater than the jobs that I had been applying for. God wanted me to focus my energy on my natural gifts. I felt the closest to God during that time. I prayed over every blog entry hoping that it would bless someone. When you find something that makes you feel like this, recognize it as a core of your being. I was walking in my purpose. Emphasis on was...
I stopped writing about a year ago, after I gave birth to my second son. I convinced myself that I didn't have time anymore. What we don’t realize is that when we decide to start and stop, we are creating a habit. All of a sudden, writing became my biggest procrastination. Then, when I would try to write again I felt like every sentence had to be perfect and I would rewrite the same sentence over and over again. I just couldn't be consistent anymore. True enough my time was limited as a mom and wife, but saying I didn’t have time at all was a fallacy. People love the bible verse Proverbs 18:6, but your gifts will make room for you, and there are times when we need to make room for our gifts.
My husband and I attended a play downtown the other week and I ran into an old friend. Oftentimes we would talk after church about life issues and she told me she still remembered our conversations and how encouraging they were. Then she said, “I’m going to call you, I want you to be my mentor.” I was blown away. I tried to recall some of our conversations. It had been years since we had spoken. But it made me think about how much I was using my gift back then.
This past Sunday our first lady, Lakeisha Calhoun preached, " What are you sitting on? What is that thing God told you to do that you aren't doing?” She said, "Someone is waiting on you. We have to pick up what we once put down because it's going to bless the next person.” But after I heard that sermon on Sunday, I realized what I'd known all along. Someone is waiting on me. My blog, www.karlisacryer.com, was always meant to be encouraging. The positive feedback I would receive from my blogs was amazing. But the best part to me was the pleasure I received from just simply creating and encouraging others.
“It's time to pick it back up again,” she said. I couldn’t help but feel like we were the only two people in the room and she was speaking directly to me. I knew I couldn’t put it off any longer. A short time after that I had a friend to reach out to me about writing for her website. I decided to say yes. I didn’t know how I would find the time, but I knew that if I just took the first step to make room for my gift, my gift would make room for me.
The worst thing a person can do is not use their gifts. I rediscovered my life’s calling back in 2019. I'm a writer, with encouraging messages. I have something to say and there are people waiting for me. What are you sitting on? It’s time to pick it back up again. Someone is waiting on you to use your gift.