Hey, can I tell you a secret?
When I was 12, I started guitar lessons. I’ve recently discovered that most people don’t know this. I picked it up pretty quick and I enjoyed it. I quit playing at 14 when I couldn’t continue lessons. I still remember a couple chords, but I just haven’t put forth the effort to pick it up again. Meanwhile, since then, my brother has taught himself how to play four different instruments.
I used to design. A lot. Most of my designs are still sitting on my hard drive. I made MySpace backgrounds, Facebook cover photos, art pieces… I also sold a T-Shirt design to raise money for a mission trip. I still do this some, but mainly simple things.
And now the big one. I used to be a writer. I know what you’re thinking. “But you’re writing right now?!?” Yes, I am. But I used to write almost anything, all of the time. Short stories, poetry, essays, you name it. I even started trying to write a novel at one point. I remember I used to carry a notebook and pen everywhere I went, and I slept with one by my bed at night. So many times I would be sitting in a waiting room or in Wal-Mart and I would get an idea and just start writing right where I was. I wrote to cope with pain, to express myself, to understand God. I wrote my testimony into a story once because it made more sense. Writing was my release and my way of showing people what God had done for me.
Then one day, I just stopped. I can’t pinpoint when or why, but I quit using that talent. AT one point, I hadn’t written in weeks. A friend asked me what I had written recently. My response… Nothing. I was shocked and so was she. She asked why. I had no answer. I still remember what she said to me:
“Caitlin, if you stop writing, you’re gonna lose it.”
I didn’t think much of it then. But here I am on the other side and I’ve lost so much of it. About a year ago, God reminded me of her words. So what did I do? I asked God to give it back. I asked Him to give me back the ability I had to write before when I would stay up at night writing as fast as I could because the words were coming so quickly and they just flowed out of me like a river. And do you know what He did?
Then He said, “I won’t give it back until you start writing again. Do you really think it’s going to be that easy?”
Needless to say, I got the point. But was the laugh necessary?? I digress. God gave me a gift for writing, yes. No one is denying that. But I quit using it. I’m the one that stopped writing. He never took the gift from me, I just let it get rusted up, and now the wheels don’t wanna move like they used to.
If you have something you’re good at, don’t be like me and have to learn the hard way to keep doing it. Whatever it may be. And if you’re like me and already have… Pick up that pen again. The paintbrush. The guitar. The camera. Whatever it is. Pick it up and start practicing. Don’t let it go forever.
So here’s to carrying a notebook everywhere in 2017. Maybe one day soon, I’ll be as great of a writer as I was at 16.