Many say I have the, "gift of encouragement." I took a spiritual assessment test...
The Biblical meaning is to call someone near to console, comfort, exhort, implore with them. Although the goal of this gift is to comfort, motivate and give reason for hope, there is the element of exhortation pointing to the future. The goal is to encourage the believers to be what God wants them to be.
A person with this gift is moved when they see someone down and likes to comfort them and motivate them toward change. They share hope for the future. The nature of this gift is similar to dispensing medicine. It is a singular action used in the moment hopefully to bring about a long-term effect. https://spiritualgifts.wordpress.com
At home, I heard hilarious "growing up" stories from my father, "...and... skip it...John...Willis." My mom was extremely creative; she could sing, dance, sew, write poetry, draw, play multiple instruments--that's just the beginning. My maternal grandfather (also my pastor,) how I loved his laughter, ability to instantly compose songs about a person's name, and tell stories of the Bible. Other times he'd riddle me, "What's round on both sides and high in the middle?" When my brothers and I rehearsed our Easter speeches, his was, "Easter Lily, Easter Lily, boys and girls, don't be so silly." My grandmother was almost five-feet in heels on Sundays. She borrowed from Donnie Elbert, "I'm a little piece of leather, but I'm well put together." To sit beside her on the rickety, white, piano bench as she played and sang "Jesus Keep Me Near The Cross" was priceless. Watching TV, I was entertained by Carol Burnett, educated by Maya Angelou, and inspired by Cicely Tyson.
In junior high I continued storytelling and added writing poetry. In senior high, my creative writing teacher challenged me to describe a color to someone blind. I had no idea that "someone" would become my granddad. After high school, I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served for twenty-two years. That's where the "ABC's" of writing weren't taught; they were engrained. I retired and signed to become an inspirational writer for an online global women's magazine. Shortly thereafter, my mother was diagnosed with Stage Four Inoperable Lung Cancer. I resigned to become her primary caregiver.
After my mother passed, I began to share dreams, lyrics, poems.... experiences I had journaled while caring for my mom. As I shared, others felt comfortable to share their caregiver experiences. Connecting with others who understood my faith, pain, frustrations, humor... was therapeutic. We'd laugh, pray, cry, pray, embrace, pray. We'd nod in agreement and finish each other's sentences. We were educating, entertaining, and encouraging each other. Talks of writing songs, screenplays, blogs... about our experiences followed.
That's when I realized... we were turning emotion into art.