Growing up as an energetic chatty young girl, I think I drove my dad crazy. I pestered him with a million questions. With lots and lots of stories. If I heard it once I heard it 1000 times. After taking a long puff of his Swisher Sweet cigar, a cloud of smoke and frustration billowed out together. “Chrissie, hurry up! Get to the point. You talk too much.”

My father didn’t mean to discourage me, but the enemy of my soul did. He had one thing in mind.

To destroy my calling.

I can just imagine his thoughts: Hmmm. A girl who likes to talk. A girl who likes to tell stories. I’d better put a stop to that.

He didn’t know for sure that one day I’d be a writer. But he had his suspicions. If his predictions were correct, one day I’d want to tell stories to more than just my daddy. So he did his best to discourage me. He put a well-thought-out strategy in place to derail any chance that my voice could change the world. To influence my generation. And who better to do that through than someone I loved—my father.

When my dad told me I talked too much, I started to believe him. And by now my withered self-esteem added some flavorful accusations to my father’s impatience. Accusations like:

I have nothing important to say.

I’d better keep my mouth shut.

Nobody wants to hear my opinion, because I’m unworthy and insignificant.

By the time I was in junior high, the energetic chatty girl was quiet. Reserved. Timid. Insecure. For a while at least, it looked like I was defeated. I’d learned to shut up before I ever had a chance to speak up. Before I ever knew what it was like to craft a paragraph or win an audience.

That’s what deception and lies can do. They seek to assassinate us from a very early age. If we become convinced when we’re young that we’re worthless or no good at what we’re most passionate about, we’ll never attempt to pick up a pen. We’ll never attempt to write a book or share our thoughts.

Lies we embrace at an early age become embedded in our thoughts and we accept them as truth.

I’m glad I finally figured it out. God put the desire in my heart to share stories. He thinks I’m qualified. And now, the energetic chatty young girl is back. Older and wiser. God wants to use my voice. He wants to use me to change my culture.

And He wants to use you, too! He wants you to use you to inspire others. To teach or entertain. To make others laugh.

Writing is a calling worthy of praise. So don’t give in. The only way to conquer your commission is to stop believing the lies.

And then…pick up your weapon—your pen. Don’t let discouragement make you shut up. It’s time to speak up…

and write!