A Letter to my Sisters {Five Minute Friday}

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Dearest, most wonderful Sisters,

Professors had warned me that life outside of my small Christian college would be lonely. They told me that I would never again have that sort of genuine community. In many ways, though this past summer was joyous, it was also one of the loneliest times of my life. I was newly graduated and married, in a new town, and without a job or  a car. Even though family and friends were still close by, I felt heartbreakingly disconnected.

And then, I met Hannah. I don’t even remember the circumstances of our introduction, but despite being half a world away from each other at the time, she made me feel right at home. And she invited me to a party one Friday night that would change not only my writing, but the heart that those words flowed from.

For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. — Luke 6:45 (NKJV)

In the beginning, I must admit I was shamefully wary — worried that whatever community I found here would be shallow at best, and that life and faith would be portrayed in a woefully unrealistic manner. I thought I would find snide perfectionism,  even competition, and I assumed that no one would want anything to do with life and God as I knew them.

I had beautiful community  in college, but the last semester was laced with hurt at the hands of someone I was hesitant to let in in the beginning. The wound was deeper than she knew and I struggled to let go of the pain and forgive.

But what I found here was everything humble and broken and life at its very best. What I found here was Jesus, again, between the lines of tweets and blogs and comments. I found genuine community to come alongside me in my joy and in my frustration. I found sisters encouraging each other in the wee hours, holding fast to the promises of God. And now there’s hardly a Friday night when I don’t weep over 140 characters of pure, unadulterated grace.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
— Hebrews 10:23-25 (ESV)

It filled me past the brim. Oh, that we can take part in the restoration of souls. In the past six months, I have made friends that will be kept for a lifetime.

A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. — Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NLT)

You all are a gift. Living proof that the Lord knows what we need and His timing is perfect. Each of your lives are brimming with evidence of His goodness.

You, mothers, who saturate every character with love for your children. You, wives, who strive to serve your husbands in all that you do. You, who struggle deeply with insecurity and every word is infused with your need for Jesus. You are so important, so magnificent in all of your everyday grit and hope. I admire each of you so deeply for faithfully coming to the altar every Thursday and Friday night. You have made me better.

Jacqui, your testimony of loss and redemption has been such an incredible example to me. Your friendship has made my life so much richer. And Sarah, its hard to paint a more realistic picture of life than you have. I so deeply appreciate your willingness to be broken before the Lord and before others. Dana, your calling to open your home to the broken — the orphan — you are doing the Lord’s work. And you write it all out with such an incredible, tangible passion. Lisa-Jo, all of this is really because of you — your faithfulness has brought all of us together. Fridays on the internet are like holy ground.  None of this goes unnoticed. So if you haven’t heard the words thank you in awhile, please don’t ever forget that your willingness to put your life into such beautiful words has changed mine. 

I could literally go on forever — there are over two hundred of you. Even as I punch these keys, salty liquid joy spills across my cheeks. I so wish there was space and time to mention each and every one of you by name.

Lisa-Jo wrote this week about how much our words matter. And its so, so true. Another professor of mine frequently spoke of the power of our communication. Our words hold the ability to image the Father.

Because in the beginning, God spoke, and all that is went through the process of becoming. And He’s still in the business of collecting the dust and creating something beautiful. He’s still the God of miracles — each of you is evidence of that. He declared that everything He made was good, and He is singing goodness over you, even now. He’s so in love with you.

Thank you. Thank you for taking me in, and for being so faithful to encourage me in this journey. Not a day goes by that my prayers are not for you, that Yahweh would come alive in you, that you would sense His presence in your lives and the lives of your families.

Surely, no eye has seen and no ear has heard — but every Friday night, I see glimpses and hear whispers.

Psst! Obviously this took a little more than five minutes to put together, but it was so worth it. You are so worth it. Back in August, I didn’t know the first thing about “linking up.” If you’re a blogger in search of constructive community, stop by Lisa-Jo’s place. You’ll find that Five Minute Fridays are about so much more than weekly writing prompts. Linking up this week with 200+ of the most fabulous, brave women on the planet. 

  • This is a treasure. Thank you Erin. Thank you for being part of the community of women that make Fridays brave and writing less lonely.

    So many warm wishes
    Lisa-Jo

    • Erin Salmon

      So overwhelmed by the grace of it all. Love you dearly, Lisa-Jo. Thank you for stopping by.

  • Caroline

    Blinded by tears, this is beautiful Erin.

    • Erin Salmon

      Gosh, so thankful for you, Caroline. You are entirely lovely.

  • And one more new friend, I hope, if you need one. This was absolutely beautiful. I believe it is my third time to post to FMF and I am getting hooked!
    Have a great week!
    Sharon

    • Erin Salmon

      There is ALWAYS room for more, Sharon! So blessed that you stopped by. Don’t you just love the FMFparty?

  • Erin, this is beautiful. I have been so blessed to have you become a part of my/this community. Like you I was unsure how an online community could possibly become more than just a place to share word but God has grown it to so much more. These ladies breath life to my soul always.
    Thanks for letting me be part of your community.

    • Erin Salmon

      Oh, Amy. Thank you for being so faithful to pray for me. You are a joy. I love you very dearly.

  • This was absolutely amazing, and I love how God meets us right where we are to bring us into community with others and with Him through others. I love our little Five Minute Friday community as well. It breathes life into weary souls, and it celebrates with those rejoicing in life. Thank you for being such a wonderful part of our community!

    • Erin Salmon

      Thank YOU, Chandra. Thank you for investing in this beautiful community. You are such a gift.

  • This is beautiful! Finding this kind of community is such a gift from God, one that I’m praying for right now.

    • Erin Salmon

      Hi, Katie! Thanks for stopping by. You’re right, community IS a gift from the Lord. If you aren’t visiting from Five Minute Friday, have you thought about linking up for an FMF? Consider this an invitation! If you’re interested, I would love to get in touch.

  • amyctilson

    So beautiful and so much of why I love this group of women so much. We live life together miles apart and 140 characters at a time – no room for the meaningless there. Makes my heart warm in a cold winter. :)

    • Erin Salmon

      So true, Amy! Its absolutely beautiful. Thankful for you!

  • This is lovely, Erin! So glad to have met you at FMF and looking forward to sharing life with you, 140 characters at a time.

    • Erin Salmon

      Thank you so much for sharing life with me. I’m honored. :)

  • How very cool for you! What a gift! I’m going to have to check out this FMF thing.

    • Erin Salmon

      Please do, Juliette! Thank you for stopping by!