Note To Self, But Also To You.

Being challenged to write the truth about myself seemed easy at first.  I think to myself all the time that transparency is one of the greatest gifts humanity can exchange among itself. Every time my fingers stretch towards these keys, I offer up a silent prayer that whatever syllables are formed, someone somewhere can find a bit of truth here. At least something they might be able to relate to.

But the truth about me? Yikes. Three weeks ago, I included words from a year-old post in my Five Minute Friday. Initially, I thought the fit was perfect, and perhaps it really was every bit as good as I thought. But the next morning, I awoke with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Are those words, the ones that spoke of my struggle to surrender — those words that found their way onto my screen a year ago — still true? Have I been stranded on the same page, reenacting the same bitter scene for a year?

Then came the creeping shame, the voice seething that I am a fraud. All of the growth I had spoken of was a sham.

As much as I say I value transparency, I hide behind these words. They are my mask of good and fine, and the ever more important I’ve got this under control. Everything I do, all my energy is spent trying to communicate that to you.

After nearly twenty-three years, two decades spent in church, the concept of surrender is still rocking my world. I still live my life in a state of tension and fear. A walking advertisement that contradicts the absolute faithfulness and goodness of God.

And that book that dares us to count the ways He has blessed us… all the way to one thousand? It has been sitting on my shelf for a year now, and I have yet to finish it, because when those opening chapters breached my consciousness, there was pain. The wrecking ball of conviction hit hard against my heart, and I recoiled.

I know I need this — every word you find here is a note to self, because I forget so quickly. I grab at this life like its mine to take.

I know that I want this. I want it more than anything. And I know that growth takes time. I breathe a sigh of relief, that it is okay to take my time. The mighty oak that began as a seed pressed into the ground did not rise up as a tower overnight. I am learning to persevere, and perseverance produces character, and character produces hope. And hope surely does not disappoint.

These things are birthed in a person, and like with any birth, sometimes there is tearing. Sometimes, the glory housed inside is so deep and so wide that to see it through to beating, breathing fruition requires pain. And we question if we really have the strength to endure the labor.

I suppose that’s where I am today, in this moment: questioning whether or not I really possess the strength to birth this glory. But the Truth? He is there, in the midst of my weakness, in the midst of my questions. And He’s holding out His hands.

  • Beautiful!

    • Erin Salmon

      Thank you, friend.

  • beautiful. and brave. and you know I love you and I am so grateful for your honesty and truthfulness here. He is in the midst, and He will always be.

    • Erin Salmon

      You inspire it, Hannah. All the time.

  • Erin, these words are so real, so honest and so encouraging. Thanks you for sharing.

    • Erin Salmon

      Thank you, Amy! Loved your words this week as well!

  • i love this, erin. i stopped by from five-minute friday and will definitely be back. you’re speaking things that so many women speak (or whisper, in the quiet moments where we think no one is listening). i love slash hate the idea of labor pains…we labor and our hearts contract as we await the coming of His glory in and through us. but there are times we recoil and wonder if we can really make it. thanks for confronting this. it’s beautiful.

    • Erin Salmon

      Thank you so much, Sarah. This is such a sweet compliment.

  • these words right here… “And I know that growth takes time. I breathe a sigh of relief, that it is okay to take my time.”
    I needed that reminder!!

    • Erin Salmon

      I need that reminder all the time, Julie Anne!

  • Emily L

    You are growing growing growing like that little seed. You are beautiful as you let Him water you. More beautiful than I have ever seen you. This … this is beautiful. From your heart that is open to all He has in store for you.

    • Erin Salmon

      Thank you. Such sweet encouragement.

  • Hey Erin, I finally subscribed, because…well, why haven’t I? Sometimes I feel as though you speak my very heart! I understand this struggle with vulnerability. I believe it’s so, so important, but I’ve also written much that has made me sick to my stomach afterwards. And I’ve reeled in what others must think of me…I mean, shouldn’t I be further than I confess? And shouldn’t I be perfectly applying the things which I’ve already learned and speak? But I’m thinking lately that we’re always growing – that even Ann Voskamp, with her beautiful heart and graceful words, isn’t perfect, but she’s growing in the things she writes. And maybe that’s just it. We aren’t giving up. We keep “coming to the altar” as your series so perfectly depicts. And it’s here we receive the strength, the power, and even the authority to be His witnesses. It’s not us. It’s Him. And I think one day, we’ll look back and see how much we stumbled along the way, but how much we grew. And I think that’s what matters. So anyway, thank you for always sharing your heart here. You’re a real blessing and a joy. Much love. ~ Jacqui

    • Erin Salmon

      Jacqui, your words are precious to me, but ever more so is the heart behind them. I feel like I’m repeating myself, but you have been such a tremendous blessing in my life, even in the short time that we have known each other. I have thought a lot about vulnerability, even since writing this post, and you’re right — its hard, and sickening at times, to feel as though I am not displaying the kind of authenticity I know we as believers are called to. And even though I’ve been a believer since I was in grade school, only now am I truly realizing what it means to really submit my life and my will to Him. It is a moment by moment battle sometimes, and its so humbling to be made aware of that decision on a deeper level. Father God is so loving to remind me that I can choose to respond well to the gospel, and that there is blessing in that. Love you so much, sister.

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