On the beauty of giving up the fight.


After last year, I vowed that 2014 would be a year of rest. But let’s be honest: rest is not the default response for so many of us, especially when life overwhelms. My husband and I both have full time jobs that require our availability at a moment’s notice. We have a messy house and college bills and a car which currently has no heat. We have families that tug and friends we wish we could spend more time with. We have ministry obligations that take place between half an hour and an hour from where we live. Far more often than not, we are on the go, making plans to do this or that. And then, of course, plans fall through. Life throws a pitch we weren’t expecting, and we have to adjust as best we can.

May I receive the grace to confess a flaw? I am not a flexible person. I have the tendency to set my expectations in stone, and cling tightly to control. More often than not, these expectations hinge on one person: myself. Because my house currently looks like the aftermath of a natural disaster after a month filled with travel, I feel like a failure. Anxiety rises up in my heart. I rush to do something, anything to be deserving of approval.

One of the most crucial things I learned last year: for me, anxiety is a choice. I don’t have to fight to the bitter end for peace, I simply have to choose the realization that grace has already been accomplished.

“It is finished.” May those words land on your bones for the nights when fear tells you that the cross was a beginning and you have to finish grace. — Jon Acuff

What I am battling for, Christ has already won. I have only to open my hands to receive that which is given to me.

  • Sue

    Hi there, I’m your neighbor for Five Minute Friday…
    BOY, do I know this story! I have “control” written all over my DNA and now I’m trying to relearn how to give it up. Managing things, or controlling things. Control definitely leads to the anxiety.
    Thank you for a fresh perspective on the “choice” of anxiety. I do have some that is constant, but some of it must be my choice…
    Great to read this! Have a great day…rest and be in peace! ; )

    • Erin Salmon

      Oh, yes — I know that some do battle constant, clinical anxiety. Don’t want to discount that at all. But for me, I’ve found that it is most often a choice I make. There’s so much freedom in knowing that we don’t have to micromanage, no? Blessings to you in 2014, Sue!

  • Hi Erin! Okay, this is quite coincidental!? I linked up 2 after you and I chose the same exact verse and way to look at this word fight. I, too, fight against control and anxiety. Good to remember that it is a choice. Oh, how I need Him in this fight. Blessings to you!

    • Erin Salmon

      Not coincidence at all, Anne! The Lord is good! Thanks for dropping by.

  • Jacqui

    Erin, good for you doing your FMF on a Saturday! :) I thought of writing mine this morning, but since this pregnancy’s killing me with insomnia, my mind was mush!! Ironic, you wrote on rest and that sounds amazing right now! Anyway, I love this line: “I don’t have to fight to the bitter end for peace, I simply have to choose the realization that grace has already been accomplished.” So, so true! Funny how hard it is for us when the remedy’s so simple. My struggle isn’t with control as much as it is with too high of expectations for myself. I think I should be able to do everything and then struggle with condemnation. But the same lesson is learned. Oh, to live and breathe grace! And just so you know, I really am going to email you. I started drafting it at 5 this morning, but after staring at a blinking cursor for a long time, I decided I’d wait. I’m sorry Erin! I’ll get these little bursts of energy and sometimes they last awhile, but sometimes they’re just for minutes! Oh, the woes of pregnancy…you just wait!…that is if you guys plan on having kids! :) Okay, so for now, I’m glad we still have a way of communicating through our blogs and facebook. Know I love you and I’m praying for you…and that email will be coming!!

    • Erin Salmon

      Yes, so glad we have the blogs to keep in touch. And while I’m always excited to hear from you, please don’t feel the need to rush! Thank you for being so faithful to take the time to come here leave encouraging notes. It is always a blessing to experience these moments when our hearts are aligned! I will be praying for your peace and rest as you await this new blessing! Due in February, right? That’s so exciting! Craig and I do want kids — we even talk about names — but that’s still a good ways away, I think. :)

  • This, “anxiety is a choice. I don’t have to fight to the bitter end for peace, I simply have to choose the realization that grace has already been accomplished.” I choose anxiety more often than not. I forget that grace has already been accomplished. Such a great reminder!

    • Erin Salmon

      Yes! So thankful that you stopped by, Barbie. Praying for you!

  • it’s crazy how peace seems so out of reach when in the midst of anxiety. letting go, letting God is sometimes so hard to do.
    yes, so thankful that the Lord will fight for us. just experienced that this morning…i gave my high stress and anxiety issue to God, and he opened my eyes to a way to peace. and, it was a beautiful day. :)
    Look forward to getting to know you through your blog and the (in)courage group Erin!

    • Erin Salmon

      Thank you so much, Barbara! I look forward to getting to know you, too!