In Which I Tell My Big Secret (That Everyone Already Knew Except Me)

Can I tell you a secret, dear readers?

Lately God has been whispering to me of big and brave things.

A dream, I guess you might say. One that was always there, but until now has remained safely tucked away in the quietest corners of my heart. I must say, I rather liked it there, where it was unacknowledged and safe, requiring no risk on my part.

You see, I’ve never really been a big fan of risk. I actually happen to be in a very long-term, exclusive relationship with my Comfort Zone. We have an unspoken agreement not to stray from each other’s side.

Yet here I find myself, in a season of change. A season of knowing, whether I’m ready to or not. God is slowly, inexorably drawing The Dream up and out of me. It’s exciting, yes, but also uncomfortable. Like a needle pulling a thread up and through as he sews it into the fabric of who I am.

For me, The Dream has always been writing. This is no surprise. I’ve spoken about it here often, bringing you guys along (whether you like it or not) as I’ve begun to sort this dream out for myself.

Besides, is it really any shock that I would go so far as to write about wanting to write? I am an over-sharing, unfiltered kind of person who feels the need to talk to everyone about everything that happens to me. We know this. Let’s just say I’m working on it and chalk it up to art imitating life… imitating art. Or something like that.

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I’ve shared with you how this writing journey has felt much like a dance, to which I do not know the steps.

How it was slow and cautious at the first, with me learning to trust and let God lead. That I moved more freely once I finally realized that it wasn’t about how I looked as he spun me across the floor, it was about what was happening right there between us. I told you when my heart quickened with the pace and I felt as if he’d winked at me and whispered, “The dance floor is ours. Hold on to me, and let’s go.”

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All the while he’s been pulling that needle, up and through, piercing my heart with The Dream; at each turn leading me further out and away from my Comfort Zone.

At first I only had an up-close picture of the tapestry he weaved. Just this one little square space, two inches from my face. “This spot right here. This is where I want you to work,” he whispered.

I busied myself in my little writing space and I loved it.

I realized in one breathless and audacious moment that I actually had something to offer here.

I could make this space lovely and in turn it could make me come alive.

And then of course, as soon as I started to get comfortable with this version of The Dream (my version), it began to shift and change. It grew. Suddenly that neat little space that was two inches from my face fell away to a tapestry that was much larger and more lovely than I’d ever dared to see.

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Not long ago that I wrote about how sometimes the biggest things in life happen in one small, quiet moment. A moment of knowing, but also choosing.

I think I’ve just had one of those moments.

In one breathless and audacious moment I knew.

I want to write a book.

It was a moment of knowing, but also choosing. A moment when The Dream seemed to fall apart and together at the same time.

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I cannot even tell you how terrifying it is for me to say this to you. It all has me feeling a lot like Kristin Wiig in that “Surprise Party” sketch on SNL. “My mouth is dry and my knuckles have locked!”

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Because now EVERYONE KNOWS. Saying it out loud makes it real. Once it becomes real, I am responsible for it.

And what if I fail?

Saying that I want to write a book at this point in my writing career (and by career I mean hobby that no one pays me for) feels a hell of a lot like strapping on a space suit and saying that I’d like to land on the moon without a rocket. Like, literally just hurling my body at the actual moon in hopes to land there.

Hi. Remember me? Huge fan of her Comfort Zone? You guys, what if I never accomplish The Dream? What if I crash and burn, free-falling through space and time, forever adrift with my book dream just outside of my reach?

What if I look foolish?

What if I’m humiliated?

These are the things I wonder, lying in bed at night, while my book dream nags at my conscience like a petulant child who refuses to be ignored.

But maybe, just maybe, I’m not so responsible for The Dream after all? Maybe my only responsibility is to let go of my own version of it and trust in God’s. To keep taking the next step I know to take. Maybe if I just focus on each little square space in front of me, one day I’ll look up and the tapestry will be there, just as it always was, only I’ll see it fully for the first time.

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What about you, dear readers? What is your dream? I wonder if you have acknowledged it yet. I wonder what kind of tapestry he is weaving, and if you are able to see the beauty in yet. Maybe you feel too close to it to see clearly. Maybe it still feels a million miles away.

Wherever you find yourself, I hope that you can be brave. I hope that in one breathless and audacious moment you will know it and choose it.

21 thoughts on “In Which I Tell My Big Secret (That Everyone Already Knew Except Me)

  1. Heather Bender

    Yup, same dream here. I have a title. Subtitle, too. And cover graphics. It just needs, you know, content. Because that’s a long, cool breeze of easy.

    Oh, and I think I can help with your humiliation fears. Try writing a fun post on vajazzles (yes, really), then have **your aunt** follow your blog. Yeah. I’m working on a piece on anxiety now.

    1. ambersalhus@msn.com

      Oh dang! Haha! Heather, if it makes you feel any better, I know this feel. I’ve deleted more than one blog post that I found particularly funny (I.e. “There’s Regular Sex, and There’s Special Sex…”)but in the end I just couldn’t bring myself to hit publish and share it with the whole wide internet world, as well as all of my in-laws.
      I say know your boundaries, and the push yourself right to the edge of them, but don’t cross over. Good luck! Now get back to writing! I want to read all about vajazzles. I think.

  2. Blythe

    So proud of you and so love this post! Your vulnerability, truth-telling, inspiring and raw feelings are what makes this process for you (and us!) so attractive and engaging. The road is clear ahead, my friend, and you are on it!

    1. ambersalhus@msn.com

      Thank you Blythe! Your encouragement and feedback mean so much to me. Now…on to that teeny tiny matter of sorting out and deciding WHAT THE BOOK WILL ACTUALLY BE ABOUT. No big deal. Should be easy, right? 😉

  3. Krysten Case

    Um, I think you just said everything I have been thinking. Literally ALL THE THINKS.

    Oh boy. I’m just getting used to saying I’m a writer. Haven’t even started really saying the words “my writing career” in a string together like that, since it’s also a hobby that no one pays me for ?

    But this made me feel a little more brave for a second. Like maybe I could start talking about that. Like maybe I should start talking about that.

    I’ll be following, lady-friend. Are you by chance attending She Speaks this year?

    1. ambersalhus@msn.com

      Krysten, a year ago when I determined to be more consistent with writing, I too, did not have the courage to call myself a writer. In fact, it wasn’t until I did the #write31days challenge last Oct. that I realized that I AM A WRITER. A writer writes words. The end. Don’t wait for permission! Just take your seat at the table. There is room at the table. Cheering you on over here!

  4. Andy Cockrell

    Our dreams are remarkably similar, yet you convey it with much more eloquence and feeling. You are speaking, I believe, for so many of us. My favorite takeaway: maybe I’m not responsible for the Dream after all. May THAT ever be the case!

    1. ambersalhus@msn.com

      Thanks Steve! I too, can’t wait to hear more- because of at all I’ve got so far is the knowledge that I want to write a book along with a group of people who’ve told me I should. But hey, it’s a start!

  5. Charity Craig

    Girl, you and me both. Just saying my big over the moon dream of writing a book broke me out into hives. I’m trackin’ with you right now. Maybe we can hold each other’s virtual hands while we take one step at a time to the top of our mountains. Best to you in writing that book the world needs to read!

  6. Monique Ybarra

    Love, love , love this! Just envisioned you in a styley outfit at your book signing partay! Woot woot 😉

  7. becky cole

    I love this Amber! Cheering you on as you write your book! I published my first book (a children’s book) last fall and wrestled with success and failure as well. Still in the launch phase and not having sold a whole bunch of books I still wrestle with it. I constantly have to remind myself that the worlds definition of success is not the same as Jesus’. I have to redefine success for myself: was I obedient to do what He asked of me? I just keep trying to do the next thing He asks me to do and put the “success” of the book in His hands. I love your writing and can’t wait to read your book!

    1. ambersalhus@msn.com

      Thank you Becky! And congratulations on doing the hard work of writing a book! Cheering you on over here!

  8. Ariel

    This is wonderful. Thank you for being brave! I will definitely buy your book. 😉
    I loved how you put the moment of choosing and knowing. It’s not just knowing, but being willing to step out and choose to accept the mission…

    My husband and I have a very unique story that I really believe could be a blessing to people were the story told in its entirety. Last fall God really started nudging me to get serious about writing it down, until he literally wouldn’t let me stop thinking about it! So the husband and I committed to do it, and after 8 months or so I’m still not half-way finished writing (and he’s even further behind ;). Writing a book is such hard work! I will be praying that He guides your direction in what exactly he’s given you to share. <3

    1. ambersalhus@msn.com

      Ariel! I love this! You guys are DOING THE THING! That is so inspiring. Good luck to you both as you write your story. Can’t wait to read it!

  9. Jenny Tipple

    Hi Amber, I’m Jenny and I have know your husband Nathan for years! We went to high school together and just recently became friends in Facebook. I just started reading your blog and I have to say you are an amazing writer! I especially loved reading your love story. I can’t even remember he last time I saw or spoke to Nathan but one of my last memories being around him was when he was renting a house down the street from my parent’s house in Big Bear and he had his wisdom teeth pulled. I went to hang out with him because he was still having a ton of pain and he ended up having lock jaw I believe and ended up in the hospital. I’m so glad to see that he is married and to what seems like an amazing woman! I’ve always admired people who blog and put out to the public all these wonderful stories of their life! I look forward to reading your book someday!

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