I am so excited to finally be sharing my review of Wild in the Hollow by Amber C. Haines with all of you. I'm giving away a copy to one lucky person so be sure and enter! The winner will be chosen on September 15th, 2015.
If you ask me to sum up Amber’s book quickly I would have to sigh in your general direction and gently shake my head no. There is no short cut through her story, through her life, and if there were one I would not want to take it nor would I suggest you do so either. Every page of this story is meant to be savored and pondered like the small treasures I used to tuck in my pocket as a little girl, a small white feather, a crudely cut arrowhead, or a piece of glittering smoky quartz. The kind of things I would take out later and turn over and over in my hand before lining them up on my windowsill all the while just wondering how God had put them together. That’s how I feel when I think about Amber’s story; I just marvel at how God put the pieces of her life together in every season.
Amber does what so few folks do in our social media perfection age, she rips the cover off her life and tells the truth. And she does it so gracefully you don’t realize you’re living it, and breathing it, and dying in it with her until the pages in your hands are wet from your own sobbing because in her story you will recognize something of your own story.
You will be the little girl on the front porch in Alabama with your hair a tangled mess as your daddy plays guitar. You will be nineteen again finding your Damascus road on a cold linoleum floor at college. You will be a newlywed lost in shame, mourning a child no one knows about. You will be the wronged wife and the wife that does the wronging. You will be the woman in college falling in love, the one in childbirth noting the angle of the sunrise, and the mother who rocks the child with no guarantee of wellness. You will be the woman consumed with filling the hollows of your body and spirit with everything this world can offer. But you will also find yourself as the one pursued by God through every breath of the story that Amber has shared.
Because of all the things I see in this story what I see most isn’t failure, it isn’t shame, its love, a love that follows her through every choice, every misstep, every joy, every discovery of self. As she peels off the layers of her life I see God weaving His love deeper into her spirit pulling her closer until at last she declares,
“I decided to love my life and to be satisfied in Jesus. I wanted to live as his friend. I wanted to believe the love of my Father, to be his girl child.”
For me, this book is more than another autobiography about an author coming to terms with God; it is a powerful and subversive tool for the traveler. Because in Amber's story we see an intimate view of the how the love of God can work within us to destroy the lies of shame and deceit that we the reader have been given. And when this begins to happen, when the enslaved begin to hope that Gods love is big enough for them too, they start breaking chains and the Kingdom comes down for everyone to see.