About the Author

Amber C Haines, author of Wild in the Hollow, has 4 sons, a guitar-playing husband, theRunaMuck, and rare friends. She loves the funky, the narrative, and the dirty South. She finds community among the broken and wants to know your story. Amber is curator with her husband Seth Haines of Mother...

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  1. “The enemy’s work repurposed” – that is such a good word, and one that I need to remember almost every single day. If we let ourselves get caught up in regret and what-ifs, then we haven’t really let go and experienced God’s amazing forgiveness. And that is something I’m guilty of far too often. Thank you for this, Amber.

  2. Amber–this is such an awesome post. I want to remember every word of it! I’m one of these gutsy girls, but it hasn’t been without God’s daily grace to forgive and to embrace the mystery of the sameness. I’m so thankful that God’s faithfulness can empower ours. Thanks for sharing this…

  3. Must also say that the faithful guys are also gutsy & brave!!! True that we seem to hear that more guys unfaithful etc but there are those that forgive and continue to honor their vows & committments. God Bless them too!!
    Thank you also for this site-a safe place for women and gutsy guys to put down their thoughts & prayers.
    Remember all our men & women soldiers who are worldwide keeping us safe & free-and all the ones who are training to join them.
    God Bless!

  4. Thank you for the reminder that it does take courage and guts and work to remain faithful, but it’s worth it. And God is on our side.

  5. odd thought I know but sometimes when your testimony is ‘boring’ you feel like you’ve missed out on something. you don’t have these amazing rescued from the edge stories. thank you for reminding those of us with ‘boring’ testimonies that it still takes courage to be faithful. for it is by the grace of God I am what I am…

  6. Oh, you.
    I tap with tears.
    The brave too who return to the vows, who knead out the grace, and eat it long into night, who find sustenance in the bread of forgiveness, in the hope of new strength, in the glory of the new morning.
    Brave who touch the wounded places and gently caress, wait for the healing and the wholeness.
    Love calls only the courageous, and there we all come, and He walks beside us, and we lean hard on the arms of Grace.
    Inexpressible privilege, sisters, Amber, to walk with you… true Brave Hearts, married to men who awake everyday and live in the Courage.
    Broken with you, and all my love,
    Ann

  7. (And such words, these:
    “Every day that we choose love for that same man and his mess, and every day that we choose LIFE and the redundancy of reconciliation, we choose the nature of the God who makes monotonous monogamy the bravest, most transforming, and most mysterious act of all.”
    Breathtaking, Amber… now for me to hold them, live them…. Thank you, wise woman…)

  8. Amber,
    Your piece brought me to tears, too. How wise you are! I was especially moved by the selection that Ann highlighted above. When we take God at His word, He can take any marriage from the mundane to the marvelous. Those girls that believe this and live this each day are so, so gutsy!
    I am soooo loving this site, Amber and Co.! What a blessing and an encouragement y’all are to me! May God bless and keep you!

  9. I was misty, and then read Ann’s comments and that was it.
    Gone.
    SO lovely, all of you, sisters. I read this post and noticed Lisa’s lovely “By Grace Alone” necklace right next to your strongly rooted words.
    Last night as I prepared to leave my family for a few days for a necessary trip to do some house scouting, my husband and I had an argument. It escalated before I knew it, and I felt broken and sad to be squandering those last few moments before leaving on our trip. I also felt it was all his fault.
    I had just read Ann’s profound words on love, they reminded me that our argument was not worth it. Her comment (on her post here yesterday) saying she was praying for each of us moved me so, and then she commented on my own blog (yesterday was clearly “Ann Day” for me, no?) and the love was so bright I was blinded in the best way, the way you can be washed over with something so intangible.
    It was all too much, too lovely and too obvious to ignore that it was God’s whisper, that I needed to turn the course back, and submit, and repair the night.
    I got tearful reading this post because of what we went through last night, realizing maybe I’d finally learned something that seemed out of reach, that last drop of submission I didn’t want to drink. Not understanding how perfectly sweet it was, tasting of love and peace and the exciting sameness of being with the same man, my leader, for 16 years.
    Thank you Amber and Ann, for this lesson, reminder, admonishment, encouragement and edification.
    So needed.

  10. Yes, yes. I have told so many that marriage is not for the feint of heart. It is not a sprint. It is long distance. Up to panoramas of intimacy that no words can describe. And, similarly, down to dark despairs few can fathom. It is the marathon of love. One step, one mile, one day at a time. Thank you for sharing part of your journey with us.

  11. (((Amber))) Though you may not see it, God’s grace, love, and glory are all over you. Beams of light radiant throughout your testimony–because God has put you where you are today..DESPITE the past, despite the sin. (And we ALL have sin). All because He has a love for you deeper than any human can fathom. You are His child and He fought for you. He chose you for a purpose. Soak that in for a minute. You didn’t choose Him. He sought YOU out and CHOSE YOU to be His child. He singled YOU out. Being brave doesn’t mean not being afraid…it means stepping out even when you’re scared to death. Even when you don’t have all the answers and are uncertain of what’s to come; yet you know He is holding your hand and guiding you step by step. Like me, you have quite a man, because I, too, have my own story.
    http://christinnjon.wordpress.com/2009/01/21/the-ex-effect/
    My husband is the brave one and the one to be commended. But us? We have to be brave enough to believe our husbands forgiveness is REAL so that we can continue to build a marriage on the foundation of the Gospel. Our husbands are the walking Gospel…a bit of Jesus in disguise.
    Oooodles of hugs to you! I’m happy to have talked with you more on Twitter and through blogging. I hope we can stay connected. You are such a sweet soul.

  12. It’s so hard. I hate “fighting” with myself about what I should or shouldn’t do. “Do I give up or don’t I?”
    Then I think that God doesn’t give up on me so therefore I shouldn’t give up but then the feeling to give up becomes more overwhelming.
    smooches,
    Larie

  13. This post spoke volumes to me. And hearing a biblical truth re-worded (“Everything in Christ Jesus is reconciled, all the enemy’s work repurposed”) makes it alive and fresh for me. With a challenging week ahead, I’m printing that line and posting it where I can see it. THANK YOU for sharing.

  14. “Every day that we choose love for that same man and his mess, and every day that we choose LIFE and the redundancy of reconciliation, we choose the nature of the God who makes monotonous monogamy the bravest, most transforming, and most mysterious act of all.”
    Thank you…

  15. Beautiful woman of words, thank you for this post. It was soul-affirming in a way I really needed. I sighed deep, long, and thanked Jesus for you when I first read it…and I do so again now. Love to you, Amber.

  16. Beautifully expressed and written and an encouragement to remain faithful to our men in their messes and to continue to seek reconciliation. God is a wonderful giver of second chances and gives us the opportunity to redeem our pain by warning others not to go down the wrong path and to encourage others that right choices are really better choices after all. God is so good and wastes nothing even our mistakes. Bless you for this good encouraging word!

  17. Love is courage, poured out in the light of God’s truth. It is ever true, has been and will be.
    How wonderful that you know.
    To love is to lay down our life, and to lay down our life is to be fully alive. For it is in losing our life that we find it.
    We did not misunderstand him. Jesus meant what he said.
    Bless you.

  18. “all the enemy’s work repurposed” I love that Amber!! God does that for us, doesn’t He! All the evil the enemy intends falls to nothing in the face of the great and mighty GOOD purposes of God!! What a blessed truth. I am thankful too that God enables my husband and I everyday (for more than 21 years) to make faithful choices–to choose each other again and again. Thanks for reminding me how valuable that is and that it is never to be taken for granted or seen as my own strength.

  19. I realize I am a little “behind” from when you posted this, but someone just sent it to me. Very motivational, clear and true. Sometimes we focus so much on what we did wrong that we forget to focus on redemption and those who choose to do right through acknowledging a power outside of our self. Thank you for voicing that!