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. Its way to long to write here, but the highlights are this..I grew up in a really dysfunctional house, 3 step-dads over the years. I was taken to church by a neighbor family, baptized at 12. Left church at 16 because we moved and my family wouldnt go. I didnt go back. Fast forward thru the age of 16 to 35yrs old. One step dad tried really bad things, mom didnt do anything, I started dating and having sex just to feel love. I thought God didnt want me anymore, I wasnt good enough. Got married, had 2 kids, bad marriage, ended in divorce with me running away with my kids back to my home town–no family left there, its just home. NO contact from my family at that time in about 5-6 years due to my choice in husbands–they didnt like his race. It had to be God because it wouldnt have happened otherwise but I ended up on the door step of the girl whose mom took me to church as a child! She lived 7 houses from my best friend! She asked me to church–not the one we grew up in–and we went, the kids and I. That was 5 years ago and I can probably count the number of times I missed on one hand. It took 2 years of going to finally put in a prayer request to pray for my issues I was having at home (ex-husband had moved to my home town, to live with us, to reconcile–it didnt work, 3 yrs later he moved out) God sent a woman from our leadership staff to me and she has been helping me talk and learn to trust and learn about God over the past 2 1/2 years! She re-baptized me last June 9th because I felt I needed to rededicate my life back to God. And even though I still have a lot of issues, and in weekly counseling, again the hand of God working because I would NEVER have gone to a professional counselor. I’m learning to trust God and that he is big enough to handle my problems, I dont have to be an independent woman and take care of it myself. He will take care of me, and when I am having a particularly bad day I look at the pictures from my baptism and say, I’ve left the stuff in the water, He is really all I need. But its so hard to let go of all that stuff that has been a part of your life for so long even when you know its not good for you!
    God is all over my life and all in my story these days. Sad part is I missed so many years of knowing he was with me when I felt so alone.
    Lisa

  2. Your story really touched my heart! God has been with me through so much in my life…many horrible trials growing up in an abusive home as a child where I felt ripped apart some days and His amazing grace filled me with the courage and peace to know that I would be OK…God love has filled my veins when I was struggling through my first marriage which was incredibly difficult and violent at times. It was only once I accepted His amazing offer to be my lover, my spouse and my best friend that I had the courage to leave that horrible marriage and go to a women’s shelter with my boys and start my life over. And now God is blessing me with an incredible love through my wonderful, gentle, incredibly loving new husband (we got married in April)!!! He is still with me as we raise our children and learn to blend our families. What an amazing God we serve!!! Thank you so much for your openness and sharing with us your story!!

  3. I adore you, deep-souled woman of words. When I read you, I want to cry heaven-homesick tears, and laugh in the God-is-good way, and most of all, love Him more. I’m so glad He’s written you into this season of my story. You and your rock house husband too.

  4. Wonderful and grace filled post.. thank you for brightening up this Monday. God in my story… taken a broken testimony out of the slime of the pit and gently and passionately continues to move me closer to Him.
    Thank you for your warmth through your story.. He shines so brightly through you.

  5. For most of us….pride keeps us from admitting the yucky stuff in our lives. We think that confessing the mistakes or weaknesses will ruin us forever. And sometimes it does.
    Not all churches or fellow christians can handle “sin” when openly laid out for all to see.
    I admire you…..and your journey! I wish more people were FREE to tell their God story!
    What a day of healing that would be…

  6. Wow. Such beautiful writing.
    What power lies within the blood of Christ! Power to go on when it would be easier to give up. Power to share your story to people who need to hear it.
    Thank you!

  7. Beautiful writing, Amber. Thank you for sharing your heart so honestly, so artfully . . .
    My story speaks drips of the Pharisees. Playing church. Faking public worship. White on the outside and grime within. Living up to standards and wearing a mask of the “golden child” (as my siblings actually nicknamed me).
    But it is also one of being broken. And humbled. And reminded over and over and over again that the outside of my cup is not what really matters. That Jesus is, and has always been, after the heart.
    Mine.
    Thanks for the reminder and the prompt to remember.

  8. Thank you for sharing your story. My heart for the body of Christ as a whole, is that we would be real with one another. Too many times we hide behind our masks and appear ‘perfect’, but yet on the inside there is great pain and hurt.
    My story is one of rejection, abuse, rape, and despair. However, it does not end there!! :o) Jesus has healed what others left for dead!! :o)

  9. When I recall God, and share honestly about my humanity, my faith increases. When I am honest with myself, my faith increases. When I forget myself and become dependent, my faith increases.
    I am grateful to be family with you, Amber.

  10. I’m not ready to share my story quite yet- I know I will, and soon, but now’s not the time. I will say this.
    I was at the point in which I knew I needed Jesus more than anything. I would have said that I would never have dreamed I would do these things, yet here I was, having done those very things. I knew I needed His blood to cover me once again. Not knowing what to say, I started, stuttered, and paused. Then, a voice washed over me.
    “I love you anyway.”
    I love you anyway. That’s what the blood is about – that’s what Christianity is about. HE LOVES ME no matter what! At that point, I knew I was His forever, freely forgiven and freely loved.

  11. Dear Lisa H, your story makes me cry because it most definitely sounds like a scene from the New Testament. Only now, He doesn’t walk in and then out of town. He walks in, and He stays.
    You’re right, though. It’s hard to leave those memories and not claim them as our identity. That’s why I tell my story. Thank you for sharing yours.

  12. Thanks Amber.
    God has used my biggest mistakes to teach me the most and my ugliest sins to demonstrate his love the best.
    God has given me a wife who makes me holy and a job that continually turns me back to him.
    He loves me so much that he finds ways to help me out with my weaknesses and gives me opportunities to use my strengths for his glory.
    Such a good and powerful God we have.

  13. “Because Faith comes by hearing it – even for ourselves…”
    Wow. You just totally pegged why I blog. Because I have to hear it for me, this work He has done in my life, in our lives.

  14. Powerful words. Thank you for speaking out, breaking down barriers and horrid stigmas. We are all sinners. But by the grace of God. We need more women to break these walls down, break the barriers. Set women free with thier testimonies so others can begin down the road of forgiveness and healing. Thank you for taking the giant leap of faith!!