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. Thank you for this. Yesterday i reached the dirt. The lowest ebb. I have been on a journey getting there. But yesterday i spent the day asking God who am i? What for? How do i do this? I am beyond nothing. I cannot stand me and i dont know what to do. That eve i was going out with a friend for some food. He is a real soul brother and he said before we go lets just spend 10 minutes in worship. First a soaking song no words. I sat on the floor and cried the whole way thru. Then he put on a song called “good good father” which is my story and my truth and my journey and i heard it fresh in that moment. Jesus sat with me and answers my questioning – as i curled up on my hands and knees – the song goes “i am loved by You. Its who i am. Its who i am. Its who i am”

    That is who i am. Before anything i do or achieve or look like. Before anyone else loves me. Or even i get to one day love myself. I am loved by my Good Good Father. Its who i am. Its who i was made to be!
    And!…
    Its
    Who
    You
    Are

  2. Amber,
    This is a really hard question because it takes me back to some very painful times. The first time I came to know Jesus as my Lord and Savior and invited Him into my heart, I was 13 years old and I lay under a dark sky with a canopy of stars surrounding me. It was there that I felt peace. When I have had bouts with severe depression, and at times have even contemplated taking my own life, I remember one time running as fast and hard as I could run, then sobbing I gazed up at the dark sky and the star-filled night and felt God’s presence watching over me. I have met God, in my pain, in a multitude of places (crying into my pillow on my bed, lying prostate on my family room floor). He never fails to show up. I have built many Ebenezers to my God’s faithfulness. They were/are humbling and holy places. Beautiful post…
    Blessings,
    Bev

  3. I became a believer when I was 26. It was a miracle I had somewhere to live, and felt the pull to go to church. I heard the message of the Gospel, and couldn’t go up out of fear. God still met me, and I wept, ashamed, tried to hide, and still received Him. Shortly after, broke up with my fiancé because Jesus made it clear I needed to do this, and found myself friendless. Those who I had hung out with in bars, I couldn’t go back, I only had relationships in bars, and I knew I couldn’t keep drinking and in that atmosphere. Lonely times. I’d go to church and every message I’d weep and grieve. People didn’t know what to “do” with me. Jesus met me there. Over the years there have been several in the middle of the mess, coming to the end of my means, and crying out. My hardest time was when our first round of family was falling apart. My daughter left under horrible circumstances, and it was the beginning of her rejecting everything that could be of Jesus and her spiral of drugs and alcohol, and men who used her. With all I saw happening, and desperately wanting some measure of control, and found I had none. I couldn’t eat from fear and distress, couldn’t sleep, and it was a long haul. Jesus met me, and everything I thought I knew was challenged and was rebuilt from the foundation up. Jesus showed me He was loving, has no condemnation, and is near to the brokenhearted. He did show me I needed to learn how to live life differently….Still walking this learning how to do life differently WITH Him. Not independent of Him. I reached the dirt again less than a week ago at 3:30a crying out, and He met me.

  4. Amber, this is a beautiful, humble (from Latin humus, “on the ground,” literally “earth”) testimony. I must say that I have been on the ground a number of times in my relationship with God throughout the years, not always willingly, but ultimately as an act of complete surrender. The first was on my living-room ground on my knees at my couch, weeping. After a ten-year struggle with suicide, I collapsed in His arms, at the end of myself, longing for cleansing and forgiveness and acceptance in Christ. After I became His child, not too very long after that, I was on the ground drowning in a sea of alcoholism, and God met me there with His power and strength. I’ve not drunk wine in thirty years, and celebrated that anniversary earlier this month. I was on the ground on an abortionist’s table, under her knife and hideous suction machine. God was with me then, too, but as a brand-new Christian, not truly cognizant of the heinous sin I was committing, I didn’t know how fully He was with me, or how dramatically He would make His presence known, when several years later I read Ps. 139 with the new eyes of understanding. When, for the first time I really understood Who had knit my child together in my womb, I was fully, flat-on-my-face prostrate in grief and horror. Amazingly, God bent low to the ground and stroked my head with the compassion of forgiveness, but I was not set free from my feelings of guilt till eighteen years later. Through those years, I was on the ground, face lowered in shame, when He really wanted to take my hand, lift my chin, and bid me rise into the freedom of forgiveness. When we are on the ground in true humility, I believe, it’s then and only then, that the Lord always lifts us up. God bless you, Amber, for this rich and poignant sharing.
    Love
    Lynn
    PS You gotta change that (in)courage bio. You’ve written a book. 🙂

    • Lynn,
      Thanks for sharing such a poignant story! It is truly a story not unlike the Israelites. Sin, repentance forgiveness, sin, etc. God is always there for us not matter what!
      Thanks again for being so open here!
      Blessings 🙂

  5. I became a believer about two years ago when I hit my rock bottom. I was addicted to amphetamines and work. I spent little to no time with my kids or family, and when I did spend time with them I was mentally not there. The Lord came to me in the form of a friend at the park one day, and He used her to soften my heart and open my eyes to see the pain I was causing myself and others. Come to find out she was the wife of a pastor! One Sunday, I went to church and accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior that day. I have been amazed by His grace, mercy, and love and forgiveness ever since!

  6. My hope markers……falling to my knees in the tall grass of my son’s unkept back yard. Pleading with God to give him the desire to live. Falling further down till my face feels the grass and my tears meet the soil. Pleading….. Pleading with God on my knees to heal my 10 year old granddaughter of clear cell sarcoma. Waiting for 4 years for healing. Hoping …. hope. Holding my son as the cries of his very soul echo throughout their home….as his little girl enters heaven with the grasp of the very hand of Jesus. Hope….what a fantastic word – Hold On Pain Ends.

  7. Amber,

    Thank-you for this post, this I will remember,

    I can’t pinpoint a specific time when because it goes back as far as I can remember. But there were times when I was younger that I should of acknowledged Him more. Despite that I know he was always present because there is no way I would of made it then or now without Him.

    My Hope for you all is this:
    For those who are searching – you find it
    For those seeking answers- you learn them
    For those on the sidelines – you join in
    For those with dreams- go for it

    Many blessings to all,

    Penny

  8. I’m 52 years old, and I believe my first hope marker came when I was 15. I cried and prayed for 3 weeks for my cat who had vanished from our home, to return. He did. At 34 years, my marriage was all but dissolved. I prayed and cried for guidance and for it to be saved. It was. At 51 years when my Mom died, I prayed to The Lord to take care of her. I KNOW He is.

  9. Amber,
    I remember growing up a Christian. Always in church, wearing the cross, etc. but not really knowing Him. I was just going through the motions. Then at 40 years old I truly came to understand Him. I was at a Wednesday night service and the preacher kept talking about what baptism is all about. It was then and there that I got baptized. Since then it has been a journey, but I find myself really knowing Him and wanting more of Him daily! I can’t say there was ever a “real low” point in life. It was just me doing my life without thinking much about Him. Now I constantly think about Him. Like others here I can actually “hear” words in songs now. They take on more of a meaning to me not just mere words. I am more careful about what I watch on TV and listen to.
    Blessings 🙂

  10. Amber – I have had some of my lowest points on the floor, too. I love your connections with the two Marys, and how very important it is that we sit on the floor if we want to be at Jesus’ feet. Praying blessing for you on launch day today!