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Wild in the Hollow: On Chasing Desire and…
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Wild in the Hollow: On Chasing Desire and Finding the Broken Way Home

by Amber C. Haines

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The style of this book is unusual. I guess it is meant to be poetic or creative or maybe a stream of consciousness. It didn't work that well for me. It felt as if at times the language used was so wordy that I couldn't extract what the author was actually saying. There were also sentences that didn't make sense to me, an average reader, maybe because the author had gone beyond my creative thinking ability!

The author has obviously had a difficult life--involved in drugs and new age practices at a fairly young age. She gives details of an abortion, fornication and an affair. I wonder if she will regret exposing these details at some stage. I'm surprised that her husband didn't object, honestly. Sometimes I wonder about the wisdom of this level of sharing--maybe it will help those who have gone through a similar experience and feel that there is no hope. If that if the intention of the author then I hope some are truly helped.

I also struggled with the theology. The whole premise of the book (and the author's story) is that the church has lost its way--that our lives are not being lived as God intended and that we have created either a dull, formal, legalistic religion or a mega-church focused purely on numbers and entertaining people. We should return to Eden?! Whilst I agree with the author on some aspects, I believe she has come to the wrong conclusions in order to combat these problems. She suggests that the problems have arisen from a rigid interpretation of the Bible--We use doctrine to harness the Holy Spirit...Jesus didn't come to bring us the Bible.... Too often we're prone to worship the Good Book, as perfectly true as those words may be.... I do not believe the Bible is a fourth person of the Trinity.... I leaned so heavily on doctrine that I turned away from belief that the Holy Spirit was active anywhere other than in the reading of Scripture.

Personally, I don't think that the Bible is the issue. We obviously don't worship the book itself as some religions do but the words in the Bible are the inspired words of God Himself. I think it is dangerous to begin undermining the Bible in this way and suggesting reliance on senses or feelings of the Spirit within. These things can be very subjective and we are prone to wander if we don't come back to the Word.

I find the author's conversion experience also a little strange. She was obviously at breaking point having hit rock bottom and had virtually decided that life was no longer worth living. She suggests that it was at this point that God met her on the floor of her room. She speaks about God making our untidy, unfinished lives, authentic, free and whole. She suggests that we should return home to a place of acceptance, fulfillment and identity--and into the heart of God. But I'm not sure that these are the things that God wants us to focus on. The author doesn't really talk about repentance or transformation through Jesus' death on the cross for her sin. She doesn't speak about the glories of heaven or the horrors of hell. She acknowledges her sin in a roundabout way and her life does change...

She quotes the verse that is often misquoted to advise that we should "love others as we love ourselves." She uses this verse as evidence that our lives can only be restored when we love ourselves. But actually, what this verse is saying is the opposite--that we already love ourselves because it is human nature to be selfish/self-focused. It is an assumption that we love ourselves and it is therefore used as an understandable instruction for us to measure our love for others. The verse is not a command to love ourselves....

It is ironic that I am one of those conservative Christians focused on the Bible that the author can't relate to, yet I too spent 6 years in the world as a late teen/early twenties. My experiences made me more inclined to stick to the Bible as I saw what a mess I made of my life when I strayed....

I don't really know what to make of this book or the author's experiences. I guess there is something of a disconnect here between the creative and the down to earth. The book is clean-there is no bad language, violence or graphic sexual content. I felt the author gives too much detail about her personal life but others may think it is okay.



( )
  sparkleandchico | Jun 2, 2017 |
Wild in the Hollow is an engaging autobiography of a young woman who lost her way, finds herself in a desperate place, and opens herself to the God of hope, purpose, and security. Amber Haines' vulnerability is to be admired as she puts down on paper thoughts, attitudes, and actions that most of us keep close to our skin. Her journey through young adulthood, marriage, and motherhood goes many directions while she looks for authenticity from others and herself. I identified with her strong desire to live for God, love her husband, and raise her children well. Her stark openness hit like I was reading her journal. She searches for peace, a simple life uncluttered with our society's trappings so she can focus on God's reality for her. I found myself underlining many truths throughout the book. I doubt this will be the last we hear from her.

I received this book from Revell Reads/Net Galley for my honest review which I have given. ( )
  sh2rose | Sep 6, 2016 |
I am speechless. I don't know what to say. Amber C. Haines' "Wild in the Hollow" rendered me speechless many times over during the course of reading her story.

Do you know what broken is? Do you know how to describe when you're broken? Do you know what to say when you encounter God in the most abrupt and gentle way? Do you know how to describe all your encounters so vividly through words that makes the most impact without straining through your voice or your body language? Amber Haines does. She shared her life with us through words that seems to float. It's words as such that gives meaning to how beautiful our God-given language is. Her artistic prose allows us to relate. You may not have encountered the same experiences or made the same choices as she did, but how she relates her thoughts, her desires and her journey with God ties us together. Her words are your words your thoughts one time or another. The intimacy she related charged through a barrier strangers typically have with one another. You're reading her story, and her brutal honesty and courage in sharing it, enraptured your heart with every word you read.

This is a book that I recommend to my fellow females. Again, it's not to say you shared the same past as Amber or even agree with her in any of her opinions, but we all will or have experienced brokenness and the desire to search and find a way home - to God is what we strive for. God is the healer of all.

NOTE: I received a complimentary copy of this book as part of the book tour from the publisher, Revell for an honest review.

http://justcommonly.blogspot.com ( )
  justcommonly | Aug 7, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0800724070, Hardcover)

Amber Haines is a woman haunted by God. Like Eve in the Garden, she craved the fruit that she thought would lead her to freedom. But the whispers of temptation led her instead down a devastating path toward isolation, dissatisfaction, and life-altering choices. In her most broken moment, Amber met God waiting for her in the fallout, freely offering her grace and life.

This is a story of the God who makes himself known in broken places. In prose that is at once lyrical and utterly honest, a brave new voice takes readers on a windswept journey down the path of brokenness to healing, satisfaction, and true intimacy with God. Amber calls readers to dispense with the pretty bows we use to dress up our stories and instead trust God to take our untidy, unfinished lives and make them free, authentic, and whole. Anyone who struggles with doubt or holds secrets, anyone who feels marginalized or like she is missing something, will find in Amber a sister and an inviting voice back home, into the heart of God.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 06 Aug 2015 15:34:33 -0400)

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