wildinthehollowsHave you ever held a book in your hand and seen yourself reflected in it’s pages? Have you ever been moved because you see yourself as the girl broken and weeping on the floor? Not because you changed places, putting yourself in her shoes, but because the shoes are yours, too?

That’s what reading Wild in the Hollows felt like. These were all the words that had been me and all the words I hope to become. My story is the same-but-not-same as hers. Amber Haines told her story with broad brushstrokes, letting the colors bleed and blend so you’re left with an impression of the experience. It was sensory and colors and tastes and sounds. What actually happened was less important than the metaphor—and the metaphor was less important than God.

This book was written for me, for this moment.

“We’re searching for home—a place of acceptance, a place of fulfillment, and a place of identity. At the basest level, we suspect that home is the place where we’ll find our fit, where we’ll finally be free.”

“There was no rest. There never is for the one who desires to fit but doesn’t believe she is loved.”

“We knew we all happened to be journeying along at the same time, phase, and place. We were in a rare phase of learning how to be both common and uncommon.”

“He walked a life of contentment on the tension between already but not yet. He looked like Jesus.”

“The earth was made to quake.”

“The wanting was an endless echo, and I was the canyon.”

“…when one of us seeks the kingdom, our home is a domino effect of healing.”

“The culmination of all desire is not in marriage, motherhood, this yard, or the church building yonder. The Spirit of the Lord whispers it in quiet, empty places. We are loved. Yes, where the Spirit of the Lord is, the kingdom comes. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom…”

I leave this book feeling full, like I just ate a rich and nourishing meal. I feel satiated and content.

Maybe its because I’ve been reading the Outlander series and lots of YA and this feels so much more…but I think it’s because these words brought comfort when I needed them. They reminded me to live in the in-between, to seek adventure and contentment in my every day life. I am reminded to go small, to see the gifts and beauty and adventure that is just life, the act of living–of breathing in an out. It’s a reminder of my God who made the galaxies and the stars, and carved mountains and filled oceans. And who also gave me clothes that need to be cleaned, mouths to feed, floors to mop and relationships to navigate.

“We share in the suffering of his labor, yes, but we share in his joy too.”

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