Hair of the Dog


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One morning I woke and the sky was pink fingers wiping through purple. I was a guest at a friend’s home, where the deer grazed next to waist-high cactus. Spanish oaks reached crooked arms out above hill country, and we all worshipped. I was in Austin with friends and had spent 8 days away from home when Seth drove down for his time at Idea Camp. I left him there in that summer oven with those good tacos, and I drove the quiet 9 hours home alone before re-entering this ruckus of a house, so full of personality that it could explode. The boys had made signs all over the house with smily faces and hearts on them. They made me paper hats and wrote me letters. It’s been such a precious thing.

I’ve come home a different woman, and I’m not exactly sure what the formula was for it, but I have to tell you that I am not afraid, not even a tiny little hair. It began last Tuesday, and I a smidge expected it was an emotion and would dissolve, but it wasn’t. I am standing confident before God, without anxiety, maybe for the first time since those sweet news days of when I first believed.

Childishly terrified of my calling, I have been trying for weeks now to unwrap myself still more from the dark days of this summer. Isn’t depression an ultimate self-awareness, a mind tangled inside itself so tightly that it can’t see out? This has been a season of unravelling from myself, and though I knew the unravelling was good, I was terrified. It’s hard to let go when you don’t know what you’re becoming.

I was among believing women, and the stark contrast between those who were afraid and those who were released to live fully and righteously and powerfully, it nearly undid me. Some women were so full of the life of Christ that nations had eaten and the paralyzed had risen to walk. There came a point that I began to weep, and I knew it in that moment that I was called – called, yes, to freedom, and called out from impatience and fear. I’ve said it all here before. I’ve known I am called. We all should know it, we royal priests, we chosen and holy. But something in that moment was a deeper knowing. Maybe it was a gift of faith. Maybe I looked down and saw that I had been holding a shield all along.

A woman spoke of David, how he was anointed to be king when he was only a child. After the oil ran down, he went right back into the field to continue in the work he had right in front of him. It was years until he reigned in the palace. Afterward she placed her hand on my heart and she prayed for me, and in that moment, something broke open like a glass of oil: peace, patience, contentment, and confidence. The Holy Spirit is not a joke, not a God-head to be ignored, not a wimpy wind that simply calls people a fine name. The Holy Spirit is the groan of God, the very tongue, the very fire that lights the wick. I had not known that the prayer of a righteous woman could avail that much. I had not known for a fact that I would ever be free, accustomed to my own thorns.

There are new tensions for me now, but I am not held together by fear.

When I walked in the door of my house, Jude’s shoes were wet outside because he had wandered into our neighborhood where a 7th grader had picked him up by the neck of his shirt and thrown him into the creek. Then a few minutes after hearing this story, Isaac told me that they had doughnuts at school one day. He laughed and said that a girl in his class had told him that if he ate the last doughnut, she would get her daddy’s army gun and come to our house and shoot him and his parents. He laughed while he said it.

Saturday I packed all four of them up to visit Bikes, Blues, and BBQ. We listened to the banjo on the square, and then we went down the hill, where the tits on every mannequin were aggressive melons, and they’re so young to have to learn to bounce the eyes. We walked into the gruff of it. We’re learning to love the world. We’re talking about not being afraid. We’re talking about when to run and when to stay. I walked my boys into an outdoor bar. Hair of the Dog. We’re always going back for more, the hair of the dog that bit us. But I’m showing them it doesn’t have to be this way. We can hear God over the sound of mufflers. We bought bracelets from some precious boys sitting among the bikers.

We don’t have to be afraid anymore. We don’t have to have to go back to the hair of the dog. Where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is freedom. Break in as many ways as you can until you can know it. What comes out of it is direction and a place. People who have a place become place makers. Kingdom come.

PS: my writing may start to sound random and wild, and that’s just what I need it to be right now. My dear friend, Sarah, says her blog is her lab, so I’m following suit. This is not my place to be fancy. Go ahead and correct my spelling any time so I don’t look like an idiot. 🙂 I love y’all.

amberhaines
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16 Comments

Tara Owens
Reply September 23, 2013

Oh, yes. And hallelujah.

Write random and wild.

Let the scent of that oil, the truth of that broken-open anointing arrest us all with the fragrance of Christ. Let it call us back and up and in—all at once to that burning that is the heart of God.

Yes, and beautiful, and it is so.

Amen.

So be it.

Amen.

Leigh Kramer
Reply September 23, 2013

As you learn, I learn with you. Love you and your heart so much, friend.

Kris Camealy
Reply September 23, 2013

yes. yes. yes.

embrace the wild. tinker in your lab. bring the stories in all their messy, non-fancy glory. THIS is the stuff dreams are made of.

Laura
Reply September 23, 2013

This spoke directly to my heart. In all what you thought was craziness - was clarity and comforting to me. Thank you.

Alli Worthington
Reply September 23, 2013

Yes.

So much YES.

Elora Nicole
Reply September 24, 2013

So much good. I can feel that holy oil trickling down.

the Blah Blah Blahger
Reply September 24, 2013

If I didn't already love you, I would because of the melon tits. ;-)

So glad the fear is gone!!!

HisFireFly
Reply September 24, 2013

Yes to freedom!
Yes to light and life!
Yes to reckless abandonment in Him!
Doing the happy dance with you as we step away from fear.

Becca
Reply September 24, 2013

Oh my. I love this.

Crystal
Reply September 24, 2013

Yes. This. My heart has been craving THIS. Now to find that righteous woman to lay hands on me and pray me into bravery and calling and out of insecurity and this spirit of timidness.

Robin Troxell
Reply September 24, 2013

preach on. in all of the messy wild ways you can.

Shelly Miller
Reply September 24, 2013

Thankful you allow us to sojourn with you, watching a woman from the sidelines grow into a warrior for Jesus. It's quite astounding really.

Cathy K.
Reply September 24, 2013

"I had not known for a fact that I would ever be free, accustomed to my own thorns.
There are new tensions for me now, but I am not held together by fear."

Hmmm...your words bring me to the realization that I'm "accustomed to and held together by fear". Your words always stir in me the desire to hope for, believe for, reach for freedom. Thank you!

Diana Trautwein
Reply September 24, 2013

Honey chile, if this is 'wild and crazy,' bring it on!! I love this entire post and am grateful for Sarah and her lab and for her encouragement to you to let 'er rip. So glad you had this wonderful time and that you experienced an anointing. Because you are right, The Holy Spirit is active and real and mighty, sometimes even scary. But in the best sense of that word. Because there is a difference between fear that binds and FEAR that frees, right? Right. Love to you - so looking forward to what God continues to do in and through you.

    Amber
    Reply September 25, 2013

    Diana, I really hope we get to meet one day.

Lori Lehrmann
Reply September 25, 2013

"Childishly terrified of my calling..."

Wow, how I can so relate...to nearly everything you wrote. Thank you for this post. I truly needed to read this. ~Lori Lehrmann

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