a love story: the life before the life

Warning! The following post is some serious bean-spilling. It’s my business. Please consider yourself forewarned and proceed with caution. I wasn’t messing around when I said I was about to shuck off some fears with the word of my testimony. It’s going down here every Tuesday. Shoot me an email about it if you want. I’m not doing this just to hear my own head rattle. Here goes the first installment:



I take taekwondo and become good at meditation. One gives us a word – “Strength,” and we visualize, hone in, and manage control of the idea, which manifests itself physically as we practice.

At this point, I know I’m pregnant, and I still do 200 crunches a day. I hold my Bible against my chest. Everything is secret. I will never be good.

The thing about abortion is that many, many women have them. Your closest friends. And they don’t tell you. We can carry grief like a tight lead jacket under our prettiest blouses and never say a thing.

It doesn’t compare to all my addictions, the moment on the secret-table when I know it’s over and is sin. My lights go out, and I near the end of my own death march.

A month later the sun blares in on morning, and I see a zombie in the mirror, and I can’t walk anymore. I put my hands to the floor and lie on my side. I think each breath is my last. I wait for the tunnel, because I know I’m lying at God’s mercy. 

Giving God an ultimatum is risky, but I have nothing to lose, so there I ask – do I die or do You live? And here I gasp my first real breath, as if I’ve been swimming up and up from an ear-popping deep. I finally breathe. My body warms and fills with holy wine. I’ve drunk my only favorite cup, and I’m Eve again, naked in her garden. When He breathes, I recognize his smell.

Continue reading the story HERE.

About me


Reply January 27, 2009

Oh Amber... the POWER of telling others about the grace of God. I love you.

Reply January 27, 2009

Your story is my own. I still am too entwined in fear to share.

Reply January 27, 2009

"As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us." Psalm 103:12

Tina’s last blog post..Addicted to Blogging

Reply January 27, 2009

Wow. I'm speechless. Your writing floors me.

Cindy’s last blog post..Of Precipitation and...

Reply January 27, 2009

everything about you, mrs. haines, is beautiful and alive. and everything about the voice of the Lord is powerful and majestic. His voice makes the oaks bare and the waters roar and the thunder feel shamefully quiet. but even better, His voice lifts the broken up off the floor. ascribe to Him the glory due His name. indeed.

hamster’s last blog post..WHATEVER HAPPENED TO JUDGE REINHOLD?

Lora Lynn
Reply January 27, 2009

Beautiful. Love the last line especially.

Lora Lynn’s last blog post..A-Tisket, A-Tasket, Ellen’s In A Basket

Reply January 27, 2009

Thank God for His grace. You are touching lives here.

jolyn’s last blog post..I made a healthy meal for $2.25. And the whole family ate it.

Reply January 27, 2009

I haven't been by since the holidays....what a story to jump in on. Thank you for sharing yourself, what a gift.

Esther’s last blog post..Taking one for the team

Megan @ Hold it UP to the Light
Reply January 27, 2009

And He loves us, and loves us, and loves us, and loves us.....

Wow! I love your transparency.

Blue Castle
Reply January 27, 2009

There is such beauty in the broken pieces that God picks up and puts back together. Thank you for sharing your life here. I can feel God's presence through your writing.

Blue Castle’s last blog post..Timeline, Homeschooling Style

Reply January 27, 2009

hey amber,
i've been coming back to your post all morning. i think i might say some things to you in a letter some time, but mostly, what i thought of when i read this - besides the incredible kindness of your selflessness and courage in sharing this- is that really, the devil is playing such a dangerous game with us and sin. the hope given in sin confessed, forgiven and shared in our stories is powerful beyond any of that ugly stuff we drown in.
i don't talk about the devil much. i'm canadian, and we're careful about that. but that's what i thought of.

and that maybe you would like this: http://sittingtherealone.blogspot.com/2006/11/to-places-afraid-of-drowning.html

thanks for being brave for all of us.

angela’s last blog post..All professional, all the time

Reply January 27, 2009

Thanks for being brave enough to share your heart. I know you're going to help others heal by the grace of God! I think God gave me kids so I could understand his love for me better. When I come face to face with what seems to me as unforgivable, I remember that there's nothing I wouldn't forgive my kids of. It's then that I remember He loves me more than even that and that He forgives before I even ask.

Britiney’s last blog post..Wedding Cards

the domestic fringe
Reply January 27, 2009

Wow! That was very powerful. Thanks for having the courage to share your story.


Reply January 27, 2009

wow. your writing is amazing. I wish I could express my thoughts and feelings that well. I long to be able to let my guard down and be so transparent. your story reminds me again how good and sweet and gentle our Jesus is. I love him too.

Reply January 27, 2009

Thank you for your transparency. What a wonderful story of God's grace. Everyone has a lead corset, but some come in different colors. We all fall short in seriously sinful ways.

citystreams’s last blog post..we love u daddy

Reply January 27, 2009

it's a beautiful thing when a christian is able to share their brokenness in order to testify to the grace, mercy and love of God. it's a beautiful thing when a christian is still accepted and loved despite their shortcomings and failures. it's a beautiful thing when we are able to confess our weakness and give glory to the One that gives us strength.
"for ALL have sinned and fall short"
Grace is a beautiful, beautiful thing....

Ann Kroeker
Reply January 27, 2009

such a haunting story, Amber.

you tell it with poetry both subtle...and poignantly clear.

full of your loss...and filled with hope.

pointing to Him.

This sings, Amber, a song of love....and, as you say, of life.

And to think...that there's *more* to the story!

Ann Kroeker’s last blog post..Choosing What is Best

Janna at Rainbow Dull
Reply January 27, 2009

You have picked all the right words here. And this song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rYXTX1GHok) came to my mind.

Janna at Rainbow Dull’s last blog post..Where were you?

Reply January 27, 2009

"We can carry grief like a tight lead jacket under our prettiest blouses and never say a thing."

A college friend and I named pain like this "the internal unitard."

Thank you for sharing.

Reply January 27, 2009

God glorified - that is your story at it's finest.

sweethomealagirl’s last blog post..Praise to the Lord!

Jenny Beth Walker
Reply January 27, 2009

What a great place to start...a reminder that God will do WHATEVER it takes to bring us into His fold. His pursuit is relentless, His love endless...so that we can be like Eve, naked and UNASHAMED before our Heavenly father.

Thank you friend! This pierced my heart and makes me want to reflect on my love story. I have always loved you but I love you more even now.

Jane Anne
Reply January 28, 2009

Just like Hamster said, Keep telling what is true.

I remember clinging to anything and everything only to have those things disintegrate as I struggled in despair. I remember wondering why God or anyone would want me. I remember breathing in God's mercy for the first time. I am who I am because of what I have done, what I have learned, and most importantly what I have given up (myself). I am who I am because of God's great mercy.

Thank you, Amber, for sharing part of your story. I look forward to hearing more of your journey.

Jane Anne’s last blog post..Random Allergy Happenings

Reply January 28, 2009

I'm a new reader and like what I'm reading here.

Reply January 28, 2009

you are brave and beautiful, and so connected to your feelings. i love your writing. thanks for sharing.

patty’s last blog post..Dear God

Reply January 28, 2009

I'm praying you aren't one of the hundreds of thousands without electricity from our huge winter storm! If so, may it be precious bonding time for your family. (But stay warm!)

brittney’s last blog post..Every New Leaf Over

Reply January 28, 2009

OH MY GOODNESS! Our house is covered in branches, but the roof is in tact. We may not have power until Sunday, because a line is down, but we're staying at a perfectly heated home with some family friends. It does look like war struck. Please pray for all the cold people here in NWArkansas.

I'm overwhelmed by these responses. I think one of the lies we often believe is that others will not extend the grace we need. It's another fear issue.

I hope to write more later, but know that I am grateful for you and this strange bloggy opportunity to speak what is true.

Reply January 28, 2009

It is definitely good to hear you are safe & staying in a heated home! I heard some places would not likely get power for a week, so hopefully yours comes back Sunday as scheduled, if not sooner! I saw the staggering numbers of people without electricity in Indiana & Kentucky, and did not realize Arkansas may have been hit worse until I watched some online news today. Intercession for the cold is a must.

brittney’s last blog post..State of Emergency

Reply January 28, 2009

Oh, Amber. I wondered what your story might be if you were to write a Mother Letter. Your husband knows the pain you deal with on a daily basis, and sees your struggle to walk by faith in that. God bless Him for sensing your need for encouragement. I appreciate your transparency. I too, long to just BE, to show the person that I am, with all my failures and sinful choices. I long to be known and accepted and loved unconditionally. I know my Savior does that very thing, and I am so grateful. The hardest part is forgiving ourselves! Thanks for sharing. Please know that your testimony- or rather, the testimony of our Great God- speaks through you! Keep it up!!

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting
Reply January 28, 2009

you are beautiful, and you are loved. Stay safe in the storm, ok?

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday - Like Father, Like Son

Heather of the EO
Reply January 28, 2009

You. YOU are loved. You are accepted, forgiven, adopted....

We don't believe that very easily for ourselves. For our sisters, sure. She can tell us ANYTHING and we will want to hold her and tell her it is okay, she is enveloped in grace. But ourselves? Well, that's much harder, no?

Your writing is beautiful and so are you. I want to sit with you for hours and talk and cry. That's what I want :)

Heather of the EO’s last blog post..Fashion Sisters

Reply January 28, 2009

I admire you as a momma and a sister in Christ. I love you heart!!! Thanks for boldly laying yourself bare for God to be MOST glorified!! I love how He works all things together!

Reply January 29, 2009

Amber...I love Amy's idea of you writing a Mother Letter. You could post it here and on the ML blog...how cool!

So glad to know you guys are warm and safe.

Hugs, hugs, hugs,


Cindy’s last blog post..Where The Streets Have No Name

Reply January 29, 2009

Amber, I came across this quote and thought of you:
"Poets don’t draw. They unravel their handwriting and then tie it up again, but differently." — Jean Cocteau
What I love about your writing is that you unravel your handwriting AND your heart, and tie it up again in a way that points us past the words and draws our gaze heavenward.
Praying you get your power back soon so you can get back to writing! :-)

Jo@Mylestones’s last blog post..There is Goodness and There is More.

Reply January 30, 2009

What courgae, what beauty, what sincerity... your heart is a testimony to how truly deep and wide is the love of our God! Thank you for reminding us that we are all in this battle called humanity together! God bless!

Laura’s last blog post..Happy smiling children:)

Reply January 30, 2009

Oh dear, I have goose bumps (though I call it chicken skin) and I fear they/it may be permanent.

You are such a gift.

Rachel’s last blog post..Reading Your Bible Every Day and Scripture Memorization

Reply February 10, 2009

So, I'm catching up on my reading after having my modem fry from the ice storm. All I can say is whoa. Wow. I'm so proud of you for sharing this.

Sin, any sin, is alive in us like cancer of our souls eating slowly and even gently away at us. It's meant to be pushed far far down. It's meant to make us hold our breath sometimes. What you've done here is open the door and let glorious light in.

As we both know, when you reach deep down and cup that wretched ball of sin, and tightly for fear of any of it leaking out without our control over it, and you raise it high and release your grip, God takes it. It looses its power. He has the ability like no one else to make it beautiful and shine like you never thought it could. Thanks for letting God have some serious glory here friend.

To pieces...

Milton’s last blog post..Home Sweet Home

Norma Kate
Reply September 15, 2009

Wow Amber! This is a great testimony to God's love and how important forgiveness is. Thank you for sharing. This brings me a feeling of peace on so many things I have swirling in this brain of mine!

Sugar Jones
Reply September 16, 2009

You are so right... many women have them... and there is no room for grief because we are horrible and awful. But God knows better.

His Grace is enough.

Reply October 10, 2009

One of the reasons I love God is how he can make you feel like Eve again. Thank you for the beauty you were able to speak of this with. I can't seem to write anything but ugly about mine. I love your heart for sisterhood & the way you encourage me to be authentic.

Reply October 10, 2009

Thank you for sharing your story, I admire your courage so much.

Reply October 14, 2009

My wife led me to your blog as an example of beautiful and gifted writing by someone whom God has truly given something to say. She was right about all those things. After reading a few of your posts and poems, there are a myriad of emotions in my chest. This one was especially powerful. After reading it, I was struck by the irony that the answer from our Father to your question, "do I die or do You live?" is "Both." And it is only when we are fully broken that we can see the beauty of that answer. I appreciate you accepting that gift of Strength and then sharing it with us.

Christy B.
Reply February 14, 2010

God is using you for His great purpose. Praise Him for the breath He breathed into you! Thank you for sharing your innermost.

Reply February 29, 2012

This is such a beautiful write up, it shows the depths of your soul

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