You Can’t Help Who You’re Born To

This is not my usual installment of our love story, but I do welcome you to catch up on what I’ve written so far while I decide what the next installment should be. It’s getting harder and harder to write. 

In general, I   have   never   been   so   tired   in   my   whole   life. I’m bone tired, y’all. So I wandered about my blog and read what I had written exactly a year ago today. I long for the makings of its content today – prayer and the church, the real, needy, good church.


I will have known most of the people in this picture for ten years this Fall. They are some of the college friends that acted out what they knew of Jesus when I first believed. Everyone in the picture is an intimate friend of ours, with whom and for whom we have prayed. They are my family.

My Daddy said the same prayer at every meal growing up. It wasn’t fancy, and I could type it now, but it’s a secret. It would be like stepping out in my spiritual underwear, especially for the many things that prayer has meant all the different times we prayed it. A group prayer should be like that, an X-ray for your hearts so the doctor can come in and show us all what the matter is, where we need Him more.

I think that’s why we rarely want to do it with others. It’s too close. We don’t want to let people in on our brittle condition when often we play the boot-straps game of strength-on my-own-two-feet. Honest group prayer could be humiliating, washing make-up off our scars, removing the suck-em-up tights, and being rolls-and-all naked.

If we hadn’t been kicked out of Eden, we’d all be hiding in a bush.

Our friends drove in from Kansas City, and I was, in prayer, humbled. We love each other. I think the unseemly is very obvious to our old friends, but they love us anyway.

It convicts me to be the same toward other people in this family we call the church. I have experienced love when I know I didn’t deserve it. Why wouldn’t I offer it more freely to those in the body who aren’t always or are usually never put together? What about the idiots in this church that actually think they have it all together? Where’s my grace?

Where’s my memory?

I have been in the garden,
pregnant with fear,
the adulteress.
I’ve wanted to step out when He called,
and I couldn’t, and I couldn’t.
Calls again, but I’m naked.

And friends came to me confessing
their own nakedness. They remembered.

And so, I walk with Him.
Even though I still get caught
red-appled, and I still look down,
and I can’t see that righteous robe,
I walk with Him, and my family walks with Him.
They are no more beautifully dressed.
They are no more naked.
We say to each other, “Look up!”
Don’t look down at your body.
Don’t worry anymore with its covering.

 – Originally written by Amber Haines, March 10, 2008.


About me


When There’s a Lion in Your Yard
November 18, 2016
What do you taste?
November 08, 2016
When You’re Not the Fixer
October 24, 2015
When The Church Doesn’t Fit Or Fix You: a Wild in the Hollow Guest Post from Christie Purifoy
October 12, 2015
The Hurt and the Healing: A Wild in the Hollow Guest Post by Bonnie King
September 30, 2015
Will They Stay if You Change?
September 28, 2015
Wild in the Hollow Book Club Video: Chapters 1 and 2
September 14, 2015
A Mud Stories Podcast on Sex, Shame, Unforgiveness, and the Church
August 06, 2015
Church couldn’t help me with it anymore.
August 03, 2015


the domestic fringe
Reply March 10, 2009

A touching poem. You have an amazing ability to use words that stir a soul.


the domestic fringe’s last blog post..Personal Information Invasion

Reply March 10, 2009

Don't worry. We don't mind re-runs. (I didn't get to read this the first time 'round, so I was touched by it for the first time today).
Why so tired, friend? Is it your soul that's weary, or your body, or your pen? Or all? Whatever the case, get some rest, post some vintage stuff, and we'll drink and say it's aged beautifully.

Jo@Mylestones’s last blog post..Mom in the Middle

    Reply March 10, 2009

    Oh, you two always make me smile. Jo - I am all kinds of tired. I did write something for the love story, but it wasn't right, so I couldn't post it. This is a hard stage with the little ones, you know? It seems, too, that when hard things come, they often come all at once. Thanks for loving me how you do. I think I need some time to hear, and I haven't allowed myself that. Eventually, as with now, if I'm not hearing, I'm not writing - not well anyway.

    There may be pictures and re-runs for a few days. Who knows?

Reply March 10, 2009

beautiful poem... funny - I wrote something rather similar in feeling today... I understand tired. Oh, do I understand tired. His grace is so, so sufficient, isn't it?

Kelly’s last blog post..and when you don't bloom...

Ashley Haguewood
Reply March 11, 2009

I miss you terribly! Thank you for writing it makes you seem closer--love you!

Ashley Haguewood’s last blog post..More of Shawn and Andrew

Ann Voskamp @ Holy Experience
Reply March 11, 2009

"A group prayer should be like that, an X-ray for your hearts so the doctor can come in and show us all what the matter is, where we need Him more." Amen.

Rest, friend... rest .

We'll listen together....
and you write so well.

All's grace,

Ann Voskamp @ Holy Experience’s last blog post..Table Talk

Reply March 11, 2009

hi amber.
maybe there's something in the air around the world today? i felt extremely tired, heavy in my body, today. i thought it was because today is the first day since we are home that i was free to start to catch up. but i see others are feeling the same...
i love your poem. and what good friends you have. we felt touched the same way when we were married, almost 20 years ago!, and friends went to such efforts-travelled far, paid much-to be with us.
get some sleep, some yummy, restful, cozy, dream-filled sleep!

patty’s last blog post..-> y a w n <-

Reply March 11, 2009

I just want to say that you write more beautifully than anything I have ever read. You have a gift not only for writing, but for baring your soul in a way that is so profoundly honest. Really, I could gush. I wish I knew you in real life.

Reply March 12, 2009

Ahhh yes, the idiots who think they have it all together... I'm with you Amber. I'm thankful I quit that club a long time ago, and I'm trying to figure out how to love the remaining members and point them to Jesus when they don't realize they need directions....

Rachel’s last blog post..What an incredibly strange world we live in....

Reply March 20, 2009

miss you friend. i hate that i didn't see you before I left. totally my fault coupled with tiredness. so sorry. just caught up with you on your blog. this one reminded me of our sweet evening of prayer. i hope we're always that vulnerable with one another. missing you all the way from India.

Lindsey’s last blog post..India part 2 - the Taj Mahal

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