How to Start a Revolution: Not in the Fight, Part 4


I wrote three posts on how to start a revolution (Part 1Part 2Part 3), and then I completely freaked out.

I wrote it out as I was experiencing it. I woke up with that numbing IV in my arm, and then I looked over at you and yelled “Wake up! We have to wake up!” and then we both started ripping the cords out (all the wanting, all the platform and kingdom-building). This is how I finished my last blog post. We were saying no and ripping hangers out of the closet.

And then I completely freaked out.

I pulled at the cords and the roots, and there wasn’t an end to them. The wanting was an endless echo, and I was the canyon.

And what do I do when I can’t control things, when there’s no way to stop the echo? I freak out. My mind habit is to roll straight into depression and anxiety, but I have been healed of these things. I am free, yet I felt hopeless, so I walked up to my friend behind the coffee bar and reached across to her. She followed me to my seat and prayed as I confessed how I feared not living what I preach.

In revolution there is the turning point. I have exposed myself here, and now I see just how unsatisfied I’ve been. God has not been enough for me. What a waste of my precious life.

The echoes were ringing. My wants crescendoed.

Before I can go on to talk about the healing of the American church, I must write this. Revolution cannot skip the invisible part of change. There is a knowing and a rest that we cannot skip.

First, we cannot change unless we know the difference between Grief and Guilt. 

There is a terrible ache when your eyes open to your own shortcomings, how all your mind habits are a hunting for satisfaction outside of the Sprit of God. Guilt and shame say that there is no hope, but the sorrow that comes with repentance says that HOPE is all we have.

I don’t want to come under shame and hopelessness, so I run from grief, confusing it with guilt, when really it’s necessary that I sit in hard places. Then in the other extreme, I bypass repentance’s sorrow and go headlong into despair. Repentance is the turning point, a place of very active transformation and also a place of complete release.

Repentance has a place to go. Repentance is the opposite of being stuck. When you find yourself and your thoughts exposed, you’re not stuck pulling forever at the roots. Just go to Him. Go and know His love. I had to.

When eyes are open to selfish desires for fame and fortune, stop clawing at the cords that entangle. Repentance is the turning point, not the clawing. Repentance is not heaped shamed because you would like a new pair of earrings. It’s not about the earrings at all. It’s not about how much you give away or how much you’re willing to suffer.

Rather repentance is when you grieve something lost or something that feels wasted, when you could have had God, your satisfaction, all along. I have wasted time and wasted desire, but I have found repentance to be a place of rest. There is comfort in this kind of sorrow. There is sorrow that says I never want to live that old way again. I want to live. I want these arms around me. I want to be tangled here where I can finally rest and really deal and hear from Him.

The turning point isn’t tomorrow when we get better from all these things that keep us captive. Repentance is today. Revolution is now, right this second. And this one. Take another step. Walk in it. Walk in Him. Repentance is in the rest, not the fight. Remember the word “Abide.” The Kingdom of God is not the battle against flesh and blood and sugar and clothes and statistics and insurance companies and drug lords. It is against the powers wrapping at hearts, and only indwelling God can fight them.

“Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you” (Luke 17: 20-21).

There is an indwelling, and revolution is not so easy or so hard as cleaning out your closets or eating a Whole 30 Diet. It’s not so easy or so hard as staying in your old country church or as starting a new church.

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).

After repentance, obedience is the walk into peace and joy. It’s not suffering how we think it will be.

Do not run from conviction or fall into condemnation. Repent and find your sabbath rest. The battle belongs to the Lord, and out of that peace and joy, we’ll find the very strength of God. Look at your arms even now. Do you know the words He’s spoken to you? Think of them now. Read them. Do you know that He loves you? Now tell me, where did those chains go?

Really and truly, it has taken me much longer to write this series than I thought. Every time I start to write what I came to write, I realize I’m skipping over very important things. This weekend I hope to rest in the healing kind of sorrow. Repentance is the starting place of change. Monday we’ll talk about the church part. We’ll talk about the doing.

About me


When There’s a Lion in Your Yard
November 18, 2016
What do you taste?
November 08, 2016
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
Be the child, then revolution.
June 02, 2014


Reply May 23, 2014

Taking a deep breath. I'll be praying, this weekend. For you. For myself. For all of us.

Reply May 23, 2014

you are beautiful!

Chris Malkemes
Reply May 23, 2014

Amber - Repentance the first fruit of Revolution. Awesome. This was my prayer:

Heavenly Father,
In the name of Jesus I come
I have nothing to offer, but myself.
I'm afraid.
I have nowhere to go.
No one else has the answers I need for life.
I want to lift up my hands in defeat.
I want to go back to bed.
I want to bury myself under the blanket of ignorance.
The enemy is hard after me.
To blind me, close my ears and empty my mind.
He wants to make me Your enemy.
Even in this coming
I find my doubts.
These thoughts alone scare me.
I am so weak.
I can’t trust myself.
The sin that so easily separates us – separates.
Please forgive me for I cannot forgive myself.
I take You at Your Word.
You say, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
You declare, “I love you with an everlasting love.”
I call to You out of desperation.
You stay with me with out of love.
I didn’t know such love was possible.
Peace floods my soul. You are here
You touched me.
I am safe.
Enemies no more.
I love you too, Jesus. I love you too.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10

Reply May 24, 2014

Amber- AMEN. That was good and so true. And how our culture tells us to look the other way, pretend everything is ok, just breathe deeply, find ways to a fulfilled life. When really fulfilled life is only found in him. And in seasons of grieving it is hard, but fulfilling. Lovely post. Glad you took the time to write it. Praying for you as you work all this out in words.

Kiran Lotay
Reply May 25, 2014

Thank you so very much fir sharing this journey with us. I find myself being taught the discipline of contentment and stillness. Don't think "ahhh, I have to wash up before I cook", recognise the presence of Christ in soap bubbles and rubber gloves, to give one example of the Holly spirit nudging me today :-). Being able to be fully in the moment and recognise the fullness of Christ is present in it is one of the keys to this revolution, perhaps?

With love in Christ,


Diana Trautwein
Reply May 25, 2014

Thank you, beautiful girl, for these beautiful words. Exactly right. We are sitting by the death-bed for my MIL today, grateful for her life, grateful for her release. Pray of us if you think of it. . . Lots of love to you and your boys - all 5 of them.

Jody Lee Collins
Reply May 26, 2014

Amber, I clicked on over via Alia H's Twitter tag. So glad I did. Isaiah 30:15 has been resonating over and over with me and others of late--"In repentance and rest shall be your salvation; in quietness and trusting confidence shall be your strength." Our salvation, our strength........comes in our repenting and turning. I've found myself wondering and worrying about God's lovingkindness and concerned what others' would think before I care what my Heavenly Father thinks. Sounds like a Holy Spirit echo out here. thank you for sharing this piece.

Reply August 22, 2014

"After repentance, obedience is the walk into peace and joy. It’s not suffering how we think it will be."
deep breath sigh
as i pause....and think...and ponder
all the places these words bring me
Isaiah 42:16 has been keeping close to me lately
and these words here move me closer closer
along that obedience path into peace and joy
you nailed it, it's not how i think it will be

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