Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Wild in the Hollow

After Brooklyn was born, I got some willowy green linen yarn with the intention of making a skirt. I circled my way around it, slowly working from the waistband down, until I had about seven inches. And then it went into my "to be continued" basket, and there it sat for over a year. I had a crawling baby. It was winter. I was pregnant and wouldn't be able to wear it once it was finished. It was winter again. I had a toddler and a baby. And what business does a mama of littles have wearing a pretty green skirt, anyway?

But I'm not just a mama. I'm also a wife. And I'm a co-creator, even though I forget that sometimes and spiral into a pattern of destruction, instead. I stumbled onto a line in the first chapter of Wild in the Hollow as I was reading it last week that struck me as something that I've thought, but more prettily worded: "The Christian requirements seemed simple, but I had too much curious-creative in me not to appreciate art and the body."

I've always admired the female form in its every iteration (not just the figures that are pointed at as the "standard"). There is so much unique beauty and wild grace in these bodies that we desperately try to wrestle into garments designed by people with "standards" and no allowance for individuality. Knitting creates such a forgiving fabric, though - and I think my admiration inspires hats to frame the face, scarves to cradle the throat, and skirts to celebrate the swing (and the existence) of hips.

For a time that admiration manifested as an attraction - isn't that the way Darkness works? He can't create anything himself, so he twists the gifts God's given us until we're afraid of them and run the other way in shame, when we should be running toward God and asking Him to shine a Light on our shadows, revealing the beauty underneath and driving away the dark.

So I'm learning now how to run wild and free in the light, to bring my brokenness to Him and let Him pour into the cracks and then pour out again, because there's no way I can keep all of this inside of me. I finished the skirt and named it Flight Song, and I've worn it once a week since (because that's as often as I do my laundry). The swing and the sway remind me that every step I take is hallowed ground, and every task I do can be an act of worship.

I also finished Wild in the Hollow, sitting on the balcony and racing the setting sun. I closed the book and cried. The poetically raw narrative on "chasing desire and finding the broken way home" stirred a chord in me that wanted to stand singing, hands raised and eyes closed - and at the same time, to lay my brokenness before my Father in prostrate surrender.

Amber's beautifully honest words bear a message I believe that many of us need to hear, so I'm giving away a copy here this week - just comment (here on the blog, or on Facebook) and tell me: how has God made beauty from your brokenness, or how do wish that He would?

Beautiful dwelling is seeking the Light, even when we're overshadowed by guilt and shame.
Wild in the Hollow released today - if you can't wait to find out if you've won, pick up a copy here!


Rebekah Ellis said...

I love your own open vulnerability as you share here today. It's brave and beautiful. Beauty has come from my own brokenness - literally - as I've had to deal with chronic disease and adjust to a "new normal" in my life. It's made me more aware of suffering in others' lives and given me more patience about how things sometimes need to move slower and at a more gentle pace - both for myself and with those around me.

Abby Breuklander said...

Hi Sara! Thanks for sharing, I needed this! I've been dealing with some chronic health issues for the past 11 years, one right after another. I've had to let go of my dream jobs, church and social lives since I was so sick. Then I was blindsided 8 months ago by the guy who I thought I was going to marry, I was at absolute rock bottom. But He's shown me that there truly is beauty here, I've gotten to spend so much more time with Him than ever before, which has been absolutely incredible!! I know there's a plan and purpose for all of this, and no matter what happens next He's got me in the palm of His hand

Kim said...

Many years ago I walked through a desert of infertility and miscarriage. I was broken physically, emotionally and spiritually. I am such a controller in life, trying to make things go the way I want, that I wonder if God sometimes lets me get to those low places so I can realize that I am NOT in control at all. After many, many months of disappointment I got pregnant at a time when the medical professionals said that it wasn't possible. Whenever I look at my daughter (now 14 years old) I am reminded that God's plan is better than mine and His ways are higher than mine.

Karrilee Aggett said...

I am loving this book and forcing myself to read it slow - so I don't need to be entered in the drawing. I just wanted to say how much I love you and your honesty and that skirt! So proud of you for finishing it, and wearing it, and leaning in to the wild!