Tucked into the fetal position on a cold hard concrete floor, a nine year old little boy beckons with God…please, just please keep my brothers & I safe. Please, God, please let the yelling and the throwing pass over us.
A forty two year old woman cries herself to sleep after watching her husband walk out that door. Alone and afraid, she wonders what her friends will think.
A four year old chestnut haired little girl teeters precariously on the kitchen stool, making her and her brother’s cheese sandwich for dinner. If she doesn’t, there’s nothing to eat tonight.
There is a lot of hurt & broken in this world.
All too often, we turn away from the broken in our hearts and deny it ever happened or made any impact on us.
We hide it all behind our shiny cars, clean houses, and lipstick smiles.
And I get it. I’ve been broken. I’ve been depressed. I’ve had moments when I wasn’t sure what the point in keep on, keeping on was.
When we’ve been broken, when we’ve been abused and trampled on, when taking a breathe feels like engulfing fire on the shame deep inside. When that is what our life is or has been – why wouldn’t we want to put on a pretty plastic facade and pretend we are a-ok.
Because if we say we are a-ok, then eventually, the longer we say it, a-ok becomes reality, right??
Ultimately though, the weight of that facade wears us down. The tension of day after day, holding it all together, pulls half-an-inch too tight. And our world comes crashing down around us.
What do we do then? When we just want answers and we just want our messy, broken, hurting souls to feel better. To be mended. We just want a way out from the all consuming crushing weight we’ve been wearing on our backs.
That my friends is what Ann Voskamp’s newest book, The Broken Way, is all about.
Ann, in her signature poetry prose, makes us consider…
“Maybe you can live a full and beautiful life in spite of the great and terrible moments that will happen right inside of you. Actually – maybe you get to become more abundant because of those moments….Maybe our hearts are made to be broken. Broken open. Broken free. Maybe the deepest wounds birth deepest wisdom.”
I’ve never, in all my times of reading Jesus’ miraculous feeding of the 5,000, pondered the significance of the word broken. Ann does…
Jesus “took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the the people”
Jesus fed the people out of the brokenness.
As Ann writes, “The miracle happens in the breaking. Not enough was given thanks for, and then the miracle happened.”
Could it be that our messy traumatized hearts is what becomes the miracle in our lives?
I was humbled and thrilled when I got the acceptance email for being part of Ann’s launch team for this book, The Broken Way. Her first book, One Thousand Gifts, transformed my life when I was in the midst of grief and despair following a loved one’s death from suicide. Her dare to write down 1,000 things I was thankful for in 1 Year’s time changed my heart and my life. This morning, five years later, I jotted down reason #4,799.
Giving thanks in all and letting our brokenness be the miracle God unleashes for the world are intricately tied together.
I hope you’ll journey with me as I read through the book and each Wednesday share nuggets of encouraging wisdom from Ann. The book releases October 25th and you can pre-order here.