I received one of the BEST emails ever last week! I’m beyond excited (and honored) to be on Ann Voskamp’s book launch team for #TheBrokenWay – “a daring path into the abundant life…” ❤️ Visit TheBrokenWay.com for more info!
As soon as I heard about Ann’s new book, I was intrigued. “The Broken Way”… what does that mean? What exactly does it entail?
I’m three chapters in, and I am absolutely loving it! I’m reading slowly and processing it… trying to take it all in. This book is so rich, so deep, so enlightening.
Which brings me to this morning. I shared with my small group at Bible Study how I’m doing: I feel broken, but I’m learning to find the beauty in it. A dear sister shared Psalm 34:18 (NIV) – “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
And there’s Psalm 147:3 (AMP) – “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds [curing their pains and their sorrows].”
So I’m sitting here, soaking it all in. I don’t like being broken. I don’t like my broken parts being exposed. I’m not proud of my brokenness. I don’t want my brokenness on display. I want to fill the empty cracks with a cement of sorts… to cover up my broken past, to hide the hurt, to mask the pain. It’s easier to keep people at arm’s length, to keep conversations surface-level. Who has time to go deeper? Who wants to go deeper? Who wants to look past the put-together version of myself and see all the broken, scattered pieces from my pilgrimage on this earth? I don’t want the brokenness to affect my identity. I know in my heart that my brokenness doesn’t define me, that I am a redeemed child of God, and that santification is a process. But what if I’m not as far along in that process as I should be? What will other people – other believers – think when they see my ugly, broken parts? The brokenness that I’ve been too busy to do anything with besides cover up with “I’m fine” and “everything is good”.
I come from a broken home with my share of broken dreams and broken promises. I come with a broken heart. I come with a past that is filled with broken relationships, including a broken bond with one of my own beloved children.
I weary of feeling broken and I just want to be whole.
And then I remember my prayer at the beginning of 2016:
Break through my walls. ‘You have broken through all his walls and reduced his strongholds to ruins.’ – Psalm 89:40 … The self-protecting walls I put up around my heart – I want God to break through them this year. My strength that I so quickly rely on – I want God to reduce to ruins. I want HIM to be my stronghold, the One I run to. I want HIS strength, power, and protection. Without Him, I am nothing.
Very clearly this afternoon, the Lord gently reminded me of this prayer, that I asked for brokenness. It certainly didn’t all happen this year, but it’s coming to the surface this year. I am more mindful of it now than ever before. I’m realizing how all my past brokenness is still very present.
After I wrote my New Year’s prayer, I read Ann’s book, “One Thousand Gifts” for the first time. What an amazing start to 2016! And now, reading “The Broken Way”… it’s been an eye-opening part of my journey! To become more aware of my brokenness…
My flesh hates the brokenness. My flesh hates being transparent and vulnerable and uncomfortable. But my spirit? My spirit loves it. For when I’m broken, the Lord is near. He tends to my brokenness. He can use it for His glory.
There’s a part in the book where Ann shares an exchange with one of her daughters. It is precious, and life-changing. Her daughter said, “Maybe the love gets in easier right where the heart’s broke open.” The restoring and redeeming love of God has a beautiful way of filling those broken parts of our hearts. And it beats my feeble attempts at filling the cracks with my “concrete” that leaves me with a hard heart.
“Somehow Love can lodge light into wounds.” – Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way
God’s love can shine light into our wounds. In spite of our darkness and brokenness, His light can be reflected to those around us who are in darkness and broken.
I’ll leave you with one more quote, spoken to Ann by her husband: “Never be afraid of being a broken thing.”
It will be messy. Scary even. Eye-opening. It will require grace. And love. But let’s welcome brokenness together. Let’s not be afraid to be broken in God’s hands. One day there will be no more brokenness. No more sickness, no more tears, no more pain. One day we will be whole. In the fullness of His grace, dwelling forever in His presence. Until that day comes, let’s receive God’s light and love and grace into those broken places, and walk the broken road together. Onward and upward, broken and beautiful.