By: Christine Fishel
I’ve been reading Ann Voskamp’s The Broken Way: A Daring Path Into The Abundant Life. I feel like I know her, like she’s a kindred spirit, this mother-daughter-wife I’ve never met. She’s a lover of Jesus. And, based on her writing, she strives to stop striving and to just be. Just be loved. Just soak Him in. And yet, life’s circumstances have their impact. She is open, transparent, raw. She is a hero in our current masked world.
“How do you live with your one broken heart?” she asks in this book (p. 21). Isn’t that the question we, the grieving, want answered? How do we keep on going when we are paralyzed by our brokenness?
“Not one thing in your life is more important than figuring out how to live in the face of unspoken pain.” (p. 12) When we haven’t yet figured it out, the signs are there: the scars on arms, the purged nutrients, the empty wine bottles. Sometimes, I’ve found, it comes out in other ways: the purple-red face of rage.
“Great grief isn’t made to fit inside your body,” Voskamp writes. “It’s why your heart breaks.” (p. 16)
And yet there is more than pain that comes from our brokenness if we will allow it. Embracing our brokenness can be the key to letting love in to heal our brokenness. “My dad had told me this once,” Voskamp explains. “For a seed to come fully into its own, it must become wholly undone. The shell must break open, its insides must come out, and everything must change.”
When we allow our broken places to be exposed to Jesus, we allow His love to seep in through the cracks. “Blessed are those who are sad, who mourn, who feel the loss of what they love—because they will be held by the One who loves them. There is a strange and aching happiness only the hurting know—for they shall be held.” (p. 18)
I am savoring this book. I read one chapter slowly, underline Voskamp’s wise words, and let them steep in my mind before moving on to the next chapter. This book is a soothing salve for my own broken heart.
The Broken Way
By Ann Voskamp