(Want a copy of Ann Voskamp’s newest book? Stick around till the end of the post!)
I was at the funeral recently when my three-year old kept asking where my great-aunt went. “She’s in Heaven. With God.” I kept reassuring her.
And then she’d go back to running around. Trying her best to stay quiet. But enamored with everyone knowing about her new gold glitter shoes and her fancy black dress. And then she’d stick her tongue out at them.
A bit later she started opening door after door. Peering into the closets and offices. “What are you doing?” I ask through a tense and hushed voice.
She leans into my ear and whispers very serious-like, “Looking for God. Is he in there?”
“No.” I bite my lip to stop from laughing and grasp her little hand.
Then I take her and her six-year old brother to the office where they sell caskets and urns so they could eat crackers and talk the philosophy of death. One of them faces it head on and the other bursts into tears. (I kid you not…but that is totally another blog post).
But I kind of lied to her didn’t I? God was in that closet. In that funeral parlor. In upstate Virginia.
God is everywhere. He’s not just sitting up in Heaven doing whatever good things they do up there.
He is with us every step of the way.
But explaining omnipotence to a three-year old is a bit like explaining calculus to me.
So I just gave her the short answer.
But truthfully God was in the stone church that sat aside the funeral parlor. The place where people were singing carols and happy songs.
Likewise, God was also in that broken place. The funeral home. The place where we go to sing songs of mourning and remembrance. The place where broken-hearted people gather to express their sympathy and surround each other in hugs and memories.
We all suffer in some way don’t we? Death. Divorce. Drugs. Relationships. Sickness. Stillbirth. Disappointments. Finances. The list goes on.
During times like these some of us—much like my three-year old did – start searching for God behind every door, and then some try to slam the door in his face, while some already know that he’s there with us and loves us. Every step of the way.
In Ann Voskamp’s The Broken Way she dares us all to take up our broken-selves and let ourselves be loved. To find freedom within the pain. To not fear the next piece of brokenness, but to just realize we are all broken in some way. She says her newest book is “for the lovers and the sufferers.”
The Broken Way is like molasses pouring from a jar. You’ve got to take a pause to let Voskamp’s words seep in. But it’s oh so good and rich. And just like molasses it’s hard to imagine that something so dark and thick can be sweet. But it is. Her words are just so encouraging.
One of my favorite analogies in the book is when she says, “There is a plowing that breaks your soul to grow you.”
Maybe it’s the farmer’s wife in me, but I get those words. To grow you’ve got to be broken.
And Voskamp teaches us that we’ve got to be vulnerable enough to use our broken hearts. To admit our brokenness. We don’t have to be healed to be useful. We don’t have to be mended to be worthy. It’s our broken souls pouring in to each other that is true communion. Then we get “more abundance, more intimacy, more God.”
Voskamp gets real personal in this book. It’s not a sermon, but an intimate look at her life. Her flaws and how the devil works inside of her. She even talks about seeing her sister be killed by a delivery truck. That struck my heart like nothing else.
She says, “There’s absolutely no tidy pattern as to who gets pain and who gets peace. This is the deal we all get; guaranteed suffering. We all get it. It is coming, unstoppable, like time.”
So what are we to do in the midst of all this? We’ve got to live.
That’s the crux of The Broken Way.
I really want you to read the book. It’s just that good. My little copy has little room left in the margin from all the pen marks anecdotes and underlining.
So go ahead and grab a copy here.
Or enter to win. I’m thrilled that I have the opportunity to gift three separate books! I have one hardback copy of The Broken Way + 2 copies of the study guide/ dvd.
Did you catch that? I am giving away a hard-back copy of The Broken Way along with two copies of the Study Guide and DVD!
There are three ways to enter the giveaway:
- Subscribe to my blog by entering your email address in the box that says “subscribe to our mailing list.”
- Like and share the Facebook Giveaway Post and tag me in your post.
- Like and write a comment on the Facebook Giveaway Post. Tell me why you would like to win or why you love Ann Voskamp or just tell me hello.
Sarah Lewis Philpott, Ph.D lives in TN on a sprawling cattle farm where she raises her three mischievous children and is farm wife to her high school sweetheart. Sarah is represented by The Blythe Daniel Literary Agency . You can visit with Sarah at her All-American Mom blog where she writes about life on the farm and cherishing life in joy & in sorrow.