The very thing we are afraid of, our brokenness, is the door to our Father’s heart. –Paul Miller
That is the opening line in the first chapter of Ann Voskamp’s new book, The Broken Way: A Daring Path into the Abundant Life. Doesn’t this book sound like me?! I am pondering every bit of it.
I am broken-hearted.
When my husband John and I meet new people, we are often asked the question, “Do you have any kids?” Why yes we do—but there comes a story with that. This is the story that defines us.
When we tell that story, we are often verbally praised for being a part of such a wonderful story. It is a wonderful story. I love them more than I knew I could love someone. But our reality is the warm story is not over. We still live in the midst of heartbreak.
I’m not sure when my kids will ever truly live in abundant living that their professed faith promises them. They still have a lot to overcome. There are generational curses involved. There are soul ties involved. There are “crabs in a pot” relationships involved–still. We live in the hope we see for our kids while realizing daily it still may be 20 years away.
I also know that my happiness cannot be based on what they do. They are grown now. Answerable to God as fully grown men now. Have had 20+ years of good God teaching put into them now. I know know know that God has them close to him. They are God’s first and he loves them more than I ever could—and that is more love than I ever thought I could give anyone. If my happiness was based on their behaviors I would be textbook codependent—and that is not a healthy place to be.
Am I preaching to the choir here, or just me?
Are you afraid of the brokenness in your life? Are you doing everything within your power to fix something? Have you sacrificed your soul to do that believing it is the right thing to do no matter what the cost is to you? Are you numbing the pain of that brokenness? Using something—or someone—to divert that pain?
I know. I get it. Life hurts so bad at times. Things happen and it hurts so bad.
The Father’s heart says, “Come to me with your most unsolvable pain.” I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows (unsolvable pain). But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.
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Hence why this quote by Paul Miller hit me so hard. John and I are not afraid of our broken-heartedness. It has truly defined us, made us, grown us. We know it is the door to the Father’s heart.
The Father’s heart is a tender place to be. My time there makes me braver. Makes me more tender. There are times I can feel the Father picking up the pieces of my smashed heart and lovingly holding them for me. Those are the times when I can no longer hold it together. It being my life. It being the pain I’m in. All I know is it hurts so overwhelmingly so that my only option is to take it to the Father. This I have learned over my life. Thank God I have learned this option so I am not afraid of my broken heart.
My smashed heart still has to love every day but I’m different because of this vulnerability. I’m braver. I’m more tender. I can make a Plan B (or Plan M!) because I have grown to trust the Promiser from the times I have dared God. Even with a Plan B in my head, my heart still gets smashed. Yet I will wake up tomorrow.
I can wake up tomorrow feeling slightly braver.
Further in chapter 1, Ann Voskamp wrote this,
Because Jesus, with his pierced side, is always on the side of the broken. –Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way p. 18
Wow. I am broken-hearted. Jesus is on my side. I can wake up tomorrow feeling slightly braver
(And I’m only in chapter 1!)