Broken Hearts Attract the Broken Heart of God - Reflections from The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp

Never be afraid of broken things because Christ is redeeming everything. ~Ann Voskamp

Soaking up The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp has stretched my thinking about how and why our hearts break. It has changed the way I pray for people and myself. My actions and responses toward others have taken on a fresh perspective by viewing brokenness in our lives as a necessity to becoming Christ-like. The difference in the brokenness of a Believer and that of a non-believer our response to it.

Ann, without the fanciful 'e', (how she describes her name) gets me and I love getting to know her. Maybe because my middle name is Ann, also without the fanciful 'e', or because I've been in the depths of depression and despair. I've also learned how healing comes through the sacred art of giving and receiving forgiveness and grace. The brokenness Ann wrestles with gives all of us courage to stand tall and to not be afraid of the broken places in our lives.

There really is comfort and peace knowing Christ is redeeming ALL things broken.

Much has crashed around me (and in me) in recent months. As I'm walking the devastating path with a friend through the ravenous pain and heartache of divorce, my heart breaks as well. In listening to countless others pour out their pain through floods of tears, my heart aches for them - my sisters in Christ. So many hurting. So many hearts broken. And still others with unspoken broken. (Ann's words)

A reoccurring theme throughout The Broken Way is this: We cannot really love one another without really suffering with one another.

In my experience, the Church has long avoided real suffering with Her real people. Many people put up barriers to keep people out of their stuff while some avoid other people's stuff so as not to have to have to get involved. I know I'm guilty of both. How about you?

Beautiful masks, bearing the phrase, "I'm fine!", are the Sunday fashion of choice for many. Passing by someone going in or out we may ask, "How are you?" and their pat answer is, "Fine. How 'bout you?" But are we or they really fine? By our not being honest with each other, the Church is losing impact on the community around Her. Didn't Jesus say we will be known as His disciples if we love one another?

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:34-35 NKJV).

Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2 NKJV).

I've learned through my own broken places that it's in the exposing of the dark spaces where the light of Christ shines brightest to root out, redeem and restore as His Light of compassion is absorbed. But if we aren't willing to also bring the Light of our suffering into the suffering of others, how can we claim to really love one another?

When the Holy Spirit is released to search deep into the dark places of our hearts, He exposes the sin roots entangling our hearts, stifling our joy and influence for Christ. When roots of sin are exposed, opportunity is given for faith to be tested and strengthened. Exposure reveals Who we truly believe Jesus Christ to be and how we see ourselves. It can be sobering and soothing all at the same time.


Broken open hearts attract the broken open heart of Christ. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3 NKJV).

No one understands brokenness like Jesus. Anything we've gone through, He has gone through it on levels we will never comprehend. For example, grief. Nothing shatters a heart like grief. Whether it's grieving a loved one who's passed, a marriage that's ended, a miscarriage, a prodigal son or daughter, a relationship of any kind. A loss of anything sacred, stings. Grief is deep and grief is real.

He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3 NKJV).

Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; (Isaiah 53:4 NKJV).

Have we carried the griefs and sorrows of the entire human race? It's impossible and a brokenness beyond our comprehension. It's all I can do to carry mine and those in my inner circle. But, by not bleeding our brokenness into the brokenness of each other, we are not functioning as the Body of Christ. He also knows we cannot bear the heavy heartaches alone, so He calls us to release our suffering into His suffering so He can carry it for us. What compassion! What amazing love!

From grief to relief. That's the Jesus I know, love and serve.

Our hearts reflect real Christ-like compassion when we co-suffer with others. Don't ever be afraid of your brokenness or the brokenness of another because Christ is redeeming all broken things.

How are you walking The Broken Way today? Are you co-suffering with another believer? I'd love to hear from you.

Oh, and I highly recommend The Broken Way to read and definitely to live.

My Pleasure,
Melanie



Comments

  1. Brokenness is a difficult topic; thanks for addressing it. As someone who fights chronic illness, I know how hard it is to be honest with people about how you're really doing. It takes a lot of energy to "get into it", energy that you don't have most of the time. But it really is so important to be honest with SOMEONE! A few family members or good friends who will pray with you and support you in your struggles. Thank you for this challenging reminder!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Josie, thank YOU for your encouraging words. We just need a few who we can be completely honest with about our struggles and heartache. It's the greatest feeling in the world to feel connected to the Body of Christ. I'm praying for you specifically today for God to meet you where you are, give you energy, and to to give you strength to be available for when someone needs to open up to you. You've been a blessing to me today!

      Delete
  2. Melanie,
    I prefer to be there for others when they are in need. My kids tease and say, "Watch out for my mom, she has a way of getting you to talk...and then cry." But the Lord has convicted me that this "broken way" you refer to goes both ways. We must also be willing to open ourselves up—weaknesses and all. Others feel connected, comforted, and loved when they know we are not only sharing their burden, but truly understand.

    I'm getting the book after reading this post. Thanks for the challenge:"How are you walking The Broken Way today," and for sharing.
    Blessings, dear sister!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Beckie, for sharing! I can just hear your kids saying that about you, and it makes me laugh. That was my dad. I could hardly finish a conversation about serious things without the tears flowing. I miss him so much. The Broken Way is much more than what I could post in a few paragraphs. And yes, it does go both ways. I can't wait to hear what you learn from reading the book. I always love your perspective. Blessings my friend!

      Delete
  3. I haven't read this book, but I keep hearing about it. After reading this post I think I'm going to have to buy it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! You will not regret it. So much to ponder, meditate on and put into action. My study group LOVED it. It's not easy, but well worth the time invested. Thank you, Erin, for commenting! You are a blessing! ~Melanie

      Delete
  4. I read this book, too, a little ways back, and I loved the message that you so beautifully have presented to us here. I really dislike masks in the church. I have found more of them since I moved to the South from the West Coast, and whenever I get the chance to lead, I try to lead in being real. I'm not always good at it, though. It's easier to put on the mask. But we've got to drop them.

    Heather Bock
    www.glimpsesofjesus.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Heather, for your insight and words of wisdom. The only way to be real is to not fear and trust in the One who can heal our brokenness. Lots of good stuff in this book. Thanks for reading. Blessings! ~Melanie

      Delete
  5. We do put on those beautiful masks every Sunday don't we. Thank you for the reminder to look and dig deeper. To also share our brokenness and to let God bind up our wounds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Patty, for reading and commenting. You are a blessing. Let's all dig a little deeper when appropriate and use our own broken and healed places to help another find healing in theirs. Blessings! ~Melanie

      Delete

Post a Comment