Nothing makes you realize how broken you are like trying to care for another living, breathing soul.
I remember the days after my first son was born. The sheer weight of knowing I was responsible for his life brought me to my knees.
I tried to take care of myself too, but some days I would look at the clock and wonder why I was so hungry. Then I’d realize I’d forgotten to eat.
We were in a new town thousands of miles away from my family and the culture was vastly different from what I knew. We found a church with conservative views that taught the Bible and I tried to connect with God in the messages I heard each week, but I always felt like something was missing. I couldn’t pinpoint what it was, but there was a hunger in my soul I couldn’t fill with all the singing, the studying, the striving to measure up.
Some days I looked at my newborn and wondered how I would teach him about a God I wasn’t even sure I knew. I could quote scripture and knew the Word, but where was peace? I could pretend to walk the walk and sing worship songs, but where was joy?
When I broke down crying at my OBGYN’s office after he asked the loaded question, “Do you work?” He prescribed an antidepressant.
I spent the next several days barely eating or sleeping. I questioned the value of my life before deciding to do what I feared the most: call a psychologist.
Today I look back on this period of my life and wonder what took me so long. What is it we fear about admitting our own brokenness, our lack and need for someone to pick up the fragmented pieces of our lives?
Do we think our Savior will look down at the shards and say, “No, this one isn’t worth saving?”
That when he hung on the cross during his final moments and breathed his last words, “It is finished,” somehow it didn’t pertain to us?
I think in a deep place we don’t often talk about, we have this fear.
And as I sat on that sofa in the counselor’s office seven years ago, I faced this fear with trembling hands and lips. The more I talked and the more she listened, I realized there were layers upon layers of fears, lies and pain I was holding onto.
I was afraid if I let them go there would be nothing left but me. And that wouldn’t be enough.
Can I tell you something I eventually learned?
Admitting our brokenness is the only way to truly find Jesus.
Whatever our hurt, our secret sin or fear is, we have to let him in. We have to invite him to that place if we ever want to find healing.
In Ann Voskamps beautiful new book, The Broken Way, she gives a message of hope. But it’s also a message of pain and struggle. Her lyrical writing and heartfelt stories reveal how struggle, pain and brokenness are intricately intertwined in a relationship with Jesus. But through our need and our suffering, we also find joy. We find a relationship more intimate than anything this world has to offer. We find meaning and purpose.
Through Ann’s words, I’m remembering how far God has brought me from my experience as a new mom several years ago. But also seeing how I’m the same. I’m the same needy, broken girl in need of a Savior to scoop me up out of the pit and set me on a solid rock to stand. And that is ok.
In Ann’s words, “Our brokenness can be a container for God’s glory.”
And that, my friends, is a beautiful thing.
If you’re in a place where you’re wondering if God can use the messy, broken pieces of your life or you simply need a message of hope in a world that is often heart wrenching and confusing, I highly recommend Ann’s book. She will encourage you and challenge you to bring the mess to the feet of Jesus, where you will find wholeness and truth.
All of us are broken in our own unique way. All of us need a Savior. Sometimes we just need another scarred soul to show us the way home.
Note: The Broken Way Study Guide with DVD will be available in November. Be on the lookout for another giveaway!
As a member of BlogAbout, a blogging review network and extension of The Blythe Daniel Agency, I received two advanced copies of The Broken Way. I would love to give away a copy to one of my readers. To enter the drawing, leave a comment below. You can be entered multiple times by sharing on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. Make sure to let me know you shared the post in your comment. I will announce the winner on Monday, November 7th.