Session 1 Video (From Ann Voskamp’s “The Broken Way”)
Blog Response (written by: Kensie Story)
There are some mornings we will never forget. Most begin the same – get up, get ready, go to work – mundane, like white noise you hardly notice. But sometimes, without warning, we get a morning that changes the very direction of our lives.
This was one of those mornings. The sun had barely come up; my alarm for work hadn’t even gone off yet. My dogs and my husband all snuggled around me in bed. This is the life.
The pounding and loud voices were mob-like. They still echo in my ears today like a reoccurring nightmare. I jolted upward – confused, barely awake. I started hitting my husband’s arm. What is that? What’s going on? Who is in our house?
My dogs started growling and showing their teeth to the bedroom door. This isn’t a dream. They hear it too. By the time my husband was awake enough to comprehend the noise, our bedroom door swung open with force and a team of police charged in.
What looked like machine guns pointed directly at our faces, something I’d only ever seen in movies. The police were yelling – PUT YOUR HANDS UP. PUT YOUR HANDS UP. My dogs were barking – INTRUDERS. INTRUDERS. My husband and I sitting were in bed – wide-eyed, motionless, defenseless.
We convince ourselves we’ll never be here. We live in a façade of wholeness when inside we are broken. We build our foundations on the world, its people, and its promises. Every time our brokenness floats to the surface we tie weights to it and let it drown into the depths of the unseen and unnoticed.
How do we live this one broken life?
How do we learn to embrace it?
What do we do when all feels hopeless?
My husband and I were being arrested for drug possession. A simple “I’ll try it once” turned into a lifestyle we never intended. You draw a line that you think you’ll never cross. You tip toe over it once, it feels like nothing, but slowly overtime you’ve tip toed so often that the line has significantly moved from its original place.
As we were placed inside our holding cells it still hadn’t fully absorbed. I was trying to tie those weights again and let reality sink, but this time it refused to be drowned.
Being from a small town, the news went viral. Everybody knew. I would hide in my hoodie wherever I went. I could barely go grocery shopping because I panicked every time I saw someone I recognized.
Shame. Guilt. Regret. The enemy was cooking and I was feasting. Losing every bit of what I had placed my identity in left me feeling empty, alone, hopeless.
In Psalm 42 and 43, David was feeling hopeless too, but He knew the way out.
“Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again – my Savior and my God!” (Psalm 42:5, 11 and Psalm 43:5)
The original Hebrew word for praise means, “to confess, give thanks, and glorify/praise”. David knew that confession, thankfulness, and glorifying God would lead to healing and it’s what led to healing for me too.
I confessed my brokenness to God. I admitted my sins and asked for forgiveness. This wasn’t an overnight process. It took a lot of prayer, a lot of tears, and a lot of perseverance. Feeling completely broken is a hard thing to face, but once we surrender it to the ultimate healer, releasing our grip of control, God redeems our bad for His good.
“Unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels – a plentiful harvest of new lives.” (John 12:24)
I had lived so long avoiding my brokenness; I never understood it was actually the way toward restoration, healing, and freedom. Like Ann Voskamp says, in her study The Broken Way, “For a seed to become fully its own, it must become wholly undone.” Once I understood this, I could move to step two in David’s plan.
I was bitter when I first was exposed. I was ashamed that I was so broken. But now I am grateful. I thanked God for my broken mess, because through it I found what grace and love really look like. The kind of grace that says, “Despite your flaws, you are beautiful. Despite your mistakes, you have a purpose. Despite what you do or have done, you are always and perfectly loved by God.”
“You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.” (Song of Solomon 4:7)
That kind of grace is something I would never trade and leads to step three.
Now that I understood that my brokenness was a gift, I wanted to tell the whole world of what God had done! When that kind of grace is poured over you, when it reaches the untouched corners of your soul, you can’t help but want to share it.
“I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart, I will declare all your wonderful deeds.” (Psalm 9:1)
I shared my story with friends, family, anyone. I wanted everyone to know how amazing God is and what He had done for me and my husband. By glorifying God, it took the spotlight off my ugly and shined a light on His beauty instead. It helped release the guilt and regret I had and moved me towards healing and freedom.
So, are you ready to do this too? We can do it together – one foot in front of the other along “the broken way” to freedom. On the other side of this fog, God is waiting with baskets full of love and pockets full of grace. It only takes one step to start walking and I’m holding your hand, encouraging you along.
You can do it.
I believe in you.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Face and embrace one broken thing in your past. Surrender it by sharing it with a trusted friend, or even better by sharing it with God in prayer.
Discussion Questions (From Ann Voskamp’s “The Broken Way”)
Feel free to answer and discuss these in the comments section below if you feel comfortable.
- How easy is it for you today to put your hope in God? Why?
- Can you imagine giving thanks for your brokenness? Why or Why not?
- How have you experienced the power of God in the very place of your brokenness?
If any of you need prayer we are here for you. You are NOT alone! Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and someone from the writing team will get back to you as soon as possible.
Thank you so much for joining our study! If you are following along with us in the book, feel free to go through “Between Sessions: Session 1” in Ann Voskamp’s “The Broken Way”. This will solidify what we’ve just learned and prepare you for the next topic. The next blog will be available Tuesday, January 31st. We hope to see you there.