I sent a desperate plea to my discipleship group for prayers – my baby isn’t napping, I am tired, I am overwhelmed. All of the group members responded, and one in particular immediately invited me to head over to her house. I packed up the stroller and within minutes my no-nap, over-tired baby was in stitches, laughing at her kindergarten’s silly antics.
Brokenness turns to joy.
“Never be afraid of being a broken thing,” Ann Voskamp says in her new book The Broken Way, because “the miracle happens in the breaking.” Not enough becomes enough, and the Last Supper demonstrates this clearly: “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them.” We see the same pattern in the feeding of the 5,000 when Jesus offers thanks for the “not enough” loaves and fishes, then the breaking of bread produces a miracle of more than enough.
In the breaking of the bread, there is invitation into community. In the breaking of our control, our pride, our need to “have it all together,” there is surrender. This surrendering requires vulnerability and opens a space for others to enter. Many associate surrender with giving up — I’m at the end of my rope! However, I think it’s more of a giving to — giving my control to God, giving myself to Him to make me whole.
Brokenness turns to wholeness.
We fear our brokenness and we’re afraid of suffering. Yet this is where God meets us:
Why are we afraid of broken things? I can think of a thousand raw reasons. But touch the broken and the hungry and the hurting and the thirsty and the busted, and you touch a bit of Christ. Why are we afraid of suffering? What if the abundance of communion is only found there in the brokenness of suffering – because suffering is where God lives? Suffering is where God gives the most healing intimacy.” –The Broken Way
And yet how do we live in both brokenness and joy? “God is most glorified in us when we are most enjoying Him – and giving others the joy of Him,” writes Ann Voskamp.
I struggle with this tension of broken vulnerability and real, abundant joy. I desire to be open and honest, like sharing that this week has been tough with me getting sick and having a teething, fussy baby who won’t nap. I ran out of patience; I got to the end of myself. And yet somehow I must find joy.
Brokenness and joy.
What does that look like?
“Every morning that the sun rises and you get to rise? That’s God saying He believes in you, that He believes in the story He’s writing through you… God’s mercies are new every morning – not as an obligation to you, but as an affirmation of you. Was I living my life like I fully believed that?” –The Broken Way
Brokenness and abundance look like a belief that God chose me and enjoys me before I enjoy him. It’s being raw yet having a confident hope of the future. So when John walks through the door at the end of the day and Grant yells “DaDa!” in delight, I can be just as delighted — not inwardly groaning that John won’t experience the hard day I just had. I can invite John into my experience of a difficult day while being joyful that we get to experience this parenting journey together and watch our son grow day by day. However, I can only do this because first my God knows of my day, enters into my brokenness as a mom and my suffering (yes, teething babies count!) and reaffirms, “I was broken on the Cross so that you may be made whole.”
I am a part of Ann Voskamp’s launch team for The Broken Way: A Daring Path Into The Abundant Life. I was a huge fan of her first book, One Thousand Gifts and couldn’t wait to read this one. It is deep, thoughtful, raw, and joyful. Find out more at this website and pre-order your copy here. I highly recommend this read for anyone desiring to find meaning in their brokenness.