“The Broken Way” Provides a Way Forward

I wasn’t planning to use Ann Voskamp’s latest book as the basis for an Author Note (the closest thing to a book review that you’ll find on this blog). But when I finished reading and started looking at the bits and pieces that struck deep chords with me, I realized I wanted to share these meaningful parts with Ann—and with you. My prayer is that the lines from The Broken Way that are speaking to me also will encourage you today.

Dear Ann,

I first heard about The Broken Way several months before it was released. Having read One Thousand Gifts years earlier, I was curious to observe the natural progression that often occurs in an author’s writing between her first and second books. I was interested to learn more about someone who seems to guard her privacy very carefully. I was intrigued to see how you would approach a topic that resonates so strongly with me—how God redeems our brokenness.

But despite all the glowing endorsements from well-known Christian leaders, I didn’t expect to be so personally affected by the book myself. I don’t know why, exactly. Maybe it’s because I had never stopped to consider that what my heart has been experiencing lately might, in fact, be brokenness.

Here’s the thing, though. Based on what I read on your blog, you’ve gotten a great deal of wonderful feedback about The Broken Way—and deservedly so.

But whether you’re a New York Times bestselling author, a blogger with a handful of followers or a mom who pens an occasional letter to her college kids, I don’t think you ever tire of hearing how your words—your very specific words—are touching the hearts and minds of the people who read them.

That’s why I decided to write to you today.

If we were sitting across the table from one another, I might explain the situation that is making The Broken Way so timely for me. Here, however, I think it’s enough to say that, though I have a role in the script, I’m not a main character.

My job right now is to live the story, not tell it. And your words are providing a way forward into the murky unknown that is a pressing part of my life.

Thank you, Ann—for exposing your heart, for sharing the most broken parts your story, and for writing these very specific lines:

• “The life that yields the most—yields the most.”

“Live every day like you’re terminal. Because you are. Live every day like your soul’s eternal. Because it is.”

• “What if instead of waiting for good enough things to happen to us, we could be the good thing to happen to someone else who’s waiting?”

• “The best way to say you love is always time. The best time to love is always now.”

• “The best way to de-stress is to bless.”

• “Even though I don’t know how today’s story will end, I remember: faith thanks God in the middle of the story.”

• “What seems to be undoing you can ultimately remake you.”

“In the raw experience of ‘I cannot do this,’ you experience how He remakes you into someone who can.”

• “It definitely gets harder before it gets easier. But it will definitely get better—if you don’t give up when it’s hardest.”

• “Why is it that only once you face life without the loveliness of those you love, you can finally see how much you love? Why is the clearest way to love your life only to imagine losing parts of it?”

• “This is what dying to live means: You love as much as you are willing to be inconvenienced.”

• “We can be brokers of healing exactly where we have known the most brokenness.”

• “Sometimes it helps in the moment to think: people aren’t being difficult—they are having difficulty.”

“Life isn’t overwhelming when you simply understand how to serve in this minute.”

• “Compassion is a crawling in under the skin of someone else and connecting to their heart like it’s yours.”

• “Paying attention is one of the purest forms of compassion.”

• “You can make your plans—but it’s God’s plans that happen. Maybe grieving over plans changed is part of the plan to change us.”

• “It’s always the vulnerable heart that breaks broken hearts free. Am I brave enough … to live not afraid of broken things?”

• “When you know you’re never alone in the fear, you lose the fear of the fear.”

Note: All quotes are from The Broken Way: A Daring Path into the Abundant Life by Ann Voskamp (Zondervan, October 2016).

Also: I’m linking up this week with Purposeful Faith, #TellHisStory, Coffee for Your Heart, #Unite, Chasing Community, Missional Women and Grace & Truth.



30 Responses to “The Broken Way” Provides a Way Forward

  1. Brenda says:

    Thanks for sharing the quotes, Lois. I’m looking forward to reading that one. I have it, but haven’t had a chance to dig into it yet. — Author letter — that’s a fun idea. I like that. 🙂 Thanks for sharing, and thanks for linking up wtih #ChasingCommunity today, Lois! ((hug))

  2. Megs says:

    I am just about to read this book and start the study. Now I am even more excited! Yay!
    Happy Thursday, from the Chasing Community Linkup!
    Megs

  3. What a great format for a “review!” I am sure she would love to hear how she touched your heart!

  4. I love that you write to authors this way, Lois! Went back to your “author’s note” post and it’s just such a kind take on reviews. The quotes shared here are fantastic. They’re making me think. Thanks for sharing!

    • Lois Flowers says:

      I’m glad you like this format, Bethany. I haven’t written many of these … book reviews of any kind still tend to drain the writing life out of me! But when a book REALLY has an impact, I sort of can’t help myself! I had thought about just posting a list of my takeaways, but Randy encouraged me to do an Author Note … I’m glad I listened!

  5. Lois, I haven’t read this book yet. But I know I will. The things you shared in your letter to Ann resonated deeply with me. Thank you for sharing what touched you. I’m looking forward to reading this book even more now. 🙂

  6. Hi Lois,
    I really loved Ann’s book too! The words are so honest and authentic and they certainly make me think — more about God and what he might be doing in my life and those around me. I love it when a writer’s words stay with me long after I’ve closed the book and read the last page. Your thoughts are so heartfelt here — they are sticking with me too! xo

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Valerie, I read the book in November … a few pages here and there at first, and then more at each sitting as I got into it. Like you, I appreciated the “realness” of Ann’s words and how they have lingered in my mind for so long. I hope your week is going well … Hugs to you today!

  7. Tara says:

    I can’t read to read this book. I loved 1000 Gifts! I’m blessed to be your neighbor at Tell His Story this week.

  8. Trudy says:

    What a beautiful letter, Lois. I’m so glad this book has blessed you. I have the book and am hoping to start a Bible Study on it next Monday at FaithGateway. I’m looking forward to reading it. Love and hugs!

  9. Lois, thank you for sharing about this book, and giving us a ellipse of where you are at, eve with out sharing specifics. I bought this book for my mom and sister for Christmas, but need to borrow it back from them to read myself. Thank you also for sharing the quotes you did… several ministered to me as I read. Blessings, your neighbor today at #Unite

  10. Linda Stoll says:

    Thanks for a peek into your heart … and this loveliest of personal letters, friend.

    Touching.

    Broken. Yes we are … or were … or will be.

  11. Lesley says:

    Thanks for sharing about this book, Lois. It’s already on the list of books I’d like to read but your letter makes me want to read it even more. I love the quotes you shared.

  12. Thanks so much for sharing your take aways, Lois. I haven’t read this book yet, but 1000 Gifts changed my life. I haven’t been expecting to NEED the message of The BrokenWay, but I suspect that it will take me by surprise, like it surprised you. I suspect I’m more broken than I think. : )

    • Lois Flowers says:

      I know what you mean, Betsy. I wasn’t expecting to need it either, but wow … talk about a timely message for my life and heart! I have a feeling you would enjoy it …

  13. I read and loved this book and your post today was like a sweet reunion with an old friend. Thanks, Lois.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Aw … I like how you put that, Michele. Thanks for your sweet words. (In other news, I put a hold on “Till We Have Faces” at my local library yesterday. I’m No. 8 in line … must be a popular choice here!)

  14. This is a great review. I have her book on my Kindle and have only gotten through the first chapter. But I’ve signed up recently for the free video study. I recommend it to anyone, because the first video was very powerful. Ann is such an inspiring, honest author…I admire her deeply.

  15. Liz says:

    Thanks for this “review,” Lois! This book is on my reading list! Blessings!

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