New York Times best-selling author Ann Voskamp sprang onto the publishing scene with her first book, One Thousand Gifts. Her newest work, The Broken Way, takes her initial message of finding and giving thanks one step further. Her poetic style of expression proves apt in this primer on finding joy and happiness in every form of brokenness imaginable.

Michele Howe

The author opens this book with a retelling of how she quite literally opened a vein years ago to help cope with sorrow. Voskamp says of that painful season, “In the midst of our own scars—it’s incredibly powerful to realize that: No soul growth without change, no change without surrender, no surrender without wounds. Wounds break open the soul to plant seeds of growth. Maybe the deepest wounds birth deepest wisdom.”

The Broken Way carefully, even tenderly, depicts story after story of loss, death, illness, rejection, and regret. With these tales of suffering Voskamp reveals how God comes nearer to the one who is in pain. “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? ‘Don’t run from suffering; embrace it,’ Jesus beckons. ‘Follow me and I’ll show you how.’”

DO THE NEXT THING

Similarly, Voskamp wants Christ followers to understand clearly that even in the midst of horrendous pain, when Christians get up and do the next thing (any little thing), the hurt begins to lose its grip. Voskamp describes the time her family spent the entire day gifting their small town with tangible tokens of love and care and how these small acts of service redeemed the day. “It’s a beautiful, healing paradox: the greatest living always happens through givenness. God beckons us into The Broken Way in those words. from Isaiah: ‘If you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed … then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.’”

Voskamp challenges readers to have faith that in the very act of spending themselves on behalf of others, transformational healing can happen even in the very midst of their own brokenness.

Ann Voskamp

SUBMIT YOUR FEELINGS TO GOD

Perhaps one of the most taxing aspects to suffering of any kind are the accompanying emotions that can derail even the most stalwart believer. Voskamp stubbornly declares that Christians need to feel their feelings and then take them to God. “You don’t judge your feelings. You simply feel your feelings. You feel feelings—and then give them to God. The word emotion comes from the Latin for ‘movement’— and all feelings are meant to move you toward God.”

NEVER BE AFRAID

As individuals of faith living in a broken world with other broken people, fear is a close companion to most people. Voskamp asks Christians take this one statement to heart: “Never be afraid of broken things— because Christ is redeeming everything.” This one principle, says Voskamp, has changed her life. Stop being afraid of being afraid, she proclaims.

As publishers and retailers seek to connect with those who enter into their establishments, Voskamp asks that they communicate these three important questions to those seeking relief from suffering: “What do you do with the brokenness in your life? What’s the answer to suffering in the world? What do you really do if you want to know abundant wholeness in your day to day?”

She realizes that everyone asks, “Why does God allow heartbreak?” and answers that timeless question with the understanding that the answer must be important enough because God allows His heart to break, too. “Our broken hearts always break His. It’s the quantum physics of God: Your one broken heart always splits God’s heart in two. You never cry alone.”


Review from the magazine:

The Broken Way

Ann Voskamp/Zondervan

c $22.99 ISBN: 9780310318583

Following up on her wildly successful One Thousand Gifts, Voskamp has penned an even more personal manifesto for the brokenhearted. For those who have lost hope, and whose hearts have shattered, she offers hope yet for an abundant life, safely held by the Savior.

Written in an amazingly touching style, this book will resonate with those who know pain. It is as though Voskamp has captured and bottled the song of the hurting and gives them hope. The Broken Way is emotional, tender, and filled with good news.

Fans of Voskamp will certainly be drawn to this passionate and powerful book. Anyone navigating brokenness in life or in the world will be impacted by it. Suggest it to any woman who enters your store.

—Leslie Paladino