Tag Archives: Ann Voskamp

How to Help a Breaking Heart Because You Have One & So Does Everyone Else

This post was written by Ann Voskamp. I copied it from her blog, A Holy Experience, as it seems readers don’t like following links within a blog post and I really want you to read this – to soak it in. The formatting is a bit different here. My blog doesn’t have as many bells and whistles. You can click on the link in red above if you’d like to read the post with its original formatting.

Ann Voskamp has mastered the art of capturing important truths in a single sentence and this article is chock full of them. It’s not an easy read for the deeply wounded — primarily because your heart might chafe at the hard truths it reveals. But those truths, when the time is right, might help a broken believer get back on their feet again. I hope you will read it, and maybe save it and return to it on occasion, in order that it might take root in your heart and ground you in truths that will sustain you when you need someone to get the saw. So buckle up; here goes. . .



they say this is true like coming taxes and the grave —

Your heart will break.

You may not feel the the crack of it, but you may feel the bleed.


Your chest may pain to the touch and you may want someone to break your chest wall down, to get to you, to not leave you alone in the ache pressing, the way it’s hard to breathe.

So, this is hard but true: you will need someone to get a saw.

You will need a fine, sharp blade and an oscillating saw and you will need to let them saw through the sternum of you, crack open your chest wall.

Sit with that a moment: Your skeletal armour will have to break if anyone is ever to get to your heart.

This is a hard thing:

You must surrender to a breaking that must happen if you want any of your brokenness to heal.

I hadn’t known this or felt this — but I have now and I cannot forget. 

You may need to let your right pulmonary artery be cut away and sutured directly to your superior vena cava. At least, that’s what the surgeon told us, told us what would have to happen to her little broken heart.

And this is a harder thing —  You have to trust that the breaking of your heart will heal you into a kind of stronger. 

The greatest strength can grow straight out of the greatest weakness. The universe is a beautiful place, made in the strangest ways. I AM knows who we are and what we need.

And the people who love you, right in the midst of the aching? They will need to be brave. (Sometimes the greatest courage is to trust enough to let go.)

They will need to hope that miracles can make a home right inside of broken peopleThey will need to believe that broken things can become new things.

(Sometimes your people may have to pace in waiting rooms, 8 hours, more, because broken hearts need time. When you’re busted and bruised… people around you may have to kill the clock. Because — broken hearts don’t heal on anyone’s timelines.)


Please be gentle with yourself; grant yourself grace and time. Any kind of heart break will land you in a kind of ICU. It’s true: A heart has to be monitored if you’re ever going to survive. This too will take patient time, a quiet suffering of its own.

Listen to the beat of your own heart. Listen to what it’s telling you, to the rhythm it wants you to keep. Listen to the bravery of your beats — believe that your heart is pounding together something new. This is how He made a heart to work. Listen to this and rest.The way to recover is to cover everything with grace.

Take all the time you need to find out for yourself how this is the most proven kind of true:  

The best kind of intensive care for a broken heart is to let the words of Christ intensively care for you. 

This can be hard to swallow—- when we want easy serum for our veins, cheap comfort bought with plastic, quick fixes that cost little and let us be fine without refining anything. But if you let His Word wash your wounds, let His grace caress your pain, let His Truth touch your bruises, let His hope heal your ache, you can feel a kind of resurrection on earth. His promises are more than true — they are your resuscitation. 

Turn to the window and wait for the sun to rise, to keep always rising. Never stop being surprised that it does, never get over the miracle that you get to see it. 

It’s okay to let the tears come, to weep over all this pain, all this love, all this beauty, all this brokenness and the hard roads that we somehow find ourselves walking, forcing one step in front of the other.

It’s okay to let someone trace the scar down the middle of you and to touch your holy brave and bear witness that your fight is hard and sacred.

It’s okay for you to feel along your wounds wired closed and wonder why you have had to warrior through all of this.


And it can happen that they find out in recovery, that when they broke open your chest walls to get to you, when they broke your broken heart in different ways so healing could happen in new ways, that somehow your lung’s collapsed —- and that’s why each breath hurts.

Even though you’re in recovery, you’re still in pain.This can happen. And somehow you still have to keep breathing through the ache. 

Sometimes you can’t experience full recovery until you let your pain be fully uncovered.

You have to be a willing brave, if you want more. 

And when you don’t know how? 

When you don’t feel brave? 

When it all feels too hard?


Turn and look up into someone eye’s and let yourself be seen and touched and known.

Let yourself hear it, and let it reverberate through the hurting chambers of you and let yourself never forget:

Pieces of your broken heart mend when you make peace with what He gives. 

The healing has begun.


Posted by on October 19, 2016 in Faith, Links


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one key to walking through suffering | A Holy Experience

Originally published on Ann Voskamp’s blog,  A Holy Experience, “One Key to Walking Through Suffering” was written by Bethany Hoang.  Bethany co-authored The Justice Calling: Where Passion Meets Perseverance with Kristen Deede Johnson.  She asks how we continue to believe that God is good, that He loves us, is a God of justice who heals and restores in the face of the extreme suffering we see in our world today.  Follow the link below highlighted in red to read the article and soak up the beauty and freedom of restorative lament.

God invites our questions and pleadings rather than our despair and silence.

Source: one key to walking through suffering | A Holy Experience

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Posted by on February 29, 2016 in Adversity, Faith, Grief, Links


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Why You Are Deeply Needed

(Facebook Post 9/29/15)

Ann Voskamp has mastered the sentence, in my opinion. One simple sentence that reveals deep truth. Sentences like these and several more in this one blog post alone.

“Parents wear Purple Hearts: the brave who are wounded and die a bit more everyday – and only get braver.”

“You don’t become a parent by bearing a child. You become a parent by bearing witness to his life.”

“We have a God who sees hearts like we see faces, a God who hears ache like we hear voices, and we have a God who touches wounds like we touch skin.”

Follow the link in red below and be blessed!

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Posted by on October 22, 2015 in Faith, Links


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I Hate That Verse! (Gasp)

(Originally published on Facebook on 11/25/14)

I have to admit, I hate this verse and I’m not alone. Romans 8:28 can be a thorn in the flesh to a grieving heart. Actually, it’s not the verse I hate – it’s the way we brandish it about. When grief is fresh – when it is a raw, throbbing ache in the heart of a believer, this verse stings – like salt rubbed into an open wound. While we realize it is true, it often “feels” trite. Those who mourn need a little time for the wound to scab over. Time to recognize God’s faithfulness in the midst of the storm. Time to gain a broader perspective, in order to embrace this verse and the encouragement it is intended to offer.

Maybe enough time has passed. I’ve certainly seen God’s faithfulness. Not so sure I’ve really gained a broader perspective as of yet, but this verse, in this moment anyway, doesn’t sting so much. (Although it still might not be a good one to share with me for the next six months or so).

Maybe it’s less offensive in print than when it’s spoken. When I encounter it in print there’s no need to school my features should it fall on a less receptive heart at that particular moment in time. When spoken in conversation, well, there’s an audience present to judge and evaluate my response, and that audience always has an expectation that I will whole-heartedly agree. But those who grieve live with rapidly shifting emotions. Up and down, moments of overwhelming thankfulness to God followed by despair and feelings of abandonment. In terms virtually every woman can relate to (men not so much and thank your lucky stars for that!), I’d describe it as emotional & spiritual PMS. There are concepts I admittedly wrestle with before embracing. Sometimes I enter a cycle where I struggle with a concept, embrace it only to bump up against it again and begin to struggle my way through it once more. Maybe God is spoon feeding it to me in bite-sized pieces so I can chew and swallow without choking. Regardless, there are times when my response to a Biblical truth runs counter to expectation. I will often school my features in those moments for a number of reasons – most common of all though is to avoid becoming the object of gossip. I don’t believe grief was ever intended to be a spectator sport and armchair quarterbacks are no more appreciated on this field of play than they are in any other arena.

But I’ve drifted from my intended purpose, the curse of verbal processor (or the ADD thinker as you may prefer to think of me).

What I intended to say is that this blog post, You Can Never be Undone, is a good read. Ann Voskamp has a gift for weaving a message around one or two concise and profound sentences – basically giving me a sound bite I can meditate on. I think John Piper said something to the effect that it’s not books or paragraphs that change or impact lives, but sentences. Therein lies Ann’s gift in my opinion, the simple sentence. Anyway, I stole a few of those from this post and rearranged the order in a way that spoke to me. Maybe they will speak to you as well.

“You can never be undone.
No matter what intends to harm you, God’s arms have you.
You can never be undone.
No matter what intends to harm you … God is never absent, never impotent, never distant.
You can never be undone.
What was intended to tear you apart, God intends it to set you apart.
Whatever happens, whatever unfolds, whatever unravels,
you can never be undone.” ~ Ann Voskamp

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Posted by on October 22, 2015 in Faith, Grief


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