In Which I Try to Be Brave (a year late…)

Posted on February 10, 2015 | 12 comments

In Which I Try to Be Brave (a year late…)

I thought I would be brave. I opened my word processor to try and hammer into words something that’s been stirring in my heart lately… but to do it, I would have to tell you that while life is full and beautiful and I’m grateful through-and-through, I’ve also been touched by a deep sadness in the recent past*.That’s a scary thing to tell the internet.

But a safe thing to tell God’s beloved people, when there is hope to share in it too. And that’s you. (Hi!!)

So, I pulled up my word processor to try and be brave, and you know what I found in its dusty files?

A full blog post, written exactly one year ago, that I never published.

Apparently I tried to be brave then, too. In truth, I don’t recall the circumstances of what spurred me to write this a year ago—which is such a beautiful testimony to God’s healing. But now… because these words are true all over again—true timelessly, I think, when the hard times come…

I’m going to hit publish.

So here it is.

Thank you for being here, my friends. I post this with prayers around your own brave hearts today!


(Written February, 2014)

We were made for the broken places.

You, who were fashioned with so much care, planned with so much delight… you have purpose in the broken places of this world.

And the broken places are hard sometimes. They have jagged edges.


Be not afraid if you find yourself in a broken place today. Broken was never the plan—never the Garden of Eden—but broken is where we live, and we haven’t been forsaken in that place.

Broken is not Forsaken.

Broken is gathered close. Held tight.



In the land of “This isn’t what I thought it would be.”

Tossed in the sea of “How did I land here?”

Caught in the chasm between “This isn’t of my doing; why am I called here?”


…In each of these places, we can remember. We can remember that God is still God in this land, and what’s more? It’s He who strengthens us. Draws near to us. Says to us, “I know. Oh, I know.” For He has been here. He lives here, too.


And he wraps us in truth:

Perhaps this isn’t what you thought it would be, but there is purpose for you here.

“How did I land here?” May have no easy answer, but Let me walk with you here is whispered into our hearts by the King who came before us, strengthening us for each new step.

The trench dug around you that was perhaps none of your doing? He is hard at work there, and has asked you along, strengthened your hands for work there, enlarged your heart to love there.

The king who has been there, lives there, died there, rose there… made for the broken places of our hearts, invites us to live that kind of love, too. To see the broken places, see the healing He is doing, be a part of it too.


Like Nehemiah– a governor who continued building a wall, the fire of his heart the people, not the position.

Like Jonathan– the son of a king, who by all earthly rights should have been next in line for king but instead poured his whole heart and life into coming alongside the king chosen by God.

Like our King, who stooped to wash his disciples’ feet, though he did not put the grime there.

Who said “this is my body; let it be broken for you.”

Who knew, through and through, the pain and the beauty of broken.


We meet Him here. We are held tight here. Wrapped in grace and healing, infused with purpose and hope.


I’ll leave you with two beautiful songs that encompass this all so perfectly… “Alabaster” by Rend Collective:


 … and one with a skip in its step, to leave you with a smile– “The Broken Beautiful” by Ellie Holcomb


*tiny post-script: Because you are such incredibly caring and wonderful readers and friends and I know vague references to sadness can be troubling, I want to assure you that all is well.  I promise! 🙂 If you see me on the street, don’t be troubled my my copious tea-drinking. That is normal behavior and not in any way indicative of any need to treat me with extra care. 😉 We can smile and chat as normal. God  is doing wonderful things in my heart. There’s no scandal or cause for concern or any such thing. Just a tender turn of events, as sometimes happens. Tender but pulled-tight into His embrace.  <3 Have you ever been in such a place?


  1. I think back to last January, sitting, praying in faith and belief, often to afraid to think or hope. Feeling so broken, so out of control, so useless as my sister lay there, seemingly unaware of how hard I needed her to fight. Your words of ‘there is purpose for you there’, gave me courage to realize, that when I could no longer find words to pray, and she no longer had strength to fight, He was forever there to carry us through the hard places. God speed!

    • Oh Melody, I remember! You were so courageous, and she was too! Your faith shines so brightly, and is the strong stuff of this life. This world is so much richer because of your heart!!

  2. Very beautiful, Amanda. We read the Storybook Bible with our children and I love the retelling of Genesis 3 and how God grieves for the brokenness that enters the world. Isn’t it truly amazing that God took on flesh and chose to enter this brokenness in bodily form? Who in his right mind would do that? Only our God.

    • And by the way, I don’t think you’re trying to be brave. I think you are brave!

      • I love that Bible, Sondra! I always learn so much myself when we read it. And you are so right– truly amazing, the gift of our God! Thank you for your kind, encouraging words today, and your beautiful heart!

  3. Oh… I see that little “*” and so much of me knows just what that is and I applaud you for your beauty, strength and your heart. These words blessed me and were ones that I REALLY needed to read. Thank you, dear friend! I’m so amazed by the way you walk so bravely and graciously. What a precious example you are!

    • You are so dear to my heart! Thank you for your insightful, compassionate understanding, my friend, and for your beautiful and courageous journey!!

  4. Thank you for this beautiful post and songs, Amanda!! I so agree with Sondra – you are one of the bravest people I know!! Praying for you – against those storms buffeting your life right now!! Hugs and love, my beautiful sister-in Christ!!

    • Bonnie, speaking of brave– I think that is you!! Thank you so much for your prayers, and please know there are prayers abounding around your heart, too.

  5. So blessed by this post. So encouraged that our Great amazing God is ever-faithful. I loved the part about Jesus cleansing His disciples feet of the dirt He did not put there. Oh, such a picture of God’s grace. Hugs to you from this Mama Heart!

    • Janette you are so right– He is ever-faithful! Thank you for your kind words, hugs, and your beautiful heart!

  6. Oh, Amanda, thank you so for sharing your beautiful heart and thoughts with us. So encouraging, such truth. And a powerful testimony that we are on a JOURNEY with God. We have not reached a destination. And that He is WITH us. (Love Matthew 1:23)

    Though I cannot hear the lyrics (computer issues), I look forward to returning to do so. Meanwhile thank you for the encouragement and reminder of 2 Cor. 1:3-4. Sister, I would say you succeeded in your effort to be brave! Blessings, Mary Kay