11 Quotes From “The Way Of Abundance”

Ann Voskamp speaks lovingly to the hurting and broken. She never condemns them for their brokenness, nor does she encourage them to stay in their difficult place. Instead, Ann brings a new perspective to the path of healing; a path that allows our brokenness to become our givenness to other broken and hurting people. This is The Way Of Abundance. Be sure to check out my full book review by clicking here. 

“Go fall in love with grace and mercy and the only One who has ever loved you to death—and back to the realest, abundant life. Because the world is begging us all to get out of bed and live given, get out of bed and sacrifice for someone hurting, for someone different, for someone forgotten or marginalized, to hold the hand of someone who doesn’t look like a us, to lean in and listen to someone angry and grieving and doubting the likes of us, to give a bit of ourselves to those who feel like they aren’t given much real space at the table.” 

“The real Jesus turns our questions of why—why this brokenness, why this darkness?—and says, ‘You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here.’ ‘This happened so the power of God could be seen in him’ [John 9:3]. There’s brokenness that’s not about blame. There’s brokenness that makes a canvas for God’s light to be lavishly splashed across the darkness. There’s brokenness that carves windows straight into our souls. Brokenness cracks open a soul so the power of God can crack the darkness in the world.” 

“When you aren’t afraid of being afraid, you transform fear into friend. … Feelings can accompany you, but they don’t get to control you. Feelings get to inform you, but they don’t get to form you. Feelings get to keep you company, but they don’t get to keep you in bondage. Only God keeps you.” 

“We are always lost until our heart makes its home inside of someone else. Our lives are unfulfilling if we only let our hearts fill us instead of filling other people’s broken places. The art of living is believing there is enough love in you, that you are loved enough by Him, to be made into love to give. Fulfilling lives happen when we give our hearts to fill other people’s empty spaces.” 

“There are really only two choices when begging temptation looks you square in your twitching eye: there is either the pain of self-denial, or the pain of self-destruction. … They’ll tell you there’s no such thing called temptation anymore, only repressed self-limitation. They’ll tell you temptation isn’t an issue for the sophisticated. And all I want to say: just don’t say you’re a follower of Christ if you’re actually following your own heart.” 

“Shame dies when stories are told in safe places. … Shame gets unspeakable power only if it’s unspeakable.” 

“The only way to live a truly remarkable life is not to get everyone to notice you, but to leave noticeable marks of His love everywhere you go.” 

“When you feel basically respectable, you want religion. And when you know you feel the brokenness of rejection, you want the gospel. In religion, it’s the ‘respectable’ who search for a God to impress. But in the Gospel, it’s God who searches for the brokenhearted rejected to save.” 

“Never fear the moments you imagine will freeze you: unexpected blasts of cold can be what draws you nearer to the flame of His love.” 

“The body of Christ must recapture its vision as the only collective in the world that exists for its nonmembers. … We are a community that will not dish out condemnation but courage, that will lean in and listen long and love large.” 

“You love as much as you are willing to be inconvenienced. … The brokenness of people is never truly an intrusion. Loving the broken people when it is inconvenient is the way to have fuller inclusion in the life of Christ.” 

Rescuing Those Who Might Harm Themselves

UnstoppableIn Nick Vujicic’s book Unstoppable (you can read my book review by clicking here), he is very transparent about his thoughts of suicide. He wrote—

My youthful self-acceptance and self-confidence did not begin to crumble until I began relentlessly comparing myself to my peers. Then, instead of taking pride in what I could do, I dwelled on those things my mates could do that were beyond my abilities. Instead of seeing myself as enabled, I saw myself as disabled. Instead of taking pride in my uniqueness, I yearned to be what I was not.

According to the World Health Organization, the rate of suicides has increased dramatically, and is now the third leading cause of death for fifteen- to twenty-four-year-olds. I had a friend that committed suicide, and it wasn’t until after the fact that I could put together the warning signs that he had been exhibiting.

Nick lists some indicators that someone close to you might be depressed enough to harm themselves:

  • Unusual changes in eating and sleeping habits
  • Withdrawal from friends, family, and regular activities
  • Violent actions, rebellious behavior, or running away
  • Excessive drug and/or alcohol abuse
  • Unusual neglect of personal appearance
  • Marked personality change
  • Persistent boredom, difficulty concentrating, or a decline in school performance
  • Frequent complaints about physical symptoms, often related to emotions, such as stomachaches, headaches, and fatigue
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities
  • Intolerance of praise or rewards
  • Giving or throwing away favorite possessions or belongings
  • Becoming suddenly cheerful after an episode of depression

From Nick’s own experience, he offers these helpful words—

Often individuals in distress don’t want to talk about their issues. Don’t push it, but keep the communication open without offering advice or judgment. Just being there for them, hanging out with them, and letting then know you care can make a difference. You don’t have to solve their problems unless you are a mental health professional.

…Sometimes it won’t be easy to stand by a friend or loved one who is dealing with despair or depression. Your loyalty will be tested. You may feel hurt, slighted, or abandoned. I would never suggest that you allow someone to mistreat you. If that happens, maintain a safe distance, but do whatever you can to help. That may mean simply being there for those who are hurting, listening to them when they are willing to talk about their concerns, and assuring them that they are loved and valued by reminding them that other people care about them. If you sense that someone is more troubled than you are equipped to handle, you should contact a guidance counselor, a trusted clergy member, or a medical or mental health professional and seek his or her advice on what to do.

If anyone around you is exhibiting any of these signs, please reach out to them in love. It would be much better to have a friend tell you, “I’m okay, but thanks for asking,” than for you to miss an opportunity to save someone’s life.

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