- Publisher: Christian Herald
- Editor: Fazal Karim Jr.
- Published: November 1, 2016
Ann Voskamp’s newest book will be released October 25, 2016. Voskamp will speak and sign books on November 8 at Toronto’s Church on the Queensway to promote her new book titled The Broken Way: A daring path into the abundant life. Voskamp’s first book 1000 Gifts, released in 2011, spent 60 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and her blog www.aholyexperience.com was named one of the top 10 Christian blogs on the internet.
Ann Voskamp is a farmer’s wife and mother to seven children. She and her husband farm 800 acres in southern Ontario. They have 650 sows and about 1000 piglets in the barn at any given time. She also homeschools some of her children (two have moved on to post-secondary education). Because of the success of her blog and first book, Voskamp is a sought-after speaker and advocate and travels as much as she’s able. To say she’s busy is an understatement.
When asked when she finds time to write, Voskamp said she writes in the fringe hours of her day, late at night and early in the morning, because, “if a writer is going to write anything that carries the weight of people’s pain and suffering they have to write it out of a real life that’s not romantic in any way, but that has dirt under its finger nails.”
The runaway success of 1000 Gifts surprised Voskamp and she spent more than three years writing this second book. She meets many in her travels who shared with her their own pain and heartache, many times her readers shared things with her they hadn’t shared with anyone else, and she often responds personally. Voskamp listened to the heartbreaking stories of her readers for five years and says she fell deeply in love with people, with their courage and brokenness, through that experience. She prayed for and loved on her readers as much as she could. “I think it’s important to live out stories before you write them,” Voskamp explained. “I fell in love with all the people who shared their stories with me, with their brokenness and sharp edges.”
After hearing from her readers in such a personal way, what role or influence did those readers have upon the second book? “If anything, after 1000 Gifts I wanted to make sure people knew how broken and busted I myself am and the deep dark places in my own past.” Voskamp’s voice grew soft on the other end of the phone. “I carried them with me. Their suffering. How do you write into people’s suffering? I wanted to speak with great sensitivity and yet reach out and take their hands and give them courage for the next step.”
Voskamp makes a distinction between bad brokenness and good brokenness. Bad brokenness would be the result of harm or rejection or abuse, anything that requires healing and prevents us from moving forward and flourishing. This bad brokenness is not the brokenness Voskamp addresses in her new book. Instead, she focuses on good brokenness which some might describe as Godly humility, as vulnerability and generosity. “1000 Gifts is about that centerpiece of Christianity – the last supper and giving thanks and then what does Jesus do?” Voskamp gets to the heart, the theme, of this newest book. “He breaks the bread. What does it mean to live broken out to the world? The books are two beats of the same heart.”
Many are surprised to learn that Voskamp is Canadian, and along with other notable Christian authors in Canada such as Sarah Bessey and Sheila Wray-Gregoire, admits living here influences her writing. “I feel grateful to be Canadian,” Voskamp said. “It keeps you low to the earth. Canadians are quiet and want to be peacemakers and ambassadors of reconciliation. We’re sensitive to other cultures and thoughtful listeners. It does inform and shape the writing.”
What can you expect from an evening with Ann Voskamp? She’s hoping to create an environment where people will feel safe enough to expose that good brokenness to others. She strives for honest and authentic in her writing and hopes her readers will take up that call in their own lives. “Good brokenness breaks bad brokenness in the world. I hope that’s what people would experience,” Voskamp says.
Joining Voskamp will be Keri Cardinale, a worship leader and WDCX broadcaster, who will lead a live worship session. The event begins at 8PM but there are two events taking place prior to the live speaking and worship time that are worth looking into. At 6PM is a ministry leader reception and meet and greet with Ann for an additional six dollars (limit two tickets per church – email firstname.lastname@example.org) with a maximum of 100 tickets for this event. There is a VIP event at 7PM that includes front row seats, private food reception, meet and greet with Ann and an autographed book. The VIP tickets are $50 with a maximum of 50 tickets for this event. General admission tickets are $12 and groups of ten or more can get tickets for $10. Visit www.funandfaith.ca for more information.
Buy your tickets early so you’re not disappointed.