The Overflow! where souls are filled and faith is spilled

When Breaking Up Means Breaking Through

I still remember sitting on my dorm room floor with a friend whose tears told the tale of a broken heart.

The man she’d thought she would marry had called off their five-year relationship and, in an instant, her dreams were dashed.

She’d planned out a perfect life with the man she’d believed was her perfect match, and she couldn’t imagine anything else.

She believed her break-up was the end of her joy.
end-pursuit She’d emptied a whole box of tissues as she’d dabbed the sorrow streaming down her cheeks and I’d sat beside her, holding her hand and murmuring lame words of hope in her ear.

And finally, when the tears had stilled, we’d prayed.

We’d prayed that God would heal her hurting heart and comfort her with His love.

And for some reason, before we’d uttered Amen, I’d felt prompted to ask our Savior for something BIG.

Jesus, please use the end of this relationship to launch my sweet friend into the beginning of the life you’ve always dreamed for her… 

My friend had opened one eye as my words had soared to Heaven, and for just a moment, I’d spied a sparkle of expectancy flash behind those misty tears.

And for one minute, I think she dared to believe that her unplanned breakup might actually lead to an unprecedented break through. 

My friend, Amy Carroll, knows about messy break-ups and glorious break-throughs.

And she knows about living out God’s beautiful dreams for her life rather than clinging to her own.

And what I love about Amy is that she wants YOU to know the joy of breaking up, too! Amy longs for women to discover that God’s perfect dreams for our life often begin where our own quest for perfection ends.

Are you ready for a wild ride?*******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

“It’s a good day when the water on the bathroom floor isn’t higher than the top of your sandals,” quipped my friend Cathy as our women’s conference in India drew to a close.

Now that’s a new measure of a good day!

India is overload for American senses. Your eye fills with the bright colors of saris, strings of marigolds for a festival, and stacks of fruit being sold in a roadside stand. In your peripheral vision, cars whiz by laced with motorcycles carrying whole families, and you think you might have just seen a bull in the midst of the traffic’s snarl.

The food is an explosion of ten thousand tastes in every bite. Unknown flying objects and pollution make the air a tactile experience, and my friend says that India is “an amusement park for the nose.” It’s the smell of spices, piles of trash, millions of bodies, and the fragrance of flowers.

India feels like chaos to this ordered American girl.

And I love it.

Part of my heart resides in Kolkata, but it seems hard to figure out why. I don’t speak the language, so sometimes communicating is difficult. There’s a different measure of cleanliness which presents significant challenges at times. The ways of people there—from eating to shopping to potties– are diametrically opposed to my own so that the culture shock is more like a sizzling bolt from the sky than a mild zap from a socket.

So why do I love India so much?

I love the wildness of India. It teams with life in every inch, and it keeps me off kilter. India communicates the exotic, extreme Life of God to me. As CS Lewis said of his character Aslan, a lion who is the symbol of God in the Narnia stories, “He’s not a tame lion. But he’s good.”

Somehow in America, I slide back into my own view of perfection—a room perfectly straightened, mess-free relationships, a god who behaves the way I like and with the timing I approve. In India, all my cultural crutches are removed. I seek God in every move, and I see Him everywhere.

It’s in the midst of unpredictability that I sense the presence of God most acutely and when I feel the most alive. Yet I’ve been reluctant to give up control. From the time I was a little girl, I tried to shape myself and my environment to please others and earn love. It’s a mistake to try to live this way, though.

God crafted us to reflect His image, not to create our own.

Trying to shape our own image into what we consider perfect gives us less life instead of more.

Perfection might make us feel more comfortable, but then we miss out on the majestic wildness of following our untamed but wholly good God.

Let’s break up with our idea of perfection and walk into the foreign land of trusting God fully as He shapes the perfect path for us filled with His Life.

amy bio picAbout Amy

Amy Carroll’s passion is leading women to deeper delight through the matchless pleasure of rich relationship with God and others. Amy is a member of the Proverbs 31 Ministries’ speaker team, the author of Breaking Up with Perfect, and the director of Next Step Speaker Services.  She lives in NC with her 3 favorite guys and a little, red dachshund.  You can find her on any given day typing at her computer, reading a book or trying to figure out one more alternative to cooking dinner.  Visit Amy at her blog to join her in a journey toward more joy.

Today we’re giving away a copy of Amy’s Carroll’s newly released book Breaking Up with Perfect. 

To enter, just answer this question in the comments: “When do you feel most alive?”

Or if you’re living life at warp speed today, simply say “I’m breaking up with perfect!” in the comments.

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21 thoughts on “When Breaking Up Means Breaking Through

  1. Janet Cole

    I’m breaking up with perfect!!

    July 13, 2015 at 4:56 pm
  2. Melanie

    I am breaking up with perfect!!!!!

    July 13, 2015 at 8:14 pm
  3. Marilyn Bravo-Brown

    I fel most alive when I am communing with nature, working outside in my garden.

    July 13, 2015 at 8:14 pm
  4. Christina

    I’m breaking up with perfect!!!!

    July 13, 2015 at 8:25 pm
  5. Lynae

    I feel most alive when I am interacting with kids, either teaching or spending time with my own.

    July 13, 2015 at 8:44 pm
  6. lc

    I feel most alive with music and singing 🙂

    July 13, 2015 at 9:16 pm
  7. Adrienne Ingram

    I feel most alive when I see my four year old praising and worshipping God just as he sees people doing on sunday morning…when he tells me he loves me..these are the things, moments, that make me feel most alive.

    July 13, 2015 at 10:36 pm
  8. Diane

    when I don’t judge myself and have a fun day

    July 13, 2015 at 11:41 pm
    1. kann ich mir auch zu saucen gut vorstellen, ja@F_A na steht doch eh in meinem Rezept: ich meine Schm¼rzkÃawmel, wenn es noch anderen schwarzen Sesam gibt, dann ist dieser damit nicht gemeint.

      July 19, 2016 at 2:44 am
    2. Well, if you had sold at 700 you would’ve have gone all in with the 655/705s when AZ suggested that to newcomers at 650 or so. If so, you would’ve been way the fuck worse off than now. And if you hadn’t at 650, how bout 620, 600, 580, 550, 530. They all had intriguing possibilities.Hindsight isn’t helpful in every aspect of assessing needed changes. It b tricky.Booking profits to build up a fund for paying taxes and for a ‘disaster piggy bank’ should be considered too.

      October 23, 2016 at 10:43 pm
    3. Anonymous 6:30Okay, the "Tom and Jerry" example made me laugh out loud. The "before" example used was from a Gene Deitch short (High Steaks, to be specific), not the original Hanna-Barbera series!

      November 5, 2016 at 1:14 am
    4. Finally, someone who gets it! Yes beauty is individual – inside and out. The pressure to compete on looks is just stupid, why not look at character, integrity, morals etc.? We all appreciate beauty – and it is in the eye of the beholder. Lots of depth in this article – thank you Alicia and yes you are beautiful is so many ways!! You shine

      November 14, 2016 at 5:32 am
    5. Hello, What a great site I have found many helpful hints on here. I have my first trip to DW in November and was thinking of taking the bag I take on zoo trips here, it is a small luggage bag with wheels and is easy to pull around, would you recommend this, and where do the backpacks/bags go while you are on the rides? Angieakilgore1@butlercc.edu

      February 13, 2017 at 11:44 am
    6. finalement la france est incapable de fournir une mixtè à haut niveau,quelque soit l’entreprise,la pensèe coloniale est vraiment ancrée,pour Mr, Thuram, good luck.

      February 16, 2017 at 9:04 am
  9. JoAnn

    When I am serving in the ministry God called me to do.

    July 14, 2015 at 12:19 am
  10. Margy Southern

    When I’m baking, cooking, out in nature or listening to music – and I just love the idea of this book!

    July 14, 2015 at 5:14 am
  11. Carol Love

    When I am worshiping and I feel the Lord’s presence!

    July 14, 2015 at 12:09 pm
  12. Rosie Scott

    When I’m camping with my son.

    July 14, 2015 at 2:31 pm
  13. Shauna

    When I’m learning new things!

    July 27, 2015 at 3:16 pm
  14. Beatrice Williams

    I feel most alive when I am walking and listening to gospel music. I sometimes raise my hand in praise, or start skipping down the street to the music. I love to praise God for all He has done for me. At times I just can’t help it!

    August 18, 2015 at 8:07 pm
  15. Krissy Cole

    I’m breaking up with perfect

    January 6, 2016 at 1:36 pm

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