I don’t know about you, but I had lots of fun on my first ‘Bookish Thoughts/Bookish Analogies’ post a while ago, and so I decided to do another one. Besides, this is one of my favorite series of books anyway. How can I not? 😉
As before, I know that I’m targeting a very small audience: fans of the Blades of Acktar series who also have chronic illness. However, I couldn’t resist. I hope that that small audience very much enjoys this! 😉 If you have not read the series the Blades of Acktar by Tricia Mingerink, I would recommend going to read it right now, and then coming back here. I wouldn’t recommend reading the rest of this post until you have though, as it will contain spoilers (lots of them, and pretty big ones). There. You’ve been warned. While we’re talking about warnings, though, I suppose I should warn you that once you start that series you probably won’t want to put it down. Enjoy!
Renna was broken. Completely, wholly broken. Her parents were killed in front of her, along with most of the rest of her family. An evil king has usurped the throne. There’s running. Hiding. Fear.
Fast forward until now. Her beloved aunt and uncle are also executed before her eyes. The king tells her to deny her faith. She almost does. Renna and her sister Brandi are in prison.
Until that is, even Brandi is at last taken from her. Brandi escapes, but Renna is left behind to face the king and whatever lies, phycological tricks, or physical torture he chooses.
She’s broken. She’s alone. Or is she? Can you regain your faith once you have lost it? Once you’ve already suffered through so much pain, is it possible to face more? Is it possible to be strong again once you’ve been broken? Smashed? Shattered? Torn apart?
It’s impossible. Except that with God, all things are possible.
As she is at this point in the third book, Defy, there is this quote that caught my attention:
“She’d been broken. Deep in that dungeon, she’d lost her faith. Only to learn that God wasn’t going to let her go even if she let Him go. He wasn’t going to forsake her even when she felt forsaken. It defied all logic and all understanding. Even Leith’s death couldn’t take that away. God has carried her through losing her entire family except Brandi. He would see her through this too. Martyn stared at her as if she had lost her mind. Perhaps she had. But it didn’t matter. She had faith. She had hope. And Respen wasn’t going to take away either of those things no matter how hard he tried.”
-Tricia Mingerink, Defy, Blades of Acktar, Kindle Loc 2434
With a chronic illness, you likely have come or will come to the point where you feel broken. Utterly and completely broken. At first you had the strength, or maybe you were able to rely on someone else’s strength or faith, but now you’re on your own. And it’s too much. You hurt, you feel like you’ve lost the end of your rope. It’s dangling somewhere up there, but you’re falling through darkness. You’re stuck in the dungeon. Alone. You feel like you’ve lost yourself.
So what happens then? After you’re completely broken, what do you do? Is there hope of gluing at least some of the pieces back together? How in the world do you go on with life- or more than that, how do you face the next battle?
After losing her family, Renna was broken. But now she was broken and still had to face whatever Respen had for her. Her sister Brandi, thought that she couldn’t do it. Leith thought that he would need to be strong for her.
But the thing was, Renna wasn’t alone. God had never forsaken her or lef her, and He never would.
One of the things that I found amazing at the end of Defy was that Renna had gotten stronger. That she had broken, and then rose from that. She didn’t break and remain shattered on the ground, but she allowed herself to be raised from those pieces. She allowed herself to be held by her Maker and remade. She was a new creation.
I struggle with the idea that pain makes us stronger, or the quote that ‘whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’, because right now, I feel weak. And broken. But I don’t have to remain that way. Maybe when I’m put back together some pieces will remain lost. But God knows what He’s doing. And that’s okay. Those pieces are things I don’t need. Instead, I’m not alone. Instead, even though I’m broken, I can come out stronger. In God.
So what happens after broken?
I don’t know. It’s up to you.
But remember, you don’t have to remain shattered. There is hope.
Wow. That was
slightly long. Oops! 😉 As you can tell, I enjoy this series. Want to know something else I’m excited about? The fourth and final book, Deliver, comes out on April 25th! Yay! 😀