Broken into Beautiful

by Carrie


I had never heard of Gwen Smith before I picked up this book. I came across this title and thought it sounded like a message worth exploring. This book is all about how God restores the wounded heart (that’s its subtitle) and it is excellently done.

Gwen Smith is incredibly genuine. You know how you can sometimes tell when you are reading a book that the author ‘likes the sound of their own voice’ and are talking just to talk? Just because they can? Just because they managed to sell the idea of a book to a publisher? Well, that’s not Gwen. There was something very real in the way that she shared her own story of brokenness and related various other women’s stories that drew me in, as the reader, and encouraged my own soul.

Gwen Smith’s story is that she had an abortion in college which she proceeded to keep a secret for the next fifteen years. She had no intention of sharing her story at all because she accepted forgiveness for herself and had experienced God’s grace in this particular situation. Although involved in public music ministry she did not feel like she had to share every bit of her past to somehow justify her position in ministry. I do believe I agree with her opinion in saying that it’s not necessary to “empty your trashcan” to the general public but it is important to share your story if God asks you to. He asked her to and she has been obedient in doing so, which opens up an entirely different ministry of healing.

In this book she not only shares her story, but the stories of other women and the problems that they have faced in their path. This is not done in a vulgar way at all, but rather exercises a great deal of taste and maturity that I think is quite admirable. Coupled with the fact that she compares each individual woman’s story with a story from scripture, this book is quite well done. Smith doesn’t leave the answer to life’s problems in human hands nor does she rely on human wisdom (or the lack thereof) in facing the sin and dealing with it. Rather she throws her readers in the right direction — before the Throne of Grace.

This book is tasteful, encouraging, compelling and necessary. This book fulfills a need in a sympathetic yet solidly Biblical way for which I am incredibly grateful. After finishing reading the book I hopped on Youtube and watched an interview with Gwen and was left with the same impression of sincerity. She is a beautiful woman and has a beautiful story to share. To learn more about the book or to read an excerpt of it, check out the publisher’s, Harvest House website here.

I’d strongly encourage it because I believe you will find yourself blessed in doing so. I know I was.

If you’d like to win a copy of this book, leave a comment and we’ll announce one random winner next week (U.S. addresses only).

Carrie comes by her book obsession honestly, having descended from a long line of bibliophiles. She blogs about books regularly at Reading to Know.

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1 corinne November 12, 2008 at 2:20 pm

This looks like a beautiful testimony. I’d love to read it.

2 stephanie November 12, 2008 at 3:39 pm

I’m interested … please enter me!

3 RebekahC November 12, 2008 at 3:39 pm

This sounds like a wonderful book. It’s always amazing to see how God works in people’s day to day lives. I’d love the opportunity to read Gwen’s story. Plus, on a side note, the cover is beautiful.


4 Tiffany November 12, 2008 at 3:43 pm

I’d love to read this book. What a wonderful testimony that she is sharing her story.

5 Stephanie November 12, 2008 at 5:54 pm

Your description sounds really intriguing. I would love to read this book.

6 Krista November 12, 2008 at 6:24 pm

Thank you for the chance to win this. Sounds like I might get something out of it.

7 jenna November 12, 2008 at 7:01 pm

It looks like a great book, I would love to read it. Sounds like a book that will make you stop and think. Thanks for the giveaway!

8 southeastcountrywife November 12, 2008 at 7:11 pm

I just saw this book the other day and thought it looked interesting so I would love to be entered to win a copy!

9 Stacy November 12, 2008 at 7:52 pm

This sounds like an amazing book. I’d love to read it!

10 Alicia November 12, 2008 at 8:30 pm

Sounds like an amazing woman and a great book. I will read it whether or not I win!

11 Jayme November 12, 2008 at 9:11 pm

i’d love to win this!

12 amandasue November 12, 2008 at 10:28 pm

This sounds like such a good book and a wonderful read for a path of healing. Thanks for entering me.

13 Amy from Occupation: Mommy November 12, 2008 at 10:42 pm

This sounds like a great book!

14 roberta November 12, 2008 at 11:23 pm

This book sounds like a fantastic jouney waiting to be taken by the reader, thanks.

15 Amy N. November 12, 2008 at 11:43 pm

This book sounds really good…please enter me. :)
Thanks Carrie!

16 Gina Stratos November 13, 2008 at 2:10 pm

Sounds like a great book.

17 Alicia November 13, 2008 at 2:57 pm

My room-mate would enjoy reading this book.

18 Linda White November 13, 2008 at 3:04 pm

sounds like an interesting testimony!

19 Jenn S. November 13, 2008 at 3:05 pm

Sounds like a wonderful book. Would love to read it.

20 MRS.MOMMYY November 13, 2008 at 3:09 pm

looks like a great book..probably a box of tissues kinda of book but I love to read and this sounds great

21 Elizabeth Y. November 13, 2008 at 3:10 pm

My heart is terribly wounded this year. Hard times. Need a book to inspire and help.

22 Belinda Shaw November 13, 2008 at 4:09 pm

This book sounds like a great inspirational read!

23 Shannon Baas November 13, 2008 at 5:12 pm

Looks like a good book.

24 susan varney November 13, 2008 at 5:45 pm

looking forward to winning

25 Kym Ellis November 13, 2008 at 7:22 pm

This looks like a great book – please enter me.

26 christopher h November 13, 2008 at 8:07 pm

sounds like an interesting read

27 Lauralee Hensley November 13, 2008 at 8:11 pm

I’d like to win to both read the book and share it with others who may need it.

28 Rebecca Snodgrass November 13, 2008 at 8:22 pm

Please enter me to win.

29 Desmond November 13, 2008 at 8:49 pm

Count me in!

30 Elizabeth N. November 13, 2008 at 9:46 pm

The title alone is enough to make we want to read this book! Sounds like an amazing read!

31 Jack Palmer November 13, 2008 at 9:49 pm

Thank you for this giveaway I hope it helps someone who is broken hearted learn to trust again.

32 Michael Capp November 13, 2008 at 10:15 pm

I’d love to win!

33 Rachel F November 13, 2008 at 10:22 pm

This book sound like it could be an inspiration. I have a similar story and have been struggling with my past for awhile. I would love to read it and get some insight on her story and triumph. Please Enter Me!

34 CHARLINE S November 13, 2008 at 10:35 pm

Sounds like a great book.

35 Susan Smith November 13, 2008 at 11:13 pm

Please enter me

36 Aimee November 13, 2008 at 11:17 pm

Cannot tell you how much I could use this right now. Thank you for the chance.

37 Robert A. Piacquad November 14, 2008 at 12:23 am

I hope I win the book.

38 Milissa November 14, 2008 at 12:25 am

It is amazing to see God’s hands at work in peoples lives. I would love a copy of this book.

39 Paula Yanik November 14, 2008 at 12:27 am

I would love to read this book.

40 jean Miller November 14, 2008 at 12:44 am

Wow! My choir did this song recently! Beautiful solo part.

41 Annette Dover November 14, 2008 at 1:03 am

I would love the chance to win this book. It sounds very inspiring and we all can use that!

42 Karen November 14, 2008 at 1:26 am

Please enter me – I’ve had 2 abortions, and even though they were many years ago, and they were due to physicians’ lack of informing me that medication I was taking for seizures would interfere with the effectiveness of birth control pills, I still struggle with the decision I made and if God can forgive me. thank you.

43 NikeGyrlz November 14, 2008 at 1:30 am

I have gone through something similar over 10 yrs ago and I’m still struggling each day with it. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book.

44 C. Clemens November 14, 2008 at 1:56 am

entered, thanks for chance to win.

45 Carol Lawrence November 14, 2008 at 5:01 am

Sounds like a good read,hope I win.

46 Pamela Callahan November 14, 2008 at 7:12 am

Sounds wonderful – I would love to read this!

47 Susan C November 14, 2008 at 8:53 am

I have a friend who could really use a copy of this book right now!

48 Heather B November 14, 2008 at 9:07 am

sounds great please count me in

49 katweb November 14, 2008 at 10:23 am

I think this book could really help me, sounds great

50 katweb November 14, 2008 at 10:24 am

This sound like a great book like I said above, but I typed my wrong email!

51 Roger November 14, 2008 at 10:26 am

Sounds like a very good and useful read.

52 Jacquelyn Cannon November 14, 2008 at 11:00 am

Sounds like a great book. I am interested in reading anything relating to God, please count me in.

53 jan koontz November 14, 2008 at 11:42 am

my bff could use this book

54 Kirby McCauley November 14, 2008 at 12:35 pm

I could really use this book ♥

55 Anita Yancey November 14, 2008 at 3:33 pm

Sounds like a really good book. Would love to read it.

56 Daniel M November 14, 2008 at 4:40 pm

looks good add me please

57 Terri D November 14, 2008 at 4:43 pm

What a wonderful read this would be. Count me in!

58 Valerie Mitchell November 14, 2008 at 5:30 pm

The book sounds great – would like to read it!

59 Christina November 14, 2008 at 8:19 pm

Please enter me, thanks!

60 Joyce Moore November 14, 2008 at 9:14 pm

I would be interested in reading this book. God does amazing things. As a Christian we have to ask for a lot of forgiveness.

61 Jill Miller November 14, 2008 at 9:42 pm

I would really love to win this book.

62 Deidre November 14, 2008 at 10:33 pm

I would love to read her story.


63 David Bertolo November 15, 2008 at 2:10 am

Looks like an interesting read. Please sign me up for your contest.

64 nancy November 15, 2008 at 9:38 am

Looks like an interesting novel, please count me in

65 djp November 15, 2008 at 12:49 pm

i need a good read for night

66 Jennifer hedden November 15, 2008 at 3:43 pm

enter me

67 Valerie Mabrey November 15, 2008 at 5:58 pm

count me in thanks

68 Carol Drury November 15, 2008 at 6:04 pm

love to win and thanks for offering the opportunity!!!

69 Catherine copeland November 15, 2008 at 7:24 pm

my personal experience with God is that he is always there for me. I’d love to read this book

70 designhermomma November 15, 2008 at 7:50 pm

sounds like a fantastic book. I have a strong faith and would love to read this. thanks for a great review….

71 Zoey November 15, 2008 at 9:09 pm

Sounds like a sad but touching story. Hope I win it.

72 Maja November 15, 2008 at 9:13 pm

love it

73 jesy November 15, 2008 at 9:55 pm


74 Jennelle Henderson November 16, 2008 at 1:58 am

I’d love to read this book. Thank you for the giveaway.

75 Terra Heck November 16, 2008 at 4:56 am

I’d like to read this book.

76 tami judd November 16, 2008 at 3:02 pm

I am in the same boat as the author, can’t wait to read it.

77 Susan Ledet November 16, 2008 at 4:12 pm

This sounds like a good book. Thanks for the nice giveaway.

78 Christina E November 16, 2008 at 4:39 pm

This looks intersteading

79 Denise November 16, 2008 at 5:08 pm

I’d love to win!

80 Paulie November 16, 2008 at 6:41 pm

I know just the person I could give this too – to the point and necessary.

81 claudette flanigan November 16, 2008 at 6:47 pm

I just love the premise of this book! I know I would enjoy reading it!

82 Sheila November 16, 2008 at 7:08 pm

This sounds like a very interesting and good book! I would like to win it very much! Please enter me in the sweepstakes!

83 Tonya Froemel November 16, 2008 at 7:46 pm

very cool count me in please

84 Hesper Fry November 17, 2008 at 12:17 am

Sounds great!

85 chastidy vernengo November 17, 2008 at 12:50 am

Sounds great!

86 Elizabeth M. November 17, 2008 at 5:31 am

Sounds just wonderful.

87 Cassandra Shuff November 17, 2008 at 7:50 am

i would love to read this

88 Sheri November 17, 2008 at 8:21 am

This looks like a good one! Thanks!

89 Marion B November 17, 2008 at 8:21 am

Sounds like a good book to read!

90 Lisa Fosses November 17, 2008 at 9:19 am

sounds like a book I would love to read

91 jennefer sweitzer November 17, 2008 at 9:33 am

sounds great, I would love to read it.

92 Erma Hurtt November 17, 2008 at 9:35 am

I would love to win this. Thanks!

93 Angie P November 17, 2008 at 10:10 am

Thank you ~ this sounds like an intersting read.

94 Carrie Baird November 17, 2008 at 10:15 am

This sounds like just the book I need right now. I would also like to share it with someone else. Thanks for the contest!

95 Kelly F November 17, 2008 at 11:20 am

This looks interesting. You made it sound like a book that I need to read and I might just check it out at my library.

96 Jodi November 17, 2008 at 1:52 pm

Sounds like a great book, thanks for the chance.

97 Jennifer Barr November 17, 2008 at 2:25 pm

would love to win :)

98 sam November 17, 2008 at 2:55 pm

This sounds like an amazing book. I’d love to read it!

99 vicky November 17, 2008 at 3:23 pm

This would be a book that I would enjoy reading very much. I know how god has changed me and it amazes me every day. thanks

100 Laura G November 17, 2008 at 3:25 pm

sounds like a great read! thanks

101 Carissa November 17, 2008 at 3:35 pm

Sounds great!

102 Pamela Hansen November 17, 2008 at 4:05 pm

I would love this book for my brother

103 Ed Nemmers November 17, 2008 at 6:08 pm

Sweet niblets!

104 Linda Howard November 17, 2008 at 6:40 pm

I would love to win this book; please enter me. Thanks!

105 Shauna Owens November 17, 2008 at 7:46 pm

This looks like a great book and something I would love to read!

106 Carla Pullum November 17, 2008 at 9:12 pm

Wow I would love to read this book!

107 Leslie November 17, 2008 at 9:55 pm

Would love to give this a read.

108 William Wright Jr November 17, 2008 at 10:05 pm

Thanks for the chance to win! :)

109 gina snow November 17, 2008 at 10:06 pm

i want to win

110 Dolores Olsen November 17, 2008 at 10:36 pm

I have heard of her and would like very much to read her book.

111 tina hartley November 17, 2008 at 11:12 pm

I want to win

112 Chrysa November 17, 2008 at 11:27 pm

Looks like a great book! Thanks for the giveaway!

113 Linda Russell November 18, 2008 at 12:04 am

I could definitely use this book and relate, in my own way. Thanks for the chance to win.

114 Karrie November 18, 2008 at 12:36 am

sounds great

115 Joy Venters November 18, 2008 at 12:54 am

would like to read this

116 Peggy Gorman November 18, 2008 at 1:39 am

Sounds wonderful , would love to read

117 Jeanine Price November 18, 2008 at 3:12 am

Nice prize! I would love to win! Thanks so much for the giveaway!

118 jennifer gersch November 18, 2008 at 5:49 am


119 Ruthann Rhodes November 18, 2008 at 7:29 am

Sounds amazing, thanks

120 Kris November 18, 2008 at 10:28 am

Sounds like a wonderful read! Please enter me…thank you!

121 claire November 18, 2008 at 11:47 am

I believe I was lead to the contest to learn about this wonderful sounding book. Thank you!

122 Veronica Garrett November 18, 2008 at 12:11 pm

Sounds like a wonderful book. Hope I win.

123 kathy pease November 18, 2008 at 12:20 pm


124 Gianna November 18, 2008 at 12:54 pm

Please enter me :)

125 Donna Wilde November 18, 2008 at 2:13 pm

This like a book I need to read!

126 Cheryl F. November 18, 2008 at 2:17 pm

I’d love to read this :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!

127 Karen F November 18, 2008 at 2:18 pm

I would like to give this book to my friend. She lost her mother, and her best friend and mother in law to cancer this year. This might help her.

128 Shirley S November 18, 2008 at 2:57 pm

This is just what I need right now in my life. Other christians’ testimonies are always an inspiration to me.

129 Melissa B. November 18, 2008 at 2:59 pm

Sounds like a good book. I know exactly who I’d give it to.

130 Timothy Sternberg November 18, 2008 at 3:07 pm

This looks like a beautiful testimony.

131 Francine Anchondo November 18, 2008 at 3:08 pm

Thanks for the giveaway. Sounds like a good read.

132 Esther November 18, 2008 at 3:51 pm

This book sounds wonderful! Thanks!

133 Brandy November 18, 2008 at 5:16 pm

This book sounds great! I am trying to teach my 2 and 3 year olds about god and that he will forgive everyone if they ask forgiveness and repent. God teaches us everyday to accept and apprectiate everyone in their own way. God Bless You!

134 Karen November 18, 2008 at 7:03 pm

I know I could use this book in my life. Please enter me. Thanks

135 Sandra - Illinois November 18, 2008 at 7:19 pm

This sounds like an inspirational and wonderful book. I am always looking for new spiritual and testimonal books. Thanks!

136 Lily Kwan November 18, 2008 at 7:51 pm

Please enter me into the contest. Thanks!

137 Beverly Metcalf November 18, 2008 at 7:59 pm

Sounds like a really good book. Thanks for having the contest!

138 Janet November 18, 2008 at 8:10 pm

Thanks for the giveaway. Sounds like a great read.

139 Adrian Lamont November 18, 2008 at 8:18 pm

Sounds like a good read,Count me in.

140 Elizabeth M. November 18, 2008 at 8:28 pm

It sounds like a blessing.

141 Jill Lund November 18, 2008 at 8:38 pm

Gwen Smith sympathetic yet solidly biblical message rings true.

142 Nicole November 18, 2008 at 9:19 pm

That sounds like a really inspiring read. I’d love to win a copy.

143 Terra November 18, 2008 at 9:46 pm

I would def. like to read this! Thanks!

144 kerri r November 18, 2008 at 11:14 pm

this really looks interesting would love to read it

145 Tamara Lovewell November 18, 2008 at 11:21 pm

If I win this I will give it to my mother, this would be a great book for her!

146 Charlene Kuser November 18, 2008 at 11:35 pm

This book sounds very inspirational.Please enter
me and thanks.I need a renewal of my soul

147 kathy yohanna November 19, 2008 at 2:41 am

This sounds like a great book. Please enter me.

148 Donna K November 19, 2008 at 11:34 pm

Count me in please.

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