A young mother loses her husband in Afghanistan and struggles to raise their young daughter without him in the inspirational ‘God Bless the Broken Road’ movie. The film focuses on many significant topics: surviving grief and loss; the importance of the support of family and friends; the camaraderie of soldiers; the bedrock of faith, and more. The movie honors the sacrifices of soldiers and families in the United States Military.
This honest but hopeful film features Harold Cronk as director (God’s Not Dead, God’s Not Dead 2); actors Lindsay Pulsipher (True Blood, The Hatfields & McCoys), Makenzie Moss (Steve Jobs), Andrew Walker (Date with Love, Steel Toes ), Kim Delaney ( Army Wives, NYPD Blue), Robin Givens (Riverdale), Gary Grubbs ( The X Files, The Astronaut’s Wife), Arthur Cartwright (Do You Believe, Gran Torino), LaDainian “LT” Tomlinson (NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame, NFL Network Analyst), Madeline Carroll (Flipped, I Can Only Imagine), and Jordin Sparks (Sparkle, Left Behind).
In this engaging movie, a devout and loving young mother struggles to do the best she can on the homefront in the wake of her husband’s death. Shortly after he is killed in combat, she receives a final letter from him, which she cannot bring herself to open because she knows it contains the last words he will ever speak to her or to their 10-year-old daughter, Bree.
A few years later, with heart still broken and faith in shambles, Amber is faced with the daunting prospect of losing their house to foreclosure. Her controlling mother-in-law Patti offers support, but it is at a price. Her friends encourage her to return to the church. Amber decides that she doesn’t need anyone’s help. As she resists support from her family, her friends, and from above, she falls into isolation on the broken road she travels.
Hotshot stock car driver Cody Jackson has been busted down to the semi-pro ranks, as punishment for his recklessness. He arrives in town with a chip on his shoulder and is disheartened to find that local stock car owner Joe Chartier insists he work the Church’s Go-Cart Club.
In this capacity that he meets Amber’s daughter, young Bree, and helps her to build a go-cart to honor her fallen father. He begins to realize that there is more to life than just going fast. He asks Amber out, but is rebuffed. But after she begins to see a happy change come over Bree which she attributes to Cody’s presence, Amber reconsiders.
The date is a complete misfire, as she is not ready, and Cody still lives pedal to the metal. But the next day, over a picnic at the track, they come to terms with helping each other along without taking it too fast. Unfortunately, this all unravels on the heels of Cody’s terrifying crash at the big race. Amber panics and bans Bree from participating in the go-cart program any further.
Bree runs away. But the community rallies, and everyone from all facets of Amber’s life come out to help look for Bree, including Nelson, a wounded veteran who was with her husband when he died. As the search goes on, Amber realizes that she has become consumed with saving the house, at the cost of focusing on the true gift that her husband left her, which is their daughter. Searching for Bree together, Cody convinces Nelson to relay Darren’s last words to Amber, and through them. She begins to walk away from her broken road towards a road to recovery.
God Bless the Broken Road is an uplifting film for the whole family. It tells the heartfelt story of a young widowed mother who, in the wake of losing her husband, finds the strength and courage to love again in her faith.
Sonoma Christian Home delighted in this inspiring interview with LaDainian Tomlinson, NFL Hall of Famer, who makes his debut in this movie as Pastor Williams. SCH Editor at Large Dr. Diane Howard reports.
SCH: What drew you to this project?
LT: A friend of mine is the Executive Producer of the film. He called and asked if I wanted to try acting.
SCH: How did you prepare for it?
LT: I studied my lines. I met with my mother, who was a Baptist Minister, and asked her questions. I prepared by attending church on Sundays throughout my life and listening to my pastors.
SCH: How does the movie depict camaraderie among soldiers?
LT: It definitely shows that they are committed to each other. They have each other’s backs and lookout for one another.
SCH: How does this film honor the military?
LT: It shows directly that the men and women in uniform are willing to give their all to protect the freedoms we enjoy. It honors their sacrifice and commitment.
SCH: How do you hope this movie will serve military families?
LT: If people will go to Bless a Vet, they will have the opportunity to send veterans to a dinner and movie as a thank you for their service. The producers of this film have a relationship with DAV (Disabled American Veterans) and a portion of the proceeds of this film will be given to DAV. That has never been done in Hollywood before.
SCH: How does this movie show the importance of a church family?
LT: This film shows the church family is an extension of us being a part of God’s family. We need each other, we need to help each other and be there when those around us are traveling a broken road.
SCH: How does the film show the bedrock of faith in loss and grief?
LT: As we live this life, we all experience disappointments, trials, tribulations, heartache and difficulty. This film shows how we must rely on our faith to navigate our way through these rough times. We don’t turn away from God; but we turn to Him more earnestly for His help, His strength and His peace.
SCH: How does it depict stages of grief?
LT: You see the levels of grief in the wife/mother, Amber, and her daughter Bree. You also see how each one handles it in different ways.
SCH: What are some universal principles this movie picturizes for all people?
LT: I believe there are two principles this movie embraces: 1) Hope and 2) Inspiration. We need both, especially in these days, to travel the road we call life.
SCH: How does this movie present hope even in intense loss, grief, and struggle?
LT: It embraces hope by showing that God is always there. Also, that friends and family stand ready to put their arms around us and bless us if we will allow them too.
Director, Harold Cronk, states, “…many of us in this world are traveling broken roads. But there is hope. By putting our love into action for others, we can be a light in the darkness. God Bless the Broken Road is a passion project focused on that theme. …Our team decided that the film itself could become a way of putting love into action by partnering with a military charity. We are giving DAV (Disabled American Veterans) 5% ownership of the film in hopes of generating millions of dollars to help families of fallen and or wounded soldiers. We have created a way for people to put their love into action by just going to see a movie…”
LaDainian Tomlinson makes his acting debut playing the role of Pastor Williams in God Bless the Broken Road. Tomlinson played 11 seasons in the National Football League with the San Diego Chargers and New York Jets. He was voted All-Pro six times, won two rushing titles, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017. Tomlinson is currently an analyst for the NFL Network and consultant to the Los Angeles Chargers. He is the Founder/Director of Armythe national foundation, Team America.
To learn more about this author please visit Dr. Diane Howard
Dr. Diane Howard, who has produced a film that shows how PTSD and loss affects soldiers and their wives, is the wife of Dr. David Howard, 20-year veteran U.S. Army chaplain and licensed marriage and family therapist. Dr. Diane Howard is the daughter of Col. H.S. Lowe, who served in three major wars.