“To get there from here, I must wake up every morning and answer Christ’s single most important question: Do you want to get well?” Leena Tankersley reminds herself in her book, Breathing Room: Letting Go So You Can Fully Live.
This two hundred and twenty-four page paperback targets women, especially young married mothers who feel depressed, overwhelmed, and confused, wondering who they are as they relate to God. Using The Message and the New International Version of the Bible, a personal relationship with God is pivotal in this writer’s self-reflection. This reader wishes all pronouns of Deity were capitalized for reverence.
Written as the author’s intimate journey, its twenty-six chapters deal with her loneliness married ten years to a Navy Seal, isolation living in Bahrain, off-and-on depression raising three children including twins, and being an advocate of Emotions Anonymous. The ending includes a postlude, recommended reading, acknowledgements, and notes.
Sometimes comically told regarding sporadic topics, the writer reiterates how her attitude and outlook changed through her children’s births, grieving a miscarriage, making friends in a remote land, dealing with her grandmother’s death, enduring a harrowing airplane ride, photographing her butt, and boating on a whaler.
Each of these eclectic experiences taught Leeana that she needed to stop bullying herself and refrain from listening to toxic voices; instead she needed to exhale the lies, guilt, shame, and inadequacies often spoken in her mind. When she felt detached, she had to let others in by letting go, deal with her dis-ease, and make amends by deciding what her true desires were.
With few references to Bible verses or prayer, the read does mention Biblical characters such as Naaman and Rizpah, as well as Stephen King, Maya Angelou, and Emily Dickinson. Through introspection, chanting rituals, and help of a spiritual director and therapist, the writer’s rambling of self-condemnation forced her to radically love herself and realize that she is not the one in control, but the Almighty God is and He has a specific plan in her life.
Although older women who have the “been there, done that, I get it now” mentality may not glean much from this book, women in Tankersley’s age bracket may enjoy relating to her “ah-ha” moments to get them over the next tumultuous hump of living life by remembering to focus on God for strength, encouragement, and perseverance.
Thanks to The Book Club Network Inc. for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinions.
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GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.