I absolutely love to read. Usually, I read for a few minutes every night – or until the book hits me on the nose, so it takes me a while to get through a book. But when I find a book that speaks to my soul, I find it hard to put it down!
Part of the reason I love to read is that it fills my mind with mental pictures, thoughts to process throughout the day or stories that change the way I think about what the human heart can endure and how people overcome adversity and develop the strength to go on.
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Last week, I read the book Brave Love by Lisa Leonard. It was one of those books I had a hard time putting down. I first heard of Lisa and her new book on the Do It Scared podcast that Ruth Soukup does each week. I listened to the podcast before the book was released and heard a snapshot of Lisa’s story on the podcast and knew that I wanted to read the book. I ordered the book on Amazon and two days later it was in my mailbox.
Brave Love is the story of Lisa’s journey to self-discovery. Wait, that sounds like something from a passive book review. For me, this book was anything but normal. As I read page after page, I felt like my own heart was holding its breath along with Lisa as many things in her story resonated with me on a deep level.
Lisa’s journey was filled with challenges as her baby was born with severe physical challenges and the joy, grief, fear and pain that comes with an unexpected life-changing event like this. Through the years, she struggled with who she was and her own value because she was always trying to make everyone else look good, be happy and have what they needed that she got lost along the way.
As her story streamed off the page and into my heart, I could feel her emptiness and overwhelm with life. Reading through her journey, I finished the book and opened up my journal and wrote page after page filled with my own story and emotions. Emotions and stories that I have carried in my heart but never shared with anyone.
As wives, moms, sisters, and friends, it can be easy to lose our own selves along the way of keeping everyone else happy, the dishes done, the laundry washed and folded and meals on the table. In the days after reading this book, I have taken some time to really think about myself and what I need in life to feel fulfilled, loved, cared for, successful and confident. Just being able to identify what those things are gives value to the feelings that are a part of life when those needs are not met. That doesn’t mean that we are flawed if we have needs. Rather, we have needs because God created us to need each other and to carry each other’s burdens. Your burdens are just as valuable as mine are.
Realizing Your Value as a Daughter of God
Here are a few of the things I gleaned from reading Brave Love.
- It’s okay (and healthy) to ask for help or for the things that you need. Asking is not a sign of weakness but rather a sign of strength. You are stronger when you have what you need and that strength can then be used to help those around you.
- You should not be ashamed to have needs.
- You are valuable the way you are! Your ideas and goals and dreams are valuable.
- Take time to really think about what you need to be healthy and make those things a priority.
- Trying to control the outcome by providing for everyone else so that you can control how they will respond to you or need you is still trying to control others.
Lisa Leonard is very honest and real in this story of her journey. Her journey is hard and discouraging but there is hope. It took courage, pain, fear, tears and work for Lisa to become the woman she is today. And there is hope for you as well.
I would encourage you to hop over to Amazon right now to order Brave Love and let your heart open up as you read Lisa’s story. I just left a 5-star review on Amazon. Once you read the book, I would love to hear how this story has impacted you. Now, go order your copy of the book! 🙂
Here’s a link to the Do It Scared Podcast
If you like to read, you might want to check out my other book reviews…