Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Permission to Speak Freely by Anne Jackson

When Anne Jackson posted the question, “What is one thing you feel you can’t say in church” on her blog, the results were surprising.  “Permission to Speak Freely” is the result.  An interwoven product of Anne’s own story, and the answers that were submitted to the question she’d posted on her blog, “Permission to Speak Freely” is a beautiful book (both in word, and layout and formatting), honest and bold in it’s call to confession and declaration that the sharing of secrets really can bring safety and freedom.

I’ve struggled for a number of days with what to say in a review of this book.  “Permission to Speak Freely” hit me in ways that I find hard to describe.  Anne Jackson talks about the “gift of going second” and in so many ways this book offered me that chance.  Reading this book was an experience that reminded me of reading Renee Altson’s “Stumbling Toward Faith” a number of years ago.  Both books assured me that I am not alone.  That others, other Christians in fact, struggle with mental illness and addiction and recovering from horrific things supposedly done in the name of Christ.  As a pastor’s kid who has struggled with mental illness, addiction, and wondering whether or not I even wanted to be a part of this thing called “the body of Christ”, I found much to relate to in Jackson’s words.  “Permission to Speak Freely” reminded me that speaking out about the ways Jesus is bringing healing, but also about the very real wrestles of life is a way to offer freedom and healing, not only to others, but to oneself.  I would highly recommend this book, and I'm sure I'll be talking about it further in the days to come.