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Book Review ~ Permission to Speak Freely

August 20, 2010

Permission to Speak Freely

Essays and Art on Fear, Confession and Grace

By Anne Jackson

 To simply say that I enjoyed reading this book would be an understatement.  This is a beautiful collection of captivating, honest writings and art.  The author, Anne Jackson is completely transparent and vulnerable as she shares her own personal testimony.  She openly tells the story of her journey from shame, guilt and brokeness to the discovery of freedom and healing through confession – not only to a loving, forgiving God but also confession to other people.  Her sincere humility gives others the opportunity to feel it is safe to confess as well –  The author calls this “The Gift of Going Second”  

Two years ago, Anne posted a question on her blog   She simply asked, “What is one thing you feel you can’t say in the church?”   Hundreds responded and the conversation went global.   Later, she launched   In this book, the author shares some of the confessions that she received from the website.   She makes it clear that these confessions aren’t directed at the church saying, “Instead, I believe the confessions in this book fly as misdirected arrows, coming from hearts so wounded they desperately need grace, freedom, clarity, beauty… and hope.”  (quote from the introduction of the book)

As a pastor/mentor, I have been given the great privilege to walk the journey of spiritual freedom with many women.  We all have our own ‘messy facts’ of life to deal with.  Our stories may all be different but the steps we take to freedom are the same.  This book paints a wonderful and very practical picture of all the steps necessary to walk in freedom.  A loving God filled with grace and mercy who never gives up on us even when we want to give up on Him and ourselves.   The power of admission and confession – the importance of knowing the difference. 

“…there is a difference between admission and confession… Admission is just sharing something that’s wrong so you can get it off you chest.  Confession, on the other hand, is the beginning of transformation.”  (quote from page 123)

So often I have said there are the facts in our life and then there is the truth.  First, get the facts out into the light, then allow the truth of God to bring the freedom.  I applaud Anne Jackson, not only for her willingness to publicly display her own personal facts but also for her bravery to allow the amazing truth of the Word of God lead her and all the rest of us on our road to freedom.

My closing comments for this book review –  Read. This. Book. 


Disclosure:  I purchased this book at retail price from Amazon.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 20, 2010 8:19 am

    Wow. Thank you so much for your kind words and review. I really appreciate you taking the time to read the book and then write about it as well!

    • August 20, 2010 8:49 am

      Your book is truly inspirational! Thank YOU for giving us all the “Gift of going second”

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