Anne Marie's ability to be raw and open is refreshing and relatable; something that can be hard to find among perfectly crafted lives displayed through blogs, social media, and television. We have all been to those dark places that make us want to hide from the world under our guilt and shame. "Lean On Me," challenges you to break free of those self-imposed chains.
In my favorite part of the book, Anne Marie talks about a church service that she attended where the elders had offered to wash the congregation's feet. After a long, hard year following her divorce, she was anything but vulnerable, especially with God. She writes, "As the choir sang and the rest of the congregation had their feet washed, I realized how hard it is for me to choose to receive love, and learning to receive love is just as important as giving it." I'm pretty sure that if I asked you to raise your hand if you had ever felt like you had a hard time just receiving love, many of us would have ours lifted high. I know I would.
Vulnerability is hard and scary. Annie Marie does not try to hide that truth. Instead, she lovingly encourages her reader to express those things that take root in them and begin to position themselves in a place to receive a refilling. Otherwise, she explains, we will run dry.
Although this is called a "Christian" book, it's not full of biblical references. It's also not full of a tidy to-do list of steps to take in order to create the perfect community or learn how to be more vulnerable. It is, however, an honest book that can begin to open your heart to the importance of building a community. It also comes with a study guide, which would be a great tool to utilize with a church group or close friends!
I will be honest and say that this book was nothing like I had expected. Now, we all know that's not necessarily a bad thing. Instead of pulling out my journal to take notes on how to step outside of my comfort zone and create an intentional community with other women, I found myself looking back on my own life. To the things that hurt me; the things that made me shut myself off from community. This book will challenge you to take a look at your life from a new perspective and challenge you to think about whether or not you like what you see.
*BookLook Bloggers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my review. All opinions are honest and my own.