Christian Book Reviews, Author Interviews, Excerpts

Breathing Freely - Book Review

  • Whitney Hopler Contributing Writer
  • 2002 27 Sep
<i>Breathing Freely</i> - Book Review

Reading Breathing Freely:  Celebrating the Imperfect Life feels as if you're on a long road trip with author Ruth McGinnis, driving by pieces of her life while figuring out how God has worked to fit those pieces together.  The autobiographical volume aims to help readers explore God's grace in the midst of imperfect journeys.  And as you read about how McGinnis has come to recognize and embrace that grace, you discover how you can, too.

While, at times, McGinnis presents too many mundane details and dwells too long on her family's history, her lyrical writing style can draw you in, making you feel as if you're one of her best friends.  She tackles tough subjects such as death and sexual abuse with honesty and insight as she describes her lifelong struggle to "breathe freely."  Through her stories, you can be inspired to accept God's unconditional love for you, discover more about who He wants you to be, and muster the courage to live accordingly.

McGinnis, who has counseled many people (including famous recording artists like Amy Grant) on wellness, is refreshingly candid about her own failings.  While she undoubtedly has much expertise on pursuing good spiritual, mental, and physical health, she doesn't come across as the unrealistically perky, pumped-up person you might expect a wellness trainer to be.

Unlike some autobiographical works that wait until the last chapter to tack on life lessons for readers to take away, this one contains practical wisdom woven throughout.  If you struggle with perfectionism, shame, or any of a host of other issues that grace can heal, you'll likely enjoy this book.