Breathing Room Blog Book Club — Chapter 16


Dear precious friends,

It’s actually a bit difficult for me to go back and read this chapter. The term PTSD comes to mind. The events of Chapter 16 are some of the most traumatizing and terrifying events of my life. Ever. Period. That flight from Amsterdam to Cairo. The Cairo airport. The flight from Cairo to Bahrain. There was a lurid darkness that hung over it all, something that felt oppressive, something so hard to put into words.

And then, on the heels of arriving in Bahrain, needing to put my kids in childcare every morning was one of the most triggering events of my life. Ever. Period. I have spent the last almost-three years unpacking all of this. The why. The how. The what now. Learning to be a companion to myself and helping my body let go of all these events that were stored up in it. Going back and re-feeling all the desperation and letting God visit me in the vortex of my need.


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One of the ways God visited me during the season of my life I write about in Breathing Room was dropping off little mantras to keep me going. For example, “Leeana, there are so few things you can control. Almost nothing. But one thing you can control is how you treat yourself. And that one thing can change everything.”

And, from this chapter . . .

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I don’t know what you might be feeling desperate about this morning. Some of you are not in that desperate place at all right now. But some of you, assuredly, are. If you are panicked, prickly, nervy, sweaty, or otherwise undone, I just want you to know I understand. And, if you will reach out to God from the floor where you are sitting, I promise you he will visit you. I promise you things won’t always feel the way they do right now. And if you can hold those words in your head like a mantra, then you are also holding hope. Which is so extraordinarily powerful. 

And if you are through the roughest waters today and you find yourself saved — “stood up on a wide-open field” — then may this very moment be a moment of gratitude in your heart (psalm 18:16-19 MSG). Join me in saying “yes” and “thank you” for the ways in which God sees us and saves us when we are drowning. And, join me in holding onto hope for those in our lives who need someone to believe on their behalf.

Holding the mantras of truth and hope together,



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