Running From Monday (Refresh Station Church Series, #1)
by Lea Sims
Copyrighted and reprinted with authors permission
Delaney Anderson is a confident, successful digital media executive living the dream in the heart of Manhattan. She has everything a modern woman could want—husband, home, wealth, connections, and a killer corner office overlooking the city. She’s on track to make vice president in another few years. But Delaney is also a woman with a story, one that’s been locked inside her for most of her life. When that story starts banging to get out, life begins to unravel. A perfunctory marriage leads to an affair with a coworker. A painful and expensive divorce leaves her suddenly uncertain and adrift. When the death of a family member forces her to return home after many years, she gears up for a fight with the ghosts of her past. But she runs head first into the grace of God—in the form of an old family friend, an unexpected church, and a disconcertingly kind man. She receives revelation from an unusual source and finds the courage to speak her truth and drop her chains. Through Delaney, we learn that we all have a story and that letting God redeem that narrative is the only path to a life of purpose.
my point of view
This book should come with a warning label – first and foremost – there will be difficult moments to read through – secondly and most importantly – DO NOT STOP READING.
This is Lea’s first fictional novel, and I must say it is a very powerful story, you just have to get through the first two pages! Seriously, though, the painful beginning is worth reading to get through to the end. The writing is wonderful, and the messages throughout the entire book are heart wrenchingly clear.
I honestly almost put it down after reading the first two pages, but that is not my normal M O and once I discussed my hesitation with Ms. Sims, I decided to keep reading. I thank God I did, as Delaney’s life touched me to the core. I found myself crying emotionally, dredging up some of my own past and issues. There were times I literally had to put the book down and pause reading just to get through my own emotional roller coaster. None of which is a bad thing, in any way!
The way Lea takes us on this journey was so interesting to me, not only does she write from Delaney’s perspective, but you also get the perspective of those around her, from friends, co-workers, and especially the hero of the story, Drew Hemming.
There were a lot of things I found enjoyable in this novel, the church dynamics and ministry of Refresh Station – I would love to find a home church like this one. The church has a very ‘refreshing’ way to reach out to the community and minister to those in need! The pastor is young, the members are a mix of young and more mature leaders that truly have a God First mentality.
The backdrop settings of both New York City (me being a native Jersey Girl) and Savanah, GA, as I have spent a great deal of time in both places. I love the way Lea uses the recognizable areas of both cities to not only make a reader feel the heartbeat of the cities but also the beauty of them even if you have never been there.
All of the secondary characters in the novel have a reason for being a part of the story! Take Lexie – a true NJ Italian girl (um, just like me?) who not only stands by Delaney, but stands up for her friend as well! Then there’s Claire, an old friend of the family who wants to mother Delaney and see her through to the ‘other side’ of her journey. I can’t forget to include Bethany – a young mother going through a difficult divorce. You cannot help but want to cheer for Bethany and see her become all she can be!
These settings and characters all have me looking forward to many more books in this series, so much so, that I returned the free Kindle Unlimited edition of the book and purchased it outright so I will be able to go back to it any time I want and be ready for the next one up in the series!
About the Author:
Lea Sims is an author, teacher and ministry leader living in Jacksonville, FL, who writes Christian fiction books, study guides, and biblical resources designed to help women unlock their personal narratives and find freedom, identity, and purpose in God. A professional writer for 25+ years, she has published books, articles, white papers, and resources in the technology space, and has spent the last 10+ years writing women’s ministry resources for Celebration Church in Jacksonville. A self-declared “ambulance driver for the Kingdom,” Sims has a passion for rescuing women from broken places and seeing them walk out of pain and into their purpose.