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Wednesday, October 14, 2020


Courage to thrive banner

About the Book

Book: Courage to Thrive

Author: Robert D. Flanagan

Genre: Christian Living, Depression & Anxiety

Release Date: June 30, 2020

CourageToThrive_Front (1)When wrestling with depression and anxiety, getting out of bed is a courageous move. When panic attacks and suicidal thoughts strike, finding victories in the small things of life and reframing feelings can help a person flourish even in the midst of mental health struggles. Rev. Dr. Bob Flanagan knows all about that—he’s spent two decades combatting mental illness head on.

In his first-person spiritual journal Courage to Thrive, Flanagan takes the reader with him as he traverses the dark and scary landscape of his mind and then the paths of faith that lead him to the Source of light and hope. Through a vulnerable look at the realities of a priest battling mental illness and still thriving, readers—whether dealing with similar mental health challenges or the stressors of everyday life—are left with a quiet confidence that assures them they too can thrive and enjoy the gifts God has given them.

Each of the forty reflections concludes with a heartfelt prayer that revels in God’s healing mercies. Join Flanagan on a journey to joy, peace, and hope.


Click here to get your copy!


God knows just what we need and is always on time. This book is just what I needed right now. I encourage you to read the Introduction because it shares a  personal  account of the author’s struggles. Yes I always read Introductions because I know there will be something to speak to me in those pages. I did enjoy reading the book and am taking his advice about not rushing through the book. I intend to reread the book slowly over the next several weeks to absorb God’s wisdom and grace. 

Society thinks of mental illness as something that defines you as crazy. In this book the author shattered that  misconception with honesty, transparency and God’s love. I never thought of myself as courageous, but the author showed how just getting out of bed is courageous.  People with anxiety, depression and other disorders struggle daily trying to feel normal. The author explains panic attacks perfectly. The heart races, your brain is telling you awful things are happening to you and you feel the need to run as far as you can. It is a battle with your mind that can cause you to feel helpless. 

I understand what it means to feel unworthy or unimportant. The author touches on this and guides readers to what God see us as. Turning our struggles over to God is the answer. I liked the prayers at the end of each chapter as well as the questions. Each chapter is direct and guides you to seek help when needed. It’s okay to share with someone when you are struggling. That is something I have a hard time with. I feel ashamed that I have this illness and it takes away my happiness. 

Everyone has an opinion on if you should take medication for this illness. The author was very transparent on this subject and I want to thank him. The best advice is to seek out a doctor that is knowledgeable in this area and do what is best for you. I especially liked the prayer at the end of this chapter. Don’t let condemnation get you down. Allow God to guide you to the best treatment for your individual struggle. 

Each chapter discusses a different subject and I am encouraged by the author. I know I will be spending  a lot of time going through this book again. The Biblical stories and scriptures that are included are just what I needed. It helps to know that other people have the same struggles and I don’t need to feel ashamed or alone. 

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion. 

About the Author

Flanagan Bio PicRev. Dr. Bob Flanagan has struggled with mental illness and managed to thrive for over twenty years. He holds a doctorate of ministry degree in Christian Spirituality and is an adjunct faculty member at General Theological Seminary in New York City, teaching on Christian spirituality. He has served for over ten years as a state and federal advocate for and board member of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. His previous book, Growing a Sustainable Soul, won a bronze medal in the Reader’s Favorite International Book Contest. Bob lives with his wife, Lanie, in Bridgewater, Connecticut. They have two grown children.


More from Robert

Courage to Thrive: Finding Joy and Hope in the Midst of Mental Health Struggles is a pioneering and beautiful book that will help people feel better about themselves and their mental health struggles. I smile knowing that readers will feel the love of God and God’s healing mercies by spending time journaling about their own challenges.

As a priest who struggled with suicidal ideation during seminary and anxiety and depression at various times in my live, I feel this book is a way to change the conversation about mental health within the Christian community.



I was a top athlete during college.

My favorite type of dog is the Newfoundland. While that is the best dog in the world. I only have a cat right now.

I became a Christian when I was five and remember my baptism.

My wife and I are avid gardeners. We have a big garden that includes sunflowers, potatoes, and many herbs that can be used as medicines. Its based on the English physic gardens that pastors grew in the 1700s.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, October 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 16

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 17

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 18

Captive Dreams Window, October 18

Artistic Nobody, October 19 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

deb’s Book Review, October 20

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 21

For Him and My Family, October 22

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 24

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 25

Inklings and notions, October 26

Mary Hake, October 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 27

Writing from the Heart Land, October 28


To celebrate his tour, Robert is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon Gift Card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


  1. Good morning and thank you for the book description and giveaway. 

  2. This book is coming out at the right time. Some people are really struggling with the pandemic. Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. Excellent review, Deana! Thank you for sharing this valuable resource.

  4. I've struggled with depression in the past. Such an important subject!

  5. Thus sounds like a good book about a very important topic.

  6. Thank you for sharing your wonderful review and the book and author details, this book sounds like it will be very helpful to me.

  7. Thanks for sharing your review. This sounds like it would be a very good book to fall back on during stressful times.