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Freefall to Fly: A Breathtaking Journey Toward a Life of Meaning Hardcover – April 9, 2013
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The author narrates triumphs and troubles, freckled with Bible quotes, as she reaches for self-understanding. She opens with a dramatic move from an Atlanta suburb to manic Manhattan, symbolized by her elder son’s meltdown smack in the middle of Park Avenue. Anecdotes disclose her panic attacks, her lifelong connection to words, and her salvific Tuesday-morning meetings with women who insist that she tell the truth about her worst fears. (Publishers Weekly)
From the Back Cover
The Dark Night of the Soul in the City That Never Sleeps
At first glance, Rebekah Lyons’s life path seemed straightforward: walk the aisle, take the short road to motherhood, and build a family on a suburban cul-de-sac in the South.
But life looked radically different when her family relocated to the heart of New York City. She was forced to navigate a new normal with three kids, two toy poodles, and a minivan. Blindsided by crippling despair, Rebekah wrestled with bigger questions women often ask: Why am I here? Does my life matter?
In a Western culture driven by performance and Pinterest fantasies, her story echoes the rise of loneliness, depression, and anxiety that women are facing at all-time highs. Why are expectations and lifestyles breaking us down in unprecedented ways?
In this beautifully moving memoir of vulnerability, courage, and ultimately transformation, Rebekah shares her journey into the unknown―a thrilling, terrifying freefall that eventually led to flight. Searching for meaning, she stumbled on surrender, discovering that meaning follows surrender.
Rebekah found freedom when she faced her greatest fear, and she invites other women to do the same. For it is only when we freefall that we can truly fly.
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I do have two reservations about this book. First, it really is for women who have significant means and connections and lots of access to back-up child care and homemaking support and/or a spouse with a very flexible job. I was struck by how much of the book finds the author traveling, working out, drinking coffee, at her book group, on retreat, etc. Second, there's a funny underlying message that comes out of the book, which is that personal achievement (successfully "using your gifts") will bring us fulfillment. If we're not careful, that can just be another layer of busy-ness rather than the surrender to God that the author positions it as. Over time, some women may find that just as tiring as the busy-ness of raising a family.
As I read during the flight about meaningful friendships (which I have largely traded over the years for a solitary spiritual quest), free falling, wonder, fulfillment, celebration, struggle, grieving and striving, I again cherish and treasure Rebekah's Anointed, loving, guiding, redemptive and kindred spirit that I know from her second precious book "You Are Free".
Rolling into the gate at JFK, with Rebekah's description of the froward NYC public pool security guard and the truism that "New York City's rules always win" fresh in my mind, I catch a glimpse of the NYC skyline to the west and pay a heartfelt tribute to the Lyons family's time and Grace there.
Along with the tons of comfort, encouragement, inspiration and fellowship in "Freefall to Fly", I find Rebekah's wit, humor, goodwill, grace and ministration to be fully developed, as I suspect they have always been! In conclusion, I'm constrained to declare "Praise ye the Lord. I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation." (Psalm 111:1). Amen!!!!!