Freefall to Fly: A Breathtaking Journey Toward a Life of Meaning [NOOK Book]

Overview

Women today are fading. In a female culture built on Photoshopped perfection and Pinterest fantasies, we’ve lost the ability to dream our own big dreams. So busy trying to do it all and have it all, we’ve missed the life we were really designed for. And we are paying the price. The rise of loneliness, depression, and anxiety among the female population in Western cultures is at an all-time high. Overall, women are two and a half times more likely to take antidepressants than men. What is it about our culture, the...
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Freefall to Fly: A Breathtaking Journey Toward a Life of Meaning

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Overview

Women today are fading. In a female culture built on Photoshopped perfection and Pinterest fantasies, we’ve lost the ability to dream our own big dreams. So busy trying to do it all and have it all, we’ve missed the life we were really designed for. And we are paying the price. The rise of loneliness, depression, and anxiety among the female population in Western cultures is at an all-time high. Overall, women are two and a half times more likely to take antidepressants than men. What is it about our culture, the expectations, and our way of life that is breaking women down in unprecedented ways?

In this vulnerable memoir of transformation, Rebekah Lyons shares her journey from Atlanta, Georgia, to the heart of Manhattan, where she found herself blindsided by crippling depression and anxiety. Overwhelmed by the pressure to be domestically efficient, professionally astute, and physically attractive, Rebekah finally realized that freedom can come only by facing our greatest fears and fully surrendering to God’s call on our lives. This book is an invitation for all women to take that first step toward freedom. For it is only when we free-fall that we can truly fly.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Lyons, cofounder of Q, a nonprofit Christian leadership conference, suggests by her subtitle that “meaning” is an important value to her. But by choosing to reveal what she means slowly, Lyons often abandons readers in their own “freefall” as they watch her think. 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. Lyons’s worthy points almost excuse the work needed to get to them through her choppy style, far too reliant on sentence fragments and larded with description. Her stories meander toward reasonable lessons, such as, “one must experience pain in order to experience healing” and “meaning follows surrender.” But readers’ impatience is understandable. (Apr.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781414382449
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/9/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 91,317
  • File size: 949 KB

Read an Excerpt

Freefall to Fly

A BREATHTAKING JOURNEY TOWARD a LIFE of Meaning
By REBEKAH LYONS

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2013 Rebekah Lyons, The Arrow Group
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4143-7936-4


Chapter One

Midtown Daydreams

"Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose."

VIKTOR FRANKL

OUR MANHATTAN APARTMENT looked more like a war zone than a home. Cheerios dotted the floor downstairs next to a conspicuous pool of milk. Couch pillows were strewn on the rug; shoes nestled between couch cushions. Unopened cardboard moving boxes marked "Fragile" were stacked high. And I—well, I was upstairs crawling back under the sheets for a moment alone. With the door propped open to listen in on my children downstairs, I rested in solitude.

The digital clock glowed 9:13 a.m. as sunlight peeked through the cracks of blinds drawn tight. Three children chattered downstairs. Lord knows what they were getting into. Good Luck Charlie lasts only twenty-eight minutes, so my default electronic babysitter would soon be off duty. And there I was. Alone. Surrounded by more than eight million strangers just beyond the 140-year-old walls. The isolation I feared would set in at that farewell evening weeks ago at Barnsley Gardens had come on fast and strong.

Sleep evaded me as my morning coffee kicked in. I let out a deep sigh, and my mind wandered, spinning like the ceiling fan that held my gaze overhead. As the day's mental task list faded, the daydreams flooded in. I was transported back to days of living wild and free.

A young girl spinning round and round, trying not to lose my balance. My earliest memory, set in Lawton, Oklahoma. Four-year-old eyes stared straight overhead, blinking in wonder as the snowflakes swirled like dancing fairies, kissing my cheeks as they descended with their electric touch.

I asked my dad to build a snowman with me, and after some begging, he relented. I ran inside to prepare. My mom tugged not one but two pairs of my pants on top of each other. Together we squeezed on layers of socks and shoes and shoved a pair of white rubber boots over everything else, secured with an elastic band wrapped around a periwinkle button. A plaid coat, navy gloves, and headgear completed the outfit. I was ready to face the snowy wilderness, though I couldn't raise my arms and was barely able to move.

I waddled next to my dad in our front yard late into the dusk, rolling snowballs bigger and bigger until our snowman stood tall. Dad and I stepped back to survey our work. Proud. A true team. If only we had some magic dust to bring our distinguished gentleman to life. Then this moonlit snowscape would be perfect.

When our family moved to Florida, we traded winter snowstorms for sweltering summers. By fourth grade I'd grown into an avid bookworm, even earning the family nickname Beka-Book because my nose was always buried in pages. Each day after school, I retrieved a new Nancy Drew book from the library. I loved Nancy. A fearless detective. My competitive spirit would try to solve the mystery before she did. I also fancied Ned. I would skim ahead, looking for scenes where Ned and Nancy might fall in love. They kept it more professional than I preferred. Many late afternoons, I waited for my mother, a teacher, to finish her work. Books provided escape from the dreariness of a school emptied of friends. These hardcovers followed me home, too. We didn't have a TV until I was in middle school, so I spent my formative years escaping into stories printed on a page.

Once the school year was over, my siblings and I kept the St. Petersburg Public Library in business. Actually, not really, since we weren't paying based on the number of books checked out. We returned weekly to fill cloth sacks with as many volumes as our backs could sustain. Bursting into our kitchen, I'd dump a pile of books on the table and determine the first one to crack open.

One summer I entered a contest at the library to guess how many jelly beans were in a large glass jar sitting in the entryway of the children's section. Brilliant. Lure the kids in with candy and competition. The winner received a collection of his or her favorite books and a fancy dinner out with the family (and, of course, the entire jar of jelly beans). Turns out, I won. I was giddy with delight at my first competitive victory as I scooped up my loot: a pile of Encyclopedia Brown books—the ones where you try to solve the mystery on your own and then verify your guess in the back of the book.

The grand prize didn't stop there. My family of five was treated to a fancy candlelit dinner beneath the Golden Arches. That's right—a table covered with linens and china ... and Big Macs, Filet-o-Fish sandwiches, french fries, and hot fudge sundaes. We ordered anything we wanted from a menu brought to us by a friendly server. Quite a contrast from our usual Sunday-night splurge for twenty-five-cent ice-cream cones. our family was stuffed and happy, thanks to my expert guessing skills. I still have a picture of us sitting together at dinner. That was a shining moment, one that confirmed my choice hobby had been a good one.

Looking back, my infatuation with reading was probably the first clue to my calling. Books brought me life. Stories were portals to other worlds. Had anyone told me that one day I might pen one myself, my heart would have leaped from my chest. But I didn't recognize that inclination as something deeper. And neither did those around me. I never considered exploring the possibility of writing the types of stories I was reading. When I turned thirty-three, my mom commented while pushing my son on a swing at the playground, "I'd always thought you'd write." She spoke the words nonchalantly as if these passions and gifts had been apparent all along, but I had never heard them before. Childhood delight becoming an adult profession seems out of grasp for most of us while we're growing up.

I never made the connection. Until I left home.

* * *

I attended a liberal arts college in Virginia fifteen hours away. I met my match in my would-be husband there just as my sense of purpose surfaced. on a late-night date, we scribbled our passions and dreams on paper napkins at Billy Joe's ice-cream parlor. Hints of something more beckoned us even then. We shared an urge toward something greater that never quite subsided. An elusive longing, anchored in our faith, to make a difference in the world. We didn't have a clue how, but our pulses quickened when we shared our hearts with others. Like minded, Gabe and I were doing our best with the tools we'd been given. Holding a deep-rooted conviction that we should dream big, we began our journey. But would we be willing to jump on that terrifying ride?

When we moved to Georgia after getting married, I grew comfortable in my skin. Gabe found an ambitious job marketing national events that equipped leaders, and I landed my dream job at North Point Community Church. Our napkin dreams seemed to be materializing. Maybe we had both found our niches.

Then life happened.

our first son, Cade—now the oldest of three—was born with Down syndrome. My doll baby. He never really cried. We played dress up, and he tolerated it with a gooey grin. But within months, his physical, speech, and occupational therapies increased to eight hours per week. I confessed to my boss that I was failing on both ends. As a team player and as a mom, I needed to dive deep into the role only I could fill.

So home I went, to long days in a house swollen with silence. Days full of light and despair. How do both emotions coexist?

Despair from a fantasy undone of a blond boy singing and chatting with me from the backseat. Light from the long tears shed and comforted when faith became mandatory.

I sat with my girlfriends in a circle on the floor as we watched our kids crawl all over us and each other—grabbing toys, slapping each other, and planting snotty kisses. We compared notes on plastic nipples, real-life nipples, and what constitutes GERD. As the months flew by, I watched the other babies turn into crawling, teetering toddlers. But for my little Cade and me, time stood still. He would hang in my lap or inch nearby while the others wobbled after each other around the room or were told "no touch" by their mommies.

When it came time to leave, I'd nearly barrel over those toddlers in my mad dash for the car to strap Cade into his car seat. The ride that followed was my escape from reality. I would blare whatever song moved me on the car stereo and cry for reasons I couldn't put words to at the time. I knew Cade and I would always have each other. We would keep each other broken and whole at the same time.

The afternoon before his first birthday, Cade napped as I methodically iced a huge lion face on a cake, made from scratch and complete with piped ribbons reflecting sugary oranges and browns. Armed with mad decorating skills I'd learned in a baking class years earlier, my steady hands crafted matching cupcakes.

Everything needs to be perfect. Look perfect. Taste perfect.

The same way I want Cade to be perfect.

Tears welled, and my eyelids gave way as a drop landed on the counter. Another and then another until saline crushed the dam of my resolve. Hot tears surged for more than an hour. My human attempt to find perfection. How was I still missing it? When would this pain subside? When would I be whole again? When would I shed the guilt I harbored for asking these questions and the crippling numbness when God didn't seem to answer?

I told a friend one day we were praying for Cade to be "whole." She responded, "Maybe your version of wholeness and God's version of wholeness look different." Reeling. What does she know? She doesn't even have babies yet.

A decade later. She was right.

My hang-up with wholeness was my issue, not Cade's. Not God's. In all the conversations during my first year as a mom, that is the only one I remember. But I wouldn't embrace it for years to come.

Perhaps that's why I kept Mead notebooks chock full of lists. Oh, the lists. They turned into volumes. When I was up all night with a newborn, they said things like "Wash hair" and "Buy food." Days turned into weeks as I found my groove (and some sleep), and my tasks turned into lofty things like "Drive car through the car wash," "Pay someone else to paint my nails," and "Slap some baby pictures in a book with a glue stick." Crazy went full throttle when they said, "Mail Christmas photo cards with pretend candid awkward pose," "Try out Zumba," and "Make pantry look pretty."

Each item I added made me feel as though I had purpose.

The longer the list, the greater the purpose. I became a rote, hollow version of my once-creative self. Success was measured by accomplishments each day. I went through mental gymnastics in bed each night, compulsively adding new things to my list. Tasking was my way of healing. But it was a lie. More like my distraction from grieving. My ability to keep things under control.

As my fears of being a mediocre parent grew, my napkin dreams seemed to mock me. What more was I expecting? Roles of leadership I'd held in high school and college and my earlier jobs were now distant memories. The paradox between a young heart bulging with anticipation and the current days counting down to bedtime was more than I was able to bear. Delirious with exhaustion, I felt guilty for not loving the moments more. Each and every one. I grieved for not loving the messiness more. Try as I might, I could not manipulate those shining moments any more than I could pretend to cherish them.

Guilt, guilt, guilt.

Over time, the lists started losing their savor. They became less frequent. Days would sneak by without a glance. Tasking turned to turmoil. Am I living the life I always imagined? Is this what the rest of my days are destined to look like? Will I always be forced to abandon hope for duty?

* * *

My head snapped up from the pillow at the sound of my daughter calling my name from downstairs. Good Luck Charlie had ended, and my job needed to start again. More than fifteen years removed from my napkin dreams, I was running fast. I'd been given a front-row seat on a rickety wooden roller coaster motoring on a never-ending loop. Twisting, turning, backward, forward. Straining to find my bearings, but never slowing enough to compose myself. Going in circles, but never finding my dreams.

If we ignore the yearnings of our souls, we atrophy, and our dreams die. Sadly, many of us choose this descent because we believe it's safer. If we don't hope, we won't be let down. If we don't imagine, reality won't disappoint. Either way, we avoid pain.

These destructive tendencies seem to afflict women in particular. Since 1988, the use of antidepressant drugs has soared nearly 400 percent, and women are 2.5 times more likely than men to take them. Twenty-three percent of women ages forty to fifty-nine regularly take these drugs, more than in any other demographic.

Nearly one in four. A devastating statistic. Why the struggle? Why the heaviness?

As for me, I wondered, Is this just seasonal depression? Or will it linger? My faith was flailing. The gloom lifted by spring, but the lurking shadow reminded me that January would come again. I think perhaps the anticipation of the darkness returning was as precarious as when it settled.

A friend recently confessed through tears that she struggles with bitterness. Her life doesn't look the way she'd hoped it would. She couldn't reconcile how her life—looking so successful on the surface—disguised the aching void that brings her tears the moment she opens her balled fists.

Are we grieving because our lives don't look the way we imagined in our youth?

Do we pressure our children to reach their potential because we aren't living up to our own?

Are we spending every moment cultivating the lives of everyone ... but ourselves?

Women are stars fading behind the dark shadow of those we care for, and we often look a little worse for wear. Our light is dimmer than it used to be as we find ourselves unable to dream beyond our current reality.

So we compromise. My childhood dreams were just that—dreams. I should let them go. We push down any hope when we sense it emerging. The desire for change uncovers what terrifies us most: failure.

Then we go numb. We tell ourselves a quick fix will do just fine. Whatever will keep our heads above water—whatever will allow us to keep making lunches, paying the bills, getting through sex, doing the kids' carpool, working out, pursuing that career, and so on—will just have to do. We don't want to become the crazy lady at the bus stop, so we think to ourselves, Just give me the shortcut. Then I'll be okay.

Perhaps most alarming are the many women who don't see past their manicured lives—grasping for society's definition of being "put together." We have pretty ways of masking our lack of meaning, using all kinds of beauty products and retail therapy. We have homes to furnish and decorate, then redecorate once we tire of what we have. We keep up with fashion styles, throw and attend parties, and maintain a rigorous pace. While these are all delightful and beautiful and often worthy goals, using them to conceal our unfulfilled lives is dangerous.

Some women uncover their talents before having kids and then shelve them while raising their children. They've experienced a sense of fulfillment in living out their purpose but believe they must set aside their pursuits for the sake of motherhood. They've bought into the belief that their gifts and child rearing are disparate parts, unable to coexist. Instead of fighting to figure out the balance, they stuff their dreams in a box marked "Motherhood."

Other women never identify their purpose before having children. Parenthood sets in and can unknowingly become the excuse to stop cultivating their dreams. Instead, they place their quest for significance on the lives of their children (as we see played out on Facebook every day). But this suffocating pressure is too much for anyone to bear, much less a five-year-old.

In either case, the displacement of a mother's purpose (beyond child rearing) becomes a huge loss to our communities. If women aren't empowered to cultivate their uniqueness, we all suffer the loss of beauty, creativity, and resourcefulness they were meant to inject into the world.

Can a mother chase the dreams that stir her heart and simultaneously raise her children?

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Freefall to Fly by REBEKAH LYONS Copyright © 2013 by Rebekah Lyons, The Arrow Group. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

PRELUDE Who Will Catch Me?....................xi
CHAPTER 1 Midtown Daydreams....................1
CHAPTER 2 Park Avenue Meltdown....................19
CHAPTER 3 Panic in the Heavens....................39
CHAPTER 4 Girl Meets Depression....................57
INTERLUDE Hope Reborn....................75
CHAPTER 5 To Live This one Life Well....................83
CHAPTER 6 Santorini Bliss....................101
CHAPTER 7 Whispers of Relapse....................117
CHAPTER 8 Beautiful Surrender....................139
CHAPTER 9 Fly....................163
POSTLUDE Embracing your Calling....................181
Acknowledgments....................193
Notes....................197
About the Author....................199
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 26, 2013

    That this author, whose prose reads like the convictions of a yo

    That this author, whose prose reads like the convictions of a young Christian in progress, should come to the conclusion she does, is not surprising. That Tyndale Publishing should show the same level of theological immaturity and actually endorse this muddled mindset in book form, is not only surprising, but appalling.  




    Where more seasoned New Yorkers and mature Christians recognize her experience as Phase 1 of “Dying to Self, New York Style”, the author not only draws the wrong conclusion but thinks it’s the climax of her journey.  After only a brief tenure in New York City (real New Yorkers don’t call a home with three flights of stairs an apartment; it’s called a brownstone or “living in Queens”), her conclusion proves that she’s barely off the porch.  Christian New Yorkers would concur that it’s quite common to experience a period of anxiety, feeling inadequate when comparing their seemingly mundane lives to those of their jet-setting, policy-making, culture-creating neighbors. But most of them move on to a more sound theological “Why.” Ms. Lyons, however, plays right into the secular handbook, conjuring up the tired old epiphany that she’s hiding her talents and must do “Something Important!” and worse, she tries to twist this world-shaped argument into a Christ-shaped one. Additional reflection has driven more mature Christians before her to continue their journey, at which point they recognize this superficial, insidious world-view for the distracting trap it is, and consider that perhaps God didn’t bring them to New York to find their air-brushed, book-toured calling so much as find Him and, as the Westminster Catechism reminds us, to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Admittedly, there was a fair amount of glorification sprinkled throughout the book, but God was rarely the recipient.




    This book gives exactly the wrong message to the very demographic that will buy it in droves: women who struggle with feelings of inadequacy, anxiety or boredom. Instead of reorienting their navel-gazing toward the True Answer to assuage their emptiness, this book is in danger of leading them down a path of continued inadequacy, pressure, and despair by suggesting that all that navel-gazing isn’t wrong after all but it’s actually God opening their eyes to find just the right agent, ghostwriter, or contact who will help them fulfill their deepest desires, I mean calling.




    Our culture puts so much pressure on people to ‘follow their passions’ and Christians have by and large bought into this secular snake-oil.  A quick perusal of well-regarded theologians will show that ‘calling’ doesn’t mean ‘job’, but rather means we’re called to be God’s saints and to walk in the knowledge of his truth.  That’s it. It does not require any academic training, but is something inherent in our make-up. Secondly, we are not told to find our calling and then glorify God. When we glorify God first, soak in Him, rest in Him, then, and only then, will we be able to use our calling to His glory and it won’t require falling anywhere, except away from our own selfish desires. Lastly, a healthy sign we’re well on our way is that any personal declarations drawing attention to our actions will be considered not only unnecessary, but in bad taste. The bible is very clear about false teaching and leading people astray. Someone at Tyndale Publishing needs to brush up on their theology.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2013

    This is the only book I've read of Lyons but she is a good write

    This is the only book I've read of Lyons but she is a good writer. It must have taken alot of courage to write about her anxiety and depression. It was a touching memoir, but I wouldn't recommend it to someone dealing with any type of mental illness. The author talked alot about the dangers of medicating and numbing yourself. I think it was pretty clear that she needed to at least consider medication, given she left her children alone in a hotel room because she was having a panic attack. There were other examples in the book that made me question her decision to not get some sort of medical help - her husband seemed to travel alot and she was there taking care of her children, one of which has down syndrome and needs extra attention. I can not consider this book to be very realistic for the average woman. Lyons was able to go on prayer retreats, meet with a life calling coach, go to Santorini and spend her day reading, have coffee and dinner with friends. That is very nice for her and very nice that it helped her discover her calling and rediscover her birthright gifts, however the average woman who works and/or is the caregiver at home will not be able to do those things. I did not find there to be practical application there. This book is geared toward an affluent stay at home mom who's children have entered school and would like to find a hobby or something to do. It is definitly not for anyone dealing with any depression or anxiety.    

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 10, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    While the book was well-written, it just wasn't my type of book.

    While the book was well-written, it just wasn't my type of book. I kind of found the narrator to be whiny and annoying. Part of the time, I just wanted to smack her and tell her to shut up and move on. I know that she was suffering from a variety of things, but I still felt like she could have handled it better and was playing it up to make a better story. I know that's not very caring of me, but I can't help it. That's how I felt while reading the book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2013

    "Purpose Drive Life" meets "Eat, Pray, Love"

    "Purpose Drive Life" meets "Eat, Pray, Love" with the forward by Brian Maclaren. And more cliches than an Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest entry.
    Nancy McManus

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2014

    Love it!

    Love it!

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  • Posted August 29, 2013

    This is the story of Rebekah Lyons, who moves from Atlanta to Ne

    This is the story of Rebekah Lyons, who moves from Atlanta to New York City, and struggles with her new location. Through various circumstances and new friends, she overcomes her anxiety and finds her way. I thought the book was an okay read but I had a hard time staying interested in the story.

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  • Posted August 10, 2013

    Lyons shares her journey to find her personal gifts and balance

    Lyons shares her journey to find her personal gifts and balance in her life, while coping with anxiety attacks and depression. This was an interesting book to read because I think a lot of women struggle with similar issues, myself included. Women today have so many choices, it is natural to question if we are making the best choices.

    One topic Lyons touches on is letting ourselves be open and vulnerable with our friends and knowing and being known, without putting up false fronts to seem like we have it all together. I think this is probably the best message from the book. I liked the stories she shared about her friends and how they discovered their gifts together, after sharing their struggles. Everyone has God-given gifts to share and how wonderful to help each other discover our gifts.

    I think this book is helpful because it lets women know they are not the only ones feeling overwhelmed with meeting their needs, or the needs of their family. I appreciate Lyons sharing her struggle, because I could identify with some of her feelings.

    I think this was an interesting book that could be helpful to a lot of women, especially those who are struggling. If you want to read about a woman's journey to finding her gifts and meeting her needs and the needs of those who depend on her, you would enjoy this book. If your friends think you have it all together, and you know you don't, this is definitely the book for you.

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  • Posted July 26, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Didn't connect with me.                                        

    Didn't connect with me.                                          

    I especially enjoyed the first chapter of this book, in which Rebekah Lyons illustrates her big move from Georgia to New York. Coming from a military background, I moved often, leaving old friends behind and meeting new ones. I could relate to the emotional highs and lows that bounce between excitement and dread. I’ve been there. Also, I understand the vast differences in the different regions of the U.S., and New York is so very different from life in the south.

    What I couldn’t relate to was the rest of the story. I didn’t quite connect. In my opinion, there are subtle hints (and some not so subtle) throughout the book that are somewhat judgmental and in opposition to psychiatric studies. Why shouldn’t someone who suffers with panic attacks, depression, etc., take medications that are proven to relieve their symptoms? Why should one suffer through these things in a freefall flight? I could understand someone who suffers from a mental disorder being offended by opinions expressed in this memoir.

    I liked the author’s openness and honest insights of her journey, and I realize this book is a memoir—infused with her own personal views, but I can’t really recommend a book I didn’t connect with and that contradicts my own personal stance on mental health. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2013

    Annoying!!

    I don't see how this book was published. These aren't real problems or solutions. Amazing how the author really thinks she has it figured out enough to provide advice to people. Her smattering of Bible verses to make it sound so theological. I almost threw my nook against the wall. I'm really hoping to she finds her real calling because writing is not it. My suspicion is her husband put her up to writing this book so he would get her to stop whining about her privledged life and then he called in a favor to have it published because no reputable publisher would put this to print.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2013

    Read the whole thing within 24 hours!

    Freefall to Fly is honest and insightful. I am an avid reader and usually get frustrated about halfway through non-fiction books because they turn into self-help books with lists and lists of things to do to bear more fruit in the Christian life thast just bears down on me I was SO encouraged by this book because it is fresh and honest. I felt like it perfectly said what goes through my mind on a daily basis and reminded me it is ok to find meaning within and outside my role as a wife and a mother to preschoolers. Please continue to write, Rebekah! Thank you for bearing your heart and soul so that the rest of us can be encouraged to journey onward in serving Christ and finding meaning in the here and now.

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  • Posted May 23, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    booksbysteph says "Oh, Cry Me a River" This author be

    booksbysteph says "Oh, Cry Me a River"

    This author believes that because she had a few panic attacks over the course of a year, after a life changing move, she needs to share her experience with the world through this book. Cry me a river. One in four women who actually take antidepressants have harder lives than this author writes about. I, personally, have been struggling with anxiety and depression (my freefalls) for the last 13 years, diagnosed. I have my normal periods (my fly) but there have been many relapses and a lot more pain than this author can and did write about.

    To me, this book was a woman who put pen to paper and whined as she worked out her problems. She needed to tell people her story. Imagine if the one in four women wrote their stories. Rebekah, you may live in a city that is supposed to be ahead of the rest of the nation, but out here in the Midwest, we talk about our problems. We do not one up each other. We lean on each other for support and deal with what God throws at us. Yes, life is hard, but talking about medications or therapies is not hidden. Everyone tells me that I should write a book because of everything I have had to deal with in my life. My book would be much thicker and more interesting and you will learn that you do not have much to whine about...in my opinion.

    This book can be reduced to a few sentences:
    1) You are not alone.
    2) 23% of women take antidepressants.
    3) I know it will not fix things but having a honest conversation with a supportive and trusted friend takes a little weight off your shoulders.
    4) Again, you are not alone.
    - the end! 

    Until next time, live life one page at a time!

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  • Posted May 12, 2013

    I believe Rebekah Lyon's memoir was candid, authentic and truthf

    I believe Rebekah Lyon's memoir was candid, authentic and truthful. She didn't hide, she exposed a lot of herself and her experiences, which I appreciated. I also find her to be a talented writer, so on that front, I enjoyed reading her memoir.

    If there was one word I could use to describe her book, it would be surrender.

    "Freefall to Fly" was about Rebekah Lyons journey to find God and herself. In the midst of it, God delivered her from severe and debilitating anxiety attacks.

    I found this aspect of her story to be encouraging, but I do not believe this is common. Most people do not get delivered from anxiety because they cry out to God in desperation. This was the authors experience, which I respect, however, there are many who have to be on medication and that is no indication God loves them any less because they weren't delivered.

    ***I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher to review.

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  • Posted April 30, 2013

    Rebekah tells of her many years of dealing with depression. She

    Rebekah tells of her many years of dealing with depression. She and her husband make a dramatic move from their southern home to New York and the move has lasting affects on her and her families lives. Several times she believes she has beaten depression, but it always appears once again. Finally when she totally turns it over to God is the depression defeated.
    This is a very interesting book that I believe will be very helpful for believers to enjoy.

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  • Posted April 25, 2013

    My copy of this book is dog-earred. I can't tell you how much th

    My copy of this book is dog-earred. I can't tell you how much this book spoke to me. I could relate so much with Rebekah and her journey. The one thing that I truly loved about this book was her willingness to share openly. She didn't sugar-coat things or portray herself as some super-wife/mom. She is real - just like you and me.

    Rebekah shares her hopes and dreams as they move from the south to New York City. She and her husband are very excited about this move as they know the Lord is opening doors for their ministry. However, once they move to New York, she is suddenly thrust into a whole new way of life that leaves her reeling and having panic attacks for awhile. She feels like she is free-falling and it's frightening.

    As she relies on the Lord more and more to see her through all this, she shares that she knows the Lord has his hand under her - ready to catch her as she is free-falling into a new way of life that, in the end, will glorify the Lord and give her strength she didn't know she had.

    I love this book!! This is a book that will stay on my nightstand for easy perusal when I'm feeling my own free-falling in my life. There is so much godly wisdom in this book that will help you to grow and fly into those new areas of your life that God opens the door to. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars..and even that's not enough! Get this book today - you won't regret it!

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  • Posted April 16, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This book is written in a quasi-journal, quasi-memoir fashion.  

    This book is written in a quasi-journal, quasi-memoir fashion.  Rebekah, the author, tells a tale of her early adulthood to her current life situation.  We read about her early marriage, her children, her ambitions, and her life-altering move to New York City.  Readers will not always feel all warm and fuzzy reading this.  The book talks about death and also about the struggles of raising a special-needs child.  You will read about Lyons' transformation into the woman she is today, but you will also read about the pain of who she was.  This book is raw.  However, I would like to say that the main audience for this book is young wives or young mothers.  Those who do not fit those categories may not like this book, may find it boring, and may even find it whiny.  This book has a specific audience.    

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  • Posted April 9, 2013

    Rebekah Lyons shares her story but isn¿t all wound up in herself

    Rebekah Lyons shares her story but isn’t all wound up in herself. Based on her experiences, others may consider their journeys through life and be inspired to reach for more.

    Lyons shows that we need special friends in walking through the fears and hurts that keep us from the life we truly want. She wonders, “Who will catch us if we let go of everything we hold dear?”

    Like Lyons, we’ll wander through days of searching for our dreams and passions, times of despair, days of renewed hopes that sometimes fade, and eventually a life of understanding and finding the full joys available.

    The account really is about full surrender to God and finding that His plans for our lives are far more satisfying than anything we might desire on our own. But reaching that point of surrender isn’t easy.

    Freefall to Fly is beautifully written, and a book to reread and treasure for all our years

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  • Posted April 9, 2013

    Self-sacrifice seems, especially to women, a noble thing. But wh

    Self-sacrifice seems, especially to women, a noble thing. But when it results in depression, anxiety, loss of meaning, it has become not just sacrifice but self-destruction.
    Freefall to Fly is a memoir of a mom who wrestled with anxiety but eventually finds healing. 
    Like many young moms, Rebekah Lyons struggled with finding her purpose as she poured her life into her children and her husband. A move from a comfortable Atlanta suburb to the unfamiliar streets of New York City proved to be the tipping point. Lyons chronicles with courageous honesty her freefall into anxiety, depression, panic attacks. 

    But ultimately, the book is hopeful, and helpful. Lyons uses her own struggles to encourage women to see the moments when the bottom seems to drop out as opportunities to launch a flight into something new. She begins to see that discovering her own gifts and using them is not selfish, but rather, a way to find purpose and healing.
    I’d recommend this to women who give too much, women who are wrestling with anxiety or depression, or are perhaps just feeling like there ought to be more to life than they’re currently experiencing. This book comes alongside like a friend to guide women toward freedom. 

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  • Posted April 6, 2013

    Rebekah created an interesting read with her life and her perso

    Rebekah created an interesting read with her life and her personal struggles. After living in a close community, Rebekah and her family move to New York City where a series of depression and panic attacks ensue with the new atmosphere. While raising her children and exploring a new city, she discovers that "getting over" depression and change is not as easy as it may seem. Eventually she surrenders to God and slowly starts her renewing journey.

    Honestly this was a difficult book for me to read. I completely understand life from the depression/anxiety point of view and this story was not something that would make me want to see life any differently if I was feeling that way. I think that the author has a great story to tell but it's nothing I haven't read before. That being said, I'm sure this book will help many people through their own struggles.


    "I received this book for free from Handlebar in exchange for an honest review".

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  • Posted April 5, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    "Freefall to Fly" by Rebekah Lyons was a breath of fre

    "Freefall to Fly" by Rebekah Lyons was a breath of fresh air to me...needless to say, I loved it. Mrs. Lyons addressed topics in her book that are rarely unheard of in the public eye, and, if they are, they do not come without their fair share of shame. Being a woman in my mid-thirties and having questioned myself, "God. Why am I here?," it was such a relief to read a book that put many things that I have or are thinking right there on the page. Not since reading "New Day" by Margaret Johnson-Hodge have I related to a character so much. The only difference is in "New Day," Carol-Anne was fictitious, but in "Freefall to Fly," Mrs. Lyons talks of her own experiences and her own fears. She gives her readers hope that things will get better. They, too, will get there.
    One of my favorite quotes from the book is from one of her dear friends, "If you are in hell, keep walking. Because somewhere along the way, if you stay in the place where your heart breaks and you put one foot in front of the other, the darkness will eventually lift."
    I give it 5 stars.

    "Freefall to Fly" by Rebekah Lyons was provided by Handlebar Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

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