Saturday, April 12, 2014

Guest Blogger Book Review - Freefall to Fly by Rebekah Lyons Reviewed by Rachel Cooper

Freefall to Fly is Rebekah Lyons' personal memoir of her search for purpose and meaning in her life. This was a hard read at times. Not because it was poorly written or theologically incorrect. But because it was raw. I have to applaud Rebekah Lyons for her willingness to lay it all bare for the sake of helping others with similar struggles.

A few key ideas stuck out to me in this book. When talking about completing college, getting married, and having three kids, she says -

I was happy with my choice - and still am - but I stopped searching for ways to apply my gifts to the world around me.

She goes on to talk about identity -

Of course I'm called to be a mother...But If I'm not careful, I lose my identity...I love these roles, but I also recognize that deriving one's identity from another person is a short road to resentment.

I wonder if women like me hide behind our husbands, our unfulfilling jobs, or even motherhood because we're afraid of embracing the full person God has created us to be.

These are all statements I'm inclined to agree with. Rebekah continually affirms throughout the book the love she has for her children and her husband. I was left with no doubt that she would go to the moon and back for her family. However, having grown up in the church herself, she makes it a point to say that she was never encouraged to explore her gifts and how she might use them to impact the world for the gospel. In fact, she says that she always felt that to aspire to anything outside of motherhood was to somehow aspire for something less in her life.

I personally never really understood the need to "find yourself" or what "finding yourself" even means. However, motherhood does something to a woman. Rebekah talks about women seeming to put their gifts on a shelf when motherhood arrives. She points out, of course, that there are seasons for everything. Some seasons require lots of time and attention to our loved ones and little time for developing our gifts and talents. But if we never take the box off the shelf, we may never complete the calling the Lord has for us. So when seasons change and the diaper changing, bottle feeding, potty training stages are over, we need to be ready.

I rated this book 4 stars. There were a few things I would've liked to see - 

  1. I would've liked to see more attention given to where our identify does come from. I felt like she only skimmed the surface.
  2. She really harped on the idea that finding your calling and meaning brings purpose to your life, which is what we're all searching for. But I would've liked to see more focus on being obedient to the call of God. Not just trying to fulfill a sense of purpose.
  3. I know this was written as a memoir, but I think more references to specific Scriptures and even other resources for those suffering from anxiety and depression would've been helpful.

Overall, I liked this book. It got me thinking how we're raising our daughters in the church and what message we are sending them regarding marriage and motherhood. I also had never considered the idea that a lack of purpose and meaning can lead a lot of women down a path of anxiety and depression. This book just furthered my belief that too many of us are going through the motions, and we are all in need of a faith and a gospel that we are living out every day. - Rachel Cooper

To read more from Rachel Cooper check out her blog, A Jacket For All Seasons.

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