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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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I received this book from Handlebar Publishing in exchange for my thoughts, and here they are. I have really enjoyed this book! Maybe because I have also struggled at times with anxiety, roller coaster ups and downs, and a bit of depression. I have tried to "fix" it myself, only to discover it can only be "fixed" in the Lord. Only when I relinquish my sense of control over my life, and trust His will, easy or difficult can I thrive rather than survive. Rebekah's journey is what many women today are most likely going through, or have gone through. Don't we all desire a life of meaning? I know I do! Amidst being a stay at home mom, caring for my kids, husband, teaching, or whatever I do, I want to be valued and find my place. But only in finding my contentment in God, choosing thanks-living, and using my gifts for Him, will I every find meaning in my life. And that meaning will look different for everyone. I most likely will not find the same meaning as my peers. Most importantly it is about living in the moment, not in the past, nor in the future, but right here right now. Making my one life count! I would certainly recommend this book. And definitely if you or someone you know is struggling with these issues.

“Each of us must find out own path to totter down as we seek to live out our purpose. We must find those God-gifts that make us uniquely us, and then pair them with a burden that those gifts fit like a key. When we do, rescue will flood into our lives. And in the deluge, we’ll begin to discover meaning,” Rebekah Lyons writes in her book "Freefall to Fly – A Breathtaking Journey Toward a Life of Meaning." In this two hundred page hardbound book, the author divulges her own personal process covering about two years of her life dealing with depression, resentment, anger and insecurity. The book is geared toward young women or mothers who feel depressed, anxious and uncertain while trying to ascertain what life is about, what is important and why they need to look to the God for answers. In her mid-thirties, Rebekah Lyons, her husband, Gabe, and three children including the oldest with Down’s syndrome are excited to move from Georgia to New York City. After a few weeks settling in and keeping busy with new surroundings involving her kids, depression settles in as she feels a lack of purpose, a loss of control and guilt for not being the perfect parent, wife or woman. As her desperation leads to self-isolation that includes anxiety and ongoing panic attacks, she feels herself free-falling into a dark abyss of entrapment and fixation on disappointments, failures, losses and obstacles as she searches for life’s meaning. To shed herself of her past burdens that produce repeated mental and emotional anguish, she first must relinquish all to God and start living in the moment. Realizing her own life’s journey is purposely arranged by the Creator, she can no longer keep up outward appearances and surrenders herself to Him. Once she willingly free-falls in understanding her depression, she learns to fly by discovering her God-given gifts. In helping others through telling her own experiences, she promotes journaling, having a core community of intimate friends, writing down gratitude lists and focusing on the talents to promote meaning and purpose in life. With some off topic meanderings, the book is not a “it’s all about me” but a learning process how one mother learns how to overcome depression, anxiety and panic attacks without medication along with finding her purpose for life. Older women may be at the point of trusting that God is the One in control of all things and has a purpose for each of us individually, knowing the outcome of our paths before we take each step. Although Lyons explains her personal self-awareness journey, others can glean from her book that “”¦ we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28. This book was furnished by Tyndale House Publishers for review purposes.