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Freefall to Fly: A Breathtaking Journey Toward a Life of Meaning

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  1,357 ratings  ·  144 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published April 9th 2013 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published April 1st 2013)
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 ·  1,357 ratings  ·  144 reviews

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Apr 27, 2013 rated it did not like it
The whole time I read this disappointing book I kept wondering where the adults were in the process. The personal anxiety of one woman, shallow by her own admission, who then perceives that her panic attacks must mean God wants her to become a writer may seem like an epiphany to her but shouldn't to anyone else (and begs the question why we never read memoirs of people who discover their calling is to janitor work or accountant). Her story is very familiar to thousands of (mostly) women who for ...more
Mar 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
There are two main themes that I saw. First was Rebekah's journey through depression and anxiety, along with a big move and culture shock (Atlanta to NYC). She suffered debilitating panic attacks, and was often so depressed she didn't want to get out of bed. At her lowest point, she writes:

"I must give in.
I"ll do what I swore I would never do.
I'll numb out.
We woke up the next morning after yet another restless night, and I told Gabe (her husband) my resolution: I would take antidepressants to ge
Fictionista Du Jour
Oct 28, 2013 rated it did not like it
This book reads like I'm out to coffee with a very self-absorbed person who wants to give me advice, but more for her own self-satisfaction than to be helpful.

I could not get past it. Perhaps were I in a similar phase in life (suddenly fish out of water, parenting a special needs child, or a devout Christian) I might find something relatable here, but no.

I got nothing.
Sarah Hyatt
Apr 25, 2014 rated it did not like it
This was a 200 page foray into the struggles of the unfulfilled millennial, repeatedly emphasizing the importance of a Great Calling for fulfillment.

I am biased as can be, but after growing up in a church hearing the rhetoric to do "great things for God", after growing up "gifted" and chronically bored, after growing up "talented" and you should be an artist/writer/scientist/mathematician/paleontologist, I am over all of it.

I don't want to be anything along these lines. I don't want to pursue my
Linda Walters
Apr 09, 2013 rated it did not like it
I really wanted to like this book, because she was open, because she faced demons that all women have had to face at some time or other. It was like reading a woman's personal journal but with that said, I didn't enjoy the book. Is she called to be a writer like she said? Yes, she probably is but this book didn't do it for me. Would I be open to reading any other books that she will write in the future? Yes, because of her courage and honesty of sharing this book.

I received this Book FREE from
Lynnda Ell
May 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
In Freefall to Fly, Rebekah Lyons uses her story to tell the story of many women, including mine. It’s a tale of pain, panic attacks, fear, and God’s rescue. Her circumstances differed from mine in significant ways, and yet the trajectory of our healing was strikingly similar. In spite of the connection I felt with Ms. Lyons, I sadly confess that the book did not touch me on any other level. The writing was choppy and the story presented like so many puzzle pieces scattered through the pages. So ...more
C.E. Hart
Jul 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Mar 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book, and if it weren't the library's copy I would have underlined much of Lyons' personal insights that she so beautifully shared. I appreciated her raw honesty about her struggles and felt encouraged to develop greater humility and submit to God's will as I surrender to the brokenness of life. I particularly liked her emphasis on creating a community of honest women with whom you can openly share both your ups and downs of life. I highly recommend this book for wo ...more
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I ugly cried my way through the first three chapters. Rebekah Lyons articulated so well thoughts and feelings that have plagued me for over a year. I appreciate her opening up and sharing her struggle so honestly. The hope that breaks through as you move through the book lifted my spirits.
The only part that was a disappointment to me, was that after spending time talking about our God-given gifts (our "talents") and using them where we are at for God's glory, there really were not any tips for
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
2-1/2 ⭐️
Rebekah has a compelling story told with transparency. She definitely has a heart to help other women deal with anxiety and find meaning in life. But I personally found her writing obtuse. She doesn’t seem to communicate a clear path for women to follow. It’s all a bit ethereal. I wished she would have directed her readers to God’s Word where one can find true meaning, your calling and purpose in life. It’s not hidden, difficult or tricky to uncover.
Sarah Robbins
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
I listened to this book on a road trip. I don't think I'd have finished it otherwise. I appreciate the struggles the author went through to find her place, but I disagree with quite a bit of her understandings and applications of scripture. I'd have a hard time recommending this book to someone because of that. I don't think it gives a clear and biblical to finding our joy and purpose in Christ, and because it provides an alternate path it can (unintentionally I hope) potentially lead people awa ...more
Savvy Myles
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book will literally change your life. If you're like me, a recent college graduate and have no idea what on earth you're meant to do or where your place is in this world, Rebekah reaffirms your purpose and gives you hope that you're exactly where you need to be. I will recommend it for the rest of my life and absolutely read again. My only complaint is that she only has two books out. ...more
Jes Smith
Feb 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015
I picked up this book because I heard Rebekah Lyons speak and she spoke about calling and the confidence to live into calling. The subject is on my mind a lot right now and I wanted to see how she went through her journey. I have to admit her writing style rubbed me the wrong way. Short and choppy sentences that seemed to go on about the same topic forever. It read more like her diary than a book about learning to live into her calling. It wasn't until the last few paragraphs of the last chapter ...more
Stephanie Ziegler
Apr 22, 2013 marked it as to-read
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 pa ...more
Patty Corwin
Mar 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What's it like to have the rug pulled out from under you?
How can you let your guard down when the world expects you to have it all together?
Who is it that you're really meant to be, and how do you find that in the midst of kids, work, traffic, illness, martial crisis, etc.

Rebekah Lyons admits she doesn't have all the answers, but she's been there. While her story is one of a mid-30's mom of 3 (oldest son has Downs), there was something about it that resonated with the stage of my own life. After
Rachel Bayles
May 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
I think it's ambitious to call this a book. It's very short, and there are no particular insights that stand out. First of all, it is marketed as a memoir. And the first part of the book seems promising; that we are going to learn about this particular woman's journey between life in the South and life in New York City. But as it progresses, it really becomes a tract on religion. By the end, basically she's just saying, "Let Go, and Let God." Which is fine, but not new.

What was interesting and u
Leah Beecher
Another did-not-finish-disappointment. Oh boy, where do I start? I guess I will, in an attempt to be kind, because I can in some ways relate very much to Rebekah Lyons, say that Rebekah is stumbling into her life purpose, like we all are, but her book reads more like a messy emotional journal, than a polished serious book. She spends an unbelievable time writing in circles with lots and lots of nice uplifting quotes sprinkled between paragraphs. LOTS of quotes, without giving a concise testimony ...more
May 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Bible says we should test everything and hold on to what is good (I Thessalonians 5:21). That is exactly how I feel about Rebekah's book. I won't state how she could have described her situation better, or written more accurately, or that she is "a rich yoga mom that shouldn't be complaining about her life." On the contrary, I'll hold on to how she wonderfully bring us to the realization that is possible to have a life full of meaning. A life lived accordingly to the purpose of the One who c ...more
Apr 18, 2013 rated it liked it
I wanted to love this book, from the fact that she spent some time in Atlanta (where I lived from '09-'12) to the fact that Shauna Neiquist and Ann Voskamp provided testimonials. Unfortunately, it was a quick read but just wasn't that good. I couldn't really relate to her story, because, despite not having a "purpose," (a big struggle of mine, too) so much of her life seemed to fall together perfectly to where it appeared she is a beautiful woman with an (outwardly looking) pretty amazing life. ...more
May 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: faith
I give Freefall to Fly two stars for the author's honesty. I had trouble with this book. I appreciated her honest accounting of her journey, but always felt something was lacking. I had the nagging feeling that, somehow, her story could be misleading. The problem, I realize, is that Lyons was heavy on interpreting her experience and life directly from Scripture, which can be a problem for Christian readers, especially those young in the faith looking for answers. If read strictly as a narrative, ...more
Amanda Espinoza
I read this over a weekend and it's a quick read. It's straightforward memoir of Rebekah Lyon's struggle with depression and anxiety after moving to New York City from Atlanta. She shares how she overcomes her anxiety and finding her calling to help other women. As far as Non-Fiction goes it doesn't have a lot of practical advice, but it's very encouraging. I'm definitely interested to see what kind of book Rebekah Lyons writes next. ...more
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
While I appreciate the author's personal struggle with anxiety, I found that she seems to have little in common with they everyday woman and the struggles that the majority of women face. While many women would love nothing more than to discover what their God-given talents are, the reality is that most cannot due to the busy circumstances that encumber their lives, and because of this I felt that the book seemed out of touch with the majority of modern women. I would not recommend it. ...more
Twila Bennett
Mar 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
Rebekah, thank you for sharing your journey. I have walked a similar road and it is really hard for those who have not walked it to understand. but for those of us who have, you have given us a voice, Healing can come. It is the most difficult journey, but finding what it is that sets you free is the key. Cannot wait to recommend to others.
Mar 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
I didn't underline this whole book because that would just be obnoxious. But I did underline half of it. So good. A must read for anyone who has struggled with anxiety or depression. Thank you for sharing your story, Rebekah. ...more
Jody Britton
Aug 11, 2013 rated it did not like it
Didn't love the writing in this book. Author bunny-trailed a lot. Also a little too "feely" for my liking. Felt like I was reading more of a diary than anything super helpful. ...more
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
Good advice and stories, but more of mom-book. Also, the way she writes reveals this is her first book.
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book is difficult for me to review...

I would never discount someone's personal experiences especially concerning a struggle with mental illness, relocation, a surprise circumstance concerning the life of a child, anything that life throws at one in this human experience we are living, it is your own. Sharing and laying bare these struggles in order to uplift someone suffering in silence, to shed light and to bring under the arm, "You aren't struggling alone" is the bravest and kindest kind
I enjoyed reading 'You Are Free: Be Who You Already Are' that I decided to try this book of Rebekah Lyons as well. Unfortunately, I did not find this book as compelling as I had hoped.

Some takeaway points:

"...sometimes we need a freefall to teach us how to fly."

"How many of us hustle for our worthiness? How many of us live in the prison of performance or perfection, pleasing or proving?"

"Books brought me life. Stories were portals to other worlds."

"Books teach me in ways no other mediums can. T
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating memoir ... I really appreciated the author's honesty about her anxiety and panic attacks, and her thoughts about how easy it is for us as women to suppress our gifts in the busyness of life. Also the story is just beautifully written in how it describes the setting of NYC and the author's personal journey. I definitely resonated with and admired her vulnerability.

I read some of the negative reviews, and I wonder if this book was read more as prescriptive than as descriptive--it tells
Kimberly Hockersmith
Dec 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Rebekah Lyons has captured my heart and soul through her books this year. Free fall to Fly spoke to me from Rebekah being from the area i live in, to her life experiences, her struggles, & her strategies she has learned to help find her life’s meaning. I never wanted the book to end. I rated Freefall to Fly with five stars because I would read it again in a heartbeat, & I am definitely sending my recommendation to other friends I’ve been intentionally encouraging as a means to overcome my own he ...more
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Rebekah Lyons is a designer, strategist, wife, and mom. She serves alongside her husband, Gabe, as executive director of Q, a learning community that mobilizes Christians to advance the common good in society. In her role at Q, Rebekah gives leadership and strategic direction to where the movement is headed and manages day-to-day operations. Any given week includes volunteering at the Midtown Preg ...more

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“truth hit me in that moment. All my life, I’ve been running. Running to the next greatest thing. An adventurer. A thrill seeker. Hungry for more. If things got hard, fight or flight. I would kick and scream for a while, and when that didn’t yield the proper results, I would take flight. It happened in my closest relationships. Including my arguments with Gabe. If I was not able to win or be understood, I’d grow silent and escape. Far away. To a place that allowed me to maintain control. But the silent treatment and hibernation never brought relief; instead, I felt abandoned by my own doing. All alone. By my own choosing. This defense of self-preservation left me on the altar of self-destruction. My greatest fear is feeling trapped—it has followed me all my life.” 1 likes
“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.” VIKTOR FRANKL” 0 likes
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