Some books speak straight to your heart, echoing your own stories and struggles, and You are Free by Rebekah Lyons is one of those for me. There are so many things Rebekah shares about her life and thoughts that resonated with me. This book met me at just the right time. From Ann Voskamp's foreword to the heartfelt acknowledgements to the quotes throughout the book introducing each chapter, You are Free shares this significant, life-altering message from Jesus of freedom given to us in Galatians five.
The fifteen chapters build upon each other in a chronological way through Rebekah's own freedom journey.
1 To Be Free
2 Free to Be Rescued
3 Free to Be Called
4 Free to Confess
5 Free to Thirst
6 Free to Ask
7 Free to Begin Again
8 Free to Wait
9 Free to Rest
10 Free to Grieve
11 Free to Be Weak
12 Free to Celebrate
13 Free to Be Brave
14 Free to Love
15 Free to Set Free
Although the stories span many years, there is a seamlessness to it all. As I read, I felt like I was listening to an older sister speak truth and love and wisdom straight to me. I felt encouraged and challenged at the same time.
So many things stuck out to me throughout the book, but I was particularly struck by her writing about seeing her daughter's fears. It was like a picture of my little one and me. Generational sins and struggles are very real. And reading just a little about another mother and daughter trying to end that cycle of fear was quite impactful.
Some of my favorite quotes from the book are:
“We cannot prioritize our doing before being, our assignment before healing, our service before freedom.” (Page 34)
Reading about Rebekah's journey of freedom in Christ was a lovely gift and set my heart on the truth of the Word. It reminded me that I am not alone in my own struggles with legalistic tendencies, striving and achieving, fear and depression, trying to figure out my calling, and not always feeling freedom to rest or celebrate or enjoy the life I've been given. It reminded me of the power of continually surrendering to the Lord. It reminded me of the power of sharing our stories. You are Free is a story of hope covered in sound theology.
The last chapter probably made me the happiest. This American cultural Christianity so many of us find ourselves surrounded by desperately needs the reminder that we aren't saved for ourselves, our freedom isn't ultimately about us. What we experience, what we've been given is all grace. And when we embrace the words of Jesus and live out our freedom, we can then get our eyes off ourselves and get to work, carry out His commands and truly love well.
Although I loved this book and definitely recommend it, I can see how some might not resonate with it because their experiences and stories are much different. Nevertheless, the truths presented in it are sure. For me, it did my heart much good to read these beautiful words.
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*I received a free copy of the book from the publisher as part of the launch team.
Sarah loves Jesus and her family and is passionate about addressing the urgent spiritual and physical needs around the world. She is the wife of Spencer and mama of Katherine and Claire, and they live in Nashville, TN. She runs a photography business with her husband and writes in order to offer encouragement and invite others to choose grace, joy, and gratitude in the adventure and the mundane. She loves traveling and reading; she will choose unsweet tea over sweet and bootcut jeans over skinny; and she is all sorts of awkward with small talk but thrives with deep conversations.