I spent more than a month with Rebekah during the year this book, these words, grew like a flame in her heart. Together, we poured over Scripture in a kibbutz outside of Jerusalem; literally walked the Emmaus road under stars; and prayed for our hearts to burn within us, that we might recognize Christ whatever road he had us on; stood under an arching double rainbow in Colorado and boldly trusted God for all of His promises; got down on our knees, our faces, broke our hearts before the heart of God under a Rocky Mountain rain. Her book releases tomorrow, and the words she penned isn’t an idea—it’s an incarnation. Rebekah has enfleshed this freedom and I’ve witnessed it firsthand: Rebekah’s Freefall to Fly has transformed her into a blazing harbinger of desperately needed reality: You are Free; Be who you already are. Is there a message that your soul needs more? It’s a grace to welcome Rebekah to the farm’s front porch today…
Please, God, heal my heart.
The prayer surfaced without warning, and once I spoke the words, there was no turning back.
A dam broke, releasing tears bottled up for decades. These five words surged repeatedly in rhythm as I knelt on the cold shower floor, tears mingling with the water streaming from above.
Blame travel fatigue, or sleepless nights in random hotel rooms, or the weight of speaking on mental health issues.
My heart was spent. I was at the end of my reserves. I wanted only Jesus.
I should have seen the signs leading to this moment.
I’d wrapped up a week of teaching in California and stumbled back to my room for pj’s and comfort food.
As I was inhaling a cheeseburger in a darkened hotel room, I began to watch a talk online by Ann Voskamp. Ten minutes in, the Spirit spoke truth to my heart, and I sat bolt upright in bed with her words.
“Those who keep score in life just want to know that they count.
When you work for an audience of One, you always know that you count.”
Was I restless because I hadn’t learned to serve this singular audience? Was I keeping score?
I awakened to the truth.
I was still striving.
After a speaking engagement, I’d often go back to my hotel room and second-guess my delivery, or worse, check social media stats. When the numbers spiked, I spiked. When they dipped, I dipped. How did I measure up? Was I enough?
During the year prior I’d discovered that:
Calling is where your talents and burdens collide.
I’d discovered my gifts, and named my burdens, but without freedom, I was cheapening this calling with a prettier version of striving.
I was copying, competing, and comparing. I would soon burn out.
I realized the humiliating truth: I was desperate for public affection. I hustled for it.
Although I’d been freed from chronic anxiety, I knew the truth—I was not operating out of freedom in every area of my life. My heart was full of questions.
I kept probing, half-asking God, half-asking myself, “Do I count? Do I matter?”
Then I finally sensed God’s prompting,
You matter to Me; is that enough?
“For some reason I’m not doing this for an audience of one,” I admitted.
So I’m not enough?
“Yeah; You are kind of not enough. Why is this the case?”
I heard the truth in my heart:
I didn’t believe God’s love was enough.
In my youth, I felt rejected, unseen, unheard unless I performed. So I put every effort into saying and doing all the right things to earn love from others and from God. Although I didn’t have words for it then, I believed I was not worthy of love unless I earned it, especially God’s love.
The pain of this revelation was a grace; it showed me all was not well in my soul.
No amount of public affection would heal my wounds. No number of roads traveled, would heal my own heart. God was gentle with my confession, He whispered this truth:
Public affection cannot heal private rejection.
The realization that I was still held captive laid me bare, and I collapsed to the floor, heaving huge sobs. He gave me eyes to see I was still living in bondage, held captive by a deeper wounding. All my striving for success was an attempt to matter, to count.
Please, God, heal my heart. The words landed with weighted hope.
God was so gracious, so kind. My heart was broken. I’d spent years bandaging it, but the pain could only be healed by the One who created me. Sitting on the floor, I confessed right then and there.
God, I’m sorry I’ve made the world’s approval my idol.
I’m sorry I care more about what others think of me than about what you think of me.
I confess I’ve been blind to my grief and hurt and the aching void only you can fill.
You gently, in your perfect timing and love, have shown me this. What a gift! I praise you. Please forgive me and heal my broken heart. Make it new, as if it was never wounded.
Did I believe Jesus could do this for me? Do you believe He can do it for you?
What if we all felt freedom to start with a simple prayer:
God, I’m sorry I don’t live as if you are enough. I’m sorry I substitute achievement, or body image, or food, or sex, or anything for the freedom YOU bring.
What if we felt the freedom to confess our sins, our enslaving habits? I believe it would lead to the healing and freedom we so desperately want.
Confession is the gateway to healing, the route to freedom.
James teaches us this truth, writing, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” Confession means “[admitting] you have done something wrong, or [admitting] unwillingly that something is true.”
Christ isn’t threatened by our confession. He invites it.
He says to us, You are my holy people, whom I love. I came. I gave my life. I set you free. I’ve already done this. I’ve given you a purpose. I’ve made you to live in the freedom of that purpose.
Christ came, walked this earth, paid the price, bought us, and set us free.
He declares, You are free; be who you already are.
Let’s follow this Jesus together. Let’s allow Him to take us on a collective freedom journey, shall we?
Let’s confess to him, walk with him, and share the stories of the many ways he’s setting us free. Let’s live in the day-by-day adventure of sounding freedom’s call.
Christ doesn’t say you can be or may be or will be free.
He says you are free.
You are invaluable to the kingdom of heaven. God has appointed a specific role only you can play.
You are needed and wanted, chosen and set apart, beloved and worthy.
You will receive all power and glory when the Spirit comes upon you.
You will bear witness to everything Christ did to set you free.
This is your calling. You are free. Go. Help set others free.
Rebekah Lyons is the bestselling author of Freefall to Fly: A Breathtaking Journey Toward a Life of Meaning and a speaker who passionately shares her personal story of overcoming anxiety and depression. Her open and honest approach inspires others to discover and boldly pursue their God-given purpose from a place of freedom.
He says you are free. Do you believe it? In You Are Free, Rebekah invites you to: overcome the exhaustion of meeting expectations and rest in the joy of God’s freedom. Freedom is for everyone who wants it—the lost, the wounded, and those weary from striving.
It’s for those who gave up trying years ago. You are the church, the people of God. You were meant to be free. Discover the courage to begin again and use your newfound freedom to set others free.
Come encounter God in the next two weeks with Rebekah and I? Winterville, NC; Nashville, TN; Cordova, TN; Sugar Land, TX; Arlington, TX; Tulsa, OK; Leawood, KS; Eau Claire, WI; Naperville, IL; and Lynchburg, VA: Let’s live broken and free: brokenandfreetour.com