I was honored with the chance to read a pre-release version of Freefall to Fly a couple of months ago, and Rebekah's story and words have lingered in my heart and mind since. Her book tells the story of her life- her recent move from Atlanta to NYC, her journey into womanhood and motherhood, her experiences battling anxiety and depression, and most of all, her quest for meaning and purpose. Her learnings continue to speak into many small moments in my daily life, whisper-reminders of value and purpose and meaning. I read the book in just two sittings - it captivated and engaged me deeply. Rebekah's writing is lyrical and poetic, yet achingly honest and raw. As she shares the story of her own quest for meaning, she contrasts a world of ideals and dreams with the real daily lives many people lead. She shares the painful journey she followed in order to challenge those contrasts, to find a way to 'have it all' in the most true sense, by living more honestly. She speaks openly of the difficulties of motherhood. She speaks vulnerably about the pain of mental illness, both in each of us and in those we love. She shares the tumultuous inner path of discovery that led her to question everything about her life and specifically, her faith. She asks brave questions and seeks real, lasting answers. As I finished reading this book, I felt comforted, inspired, and most of all, not alone.
In my own life's journey, the concept of spiritual faith and my personal beliefs have been muddied heavily through abuse and hypocrisy. With each passing year, I am given new gifts of clarity and purpose which are fueled and nurtured by my faith. But I still feel fragile, and I am not often likely to pick up books about faith, for fear that I will encounter more of those same things that have hurt me so deeply in the past. What I loved about Freefall to Fly is that Rebekah speaks as a real, down-to-earth human first and foremost. In her journey, she finds comfort, meaning, and purpose in her faith, but she shares the moments of ultimate contrast, too, when she was terrified, lost, and uncertain of how to continue at all. My own faith has been strengthened and inspired by her journey. Whether or not a reader shares Rebekah's faith, they will share Rebekah's fears, hopes, dreams and challenges, as they resonate with the vulnerability in her words.
In addition to the amazingly gorgeous chalk art cover by the incredible Dana Tanamachi and absolutely beautiful page design within, I loved Rebekah's use of musical terms to punctuate her story: prelude, interlude, and postlude. And here is one of my favorite passages, from the chapter called "Park Avenue Meltdown":
I was reminded by a dear friend, 'If you are in hell, keep walking.' Because somewhere along the way, if you stay in the place where your heart breaks and you put one foot in front of the other, the darkness will eventually lift. The crack of light will burst forth on the horizon, far, far away. It will be the slightest breath of hope... You won't know what that light will yield, but the mere fact that it is light will be enough.
It will keep you going.
Freefall to Fly officially releases today, and you can learn more about Rebekah and her book here! With each copy of the book, you will receive some extra bonus gifts, too, including an original art print download by Dana Tanamachi, $5 TOMS gift card, and Freefall to Fly digital soundtrack (which includes music by my amazing husband, Ryan O'Neal of Sleeping At Last!). Also, Rebekah is offering a free sample download of the first chapter to anyone who subscribes to her blog here!
In honor of the book's release, I am delighted to be hosting my very first giveaway here on my blog!! For a chance to win your very own autographed copy of Freefall to Fly, please post a comment below, sharing why you are excited to read it! The giveaway will be open until Monday, April 22nd, and I will post the winner's name here on Tuesday, April 23rd! The winner will have three days to reply by email with their address, otherwise another winner will be chosen. Excited to hear your thoughts about this book and SO excited to choose a lucky winner soon!