Matthew West’s song, “Hello, My Name Is” would make a great soundtrack to go along with Rebekah Lyons’ book, You Are Free: Be Who You Already Are, published in 2017 by Zondervan.
This nonfiction book is an easy, fast read. Lyons confides with the reader about her struggles with fears and perfectionism and shares how God answered her cries for help and freedom.
In West’s song, he addresses emotions that we may wrestle with like regret and defeat. I like that he reminds us that we are a “Child of the One True King” and reminds us that we are not defined by our past. He mentions “Amazing Grace,” another song I love. West’s song makes me want to twirl and dance like a young girl in a flowing, swishy dress in a field of wild flowers. Do you feel the exhilaration, the freedom in this image?
Well, reading Lyons’ book also leaves you feeling encouraged. After each chapter, she has questions for the reader to contemplate. Sometimes she includes a prayer example. Through her testimony upon the pages, one wants to embrace this bold way of asking God for what you need to live in real freedom.
“Freedom comes when we know God is enough, when he is our everything. When he is our peace and our strength, joy, and rest. Our provision, healer, hope, fortress, shelter, strong tower, and Father. Freedom reveals everything good is from him and by him and for him. Every breath we take, every person we encounter, every word we utter is all an expression of a freedom where God dwells in us and loves through us!” (from her introduction.)
Ann Voskamp said in the foreward: “The greatest lie of the pit is that you have to prove yourself.” Then Lyons works through 15 chapters of how to extract yourself from that lie. It is that lie that causes us to be people pleasers who overwork ourselves in an effort to be approved or popular.
Lyons said that God chose our specific talents carefully. She said, “Our calling is where our talents and burdens collide. Our talents are our birthright gifts, and our gifts are what make our hearts sing and come alive. Our burdens are what break our hearts.” She also said that confession leads to healing and that asking for the impossible forces us to give it to God who knows all and can figure all things out.
She also talks about the importance of resting. Striving causes us to burn out. “God wants us to stop trying so hard to matter.” Her analogy of how the vine (Jesus) wraps us closer to Him is very comforting.
She addresses grief, weaknesses, losing our joy, and much more. I appreciated her stories and thought of some of my own. I don’t know when I lost my joy, but I remember when it struck me that I had lost it.
These are just some of her points of wisdom. I hope you will find a copy of the book and read it to learn more from her. In parting, I will leave you with one thought that struck me because I had never heard such a thing before: “What if your purpose is for [Jesus] to love you?” What if rather than “wanting to accomplish big things for God” we “simply received small things from God”?
We don’t have to work so hard to be somebody or do something important because God loves us and just wants to have a relationship with us. What? We can just hang out and talk, laugh and cry, live with Him? Perhaps we could help one another to discover this beautiful gift of freedom because by doing so, we can truly live. And that, my friend, makes me want to dance with joy. Will you join us?