Over Spring Break, I spent seven days away from the pressures of work and home. Our family went to Florida to focus on each other, have fun and get some rest. During that time, I read Rebecka Lions new book Freefall to Fly.
The book is a candid recount of how the author suffered with depression and anxiety as she searched for, and eventually found, deeper meaning in her life. These are topics so many of us can relate to and I appreciate that Lyons did not sugar coat the journey. (although it was perhaps a bit to heavy for Spring Break reading).
The World Health Organization named depression the second most common cause of disability worldwide after cardiovascular disease, and it is expected to become number one in the next ten years. In the United States, 5 to 10 percent of adults currently experience the symptoms of major depression, and up to 25 percent meet the diagnostic criteria during their lifetime, making it one of the most common conditions treated by primary care physicians. At any given time, around 15 percent of American adults are taking antidepressant medications. (Christianity Today, 2009)
Many people afflicted with depression are women. Rebekah's premise is that many women need to find their God-given purpose to break out of depression. She urges us to embrace our true calling, looking back to see what has made our hearts sing when we were young and without the pressures and responsibilities motherhood, wifehood and careers bring.
Lyons gives women permission to look beyond taking care of family and daily responsibilities as means of fulfillment and do what truly touches our souls. The overall feeling of the book is a bit dark, true to the struggle she faced. Lyons seems to judge/discourage the use of medications to combat depression. She surmises that many of us may be running to medication, alcohol, or other vices to numb the pain that God wants us to work through in order to find our true calling. I tend to disagree with her on that one.
I am lucky that while I have faced humongous struggles, both personally and professionally, over the past decade, I have been assured and confident in my calling as a wife, mother and in my career in public relations for faith-based organizations and businesses (although that one took some exploration before I realized I had been where God wanted me all along).
If you are struggling with "being enough" or emptiness inside, I recommend picking up a copy. Rebekah's journey just may inspire you too.