Rebekah Lyons is a speaker and the author of two books, Free to Fly and You Are Free. In her writing she shares about her personal battles with anxiety and depression and how all of us can find meaning in our lives. Lyons is a wife and a mother of three.
In the season two premiere of RELEVANT Podcast Network’s Fun Therapy, host Mike Foster sits down with author Rebekah Lyons to discuss what it’s like to be torn between her calling and her family.
This version of the conversation has been condensed. To listen to the full conversation, subscribe to the show.
On Re-Identifying Your Role
Rebekah: What I am working through now is this kind of, re-identifying my role in all of these areas, whether it’s a daughter of God, a wife of Gabe, a mother of Cade, Pearse and Kennedy … I feel like we’ve moved six times in seven years, someone who’s gonna put tent pegs in Franklin, Tennessee, who has decided permanence is good.
I would say my nature is to run, because there’s something exciting around the bend, and Gabe and I have always been ones to risk and to rally, to do something that doesn’t make sense. But sometimes the hardest things are to do the things that absolutely do make sense.
I like to pride myself as a 4 or “the Outlier,” the need to be unique in the enneagram. And I think, the wound that I’m working through right now is feeling like there is collateral damage when you say “yes” to something, because you are still saying “no” to something else.
When we moved to Manhattan, our kids were 4, 7 and 9, so they went through elementary there, and those were some very formative years for them. I don’t think I saw the full effects of that, even during that time. I think it’s more now that they’re older and just walking through adolescence and puberty and high school. We are absolutely where we’re supposed to be and what the real stretch for me is just kind of taking inventory. This is what it is. It’s taking inventory to what matters most to the heart of God. And when I do that, and I do that in this secret place and I listen for that still small voice, when he says, “Your role at home is most important.”
And so it’s been convicting and beautiful and honestly in the last few months it has literally changed my desires. Because I’ve prayed that, out of nobility. I would love to say I’m just gonna go home and love my family; I have this Mother Theresa quote on my wall and it says “If you want to bring happiness to the whole world, go home and love your family.”
I intentionally put that on my wall right when we got to Franklin, because I wanted that to be the mandate and mantra that I would see when I’d get on a plane once a week that would make me want to hurry home. But I think, you can want that because you think it’s the right thing to want, but that’s not enough for me. If it’s not sincere and it’s not real, then it’s not enough for me and we’re wasting everyone’s time.
I asked God in the last year, I said, I just want your desires. I know what your desires are, but I want those to be mine. My word for the year in 2016 was establish. In so many ways it was really reestablish. It’s never too late to reestablish what you want your life to look like, and what you want to be about.
I think even the Lord’s convicted me in the last year, saying: If you need consistent friendship in your life … If you’ve lived in the city for three years and you wonder if anyone would miss you when you left, then clearly you need to be a consistent friend yourself. If you want to be a friend that has a trusted circle, then you need to be a trustworthy friend yourself, which means you probably need to stay home more and show up for people more, and not be the kind of person who jumps on planes and becomes a conversationalist of convenience, but one who has to invest and serve and dig deep. So I pray that’s what’s happening to me.
What I pray is that, when you ask God to give you his desires, he really does. And I see that happening in my heart.
Mike: Tell me about home for you and what that means for you.
I read The Alchemist eight years ago, and it feels like he’s really searching the whole Earth and is wandering the world looking for this buried treasure, and as many of us who’ve read the book know, he finds the buried treasure under the tree in front of his home. I kind of feel like Santiago.
I was raised in Florida and I went away 15 hours to a college in Virginia and met the love of my life and then we landed in Atlanta, then we went to New York, and now Nashville. Really, what home to me is is togetherness and belonging. I think home is so layered. Because we have our upbringing version of it, our adolescent view of it.
Even as kids it’s been so sweet to have conversations with my mom and dad and to hear their vantage point now. Because now that I’m a mom of teens, and I could only remember my vantage point as a teen, but then hearing their heartache and having so much empathy going, you’re right, I did do that to you and now I’m on the other side of it.
I feel like our whole life, we’re looking to recover or reconcile this idea of home. Whether it’s early trauma or emotional abandonment, whatever that looks like, we’ve got the rest of our days to get healthy so that we can give a gift to our next generation and our children that is a better version than maybe what we thought we could offer. I think that’s what hope is, what life is. This rebellious hope that home can actually be more than what we thought.