Last night started out as any other ordinary evening for us. We had put the children to bed and I was laying on the couch in my pj’s as John and I discussed dinner plans. Battling some sinus issues, all I wanted was soup. I was scrolling through instagram while we chatted and a familiar picture popped up. It was the gardens at Founder’s Inn (located directly across the street from our house). Curiously I glanced down to see who had posted it and saw Rebekah Lyons name. She was here to film a segment for the 700 club.
I purchased Rebekah’s book at Barnes and Noble just last weekend. I’d seen online several times and again at another book store recently. I actually told my friend who was with me on that occasion that it looked like a good book but not necessarily one I would relate to. I had read an inaccurate review and didn’t think the book would move me so I walked by. Then at our date night last weekend, John and I were strolling through the isles of Barnes and Noble and I stopped at her book once more. This time I picked it up and read the back cover and the poem on the inside flap. I was hooked and I brought it home with me that night.
I read through Freefall to Fly in about 24 hours. It touched my soul in ways I wasn’t expecting. I felt such a connection to Rebekah and her story. I felt like she was someone I could easily be friends with an relate to in a real life setting. While our stories are different, there’s a struggle and resolve that strikes a similar note of surrender and redemption. I thought about emailing her, but assumed she got hundreds a day and didn’t want to be another email clogging her busy life. Instead a friend (my girl crush) and I decided to read it together… slowly… soaking up the truth together and talk about what it means for our lives.
So when I saw that Rebekah was right across the street strolling through the gardens I knew I had to swallow my fear and ask. I commented on her photo telling her I would love to grab coffee the next day (today) if she had time. She emailed me. The next day was filled to the brim, but she had time right then. Could I meet her in the lobby in 15 minutes?
I jumped off the couch and out of my pajamas as fast as I could. I was beyond excited and then all of a sudden very self conscious and nervous. I’d seen her pictures and knew she lives in New York City. She’s beautiful and stylish. I had a stuffy nose and sweaty palms. I threw on my favorite stitch fix blouse and some make up. As I rushed toward the door, remembering at the last second to grab my copy of her book, I turned to John and asked, “do I look okay?” His response immediately put me at ease. “You don’t even have to try. You always look beautiful. Relax. God put this together and it’s going to be great.”
John was right. As I waited through the stop light to cross the one street separating us I prayed. “God please don’t let this be some crazy coincidence. Please let this be something you orchestrated.” And it was.
Rebekah and I sat in big cushy chairs and talked for a little over an hour. I found her to be gracious, humble, down to earth, and so very encouraging. We shared back and forth about our life experiences. She was able to share her perspective as the mother of a twelve year old boy with Down’s Syndrome, and I was able to share about our journey right now with Mareto and his autism. So many of my fears slipped away as we talked, just one mama to another. She infused so much hope into my story.
Conversation moved very easily into her book and then shifted into her experience in writing and having the book published. She was so kind to allow me to pick her brain about the whole process and then let me share my heart and the story living in there. Together she helped me flesh out my ideas more and gave insight into what kinds of questions I need to have an answer to for a publisher to be interested. Gracious. Helpful. Genuine. Encouraging. Inspiring.
I’m forever thankful that she took the time to chat with a girl she didn’t know. It was an experience that I’ll never forget. Before we parted ways I asked her to sign my book, thinking she’d just sign her name on the inside blank page. Instead she took her time and wrote me a whole note. Beautiful.