This week I had the privilege of hosting Rebekah Lyons. For me, welcoming my favorite author to our campus has been quite the journey.
About a year ago, I stumbled across Rebekah’s name and found myself on her website. I was moved by her passion for women, and God began to stir in me my own passion to create a space where girls could go beyond conversation centered on their current crush or nail polish color. There needed to be something more—something deeper. As Rebekah said, “Often it seems indulgent to say, ‘Why am I here? Does my life matter? Does my life have meaning?’ But it’s actually just giving worthiness to the Creation that God have all of us” (Quote from a video found here: http://rebekahlyons.com/freefallbook/).
I began to ask questions. How do we go deeper? Are we capitalizing on the Christian community that you have at Greenville College? In Burritt? Are we taking advantage of the fact that you in live in the same building with 200 other women that represent a vast array of struggles: value, purpose, vulnerability?
I tried to communicate these questions to a variety of people, but I was met with frustration and disappointment. I was having such a hard time getting my point across and being able to communicate the weight of what I was feeling.
These thoughts and frustrations were in the forefront of my mind for months as a chaotic mixture of words that I was unable to express. Then I found her book, and I decided to read it (Freefall to Fly by Rebekah Lyons). As I read, I realized that Rebekah was putting my chaotic thoughts into words in a way that I was previously unable to express. God continued to show me a need for women to find calling and meaning—to go beyond nail polish and get to deeper topics where true vulnerability and connection can be found. So then God presented me with this: “Great thoughts, Emily. Now what are you going to do about it?” (Because, of course, God continues to challenge and push us in order to experience growth.)
It began by inviting Rebekah to campus, which was super exciting, but I still felt like there needed to be more—something deeper. I asked myself, “How can I share my passion?” God showed me that He wanted to share Rebekah’s story through her book. And then He made it happen: we ordered 40 copies, distributed them to the female RC’s and other community members, and wrote a Bible Study. Since January, several women on campus have been a part of learning about the lessons God is teaching us through Rebekah’s story. Through this process, God has been opening the hearts of women on campus to go deeper, to find themselves through Jesus and experience a life of meaning (or at least that’s been my hope and prayer).
On Friday, March 21, we had the privilege of hosting Rebekah Lyons on our campus. She spoke in chapel and then did a Q & A. She shared her story, from struggle to redemption.
However, having Rebekah Lyons with us was more than hosting another chapel speaker. This was a God-led journey to acknowledge struggle and bring that from a place of darkness to light. It just so happens that God used Rebekah Lyons as a means to accomplish something bigger than ourselves.