Freedom to Flourish
The Rest God Offers in the Purpose He Gives You
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Are you tired? Are you weary?
So many Christian women are exhausted because we’ve come to believe that God’s purpose for us is rooted in what we do—which means we’re constantly striving to somehow do enough. But there is hope! Elizabeth takes us back to the gracious plan God laid out for us in Genesis: he created us to bear his image, he is inviting us to live out that purpose, and through Christ he frees us to flourish as those who are unconditionally loved.
“A breath of fresh air for any woman who feels exhausted from the try-harder-do-more pressures of life. . . . Writing with biblical wisdom and insight, Garn warmly invites women to rest in God as they faithfully fulfill their calling.”
—Melissa Kruger, Director of Women’s Initiatives, The Gospel Coalition
“Garn calls us to remember that the joy and fulfillment we seek cannot be uncoupled from our calling as God’s image-bearers. Offering readers a better story than traditionalist gender tropes or the try-harder-do-better mantras of secularism, she invites us into true freedom—the freedom of becoming our truest selves through Christ.”
—Hannah Anderson, Author, Made for More: An Invitation to Live in God’s Image
“Elizabeth Garn provides a compassionate and winsome voice for those struggling with their calling as Christian women. . . . Best of all, she reminds readers repeatedly that their worth in God’s sight comes not from their own efforts but as a gift from him.”
—David VanDrunen, Robert B. Strimple Professor of Systematic Theology and Christian Ethics, Westminster Seminary California
“Elizabeth Garn offers an insightful and hope-giving understanding of God’s design for human flourishing, the effects of sin, and the restoration offered in the gospel.”
—Eric Schumacher, Coauthor, Worthy: Celebrating the Value of Women
"Elizabeth has given us both a commentary and a devotional on Genesis 1–3. Though this may be familiar territory for some, readers will be truly inspired as she takes us deeper into these chapters than most of us have gone before. I hope many groups will study this together and be inspired in community to live out their gifts in the image of God."
—Wendy Alsup, Author, Companions in Suffering: Comfort for Times of Loss and Loneliness
"It’s not every day that you read a book and sense God causing your heart to feel simultaneously rested and stirred toward loving action. This is the twofold impact of Freedom to Flourish: Elizabeth Garn has taken a careful look at Genesis 1–3 and in these pages shares the fruit of long hours spent gazing at Christ and what it means for us to be image bearers of God through him. If you’re tired, bent down under shame, or just plain confused about what it means to be a faithful Christian woman, read this book and allow God to draw you closer to himself, then compel you outward . . . to flourish and rest through life as a loved image bearer."
—Ellen Mary Dykas, Women’s Ministry Director, Harvest USA
"Who am I? This is one of life’s most important questions. For many women, including myself, the answers we’ve heard have only left us confused, unanchored, and empty. In Freedom to Flourish, Elizabeth Garn takes us through Genesis 1–3 and shows us the glorious purpose for which we were created. Sisters, read this book with joy as you receive the gift of purpose, crafted for you by the Maker himself."
—Christina Fox, Counselor; Writer; Retreat Speaker; Author, A Holy Fear: Trading Lesser Fears for the Fear of the Lord
"Elizabeth Garn’s wise, careful exposition of Genesis 1–3 leads us to see the story of creation with new eyes. Her lively, well-organized prose provides fresh insights about what it means to be an image bearer; how sin destroys but God binds up and restores; and how God calls us to join him in his work of redemption and community. Freedom to Flourish is infused with grace and the soul-rest that our creative, redeeming, restoring God provides."
—Maria Garriott, Author, A Thousand Resurrections: An Urban Spiritual Journey
"In a world where self-determination and independence are the air we breathe, Freedom to Flourish is a life-giving invitation to be rather than do. Its pages bring a fresh perspective of what it looks like for women to thrive in their creation design."
—Karen Hodge, Coordinator of Women’s Ministries, Presbyterian Church in America (PCA); Author, Transformed: Life-Taker to Life-Giver and Life-Giving Leadership
"Like an excellent optician, Elizabeth Garn accurately calibrates our vision so that we can more clearly see what it means for Christian women to be image bearers of God, who is our Creator and Redeemer. Centering both our identity and our purpose in this clarified reality, Garn enthusiastically calls Christian women to renewed engagement in a life that wholeheartedly promotes flourishing in the world around us."
—Stephanie O. Hubach, Research Fellow in Disability Ministries, Covenant Theological Seminary
"So many books for Christian women focus on the roles we inhabit. While that can be helpful for navigating the complexities of life, what happens when we no longer inhabit that role? What does the Bible say to me if I’m single or no longer married? Who am I if I am not a mother or I find myself an empty nester? Though roles shift and change over time, our identity is secure. Are we preparing women to think outside these roles and embrace a calling that moves beyond what fills our day-to-day life? Elizabeth Garn does an excellent job of reminding us of what we were created for. She encourages our hearts with the truth that God has called us to be his image bearers, to fill the earth with his glory as imitators of our great God. We were made to create, restore, and rescue. What a high calling! I truly appreciate Elizabeth’s care for all women in every age and stage of life. She speaks with compassion and teaches our hearts to embrace the One who created us in his image and likeness for his great purposes."
—Abby Ross Hutto, Director of Spiritual Formation, Story Presbyterian Church, Westerville, Ohio; Author, God For Us: Discovering the Heart of the Father through the Life of the Son
"Genesis 1–2 is often described like a symphony, and reading this book is like sitting next to a friend who understands the piece and points out how each note sings of God’s grace and love, personally inviting you to enter the music at a life-changing level! In these pages, Elizabeth honestly shares from her own struggles and invites us to reconsider our calling as image bearers, lovingly exposing misconceptions and constraints so that we are freed to glory in who the Lord is and to embrace our purpose to reflect him in the world."
—Meaghan May, Women’s Ministry Regional Advisor for the Northeast, PCA Discipleship Ministries; Trainer and Local Network Leader, Parakaleo
"Freedom to Flourish is a must-read for men who love Jesus, the Bible, and the church. Elizabeth Garn makes a compelling, fair, in-depth biblical case for what it means to bear God’s image and the implications and emancipations that image bearing ought to bring to our daily lives. This book gives men an opportunity to listen in, respectfully, and to learn and to grow in empathy for many seldom-discussed struggles commonly experienced by half of the body of Christ. These pages contain insight and biblical exposition that men as well as women in the church would do well to study, discuss, and absorb."
—Paul May, Church Planter and Senior Pastor, King’s Cross Church, Ashburn, Virginia
"Have you ever felt worn out or confused about what it looks like to be a “woman of God”? If so, you will welcome the gospel-rich refreshment and sound theology of Elizabeth Garn’s Freedom to Flourish. Join Elizabeth in discovering God’s delight in you as his beloved creation. Rest in the sure hope she shares: even though you may still struggle with sin, you have been restored in Christ, and he is making you more loving and more lovely every day. Pick up this book, and discover your freedom to flourish in God’s design."
—Elizabeth Reynolds Turnage, Bible Teacher; Gospel Coach; Author, From Recovery to Restoration: 60 Meditations for Finding Peace and Hope in Crisis