“What if we started to see weakness not only as something to endure but as our spiritual gift? What if we didn’t fight it so hard? What if we stopped pretending What if we allowed grace to meet us there and resurrect the broken things? What if we live as though we actually believe God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness?”– Alia Joy, Glorious Weakness, page 171.
I feel like the words I try to say about this book will just diminish the scope of what it is. But here’s for trying.
Sickness, poverty, depression, bipolar disorder, and more sickness piled onto more, more, more of less than expected life circumstances; Alia Joy has been through a lot more than many of us.
This book is powerful not only because of her life stories, but because of the way she reframes her life stories to reflect a bigger picture of God and challenge our own assumptions about weakness in general, our own weakness, and those we might consider weak among us.
This book is life, and hope in life.
I really appreciated Alia Joy’s honesty and straightforwardness about poverty, growing up poor, coming to terms with her faith, and battling through illness, asthma, and mental health diagnosis and the stigma attached with all of it. Her writing is vivid, clear, and sometimes humorous as she shows us all the ways God is there for us in our weakness and how weakness is actually a strength.
“My deficiency was the strongest thing about me because God was fully present in my lack.”Joy p. 169
We are not all weak in the same ways, but we are all weak in many ways. Alia Joy has given words and hope to the way our hardships, weaknesses, and failings can spring up new life in us instead of death. She tells about a Jesus changed way of thinking, not a Jesus-fix-it way.
“I had no idea that the cross God would call me to carry was a life of ordinary faithfulness. That I would instead be tasked with recognizing the poverty in myself and bearing witness to the goodness of God in a life I never wanted.”Joy p. 33
Alia Joy gives us hope for the ways weakness is a ministry. She challenges us to faith in a God who is there in the midst of our struggle, instead of faith captivated by our ability to serve God before, after, or in spite of struggle.
It made me feel all the feels. Underline on every page. And say ‘yes to this’ again and again.
I think this book is actually for everyone.
Here are just a few of the quotes I underlined:
- Instead I am called there to see the beauty in being stretched.” p136
- “For me, calling doesn’t look like mountains being moved or seas parted. Most days it looks like a seed buried, ever changing from day to day but unnoticeable to everyone above ground.” p137
- “Sorrow is sacred. Suffering is not an indictment against God; it can be the single space we identify most deeply with Christ, who knows it best.” p146
- “Are we people who bear one another’s burdens well? Or do we spend most of our time trying to convince then that it couldn’t possibly be that heavy or that they don’t have that much further to carry it?” p153
- “In lament, we find language that boldly comes before God and trusts him to show his face.” p159
Have you read this book? Will you? It really is so so good. I will be running a giveaway soon, stay tuned! But do order it now if you can!
(Disclaimers: I received a copy in exchange for participating in the Glorious Weakness Launch team, though I ordered my own copy as well. Also: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. Thanks!)