Discovering God in All We Lack
"The vulnerability and beauty found in these pages will leave you breathless."--Ann Voskamp, New York Times bestselling author of The Broken Way and One Thousand Gifts
As a girl, Alia Joy came face-to-face with weakness, poverty, and loss in ways that made her doubt God was good. There were times when she felt as if God had abandoned her. What she didn't realize then was that God was always there, calling her to abandon herself.
In this deeply personal exploration of what it means to be "poor in spirit," Joy challenges us to embrace true vulnerability and authenticity with God and with one another, showing how weakness does not disqualify us from inclusion in the kingdom of God--instead, it is our very invitation to enter in.
"In a culture that craves presence, and with hearts longing for hope in our darkest hours, Alia Joy is a voice in the wilderness that leads us back home. Her voice is one our generation needs. Her words offer an invitation we can't afford to miss."--Renee Swope, author of the international bestseller A Confident Heart; former radio cohost of Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee, Proverbs 31 Ministries
"Alia Joy writes straight from the heart, holding nothing back. You will quickly think of ten friends who need to read this book. Then you will realize the one who needs it most is you."--Liz Curtis Higgs, bestselling author of Bad Girls of the Bible
Alia Joy is a ragamuffin storyteller who has become a trusted voice in conversations around mental and physical illness, abuse, race, embodiment, poverty, and staying fluent in the language of hope. She weaves beauty through brokenness at AliaJoy.com and is regularly featured at (in)courage, Patheos, Grace Table, She Loves magazine, and The Mudroom. Alia lives in Oregon with her family, where she abides in both weakness and glory.
"This is not a book about suffering for the sake of suffering. This work leads you deeper into an experience of Christ, the suffering servant, and along the way exposes the faux-christ of middle-class privilege."
from the foreword by Seth Haines
"The vulnerability and beauty found in these pages will leave you breathless as Alia wisely leads the weary on a journey into God's goodness and grace, even in the midst of our deepest weakness, heartbreak, and loss. Her exquisite words are a tender touch that resurrect us in our brokenness to the knowledge that we are deeply seen--and that even in our weakness, there can be life-giving glory and reviving grace. These are healing pages for hurting hearts and ones I will return to again and again."
Ann Voskamp, New York Times bestselling author of The Broken Way and One Thousand Gifts
"In a culture that craves presence, and with hearts longing for hope in our darkest hours, Alia Joy is a voice in the wilderness that leads us back home. Her words, written with the rawest form of beauty, paint the truth about our brokenness with brushstrokes of grace and lament. When I feel lost in my own life, confused by my struggles and pain, Alia's writing helps me find my way back to Jesus. Her voice is one our generation needs. Her words offer an invitation we can't afford to miss."
Renee Swope, author of the international bestseller A Confident Heart; former radio cohost of Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee, Proverbs 31 Ministries
"With a voice all her own, Alia Joy writes straight from the heart, holding nothing back. Her story is honest, raw, brave. Her prose is beautiful and utterly original. Her insights are deep, forged from years of living in places and spaces most of us try to avoid. You will quickly think of ten friends who need to read this book. Then you will realize the one who needs it most is you. Glorious Weakness eases past our practiced smiles and Christian platitudes to show us what Paul meant when he wrote, 'For when I am weak, then I am strong' (2 Cor. 12:10 NIV). By embracing the kind of strength that can be found only in admitting our weakness, Alia Joy has given us what we long for above all--hope."
Liz Curtis Higgs, bestselling author of Bad Girls of the Bible
"Alia does nothing without soulful intention, and this includes her writing. Her perspective of the world helps me think broader, humbler, and outside the norm, and I'm grateful for it. She can weave words as only a skilled artist who has walked long paths to find the finest thread can. Alia's words are a gift, and we are all better for her sharing them with us."
Tsh Oxenreider, author of At Home in the World
"Alia uses her words to change people. She changes how we see and more importantly how we act. She gives us the gift of new eyes to see Jesus in ways and places we didn't expect--and to follow him. Some people are beautiful writers. Some are powerful motivators. Alia is both. Her writing is a one-two punch, and we need more of it in the world."
Lisa-Jo Baker, bestselling author of Never Unfriended and Surprised by Motherhood
"Glorious Weakness is a beautiful paradox--challenging and comforting, heart-wrenching and heart-mending, devastating and hopeful. We are all broken. We are all beloved. We all forget both of these are true. Alia's honest, gorgeous words will remind you. I will be thinking about this book for a very long time."
Holley Gerth, bestselling author of Fiercehearted
"If your heart is broken, circle around. Alia Joy sets the table and saves a place for the sidelined, the marginalized, and the poor in spirit. Her vulnerable strength paints a compelling picture of Jesus--friend to stragglers, comfort for strugglers. Here's my best advice: lean forward and read this beautiful book with your palms up and your heart open."
Emily P. Freeman, author of Simply Tuesday and The Next Right Thing
"This book achieves something incredibly powerful and rare: it heals as it cuts. Alia Joy wields her pen like a double-edged sword. For some, her words will inspire the most wonderful Holy Spirit conviction. For others, her message will be a balm of understanding and hope. For all of us, Alia preaches a better, fuller, truer gospel."
Sharon Hodde Miller, author of Free of Me
"In her stunning debut, Alia Joy peels the shame from weakness and lights a campfire with the husks, inviting us to gather around and warm our hands. Her vivid, lyrical writing paints a place of solace where longing makes way for belonging and sorrow is a hidden passageway to wonder. I devoured every word. Read this book if you want to believe God is even bigger than you need him to be. There's room for all of us in this wide circle of hope."
Shannan Martin, author of The Ministry of Ordinary Places and Falling Free
"Glorious Weakness is stunningly written, wholly honest, and deeply theological. This book gives words to the feeling we've all had of believing we're on the outside, only to find Jesus with us, beckoning us with a glint in his eyes. Alia Joy's story will help you toss a clichéd Christianity, exchanging it for a vibrant, robust, feet-to-the-ground faith. This is a gift to the body of Christ."
Mary DeMuth, author of The Seven Deadly Friendships
"Christians worship One who came as a baby and lived a humble, rejected, and homeless existence and was from a city of unimportance. Our worship is directed toward God, who came as a weak man. How we got to the place where we began to believe, and market, that his kingdom mostly comes through strength is beyond me. This book is a massive leap in the right direction and is long overdue. It is through weakness, not our perceived victories and strengths and accomplishments, that the kingdom of Jesus mostly comes in our world. And the sooner we listen to voices like Alia's in her beautiful Glorious Weakness, the faster we can get out of the way and God's will can be done here on earth."
A. J. Swoboda, pastor, teacher, and author of Subversive Sabbath
"Alia writes with an aching eloquence, inviting us to excavate the places where we are wounded and to sit with our pain and the pain of others. In Glorious Weakness she reminds us that God knows where we ache, sees and understands our pain, and wants to heal the many places where we are wounded."
Amena Brown, spoken word poet, host of HER with Amena Brown podcast, and author of How to Fix a Broken Record
"So often, when I realize sadness or scarcity or silence from God is my lot for a particular season, I find my ego looking for the exit ramp. I have to resist the urge to plead with that silent God for a way out or around. Anything other than through. But God is all about through. God led the Israelites through the sea and through the desert, and one day each of us will be led through the valley of the shadow of death. This book is a beautiful account of the gift of through. I am left speechless with wonder and deeply grateful for the incredibly rich gift of weakness in a world that would trick me into believing weakness is anything but glorious."
Deidra Riggs, author, speaker, and disco lover
"Alia Joy's literate prose and fascinating life story as a struggling missionary kid could hardly be more compelling. But it was her visceral honesty and wisdom, particularly about mental health, that pierced me wide awake. She asks, 'What if we started to see weakness not only as something to endure but as our spiritual gift?' If we, the church, can catch this true vision, imagine what we could do!"
Leslie Leyland Fields, author of The Wonder Years
"Words are powerful, and Alia Joy wields that power with hard-won, unflinching honesty, patience, and love. She does not sugarcoat the injustices she and her family experienced but invites readers to sit with her in the margins, where so many of us claim to be but so few of us actually are."
Kathy Khang, author of Raise Your Voice
"Breathtaking, moving, meaningful, and timely. Alia Joy writes with exquisite skill on topics such as mental illness, suffering, poverty, and weakness--subjects we tend to turn from--and invites her readers in close to experience both the pain and the joy through her honesty, warmth, and hard-won hope in God. She strings words with excellence and beauty, balancing bold courage and humble strength. I highly, highly recommend this book."
Vivian Mabuni, speaker and author of Warrior in Pink
"Alia's writing is beautiful, but her content is even more so because it is dripping with counterintuitive truth. In this book, you'll discover that God dwells in the places you least expect. You'll learn of God's glory in the spaces you seldom consider: your weaknesses and deprivations. Alia is a trusted guide for she knows of which she speaks. I trust the wisdom she has gained from suffering and Jesus Christ in her. This is a timely book for it directs us to the timeless way of Jesus. May we all heed what she has to say."
Marlena Graves, author of A Beautiful Disaster
"With gorgeous prose, Alia Joy takes readers on a guided tour of the intricate twists and turns the human heart can make as it attempts to endure and make sense of suffering. But it's not an abstract treatise about suffering from a ten-thousand-foot view; it's an intimate, vulnerable portrait of her own fragility in the face of poverty, illness, loss, disillusionment, injustice, unrelenting psychic pain, and the take-you-out nature of some forms of hardship. The way she tells her story enables us to become more acquainted with our own. And although this book is about finding God in our weakness, it's also a powerful portrayal of how to ask big, bold, and scary questions about God. Alia courageously takes head-on all the scandalous implications. Like Job, who said, 'Yet I will argue my ways to his face' (Job 13:15 ESV), she knows that if God is real, he can bear whatever scrutiny we subject him to and receive and respond to whatever direct challenges we hurl at him. She leaves no stone unturned, no room for platitudes or simplistic theologies. Because she does so, readers are empowered to do the same."
Judy Wu Dominick, essayist and speaker
"Alia Joy begins her book by saying it may not be for everyone. Fair enough, and so I began to read. As I turned the final pages I had to disagree with her--no, your book is for all of us, and your timing couldn't be better. In a day when we're witnessing the destructive darkness of power, Alia points to the redeeming light of weakness. Far from a message of 'woe is me,' she whispers, 'Greater is he.' It is to our benefit to listen."
John Blase, poet and author of The Jubilee: Poems
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