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Glorious Weakness: Discovering God in All We Lack

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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 it 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 our cultural procliv 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 it 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 our cultural proclivity to "pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps." She calls on readers 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. Anyone who has struggled with feeling inadequate, disillusioned, or just too broken will find hope. This message is an antidote to despair, helping readers reclaim the ways God is good, even when life is anything but.


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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 it 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 our cultural procliv 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 it 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 our cultural proclivity to "pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps." She calls on readers 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. Anyone who has struggled with feeling inadequate, disillusioned, or just too broken will find hope. This message is an antidote to despair, helping readers reclaim the ways God is good, even when life is anything but.

30 review for Glorious Weakness: Discovering God in All We Lack

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alia Joy

    This is the best book I've ever written. This is the best book I've ever written.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Grace P. Cho

    Alia is an expert writer, one who can weave beauty and truth together, and a witness of God's faithfulness through poverty and lack and weakness. She speaks from the inside, from a place of continued struggle, so when she speaks of hope, she speaks as a guide who can walk with us in the journey. I keep coming back to the beautiful writing in this book and the truth that I can depend on God in all I lack, knowing Alia has done the same and continues to do so. She writes in her introduction that t Alia is an expert writer, one who can weave beauty and truth together, and a witness of God's faithfulness through poverty and lack and weakness. She speaks from the inside, from a place of continued struggle, so when she speaks of hope, she speaks as a guide who can walk with us in the journey. I keep coming back to the beautiful writing in this book and the truth that I can depend on God in all I lack, knowing Alia has done the same and continues to do so. She writes in her introduction that this book might not be for everyone, but I believe it is. All of us experience lack at some point in time in our lives, and when we go through the depths of those times, we can hold onto the testimony of her story: God is present, and our weakness is an invitation to experience His grace.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Susie Finkbeiner

    The first time I read anything by Alia Joy I was absolutely shaken by the absolute beauty of her writing. She has a way of finding meaning in what so many others take for granted. Later I learned that we're both 4w5 in the Enneagram world and it made sense to me how reading her made me feel at home. I was honored when she asked me to be part of her release team. What a gift she gave me. But what an even more beautiful gift she has given all of us in this book. To say this book is raw is an unders The first time I read anything by Alia Joy I was absolutely shaken by the absolute beauty of her writing. She has a way of finding meaning in what so many others take for granted. Later I learned that we're both 4w5 in the Enneagram world and it made sense to me how reading her made me feel at home. I was honored when she asked me to be part of her release team. What a gift she gave me. But what an even more beautiful gift she has given all of us in this book. To say this book is raw is an understatement. Alia Joy showed such courage to share her life and with such clarity, honesty, and grace. She's been through a lot. So much that I wished my arms could reach from Michigan to Oregon to give her a hug and to tell her how thankful I am that she's my friend. To tell her that I'm proud of her for being so brave. Yet, not once did in the retelling of her life's story did I detect a poor me attitude. Never did I find a platitude. In fact, the way she relates to God through the tough times is so relatable, so relevant, so true. Her lament reminds me of the psalmist. They made me feel less alone in some of my struggles. Friends who love beautiful writing, this book is for you. Those of you not afraid of going deep, this one's for you. Any of you facing adversity, loneliness, chronic illness, doubt -- do yourself a solid and get a copy of this book. And for those who want to sharpen their empathy and compassion focus, I encourage you to buy it too. Then, think of someone in your life who could use a book like this one. Thanks, Alia, for writing something that reminded me of the gift of weakness. It came at just the right time. (Many thanks to Baker Book for supplying this copy with no stipulations on what sort of review I should give. Every positive thing I said is all me and I'm more than happy to share them.)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nicole T.

    Alia Joy writes with lyrical prose and expert storytelling but what really captures you is her vulnerability and honesty. She tells the raw truth about pain and doubt in a rare way that doesn’t gloss over it and rush onto easy answers. She allows you to walk with her. But she has another rare quality of hope-infused writing in the midst of talking about human weakness. I devoured the book in two days, staying up late to finish it, tears streaming down my cheeks when I did. This book is a beautif Alia Joy writes with lyrical prose and expert storytelling but what really captures you is her vulnerability and honesty. She tells the raw truth about pain and doubt in a rare way that doesn’t gloss over it and rush onto easy answers. She allows you to walk with her. But she has another rare quality of hope-infused writing in the midst of talking about human weakness. I devoured the book in two days, staying up late to finish it, tears streaming down my cheeks when I did. This book is a beautiful reminder of our complete frailty and God’s ability to meet us right in the middle of it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gina Dalfonzo

    So very powerful. There's no chirpiness, no holier-than-thou stuff, no jargon. Just gut-wrenching, deeply moving honesty and faith that has been honed in the fire. I am in awe of what Alia's been through and the person that it has made her. She manages to be blunt, sensitive, and compassionate all at the same time. And though my story can't begin to compare, her words did hit home and help me begin to heal from some of the hurts I've suffered recently. I needed this book very badly. I suspect th So very powerful. There's no chirpiness, no holier-than-thou stuff, no jargon. Just gut-wrenching, deeply moving honesty and faith that has been honed in the fire. I am in awe of what Alia's been through and the person that it has made her. She manages to be blunt, sensitive, and compassionate all at the same time. And though my story can't begin to compare, her words did hit home and help me begin to heal from some of the hurts I've suffered recently. I needed this book very badly. I suspect that many of us do.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Shawn Smucker

    Heartbreakingly beautiful. An important book in our times that seem to only value success and advancement.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Emily P

    "Glorious Weakness" by Alia Joy is one that will stick with me. I highlighted such beautiful passages that there is no doubt I will return to her words over time. Alia shares her roller coaster of a life: from defeating leukemia in her childhood, living on the mission field, experiencing abuse, to overcoming doubt and fear as she learns to live with being bipolar. I don't know if I have words adequate enough to describe the depth found in these pages--the transparency and vulnerability seep thro "Glorious Weakness" by Alia Joy is one that will stick with me. I highlighted such beautiful passages that there is no doubt I will return to her words over time. Alia shares her roller coaster of a life: from defeating leukemia in her childhood, living on the mission field, experiencing abuse, to overcoming doubt and fear as she learns to live with being bipolar. I don't know if I have words adequate enough to describe the depth found in these pages--the transparency and vulnerability seep through the paragraphs. The reader can tell this book has been well thought out and ruminated on for some time and for that I am thankful. While "Glorious Weakness " is not an easy read, there are many lampposts of hope throughout the book. In the midst of challenging circumstances, Alia shares the ways Jesus has led her, provided for her family and changed her perspective on her illness. Life may be hard, but we can persevere, even in our weakness. I loved the way Alia chose to confront the things she can't control--instead, leaving Jesus to handle it, admitting she wasn't able. Often as Christians we try and slap a smile on weary faces, choosing to only show the good sides of ourselves. We forget that when we do that, we lose the opportunity to minister through connection, vulnerability and honesty. To not be afraid of being weak, to admit we are not a perfect, Sunday School Christian has a power few understand. Alia deftly describes new motherhood, family dynamics, depression and self image issues that many of us can relate to. I found myself reading portions aloud to my husband, as they have been mountains we, too, have traveled together. I was truly sad to come to the conclusion of the book. I was part of an early reader group and feel very blessed to have taken part. All opinions are my own and I was not required to leave a review. "Glorious Weakness" is a book that will challenge and inspire. Please do not miss out on this one!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Marvia Davidson

    Have you ever read a book that immediately read you, pricked your heart with wonder, and made you feel an abiding kindred of experience and heartache? That is what reading Alia Joy’s book was like for me. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I knew I’d find beauty in her story telling - the kind the invites you to come sit and the table because this story seems like your own in so many ways. Alia’s book made me feel connected to her story and to my own. It reminded me that any weakness is no Have you ever read a book that immediately read you, pricked your heart with wonder, and made you feel an abiding kindred of experience and heartache? That is what reading Alia Joy’s book was like for me. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I knew I’d find beauty in her story telling - the kind the invites you to come sit and the table because this story seems like your own in so many ways. Alia’s book made me feel connected to her story and to my own. It reminded me that any weakness is not the end of us, nor is it shameful. We are deeply endeared to God, and He is with us in our weakness in ways that defy logic and in ways the keep us rooted and grounded in hope. I am grateful for Alia’s words as they are needed now more than ever. This is the book you want and need to read so you can remain “fluent in the language of hope.” One thing to note is that there are strong, mature themes regarding sexual abuse and mental illness, and hope is woven through it all.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Briana Almengor

    This book gave words to so many of my own thoughts and feelings about the hardships of life, the God Who allows them, and my struggle to believe what He says is true of both. A few quotes to whet your appetite for more: "Sometimes just being seen and understood is the first step to easing the pain." "We love the power we feel in choice. We say God is all we need but we don't live like it." "Our need might be the thing that most blesses the Body of Christ." "Sometimes howling at the moon in the waste This book gave words to so many of my own thoughts and feelings about the hardships of life, the God Who allows them, and my struggle to believe what He says is true of both. A few quotes to whet your appetite for more: "Sometimes just being seen and understood is the first step to easing the pain." "We love the power we feel in choice. We say God is all we need but we don't live like it." "Our need might be the thing that most blesses the Body of Christ." "Sometimes howling at the moon in the wastelands with our fists raised to the heavens is our most honest prayer for Jesus to come down from the high and distant places we've relegated Him to and walk with us on scorched and humble feet. Sometimes the holiest ground is the emptiest." "The image of God has nothing to do with merit, nothing to do with status, or character, nothing to do with our body's ability or lack thereof. It has everything to do with God's imprint on his most intimate creation. WE don't earn it, it is bestowed, essential to who we are. Beloved. " "The cross tells us the truth. I don't know of a fiercer love than this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. We are not shamed, self-satisfied, we are saved." "For those who put their trust in God's love, the cross neither condemns nor condones, it only ever covers us with Jesus. This kind of truth is intrusive but it is also redemptive. It both unmasks and covers." "We become more concerned with our stance than with our surrender. How easy it is to stand against one thing only to find you're becoming what you're against." --basically, the ENTIRETY of chapter 5 which is entitled, "Uncomfortable Love"...if you only get to read one chapter of this whole book, read this one. Ouch. It's uncomfortable in the most profound and woo'ing kind of way. A great take away from this chapter is, "We all have our own guest lists, and we will be shocked and appalled by who is embossed on God's." and "We're going to have scars, too, if we want to look like Jesus." "I always believed the wild girl who lived in me would be set free and I'd make my mark on this earth. I didn't know the mark I'd make was a grave where I'd bury dreams and what would grow in its place would look nothing like I'd ever imagined." ***OH man, did this resonate with me! "We are not better Christians when we call the hardest parts in life "good." But we can learn to call God good in the hardest parts of our lives." "So often when the world feels like the harshest truth we go quiet. We don't want to admit we went down with the ship. We don't want to confess we are clinging to debris afloat in a sea of nothing but our losses." "We can be honest that this is not at all what we expected. And Jesus would get that look in his eyes, ...to say, 'My child, you are absolutely right.'" Ack...guys! I promise there is so much more than what you sampled here in the quotes. If you "walk with a limp" because life has been so much different and harder than you expected, If you have ever felt perplexed by how God's goodness makes sense in your circumstances, If you have ever felt out of place at church, If you have ever known want, lack, pain, betrayal, If you have ever wondered how your small life could possibly bring glory to your Big God, READ Alia's book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Holmes

    This book was all I hoped it would be. Alia's beautiful writing style combined with scriptural truths made for a lovely and helpful read. As someone who struggles with the desire to be self-sufficient, this was an important reminder of my need for God and others. I constantly need the reminder that in the Kingdom of God, our weaknesses allow God to show His strength. And that is exactly where I need to be - aware of my weakness so that God can work on my behalf. I highly recommend this book to a This book was all I hoped it would be. Alia's beautiful writing style combined with scriptural truths made for a lovely and helpful read. As someone who struggles with the desire to be self-sufficient, this was an important reminder of my need for God and others. I constantly need the reminder that in the Kingdom of God, our weaknesses allow God to show His strength. And that is exactly where I need to be - aware of my weakness so that God can work on my behalf. I highly recommend this book to anyone, because we are all weak. And we all need the reminder that our weakness is glorious when it drives us back to God.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tasha Burgoyne

    This book is not only good (and good is a huge understatement), it’s needed. Alia’s prophetic storytelling, her tender voice, and her courage to share the truth with such vulnerability is irreplaceable.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    Blogger and now first-time author Alia Joy transparently shares her journey through a poverty-stricken childhood with missionary parents, abuse, a myriad of physical ailments, and mental illness. Alia is a lyrical writer and - watch out - there's some simile overload. However, her writing is incredibly beautiful so it's a-ok. I appreciated Alia's ability to find her voice and authentically share her many life challenges, understanding that she grew closer to God amidst her suffering. Alia commun Blogger and now first-time author Alia Joy transparently shares her journey through a poverty-stricken childhood with missionary parents, abuse, a myriad of physical ailments, and mental illness. Alia is a lyrical writer and - watch out - there's some simile overload. However, her writing is incredibly beautiful so it's a-ok. I appreciated Alia's ability to find her voice and authentically share her many life challenges, understanding that she grew closer to God amidst her suffering. Alia communicates the key point that God is always with us, and He's always good. Verses from 2 Corinthians 9:11-12 come to mind: "But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I’m absolutely in love with this book; it’s one of the best I’ve read in a long time. This is for anyone who has felt unwanted, been broke, believed God wasn’t good, and been deeply wounded. Alia’s beautiful storytelling draws us into deep truth that we need to know: our poverty, weakness, and lack brings us closer to the God who is with us in our brokenness. Alia vulnerably shares her heartbreaking experiences with hard things like mental illness, sexual trauma, and poverty, all the while drawi I’m absolutely in love with this book; it’s one of the best I’ve read in a long time. This is for anyone who has felt unwanted, been broke, believed God wasn’t good, and been deeply wounded. Alia’s beautiful storytelling draws us into deep truth that we need to know: our poverty, weakness, and lack brings us closer to the God who is with us in our brokenness. Alia vulnerably shares her heartbreaking experiences with hard things like mental illness, sexual trauma, and poverty, all the while drawing our eyes to the God of hope who is present in our lack. Note: there are a few passages that could be potentially triggering for those who have experienced sexual trauma, self-harm, or suicidal thoughts. These issues are handled honestly and in a raw, vulnerable way that highlights redemption and could be very healing. Just proceed with caution if these are struggles for you and take good care of yourself if you’re not in a place to read those sections.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kris Camealy

    Finally, a beautiful, honest, book that re-frames what the world perceives as weakness, revealing the hope of Christ that remains, when we we are otherwise defined by all that we lack. Glorious weakness navigates the rocky terrain of grief, loss, mental illness, poverty and prejudice, with grace and humility, offering real hope and joy to readers in the midst of difficult topics. Alia's book is a *must read*, and a beacon of light in the dark for those of us who struggle. Finally, a beautiful, honest, book that re-frames what the world perceives as weakness, revealing the hope of Christ that remains, when we we are otherwise defined by all that we lack. Glorious weakness navigates the rocky terrain of grief, loss, mental illness, poverty and prejudice, with grace and humility, offering real hope and joy to readers in the midst of difficult topics. Alia's book is a *must read*, and a beacon of light in the dark for those of us who struggle.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Amanda McClendon

    Full disclosure: Alia and I are Internet friends. That being said, how do you give a star rating to your friend pouring out her soul for the whole world to see? You don’t, so I’m not going to try. All I know is that this book makes me want to drive up and give her a hug, but also to thank her for the reminder that God is glorious in all the places where we are not. He may not fix everything hard in our lives, but He is still good.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jana Boatright

    Alia Joy is an excellent writer. Her words flow with the cadence of the Psalms, and you find yourself drawn in and unable to put the book down. Then you realize you have to because it's so much to digest (in the best kind of way). I personally have given out over 20 of her books and will continue to do so. Her prophetic writing will move mountains, or at a minimum, your heart. If you read anything in 2020, let it be this book. 🙌🙌🙌 Alia Joy is an excellent writer. Her words flow with the cadence of the Psalms, and you find yourself drawn in and unable to put the book down. Then you realize you have to because it's so much to digest (in the best kind of way). I personally have given out over 20 of her books and will continue to do so. Her prophetic writing will move mountains, or at a minimum, your heart. If you read anything in 2020, let it be this book. 🙌🙌🙌

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dorina Gilmore

    I couldn’t put this one down. I found myself reading and rereading sections and wondering how someone with such a different story from my own could speak so accurately about the places of weakness, hope, strength, and glory I’ve navigated these past five years. This book is just enough narrative to make me ache for more story. I was ravenous for the truths unveiled in each chapter. This book continues to teach me to pivot away from my own hidden lies of scarcity and to bask in the abundant light.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy Greco

    Glorious Weakness is disarmingly honest, disruptively prophetic, and incontrovertibly hopeful. Alia Joy's self-awareness and wisdom allow her to poke at the inequitable power structure without becoming a victim or resorting to blame. She generously allows us to see into the folds of her heart without being sentimental or manipulative. I've not read a book like this in a long time. You'll be challenged, disturbed, enlightened, and ultimately encouraged by Alia Joy's journey. (I received a free bo Glorious Weakness is disarmingly honest, disruptively prophetic, and incontrovertibly hopeful. Alia Joy's self-awareness and wisdom allow her to poke at the inequitable power structure without becoming a victim or resorting to blame. She generously allows us to see into the folds of her heart without being sentimental or manipulative. I've not read a book like this in a long time. You'll be challenged, disturbed, enlightened, and ultimately encouraged by Alia Joy's journey. (I received a free book in exchange for a fair review. Best deal ever.)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Gloryanna Boge

    I don’t give a lot of 5 star reviews. I had zero hesitancy in giving this book 5 stars. Alia’s story is so well written, raw, and honest, there is no way you can read this book and not walk away with a changed perspective. My story is nowhere near Alia’s, but her powerful narrative involving poverty and discrimination will shake your heart. Her ability to weave God’s glory throughout her story will change your heart.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    I do not remember how I found Alia Joy’s book, but I am so grateful that I did. It was refreshing to read about #blessed from a perspective of weakness and lack. Alia lives with bipolar disorder and many days struggles with just getting out of bed and wanting to even live. She is not a college graduate with a writing or fine arts degree, but rather a mom, daughter and wife who has so much to offer those who struggle with difficulties and loss. She is a fresh voice in the seemingly overcrowded wo I do not remember how I found Alia Joy’s book, but I am so grateful that I did. It was refreshing to read about #blessed from a perspective of weakness and lack. Alia lives with bipolar disorder and many days struggles with just getting out of bed and wanting to even live. She is not a college graduate with a writing or fine arts degree, but rather a mom, daughter and wife who has so much to offer those who struggle with difficulties and loss. She is a fresh voice in the seemingly overcrowded world of Christian books. I will definitely revisit her beautifully written words and the many highlights I made in my Kindle edition.

  21. 5 out of 5

    JENNIFER COOK

    This is a book of truth, hope, hardship, & honestly the best book of 2019 for me.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    Through lyrical, wistful prose, Alia Joy braids her personal stories of poverty, mental illness, and identity with reflections on the Bible’s proclamations about weakness. Alia paints a picture of how the gospel is less about power, strength, and victory, and more about humility, weakness, and death. The Beatitudes—blessed are the poor, meek, and weak—are, in fact, the canvas of the gospel. Messages about weakness are not always en vogue in Christian (or any) circles. In fact, as I read this boo Through lyrical, wistful prose, Alia Joy braids her personal stories of poverty, mental illness, and identity with reflections on the Bible’s proclamations about weakness. Alia paints a picture of how the gospel is less about power, strength, and victory, and more about humility, weakness, and death. The Beatitudes—blessed are the poor, meek, and weak—are, in fact, the canvas of the gospel. Messages about weakness are not always en vogue in Christian (or any) circles. In fact, as I read this book, I found myself humming the lyrics of an old worship song: “Let the weak say I am strong, let the poor say I am rich, because of what the Lord has done for us.” Glorious Weakness emphasizes the exact opposite of these words, highlighting the value of the strong admitting weakness and the rich confessing poverty. The paradox of the gospel is that we live through dying. But despite the melancholic tone of the book, Alia offers hope in every page. Jesus. Love. Mercy. Enough-ness. Instead of the popular message peppered throughout social media memes that if we just rely on ourselves, listen to our hearts, or trust our judgment, then we can be our best selves, Alia offers a surprising reversal. She writes, “Maybe being poor in spirit is the invitation to truly see the kingdom of God as one who is so loved, so valuable, so recognized by Jesus, a person can come reeking with need and not be found wanting. I meet God most often while splayed not on the altar of my offering but of my poverty” (199). As a writer myself, I appreciated how Alia Joy activated my sensory experience of the prose through her poetic sentences, imagery, and striking metaphors in ways that many Christian books are deficient. This book demands the reader to slow down and savor each word and sentence and enjoy the beauty of language arranged just-so. Alia Joy begins her introduction by saying this book is not for everyone. I disagree. I can’t think of a single person who wouldn’t benefit from the message that strength comes from first admitting we are weak.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Susan Bricker

    I find I lack the adequate words to describe how deeply I was touched by Alia Joy’s stunning book, Glorious Weakness. She writes from the depths of her soul, the ruddy parts, the anguished soul-wrenching parts, the grace-filled parts and all the in-between. Alia writes beautifully and poetically, it's intoxicating and refreshing. Her words left me breathless. She pulls you in and keeps you gratefully immersed in the tragedy, the truths, the hope, the faith, the joy, and the glorious weakness. Al I find I lack the adequate words to describe how deeply I was touched by Alia Joy’s stunning book, Glorious Weakness. She writes from the depths of her soul, the ruddy parts, the anguished soul-wrenching parts, the grace-filled parts and all the in-between. Alia writes beautifully and poetically, it's intoxicating and refreshing. Her words left me breathless. She pulls you in and keeps you gratefully immersed in the tragedy, the truths, the hope, the faith, the joy, and the glorious weakness. Alia Joy shares her life stories, her journey of faith and the grace she found in Jesus, her conflicts, harsh realities, and poverty of spirit, her ache of belonging, battles with bipolar disorder, whispered hopes, the trials and joys of being a child of a missionary family, and the hope she found in Jesus. She exposes her soul, from a place where darkness and the light of Jesus converge, crashing to a crescendo, a symphony of pain and triumph, being lost and then found, and her transformation from utter brokenness into a whole being, a beloved child of God. I rode the waves of Alia's stories, feeling the weight of her anguish and heights of discovery. Her stories of disbelief and belief, feeling like she didn’t fit in, the anguish of her battles, and the harsh realities of the broken world we live in truly resonated with me. I absolutely love Alia Joy’s writing style, her authenticity, her genuine spirit, her honesty, her passion, her vulnerability, and her faith-filled soul. Alia Joy is a truth teller, grace dweller, and a beautiful storyteller. I feel changed after reading Glorious Weakness, in so many beautiful ways. Alia writes with wisdom and experience and offers the reader a lot of food for thought. I was astounded by her words and the depths she traveled to share the messages God placed upon her heart. I was enthralled by Alia Joy’s book Glorious Weakness! FYI, have your highlighters ready!!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rachelle Sperling

    First I want to say that Alia is a beautiful writer and that this book has some really encouraging and powerful things to say. BUT, as it says in the introduction, this book is not for everyone. Alia’s story spans a number of themes and I kept getting broadsided by things that I didn’t see coming. If you have had medical or sexual trauma in your life or you have unresolved/unhealed wounds around transitions, family, church, mental illness or end of life losses take some caution approaching this b First I want to say that Alia is a beautiful writer and that this book has some really encouraging and powerful things to say. BUT, as it says in the introduction, this book is not for everyone. Alia’s story spans a number of themes and I kept getting broadsided by things that I didn’t see coming. If you have had medical or sexual trauma in your life or you have unresolved/unhealed wounds around transitions, family, church, mental illness or end of life losses take some caution approaching this book. When the publisher’s description says this is a deeply personal exploration they aren’t kidding. These are the kind of stories that I hear often as a spiritual director and several times I set this book aside feeling a weight of compassion fatigue just from reading what Alia so openly shared. It is one thing to hear tears dripping through your telephone line and have the opportunity to be present with someone. It is another thing altogether to read about raw pain and have no way to interact with the one telling you the story. The thing that I love is that in the telling of these deeply moving and personal stories Alia kept finding the places where God was filling her own lack with His fullness, even when she couldn’t see it. I also loved how she kept returning to the idea of living out the language of hope in the midst of our circumstances. In summary I think that Glorious Weakness was a beautifully written, but emotionally demanding memoir of finding God in our weakness and seeing His hand-print of glory on our lives. I received a free digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Flora

    Glorious Weakness leans into soulful lament, into our weariness, our need, our lack, and our weakness. Alia Joy has been gifted with words that flow from her pen onto the page, and invite us in to sit and ponder. In poetical, lyrical language, she invites us into this, her story of poverty, disillusionment with God, and too many hours in a hospital. She takes us with her as she journeys away from God, but finds God won't abandon her or His pursuit of her. God's grace and love shine forth as Alia be Glorious Weakness leans into soulful lament, into our weariness, our need, our lack, and our weakness. Alia Joy has been gifted with words that flow from her pen onto the page, and invite us in to sit and ponder. In poetical, lyrical language, she invites us into this, her story of poverty, disillusionment with God, and too many hours in a hospital. She takes us with her as she journeys away from God, but finds God won't abandon her or His pursuit of her. God's grace and love shine forth as Alia begins to recognize His unfailing strength carrying her through glorious weakness, pain, and grief. This is a story of hope and redemption and recognizing the opportunity opened by what we lack. It is a masterful beauty of a book. I received a copy to review and all opinions are my own.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Becca McNew

    Glorious Weakness is a refreshing perspective on the wonder of surrender when all that's believed to be good compels us to fight. Amidst the complexities of authentic life enveloped in eternal Love, Alia’s words are unpresumingly vulnerable, honest, hard, and comforting. It is my belief that this book will find a place to speak to almost anyone, but it would be especially meaningful for anyone affected by physical or emotional tragedy. Glorious Weakness testifies to God’s glorious strength and h Glorious Weakness is a refreshing perspective on the wonder of surrender when all that's believed to be good compels us to fight. Amidst the complexities of authentic life enveloped in eternal Love, Alia’s words are unpresumingly vulnerable, honest, hard, and comforting. It is my belief that this book will find a place to speak to almost anyone, but it would be especially meaningful for anyone affected by physical or emotional tragedy. Glorious Weakness testifies to God’s glorious strength and hope, displayed and experienced in our weak places, not born out of humanly defined faith-formulas, but simply extending from who He is.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Humphries

    Poignant and powerful. Alia's gorgeous writing calls the reader to the kind of honesty about our culture and circumstances that few are willing to risk. It's a call to climb down the ladder, rather than up; to embrace the hard and holy; to sit with others in pain and sorrow without answers. This is a book that gets better page by page and the last few chapters are particularly challenging and beautiful. A must read for anyone who wants to know what the gospel actually calls us to. Poignant and powerful. Alia's gorgeous writing calls the reader to the kind of honesty about our culture and circumstances that few are willing to risk. It's a call to climb down the ladder, rather than up; to embrace the hard and holy; to sit with others in pain and sorrow without answers. This is a book that gets better page by page and the last few chapters are particularly challenging and beautiful. A must read for anyone who wants to know what the gospel actually calls us to.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Hard to critique a writer with such deep mental health issues. Suffice to say, while I found encouragement in some of her reassurances about God meeting us on the edge of the circle, when we feel we don't belong, I was not able to relate to the depth of her angst in the majority of the writing. I'm grateful for that... but it made the whole book seem like much ado... for some, I'm sure it's necessary and helpful. For me, it was too much. Hard to critique a writer with such deep mental health issues. Suffice to say, while I found encouragement in some of her reassurances about God meeting us on the edge of the circle, when we feel we don't belong, I was not able to relate to the depth of her angst in the majority of the writing. I'm grateful for that... but it made the whole book seem like much ado... for some, I'm sure it's necessary and helpful. For me, it was too much.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlyn Bouchillon

    Alia writes the hard truths with grace, viewed through a lens of hope. She doesn't sugarcoat struggles or shy away from difficult topics, but invites the reader to walk with her through them as she wrestles with weakness. This is a message our worldly desperately needs right now, and Alia is the perfect person to write it with bravery, honesty, and hope. Alia writes the hard truths with grace, viewed through a lens of hope. She doesn't sugarcoat struggles or shy away from difficult topics, but invites the reader to walk with her through them as she wrestles with weakness. This is a message our worldly desperately needs right now, and Alia is the perfect person to write it with bravery, honesty, and hope.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mekeisha

    I loved this book because Alia shared openly about her struggles with mental illness, poverty, and chronic physical issues, all while clinging to the hope that God is still good. Even though it seems to defy popular theology, God often chooses to work through the weaknesses we so easily despise. This is not a light read, it is an honest look at the way Christians often handle pain; we issue bandaids for bullet wounds with platitudes and well wishes. I'm not saying everyone does this, but America I loved this book because Alia shared openly about her struggles with mental illness, poverty, and chronic physical issues, all while clinging to the hope that God is still good. Even though it seems to defy popular theology, God often chooses to work through the weaknesses we so easily despise. This is not a light read, it is an honest look at the way Christians often handle pain; we issue bandaids for bullet wounds with platitudes and well wishes. I'm not saying everyone does this, but American Christianity is so saturated with the idea that God wants us healthy, wealthy, and thriving that anyone who does not fit that description ends up an outsider. We are so uncomfortable with pain that we find it easier to ignore than engage. Although you would assume an author would speak as an authority, Alia asks that we view her more like a friend who is along on the same journey, rather than a tour guide. I would recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with perpetual circumstances or doubts. Her words serve as a reminder: It is possible to cling to the goodness of God while holding a question mark about those hard places. A few of my favorite quotes: This is a book about life to death and back again. About finding your way, not always out of the darkness, but through it. About surviving the storms and lashing yourselves to the bough that will not break - the cross of Christ. There is a helplessness in poverty that precedes the move of God in our lives because we understand an aspect of grace that so many miss: we do nothing to earn it. When we understand this, all becomes grace. We're all squalling infants with a single volume story, but we were made for an anthology, each chapter inviting us to a place of being known and seen not just as we are but as we may be. This language of hope invites us to a better story.

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