Publisher and Publication Date: Baker Books. April 2, 2019.
Genre: Christian nonfiction. Psychology.
Source: I received a complimentary copy, but was not required to leave a positive review.
Audience: People who are ready to read a book on sorrow and life beyond it.
Website for Alia Joy
About the author:
Alia Joy is a speaker, writer, and ragamuffin who weaves beauty through even the most broken stories. Her raw vulnerability and unique perspective make her a trusted voice writing about mental and physical illness, abuse, race, body image, poverty, and hope. She lives in Oregon with her family, where weakness and glory converge daily.
Summary: (From back cover)
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.
I’ve read several reviews on this book, and the consensus is the book is transparent, raw, and deeply felt by the reader. I agree.
One of the first things I noticed while reading the book is the strong word language. It literally punctuates the sentences with emotion. These words also hooked me in a bit further.
Alia Joy shares about her life, even the awkward experiences that are hard to express. In sharing this kind of information, there is a feeling of accessibility that is passed on to the reader, because at some point in her story, there is something the reader can relate to. For example, I do not have major depression, but my husband does. And, I do not know what it feels like to be different or stand out in a community of “different looking” people, but my daughter-in-law does. Sexual abuse, this is something I have experienced. In reading the story of Alia Joy, I have greater understanding and empathy.
Early in the book, Alia Joy expressed she didn’t “want to be that weak person.” Neither do I. I think most people feel the same way. Yet, isn’t it wonderful, a breath of fresh air, when a person states that? It is like every one in the room can let out that expectant air they’ve been holding and just relax.
Other subtopics in the book are on poverty, grace, stamina in faith, judgmental people, sorrow, marriage, and mission work.
Another book I’ve read by Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way, captures a similar topic that Glorious Weakness does. The poor in spirit. A place of weakness. Alia teaches that this is “where the treasure is buried.” Topics on weakness, suffering, and tragedy have become mainstream in the Christian book market. I am so glad. People need access to hard topics for education and healing.
Glorious Weakness is an excellent tool. It digs at the hard to talk about stuff. It shows me the beauty of God’s grace in the sorrow. It shows me I am not alone, but have kindred spirits who are walking the same dusty trail as me.