Glorious Weakness

Discovering God in All We Lack
Narrated by: Alia Joy
Length: 5 hrs and 32 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 listeners 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 listeners reclaim the ways God is good, even when life is anything but.

©2019 Alia Joy Hagenbach (P)2019 eChristian

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Some people who were part of my life 46 years ago

For me this was a personal telling of some wonderful people who I knew many years ago. I knew Alia's mom and dad before Jordan, Alia's brother was born, - I believe it was during their first year of marriage.

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Worth every minute of your time

I have read/listened to Alia Joy’s book, Glorious Weakness, two times now and I am into my third. Usually I don’t read like this. I have very few books that keep tugging me back in so I immediately reread them. This book came at a time when I needed its message of grace so much because illnesses I was slogging through. I am in a season of life that has me slogging—just slow-going slogging—in all areas of my life—and this book has been both a map and a warm blanket.

Alia Joy sketches how powerful she felt once she realized that she DID NOT have to accept other people’s stories about her illnesses and her body. She realized these diseases were causing her shame because she had believe the lie that “good” women are always cheerful, certainly always dressed nicely for church with their hair neatly swept up, and their children likewise looking so nice.

She realized that that the lies women were being sold were not just untrue, they were dangerous. When we women always act as if everything is okay when everything is actually crumbling to pieces, the lie sets up everyone—but especially women and women of color—for pain, isolation, and shame.

Alia Joy writes first of her mother and her legacy of which she needed to let go in order to grasp her own power. The family history she shares in the book, the poverty, the pain, the multiple moves, and the outsider-status that she struggled through as a teenager is important in the story, but this book is more than a memoir of poverty. It is an inquiry into the power of story over shame.

Alia Joy writes: “{My mom] carried shame-filled words inside her, scrambled-up letters blurring the hard edges of her life. Those words claimed her and named her and kept her hopeless. She had no tools to rewrite what she’d been taught." And then she clarifies: “Sometimes words are the strongest material available to spin life on our tongues and drape hope over those impoverished and naked chapters of our lives."

I have found the power she places in words so uplifting and this may be the best part of Alia Joy's book. The power she places in words is not misguided. She demonstrates again and again with heart-breaking clarity that story and words had empowering and breath-taking consequences in her own life.

In my favorite passage, she writes: “Words are so simple. Just letters strung together. And yet they shift heaven and earth. They explode galaxies. They held space before we kept time. They have life and death contained in each strand, graced on open palms or piled like a burden. I can’t imagine living in a world where words couldn’t speak to me and rewrite my truth."

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Descriptively confusing

I’ve tried to give this book a chance, but it just comes across so negative, and I can’t understand her message.