About the Author

Alia Joy is an author who believes the darkness is illuminated when we grasp each other's hand and walk into the night together. She writes poignantly about her life with bipolar disorder as well as grief, faith, marriage, poverty, race, embodiment, and keeping fluent in the language of hope in...

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  1. Alia Joy,
    It doesn’t take long for mental stress to become physical stress – at least that’s what I discovered. Living with OCD anxiety and depression all my life, when it all gets to be too much, my body will take on physical symptoms. Those are my “red flags” that it’s become way too much. Like Paul bemoaned the thorn in his side that the Lord would not remove, I find that the very thing I despise is also the catalyst to make me run into my Savior’s all-sufficient arms. His grace is sufficient for our every need. My illnesses remind me of that every day. Also, like you so poignantly pointed out, “too much” leads us to the not optional choice of slowing down, stilling our heart, breathing in His calming presence. If only I was smart enough to stay in this place of peace, but it seems to be a lesson that I continually re-learn. Beautiful post and keep your heart at that steady rhythm…
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • I’ve gotten much better at slowing down and setting margins for myself long before I burn out but it’s still a good reminder to pay attention when things are off. Too much is easy to do when my capacity is low to begin with.

  2. Beautiful, Alia–and there’s an Adirondack chair sitting on the hill near my garden that’s been calling to me all week. Today’s the day I’m going to listen to the call and spend a few still moments there before the busy weekend lands on us.
    Blessings to you!

  3. Thank you – I needed to hear this today. My husband and I are in a season of change (newly empty nest, career change, etc) and the moment I think things are becoming the new normal, something new pops up. Courage has been my word of the year, and I have needed exactly that more than I anticipated. The moment I can see the good on the horizon, the “bad” rears it’s head and I find I need that courage again. I need to remember to take the time to listen to my heart – observe my surroundings – and find the next step.

  4. God says it so beautifully in his word in Matthew 11 verses 28 – 30 Come on to me all You who are heavy laden and I will give You Rest. Take My yoke upon You and learn from Me for I am gentle and lowly in Heart and You will find Rest for Your souls For My yoke is easy and my Burden is Light. So true. We women take on too much sometimes. Like thinking we have to do it all if we have kids see too them no matter what age they are. Working keep down a job keep a house do house work see to a Husband as well if we have one. We have then in the back of our minds saying when do I get time for God prayer and his word. Then we feel guilty if we miss not reading our Bible and saying our prayers and not spending that quite time with God. So we get up or we try to set the alarm to get up before the rest of the house if we have kids or don’t have kids to spend that time with God. So as we also have time for the kids in the kids and in the evenings when the house things are seen too. Plusfor Hubby. So as he does not feel left out. Then you beging to think even if don’t have kids like me and have Husband that has to be he not in a job 9 to 5 or 9 to 6 it is different hours trying to have meals ready at different times. You get getting up early don’t work. You so tired with cooking trying to fit in time for God if have Kids them as well. You say what about my other family like Sisters Brothers if have any I don’t have any but have Sister’s. Plus a Dad or a Mum they be asking to see me. Plus thinking of time for Friends. You go hey. Stop I can’t do all this and the stress gets to you. You find you make yourself getting ill. Then get tired. The gift of your Family of kids and Husband and having a home looking after them as proud wife at times become too much. You have to stop I have had to do it and think of Dawn and do as Matthew 11 verses 28- 30 says. As God as pointed it out to lots of times. Said Dawn if you don’t do that you will make yourself ill. I did in the past and that is why after 19 years I gave up the Childminding. As I was not resting on Jesus and I was taking the gift God had given me of my Husband and Home too much and not taking time out for me to rest as well. Jesus took time out to rest. Love Dawn

  5. Alia,

    This world is noisy & clamors for attention all the time. It can be way to much for our bodies to handle. Living down here we fall into the trap of doing & going all the time. Resting seems foreign to us. Like we’re not accomplishing anything. Jesus took time out of His busy schedule to rest & be alone with the Father. If He needed that for Himself then how much more do we need it? He commands us to that. For only He can give us true rest that our lives, bodies & souls all crave. He is patiently waiting for us to come to Him in rest & listen for His still small voice. Turn off social media & some news feeds. Quit worrying about the to do lists. Give yourself permission to rest & just be still for a while. Go out & have some fun. Do some soul care items & pamper yourself. Slow down or God will slow you down in His own way. God will get our attention one way or another. Praying for you Alia. May God heal you.

    Blessings 🙂

  6. So beautifully written. Your words speak exactly what I need to hear! Thank you so much.

  7. Dear Alia Joy, as a writer myself who appreciates alliteration, assonance, allegory, metaphors and similies, and that glorious name – onomatopoeia, as a mostly lost art of the vernacular of creative style, your words resonated with me like the lilting voice of the meadowlark. I could literally (!) feel my body responding as it caught the persuasive wave of your rhythmical repercussion. Thank you, thank you, thank you to God for YOU. You, through His reassurance, may have saved my life.

  8. Alia, He hears you and You are so loved by Him… Like yourself, I am learning to deal with this new diagnose of mental illness. The voices within us are so loud at times and I am finding that I forget to listen to what God had already promised me, promised to all. He is here, He is present and He is for us even when we struggle to hear His presence. Let us rejoice in His name and know that all these discomforts we are facing is to bring us closer to Him for without struggles and tribulations, we forget to hear His voice. Thank you for sharing this.

  9. Alia, this is so beautifully written. Thank you for baring a piece of your heart to help the rest of us. “For a writer to not be writing is inviting chaos to dwell in the mind.” I know this wasn’t the main point exactly but this was what I needed to hear today. Bless you, sister. May God go with you, continue to shine through you, and fight for you in the “weak” parts of life. Hugs.

  10. Once again, dear girl, your writing is an exquisite gift to me.
    This is so meaningful:
    ‘Lately, I’ve wondered about the value of some discomfort, some pebble in my shoe that rubs and blisters and make me acknowledge each step. How far I have to go, how far I’ve come. Some irritant demanding I pull off my shoes and stand tender footed before my God.’
    I so agree with this- that some discomfort has such value when we haven’t stopped to be grateful for things that do not cause discomfort…

    Thank you for sharing your gift with us!

  11. I was just a few lines into this and I knew it was Alia Joy.

    I have been living in and out of her book for weeks, sometimes gobbling it up as fast as I can and other times ruminating over just a page or two for several days, and almost always with tears running down my face. She put words to thoughts that had only rumbled through my mind without clarity, and put labels on some exquisitely searing dynamics. I’ve shared pages with friends so we can discuss. I’ve bought extra copies to loan out. Like only one other author I know of, you are sharing some tools that are missing from my toolbox, with grace and kindness and patience and encouragement, but never in any kind of mamby-pamby, mealy-mouthed way, always with grit and strength and depth and courage. Oh. And HOPE. Thanks for putting your heart out there for all of us to see. Your brave makes me brave.

    • This is a wonderful encouragement, Julia. I’m so glad you’re taking it in as you’re able and that it’s meeting you where you’re at. We’ll be brave together.

  12. Alia Joy,

    I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts. I would definitely call us soul sisters, when I read your words I feel like you’re interpreting and explaining my own personal experiences. I, too, struggle with anxiety and depression and all the wonderful chemical imbalances, neurotransmitter disruptions and hormonal imbalances that come from PTSD. Mine occurred during developmental years so my whole brain & body map is WAY different than others. I live with a heart arrhythmia thanks to these tragic events. And it often rares its ugly head when I feel stress or am triggered in some way. I’m actually dealing with it today as I read your post. I’m so thankful for you and your authenticity and transparency. They help me feel less alone, less messed up in this world. I’m thankful that you’re willing to share your experiences and not sugar coat or gloss over them. Thank you for being my inspiration today.

    Rebecca

  13. Oh Sister, God so often uses you to write the words my heart needs to hear and be fed from. My season of unrest and anxiety was needing this today. May our God continue to use you to speak to our souls.

  14. I love this, Alia, Joy. I, too, have been suffering heart pains as of late for many of the same reasons. Trying to slow down, trying to give my body and mind time to heal. Thank you for this beautiful piece.