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,
    This girl resisted being still so much, that God had to pull the rug out from under me. Two major surgeries combined with recuperation that demanded I not put any weight on one knee for a month followed by a year of recuperation just about did me in. They also rescued my soul. Forced into stillness, I squirmed and fought, but finally surrendered. (I come from a long line of stubbornness). When God finally had my attention, He spoke such love into my needy soul. He shared truth about His word that I had been too busy to hear. He rekindled my love of writing in me and my blog began. He simply wanted to love on me. When I was still and yielded my strength unto Him, He blessed me beyond my wildest imagination. Praying you are finally feeling better and that God has been able to speak into your stillness. Thanks for an awesome post.
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • Oh me too. I have years of being quite literally being stopped in my tracks and I’m pretty sure my lineage has long lines of stubborn too. 😉 I’ve been taught so much about being enough and His strength in my weakness from literally being bed ridden at times. What then, God? I’d ask. How can I be of any value or use when I’m not doing anything? When I’m only ever needy? When I’m only ever frail and weak and hurting? And therein is the answer.

      God never despised a needy one.

      He wants us to come dependent, come weary, come thirsty and hungry and wanting. In that, He has our full attention and we learn what the gospel truly means. It’s good news for those who know how much they need it.

  2. This is soooo wonderful, Alia. I’ve recently found you and your wonderful writings and feel like I’ve found home. Thank you for your incredible honesty and vulnerability. Thank you for allowing your life to truly be a ‘letter’ read by so many.

    • Thank you so much for reading, Eleatta. I’m so glad these words speak to you. I’m truly grateful.

    • Thank you so much, Veronica. I wrote this post for (in)courage last week while I was in the thick of it but this past weekend I was up and around a bit (taking it slow) and yesterday was my first full day with zero pain. I went out with my family and the sun was brilliant and I felt so thankful for just being able to go out and walk around without hurting. SO thankful for that. God is so good.

  3. I so needed this. I keep hearing God say Be Still. He keeps showing me the scripture.
    I hope to be obedient.

    • Obedience in this area can be so hard. Keep listening. God’s got something for you.

  4. Oh, how I fight the stillness, too. How I’ve fought it for a while now and to finally see God answering and moving reminds me why the still is so necessary. You say it beautifully here,”But in it all, sometimes God is telling us to be still. Sometimes God is healing broken parts. He is building our strength while we wait on Him; we need only be still. Because stillness makes space for God to heal and speak and nurse us back to Him.” YES. He is healing broken parts, building strength all the while we wait. It’s not easy, but it’s so worth it in the end to let God do His work in us so He can work through us. Love you and so glad you are mending, praying you are fully well soon. xo

    • Yesterday was my first day of NO pain. It was glorious. I forget how much that constancy saps one’s energy even if I was doing nothing at all. I just felt so depleted. I think so many of us walk around in all kinds of emotional and spiritual pain and we’re only ever halfway healed. Just enough to get back up and sort of pretend we’re fine, but if we’d stay down and let God work, we might find that we’re strengthened right through.
      It is so hard in this crazy fast paced world where everything just moves right along to feel like stillness makes any sense. I find it hard to be still without an excuse like illness. And extreme illness at that. Why is that?
      It feels so unproductive to wait. It feels almost lazy and indulgent to be still. To not produce or perform or get anything done. But I think the act of stillness and waiting is anything but passive. I’ve learned it is hard work and while it might not look like much, God is churning the depths while I bob on the surface. 😉
      Love how God is working in you as you surrender to that call.

      • And I love the beautiful example God is giving me through your own surrender. <3 So thankful for you friend. "the act of stillness and waiting is anything but passive…" yes, that. xo

  5. Alia,
    I hate being still! I’m part hyper active and sitting quietly is hard for me!! I need to be still and listen for His voice about work! I don’t like my job and feel useless some days. Only God knows the plans He has for me and I must be patient and wait on Him!@ Need to quiet my soul to hear His voice and what He has to say about my life!
    Blessings 🙂
    PS: Prayers that you feel better quickly! May God send a healing balm to your tired weary body!

    • Beth, maybe stillness for you could be less about unmoving limbs and sitting and more about soul waiting. Maybe you’d do your best kind of still on a walk in a quiet park or while gardening or knitting or washing dishes.
      I think we’re all made differently and some people’s minds quiet down the most when their body is distracted by other things. It gets the wiggles out as I’d say to my very energetic children. Sometimes that movement in the body stills the mind.
      I know for me, I have an overactive mind, so I have to journal or write when I pray or my thoughts go rampant about every other thing. The act of typing or holding a pen keeps me focused. Maybe go for a walk and pray about your job and your feelings of uselessness and God will meet you there. Blessings to you, Beth. I hope you find some direction and peace.

  6. Alia,

    I really hope that you feel better soon. Your post was beautifully written and inspiring. Take Care,

    Prayers for a speedy recovery.

  7. Alia Joy,
    First, I adore your name…it’s beautiful. Second, I fully and completely relate…although it’s not stomach pain and nausea but a heart arrhythmia and decreased heart functioning. I went through the process of diagnosis for celiac disease so on a physical level, I do relate as well. But, this, your message..it defines the daily inner conflict: tenacity vs surrender. So much to do, so many plans & goals, so much life to live. And yet, God says “Be still”. I know He is teaching me to know this place of “Be still” so that even when the rush of life comes barrelling in, I will have peace and stillness in my soul. Thank you for sharing your experience so that I may see His work more clearly. Praying peace & health & stillness in your soul for you. Thanks & blessings to you!

    • Thank you. I used to hate my name as a girl. I wanted to be Jennifer or Jessica because I thought it was weird and I didn’t want to stand out in any way. But I’ve grown to love it.

      It’s a hard struggle. Tenacity vs. Surrender. And yet, it takes a tenacious person to be willing to surrender and stay in the place of stillness, waiting on God. It’s easier to move ahead on our own than to trust in His ways when the wait seems long or the answers aren’t clear. But there is a time for both. And I truly think if we’re listening, God speaks and doesn’t just lead the way, He walks with us in it all. And I love the idea that “even when the rush of life comes barrelling in, I will have peace and stillness in my soul.” It’s such an important thing to hold onto. Many blessings to you as you lean into the stillness.

  8. I wonder sometimes if I’m more afraid of the quiet from God or of the surety of His voice when He does speak. Now, sister, THAT is the question. Great post and I hope that pain is gone for good!

  9. even though i’m at a different time in my life and i have had many years of doing and achieving when it comes now and i can only be quiet and still i really do feel guilty. it’s hard to surrender to the constant pain and the energy the it takes from me. i’m not what i used to be enough now. i must pray that i am still OK even though i don’t belong to boards of directors and plant a beautiful garden every spring and know that i could travel to another country and walk there. it’s a daily battle. i try daily to remember i am still enough.

  10. Not wanting to be a burden. That resonates with me. I think for me, I need to accept that I need to be still and not burn myself out. I’m that person who tends to keep going through every cold, sinus infection, etc.. because I don’t want to feel like I’m inconveniencing anyone by being sick. Now that I’ve written that out, it sounds pretty silly doesn’t it? 🙂

    This winter has been a doozy. My son had open heart surgery, I contracted a nasty infection at the hospital and then got laid up on crutches for a few weeks. I was a slow learner on being still, but I’ve been getting a crash course on resting and listening these past few months. Hopefully I’ll retain some of the lessons God has been teaching me.

    • Oh Amy, you need a good long rest. That’s so much to handle and it’s so hard when you’re a caretaker and a mother to not feel like your rest means someone else’s needs won’t be met or worse, they’ll have to take care of you. But it’s not always a bad thing for others to get the opportunity to care for you just as you care for them. I hope you get some real rest and that you feel God’s peace as you do.

      • Oh, thank you! Sorry to unload. It’s just been a wild winter, and I think I’m still processing through it all.

        I hope you are feeling better soon! Bone/tooth pain can take so much out of someone.

        • Never feel sorry for unloading here! I’m glad you shared, it’s the me too’s that make this space.

    • Amy,
      You are definitely not a burden! I will gladly pray for you and your son!! God tells us to carry each other’s burdens & I find it a privilege to pray for you!!
      Father,
      Please help Amy’s son recover from heart surgery! Shower that family with your healing blessings! Help Amy to heal from the infection and foot/leg issues@ Let her realize that resting is ok and necessary to care for others!
      AMEN 🙂

    • i’m sorry to take so long to acknowledge your love and post. I am keeping you in my prayers and see you in God’s hands with my hugs too.

  11. Oh yes, I loved that post by Liz. She’s a good one. I think we all have something to offer and something to receive. I think of the story in Luke of the paralytic man who was lowered through the roof to Jesus’ feet for healing.

    And some men were carrying on a bed a man who was paralyzed; and they were trying to bring him in and to set him down in front of Him. But not finding any way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down through the tiles with his stretcher, into the middle of the crowd, in front of Jesus. Luke 5:18-19

    Sometimes we are the paralytic, bound by stillness, needing healing and we need only be carried. Sometimes we are called to be the friends, who pick up a corner of the mat and find a way to bring the broken to Jesus’ feet even if that means tearing the roof off of things.
    We are made to do both, called to do both, but sometimes in different seasons. I find I operate a whole lot better picking up my corner of the mat and tearing the roof off of things than I do being carried along, broken and desperate to walk again, but we all end up in the same place. At Jesus’ feet.

    Rosie, I hope you know, no matter what kind of trials or pain or season you’re in, you are still enough. God loves you and sees you as infinitely valuable no matter what you think you have to offer. He sees you. Praying for you today by name.

  12. So, so encouraging. I have never been good at resting or waiting. But then…I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer last August at age 35. I have learned to rest. I have learned to be still. And I know and believe and have tasted and seen that He is God and He is good! I just had my final reconstructive surgery today and am…you guessed it…resting! In my bed, in my.Pj’s. While my sweet mama and husband take care of our 3
    Little boys and household demands, I wait and heal in my bed. The Lord has taught me that His presence is found in the stillness. So even when my body is back up to full speed (which will be happening very soon! Praise Him!) I still will long for the still. I am cancer free and through a series of true miracles, this was caught so early that i did not need chemo, radiation, or medication. I am beyond thankful. I am grateful for your story tonight. It reminds me once again of how gently He holds me in His hands. Peace and rest to you!

    • Carrie, I’m glad this post found it’s way into your rest and healing today. I’m so glad you are doing well and regaining all your strength not just in your body but in your soul. Thanking the Lord for His merciful grip on you as you rest and get better.

  13. Alia, sometimes I think getting sick is one way God calls us back, to heal us more deeply, to let pain and weariness leave our bodies through His healing, and then we burst with joy again, and remember him. Thank you for your beautiful post.

    • Thank you, I agree. We feel our need when we hurt. We feel it in ways we sometimes forget when we’re well and able.

  14. This such an encouraging post, Alia. I can most definitely relate. I am someone who is always on the go. I push myself too much sometimes and I find it hard to say ‘no’. But God has been placing me in situations where I have no choice but to be still. I am currently unemployed and I’ve had two surgeries. As a result, my relationship with Him is stronger than it has ever been. He is working in incredible ways. He has highlighted areas where He wants to prune me.

    A major area is learning how to set boundaries. I find it difficult to say ‘no’ as I am afraid how it will affect my relationships. I journaled and asked Him to teach me more about boundaries. I wanted to do a Bible study on boundaries but had no clue how to begin.
    I went to the bookstore to get a particular book and my eyes landed on “Boundaries” by Dr. Henry McCloud. It’s the answer to my prayers! It is exactly what I need to be reading.

    I will keep you in my prayers. Praying Jesus will reach out his hand and you will receive his healing.

    God bless,

    Donna

  15. Oh my goodness I needed this word. Thank you for your vulenerabilty to share the real and the raw. I felt refreshed in my broken place. Bless you and your process.

  16. I used to go! go! go! – I just had to be strong. We live hours away from both our families – so it was even more vital to not give in – I don’t have a problem with stillness – I have a problem stopping for the stillness. It’s like a soothing balm to my soul – that refreshing within it! I had to learn to stop being so strong it hurt – and stop! and rest! Praying you are recovering, regaining your strength, am able to find grace in the stillness!