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,
    I recently wrote a blog post on this very scripture…the reason? For a week I carried it around in my pocket to pull out and read when the anxiety consumed me. Scribbled on a piece of paper that was wrinkled and worn…those words became my mantra for the week. I wish I could say the anxiety immediately subsided when I read those words…it didn’t. But, once again, I was reminded of my pure and utter dependence on God. I claimed the truth in His Word even though my feelings didn’t feel like it. I know that God is not disappointed in me because I fear or have anxiety…He loves me. He understands. He promises to hold onto me with that righteous (faithful) right hand and never let me go. When anxiety hunts me, like you, I curl up on his lap crying…I go to Him. Praying God’s blessing upon you Alia…
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Bev,
      You words speak volumes today. Claiming the Word of God is the best. I was really reminded of this fact years ago when Ann Voskamp posted a picture of an open Bible with the saying “A heart knows what a heart know by heart.”
      It is much easier to claim His promises and to know the Truth when we have written God’s Word on the tablets our hearts. These words from Isaiah are beautiful and have a wonderful calming, peace giving effect.
      They certainly lead us to “Be still and know that I am God” so that in any and every situation He will be exalted!

      • Linda,
        What a great quote by Ann to tuck away! I try to hide His word in my heart for times such as these. God does call us to be still, even if we’re still afraid and anxious, because He will fight for us. And then He is exalted as you say!

    • Bev, I just went to read your latest blog post. What a beautiful image of God attaching us to Himself, just like you attached your son to yourself when he was a baby. Your post reminded me to look back in thankfulness for the times He attached Himself to me and held me, when I no longer had the strength to hold on (in the pit of PTSD).

      So very hard for those parents. Lifting them up in prayer with you. May God draw them close unto Himself and hold them through this horrendous storm.

      Thank you also for the reminder to focus on God and His Word, rather than the storm. Great idea to carry it around on a piece of paper. I stick Scriptures to my fridge, but carrying it around is a much better idea. I’ve been meditating on: When my my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul (posted on here a while back) and it’s amazing how many different situations it can speak truth into!

      • Anna,
        I love this image (God attaching us to Himself in the midst of storms) I also love the image of Jesus holding us like that lost and scared lamb. Both of these images express the tenderness of God when we are hurting. He holds you like that too…especially with all you’ve been through… xx

    • Alia, I’m so sorry if my words ventured off your pain and onto my own…it’s just when I hear that pain that comes from anxiety in others, it makes my heart well up. Praying for God to draw you close and attach you to Himself until the storms pass. Forgive me…praying for you and all others who know this pain…

      • Don’t apologize! I’m so glad you shared. We need eachother’s stories to walk together. We need to know we’re not alone in it all. Thankful for you and your caring heart, Bev.

    • This was the scripture that sustained me during the darkest seasons of depression. It’s been so long since I’ve wrestled with this kind of anxiety, I forgot how it strangles out every good thing. And I absolutely agree, this kind of anxiety has more to do with things misfiring than willpower to think good thoughts. I find I often veer to one or the other. I think it’s just physical and I need more rest or better diet or rational thoughts, or I think it’s just spiritual and I need more prayer and more scripture and I forget we’re holistic beings. Body and spirit and God meets us in different ways through medicine and science and faith and belief. And sometimes when it feels like those things are failing, we trust that God is with us, even then. Even when we fear. Thank you for sharing, Bev.

      • Alia,
        Prayers for God to help heal you mind, body and soul! I pray He will bring calming peace to your inner being!

        (((Hugs)))

  2. Alia, thank you for sharing these Scriptural truths, for your compassionate heart and for your encouraging honesty. I too have turned to God in distrust, even anger, lately. But the strange thing is that these moments have been drawing me closer and strengthening my faith. See, I’m finally letting go of the pretense of being “fine”/”strong” in myself and am opening, rather than hiding in shame. He’s exposing my weakness and yet moving toward me in grace, breaking and yet also tenderly rebuilding (upon Him, rather than upon me).

    This morning I read this Scripture and isn’t this exactly the journey we’re on?!

    1 Peter 1: 6 – 9 (The Message)
    I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold that God will have on display as evidenced of His victory.

    You never saw Him, yet you love Him, yet you trust Him- with laughter and singing. Because you kept on believing, you’ll get what you’re looking forward to: total salvation.

    If you haven’t listened to Jason Tippett’s latest sermon (Kara’s husband- Westside church in Colorado Springs), I’d really recommend it. He gave such a beautiful picture of Jesus moving toward us in grace in our weakness. I listened to it last night when I was struggling and it was such a blessing.

    • Anna,
      The refiners fire…a hard place to be, but we are so much more genuinely beautiful through and through because of it.
      Thanks sharing about Jason’s sermon this week. Hopefully will be able to take some time to listen this afternoon 🙂

    • I think God is as tired by my pretenses as I come to be when I admit I don’t trust the way I “should.” When I come in doubt and disbelief and confess it to Him, He’s so faithful to meet me there and walk with me, again and again. I haven’t heard Jason’s sermon but I’ll track it down. Thank you for sharing.

      • Oh yes, so very faithful and patient. I don’t see Him as tiring from you (or me!)…Perfect love (God) is patient and kind. And He loves you with an everlasting love and unfailing kindness and He’s working all of this, every single tear and anxious thought into good: His Glory. Just look at the response you got! And why: because it’s in our weakness, our brokenness, that His Glory and deep abiding Presence is truly revealed. You are loved, Alia Joy, fiercely and deeply. As John 6: 35-40 puts it in the Message version, God the Father has placed you into the arms of Jesus, who will hold you tight through every single trial you meet and prepare you to stand WHOLE and COMPLETE before the Father at the end of time. Lifting you up in prayer right now.

  3. I am brand new to this blog site but have been incredibly blessed already. Thank you for being open and brutally honest in this. My daughter has struggled with anxiety for years but when she lost her daddy at 12, the anxiety came on with a vengeance. Very little seems to help and I am lost as a mother as I watch her seeking help from anyone and anything. To see how much she is hurting is heart-breaking. I am going to print this and have her read it. Thank you again….

    • Oh, your heart must be hurting from the loss as well! These are such reassuring words from our great God…”I am with you.” We are not alone. In fact verse 13 portrays this beautiful picture of our Father and us walking hand in hand. Such sweetness and protection, and a promise of help directly from Him. We have nothing to fear when we are held by Him.
      In these times, we must know these words in our hearts and in our minds. When doubts, fear, worry and anxiety want to creep in and steal our joy, we can look up into the face of the one who holds us and know that He is the One who keeps us!

    • Can’t imagine what it must be like for you both. Lifting you both up in prayer.

      You may find Angie Smith’s What Women Fear an encouraging and helpful read. She shares about how fear is part of her testimony and that becoming a follower of Jesus hasn’t made fear disappear from her life, but she shows how God meets her in her fears. It’s a beautiful read, especially because she shows that God is with us in the depths of our fears and grief and it is filled with Biblical truths.

    • My heart goes out to you and your daughter. I experienced extreme anxiety…untreated for years. Some anxiety is situational, but some is due to a chemical imbalance in the brain that can be treated with both medicine and counseling. The two, in combination, have been a lifesaver for me. Praying for your daughter and for you…there is hope…

  4. Alia, amen and amen. Thank you for being so vulnerable in a world that often just “doesn’t get it.” I could echo many of your words, feelings, and fears. We are the hunted, as you said, for we have an enemy that will destroy us any way he can (mind, body, spirit) and yet, we have One who understands (He does get it) and He fights for us–our Warrior King, our Savior. We will battle when we are here, but we will one day completely overcome and enter into His sweet rest. Glorious day that will be! Blessings over you, Alia.

  5. Alia Joy, thank you for sharing about your anxiety. I also battle anxiety more than I care to admit. Today, you have helped me to remember that I am not alone, and hat God is always with us and will bring peace to our worrying minds. It helps calm my anxieties to remember that God is the God of hope and He is SO good! He will give us all we need, don’t lose hope Alia. May blessings always surround you. God bless! Xoxo ❤️

  6. I know that thundering too. That all consuming thunder running away with my sanity. I know what it is to cling tightly to God’s Word, to His promises. I would write Scripture over and over and over until my heart slowed. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9a)

  7. Thank you so much for your raw honesty! First time I am writing a response on any of the devotions I have been so blessed with over the past year. Your story resonate with me even though I have not gone though any of the experiences you have. It no doubt quicken my heart to be even more compassionate to those who are in difficult situation and place. Continue to hold one even when…..His Grace is sufficient.

  8. What a great sharing. We need this honesty in our writing, because if we paint it all as a perfect world how do we help those who are struggling. Thank you for sharing. I claim Joshua 1:9 which is very similar to the one you used. I am so grateful God does not demand perfection, just a heart that desires Him. He is indeed faithful forever.

  9. Alia Joy, what a beautiful post. Thanks for being so real, and for the reminder that none of us is alone as we deal with anxiety. I imagine most of struggle with this in one form or another, at least sometimes.

    Isaiah 41:10 is one of my go-to verses when life’s hard blinds me to an accurate perspective of Jesus in my mess. There is power and comfort knowing God is the one who gives us strength and help, in knowing HE upholds US in His righteous right hand.

    I loved this: “He is the God who knows brokenness. He is the God who is well acquainted with pain. He is Jesus who knows suffering and death. And since He also knows everlasting life, He is with me even as my heart thunders.”

    Thank you.

  10. Your words ring familiar with me as well. And so, I thank you for the valuable comfort and ministry you have provided to so many in just this single post alone. God’s richest blessings to you today and to these sisters who also are walking similar paths. I am learning the discipline of being real slowly, sometimes reluctantly. Dropping the mask is a courageous and vulnerable step, but the way God can use it! So thank you for sharing your reality with so many who can identify with it. NONE of us has it ALL together, and by God’s grace, that is okay.

  11. Thank you for your raw, honest pain. And your profession not only of faith,but of fear. It is in your honesty that I draw strength; that I can cry and know we are not alone. I often tell friends in Christ, that pain is the glue that God uses to bring us together. Jesus-glue.

  12. Hunted is precisely the word, the enemy comes for us as Christians, he knows he can’t have our souls, but he can and will oppress minds and bodies, that’s why Jesus healed them. Acts 10:38, carrying verses is great. I have things to read everywhere, on the back of doors, cabinets, in my purse. Fear is the worst thing ever! Only God’s love can overtake it! Remember, we are the righteousness of God and No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. Isaiah 54:17, read it, pray it out loud. I like the idea of a chair to sit in to talk to God, we’ve all been there, Jesus knows fear better than anyone, He understands, He overcame so we could. He loves us so deeply, He even understands if you need medicine to help you. But He alone is our peace, always rescuing us, so when your mind feel like a blender, just know, His crown of thorns is our crown of peace.

  13. I was just about to start hunting you down! I’m so sorry that the anxiety has found you again, but God is indeed the God of the broken and He never leaves us. He redeems it all, even when we can’t imagine a way through the shadows. I am praying for you to see Him in the midst of the thundering heartbeats and the fear, and longing with you for the day when we can fix our eyes on all that is good in our lives and fling the doubt far, far away. Love you so, friend!

  14. Thank you for your honesty. I’ve known so many Christian women (and have been one myself at times) who feel like they have to paste on a frozen smile and act like nothing ever bothers them, so afraid that this kind of raw honesty will “hurt their witness.” But this kind of transparency does so much more to minister to the broken and the struggling–which is every single one of us at one time or another.

  15. Alia Joy,

    Thank you, this describes my daughter with the anxiety she struggles with often. Right now she is struggling. You’ve given me more to pray for her, and you’ve painted a good picture for me. Right now, in her life, she teeters with wanting a relationship with Jesus, and wanting life another way apart from him. But, I also trust He is understanding her just like He understands you and is listening to my prayers for her.

    Right on time post. Thank you for listening and being vulnerable. It spoke so loud yet softly to me.

    Joanne

  16. Thanks for sharing. Your honesty has encouraged me. I have a bad problem with vertigo and the weather changes controls it. When I have it for months on end it pushes my cortisol up and I have such bad anxiety and thoughts overcoming my mind till I can barely stand it. I use the verse ” I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says do not fear for I will help you” Isaiah 41:13 I just keep repeating it over and over again. It’s so good that God understands and I’m so hard on myself when I’m so fearful. I’m each day walking in the word and claiming God’s promises and one day I know he will help me in my unbelief. The key for me is to trust him completely and I do in so many ways but not my health. I don’t feel like I’m the only one feeling this way anymore and I’m glad to know I’m not alone with this anxiety. Thanks for sharing.

  17. This means more to me than you will ever know. I have spent my 36 years being hunted, stalked by anxiety, fear, depression and they are paralyzing. Riding the roller coaster, not knowing when it is going to strike, when “today” will leave me curled up sobbing, unable to breathe, let alone function, but knowing that is will strike. Living at the level of anxiety that leaves me unable to make simple decisions for fear of failure, messing up, etc is crippling.
    Your comments give me hope, they give me pause, they give me the “I am not alone, someone gets me” comfort that I need. I will rest on your words tonight. I will hang onto Isaiah 41:10.

  18. Thank you, I was given this verse in Isaiah 41 two decades ago, but you couldn’t have chosen a more opportune moment to use it to speak into my life. You let me know it was alright to let God know that I still am frightened and I am not alright. It’s okay to be honest with God.

  19. Alia, I hear you friend.

    Anxiety has come to call in whiffs once again after 6 months of colliding changes and a great big move … and deaths of my dad and grandson in 2 months time.

    Blogging is my therapy. Journaling where I REALLY am, those prayers to God, has been a solace. I feel heard, validated. There’s a few people I can be my absolute truest self to. That matters.

    And yes, this is not just an emotional thing with great spiritual impact, but a physical one as well. That’s where the right meds can help. I’m a big advocate of taking care of the whole physical end of anxiety with no guilt or shame or excuses.

    It is what it is. And thankfully, we’re defined by our Savior, not our symptoms.

    Praying that you will continue to build a healing community around you, and that you will pass through this valley of the shadow, and come out the other end so much stronger than ever before.

    You’re in my prayers even as we speak. I miss reading your words, hearing your heart.

  20. Alia Joy,
    Last year I was stressed out. It got so bad in June that each day I woke up with knots in my stomach wanting to throw up and couldn’t eat. I would go to work and eat later. To much going on with my aging dad moving to assisted living & many illnesses, hubby about to lose his job, and me dreading my job and certain co-workers. Thankfully God has seen me through that time!
    I pray for healing of your mind, body and soul!! I want peace to enter you life and for you to have joy once again!!
    (((Hugs)))
    Blessings 🙂

  21. How glad I am to have come across this post! I am often ashamed of myself for letting anxiety consume me. I think to myself that I should be grateful for what I do have and that I have a God who loves and cares for me, who will supply my every needs and who gives me no reason to worry. Oftentimes it is the guilt that I feel that plunges me even deeper. No matter where I go–even sitting in church service–I feel the anxiety hunting me, waiting to take a shot at me and hit me right in the heart. Because of this post, I am reminded that this is an illness. I did not ask for this and as you said, there is no more I can do to get rid of it than someone with a physical “non-invisible” illness. Just because it is seemingly unseen, does not mean that it is not real.
    Thank you so much for this. <3

  22. Thank you for your honesty in this post. Will you please pray for me? Anxiety and depression become a part of my life this past year and I desperately need Hope. I recently finished 23 years of staying home and homeschooling my children and now feel very lost and afraid.