Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Fight Back With Joy

I have been reading a lot lately, a desperate attempt to keep my over active brain busy.  And of course, I am not a fan of 'light reading,'  I need thought provoking, deep books that inspire profound thought.....as if I need any help with increasing my thoughts!  

Anyways, some of the quotes I wrote down or highlighted, were worth sharing.  It is amazing to me how I have completely read two books in the past week and a half and have been working on this other book for about a month.  I read Fight Back With Joy by Margaret Feinberg and I read Safe People by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend.  My husband and I are in the process of reading If God Is Good by Randy Alcorn.  That one will take a while to complete as I am only able to read a few pages at a time, and in most cases a whole flood gate of thoughts and questions flow from those few pages each night.  What I find fascinating is how all of these books seem to be providing similar messages but yet they are all so different.  

Fight Back With Joy was an amazing book and I highly recommend it. She talks about overcoming fears and how we learn and grow through the hardships of life. Some of my favorite quotes from the book : "God is an unconventional teacher.  He uses paradox to imbue us with common sense, propels healing through pain, and hauls clarity into our lives through the most confusing circumstances."  She goes on to talk about the battles that we all face, and that we are all fighting something.  One of the things she said made me think about the struggles that those of us with a mental illness face, "You see the scars when you look into the mirror, into your soul.  And you know you will need to fight again tomorrow."  There are so many people who fight battles we will never know about. Here's another good one, "The severity of our hardship increases our opportunity to depend on God.  In those moments divine grace seeps through the ruins, softens our wills, and takes us to deeper places than we could venture on our own.  Our weaknesses become ripe opportunities for his infinite power to be displayed."  It is so hard for me to wrap my head around how my weaknesses could become an opportunity for God's power to be displayed, and his glory unveiled. I don't doubt what he is capable of doing but it is hard when you are walking through the battlefields of your weaknesses to keep this in mind. She points to scripture and looks at James and how we shouldn't seek hardships but they do serve a purpose.  "James says our faith is activated when we live alert for God in the midst of hardship."  She was battling a cancer diagnosis and was surprised by the fact that when some people found out about her illness, they backed out of her life and didn't say anything because they didn't know what to say.  Boy can I empathize with those feelings of telling somebody about an illness you struggle with and then they just sorta step back.  Vulnerability is hard, and silence hurts.  I feel like I could go on and on talking about how amazing this book is, so many good thoughts that I could relate to, even if I am not facing a cancer diagnosis like Margaret was when she wrote this book, her outlook on life as she fought back with joy provides encouragement to anybody battling anything. "Joy flows out of unsuspecting, and often daunting, places. It's illogical, irrational, downright crazy pants to think that great adversity could possibly lead to a fuller life. Yet that's what I've discovered."

stay tuned for more thoughts from the other books I have read lately and how they all tie together!