I first heard of Margaret Feinberg when I was living in Beijing. A friend brought back Scouting the Divine from the U.S. and gushed about it so much it was my very next book purchase. (In it Margaret gets to know a shepherdess, bee keeper, and vintner to understand Biblical passages involving sheep, honey, and wine. If you haven’t read it, you must. Spectacular.)
Yes, Margaret’s writing touched and impressed me, but want to know what bowled me over? She’s from Morrison, Colorado!!
I know, right! Wait, you might not have heard of Morrison? It’s a not s0-well-known town near my hometown. Being a world away, it was like hearing from home.
And now she’s come out with a new book: Fight Back With Joy. I pre-ordered it and when I received it a few days after Christmas it was my first read in the new year (even before several excellent Christmas gifts). I would have read it regardless of the title, but you know Joy holds a special corner of my soul.
I’ve written before about when my joy was gone. Even now several years out, my declaration was memorable, as I recently found out reminiscing with friends. Several years ago during team prayer requests, through tears and a few sobs, I asked for my joy to be returned. I said I was losing myself and my joy was gone. I wasn’t depressed in the clinical sense, I was depressed in the spiritual sense and I wanted me back. This happened a few weeks after they had joined the team, and it turns out when they got home that night they wondered what was wrong with our team if cheerful Amy was falling apart :).
Turns out even cheerful people can experience joy crises too.
In preparation for this book, Margaret participated in several joy experiments. Only problem was they turned out to be gimmicky (my description), which was not her goal. “God had to interrupt my joy experiment to take me on a joy expedition.”
She was diagnosed with breast cancer.
This book chronicles receiving (or living) unwanted news and the ways you can “fight back with joy.” The subtitle says it all: celebrate more, regret less, stare down your greatest fears.
“We rarely choose what is subtracted from our lives, but we can choose how we respond. How we reorganize our lives in order to move forward.” Rings true on a deep level, doesn’t it?
In her own words, Margaret wrote this book:
My prayer is that this book will be beacon for anyone searching for HOW to fight darkness.
My prayer is that this book will be a beacon for anyone ABOUT to face a battle.
My prayer is that this book will be a beacon for anyone IN the fight of their lives.
My prayer is that this book will be a beacon for anyone who has crawled THROUGH the trenches.
Sooner or later, we all find ourselves on the battlefield. But we can fight back with joy and help others do the same.
I wanted to read this book because I’m drawn to stories of folks who live in the messy middle of life and reach for God and each other in the midst of it. You know my journey with choosing a word for the year started with renewed joy, the deepest longing of my heart in that season and this is my year to practice celebration.
What better way to celebrate returned joy than by offering Fight Back With Joy by Margaret Feinberg for you to share with someone who needs it?
Leave a comment on you’ll be entered to win a copy (you can keep or give as a gift). Winner announced on Thursday :)! Who do you know who could use this book?
You can order the book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble:, or Margaret’s website (best place) and Margaret has created a 6-Session Bible Study Kit to accompany the book. This book will be an asset to those of us who live messy lives and long for the messes to be infused with JOY! Enjoy a video about the book.