Flourishing in a Fragile State
Title: Fragile and Flourishing
By: Sana' K.C.N. Watts
Genre: Non- Fiction
Summary: In Fragile and Flourishing, Sana' tells her story of how she built a relationship with God and how that relationship has gotten her through the dark times in life. She is a proud Christian women who is honest that her faith is not always strong, but shares how God’s strength has gotten her through seasons of anxiety and depression.
Thoughts after reading the book: One of the hardest questions someone can ask me nowadays is “Maya, how are you doing?” My immediate answer is usually a peppy “good!” or “I’m hanging in there!” or “I have no complaints!”, but really I am hanging on by a string. It’s not that I’m not being honest, there are usually too many layers to the answer that I don’t have the energy to get into. Can you relate with this?
Sana' certainly understands it and her response to "how are you doing?" is that she’s good enough…. “Enough to wake up, brush my teeth, get dressed. Enough to breathe. Enough to stand. Enough to smile - sometimes. Enough to not break in someone's hands. Enough to hold with feeble fingers onto faith.”
What I enjoyed most about reading Fragile and Flourishing was Sana’s poetic style of writing. She covers some tough topics such as depression, anxiety and thoughts of suicide and her style of writing drew me in and made her feelings relatable. I was able to connect with her desire of wanting to be enough and worthy of good things. This theme of worthiness in Sana’s book made me think of my take away from books that I've read by Brene Brown around being worthy now in this moment. Your worthiness is not measured by what you do or how well you do it, but by being yourself, as you are right in this moment…exactly how God sees you.
I was often finding my identity not in Christ, but in my ability to please those around me and be successful in the things I did. I believed that these were the ways to secure people’s love.
I really admire Sana’s love for God. I admire how she found her tribe of like minded Christians in college and even in her husband. She surrounded herself around people who were also seeking to grow in their faith with God. As someone who would like to strengthen my own relationship with God, I feel like this is not an easy task. It is a conscious choice to prioritize God in your life. It was commendable to see how even through Sana's dark times, her faith was her light.
I am a fan of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. In her book Sana shares an exercise that manipulates your mindset when your thoughts are going in a dark direction.
Name the thought
Classify the thought
Challenge the thought
Introduce a new thought that’s based on truth (God’s truth)
I reflect on these simple 4 steps because I want this exercise to be top of mind when I notice my anxiety flaring up or when my thoughts become negative.
I would recommend Fragile and Flourishing to anyone who is struggling or know of someone struggling with depression, anxiety or their faith. Sana’s story is raw and honest, but is also a beacon of inspiration of being fragile in spirit and flesh, but flourishing with the guiding hand of God.
- Maya & The Spine Down