Stop Saying I'm Fine
Finding Stillness When Anxiety Screams
by Taylor Joy Murray
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Pub Date 08 Nov 2022 | Archive Date 09 Jun 2023
Abilene Christian University Press & Leafwood Publishers, Leafwood Publishers
There is a deep well of pain, loneliness, self-loathing, trauma, and shame sitting behind the happy smiles and filtered social media feeds that so often characterize our generation.
Many of us have become experts at pretending we’re fine. Our shiny social media feeds and screen-deep smiles certainly give off a happy illusion. But we are not fine. Taylor has heard countless stories from her generation of our fetal positions on cold-tile floors, immobilized by anxiety. She personally knows this place well. At eighteen, she, too, found herself in an anxiety-induced fetal position behind a locked bathroom stall, wondering, “What did Jesus mean when he promised me full life?”
Stop Saying I’m Fine is a generational call to honesty, healing, and to a spiritual hunger that defies superficial Christianity and engages our deeper aches and heart questions. In these pages, we’ll dig beneath the bedrock of our anxiety into the pain of our experiences. Together, we’ll learn how to connect to the stillness that exists beneath the chaos, and we’ll find that the wholeness and healing we long for isn’t as distant as it may seem.
- For the young adult who feels trapped inside their anxiety
- For the parent or caregiver who aches to understand
- For the wounded heart that can't seem to move on
- For the weary one who has tried and failed a thousand other ways
“There’s a sentence right in the middle of this book where Taylor writes, ‘At its core, the spiritual journey is one of God continually welcoming us home, not only to a truer version of him but also to a truer version of ourselves.’ To me, that’s the heart of this book. But here’s what makes it beautiful: Taylor doesn’t just tell us that truth; she shows us that truth in her own story. It is a story both painful and beautiful. But in telling it, what Taylor does is invite others into that same journey—back home, to both God and to ourselves.”
—Josh Rutledge, Vice President of Spiritual Development, Liberty University
“For anyone who struggles with anxiety and has experienced the pain of feeling misunderstood or judged by fellow believers, Taylor’s heartfelt words will be a soothing balm to their soul as she becomes the friend to lead them out of their darkness. Through her vulnerability, honesty, and personal stories, readers will uncover the healing and peace they’ve desperately been seeking and leave the fear, isolation, and shame of anxiety in the past.”
—Tracie Miles, author and Writing Coach
“This book is a gift of jagged edges. It’s a gift because many of us don’t know how to process our deepest pain, but Taylor walks it with dignity, honesty, and courage. This is a beautifully raw distillation of what it means to daily choose to walk back to Jesus and the arms he keeps open. Taylor uses her experiences to write with a perceptive understanding of the human–divine tension. This book opened my eyes to what it means to encounter a grace that is gripping and unrelenting.”
—Dr. Mary Lowe, Online Associate Dean, Liberty University, School of Divinity
“In this book, Taylor Murray recounts the struggle with anxiety and anorexia that led her to reject self-sufficiency and embrace the grace of the cross. She invites readers to think deeply about the roots of our need to be ‘fine,’ even when we’re not. Her honest and hopeful story highlights the goodness of God in our pain and lights the way for others in today’s challenging environment.”
—Steve Richardson, President, Pioneers-USA
“Taylor’s tender heart for those who are suffering has led her to write a breathtakingly beautiful invitation to know God more intimately. Dripping with both Scripture and vulnerability, Stop Saying I’m Fine will reach the hidden places of your heart and soul and provide a sturdy handhold on your journey to deeper healing and freedom.”
—Elizabeth Trotter, author of Serving Well, editor-in-chief of the missions website A Life Overseas
“Taylor’s vulnerable sharing of her own story gives courage for all ages to press into God’s invitation to be his beloved. She has done a magnificent job of intertwining her battle with anxiety and wrestling with God’s goodness. Taylor writes to her generation but I believe has a message for all to hear. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has struggled with any form of anxiety.”
—Carolyn Foster, Certified Spiritual Director
“Stop Saying I’m Fine is a must-read for anyone who wants to find meaning and healing in his or her struggles with pain and anxiety. Taylor’s honest and compelling personal story coupled with her incredible writing will keep you captivated from beginning to end.”
—David Nasser, author and President of For Others Collective
“High praise for this resource that is welcomed by struggling individuals battling anxiety and caring professionals alike. In culture and church, Taylor challenges us to offer compassionate courage as we look behind the masks of those living with this all too pervasive disorder. As she authentically shares her journey, we are given both her insight and permission to shed pretense and performance—replacing them with grace leading to triumph, and truth leading to freedom.”
—Dorcas Harbin, Executive Vice President of One Another Ministries, Intl
“In Stop Saying I’m Fine, Taylor Murray generously invites us into her authentic and life-changing journey from the isolating bondage to anxiety to the practical freedom of grace in community. Woven throughout the book, she boldly shares the skill of learning self-awareness as well as becoming aware of God’s loving presence. These two skills will unlock the path to Christ-centered transformation and clear a path to experiencing beauty, hope, and freedom regardless of circumstance.”
—Wendy Adamson, career global worker, spiritual director, and soul care provider for global workers
“Brokenness to breakthrough. Hopelessness to healing. Pain to purpose. Fear to freedom. These are the truths etched in the pages of Taylor’s story. But this isn’t just her story, it’s God’s story. A testimony of his goodness, faithfulness, and redemption. Taylor authentically lives out the reality that it’s okay to not be okay and that no matter what your story holds, you’re not alone. God sees you, knows you, and loves you . . . right where you are.”
—Erin Kelly, New York Times Best-Selling author of Kelly Tough
“Wow. This book may be the book that moves a generation to strip off its mask and defeat one of its greatest enemies: anxiety. It’s a pandemic. I watched Taylor grow up and was unaware of her struggles; but then again, that’s the point of her book. Taylor’s extraordinary writing skills and personal transparency deeply moved me and reminded me who I am as a child of God, and they will do the same for you.”
—David Yates, author and producer, Dolphin Tale movies
Average rating from 26 members
When I started reading this book I started writing down lines that resonated, and whilst still reading the introduction realised I would have to buy a physical copy so I could highlight it and make notes. I felt seen, known, understood, in ways that no one has ever made me feel before.
This book is an invitation to honesty and healing, to come alive and experience Gods love and affection for you, and to begin a process of ‘becoming us’. It’s a call to take off the filters society expects us to wear and admit that perhaps “I’m not fine” and that’s ok! The author is vulnerable and honest, and through that provides the reader with tools, space and encouragement for their own imperfect but beautiful journey to begin.
This is a must-have resource to help one improve mental health, resiliency, and live a more full and happy life. It is full of great strategies, advice, and easy to implement ideas. This is one I'll return to again and again. Many thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the advanced copy of the book.
Though not exactly what I thought I was going to get when I started reading this book, a personal journey made for a great way to look at several serious issues.
The author very candidly exposed several of her own mental health struggles. In doing so, she was able to speak to how those issues aren't simply cured, but rather how over a period of time one can learn to control them. She also was able to show how, while they still may be stigmatized, they are not something that we should look negatively on the one who experiences them. Rather, we should see how they are people who are in need of love and encouragement and help from professionals who understand their particular issues.
While reading the book, though I cannot say that I deal with the same issues, I was confronted with some of the issues that I struggle with, and through seeing how she and others on her side dealt with those issues, I was encouraged to think about how I would deal with my own issues. This included asking how my past might be affecting my present, even where I might not have seen connections up to this point.
While this book might not be right for everyone dealing with emotional issues, I am quite sure that anyone who knows someone dealing with all kinds of psychological issues can gain understanding of the other through this book.
A great resource for anyone experiencing the pain of chronic anxiety, this book relies heavily upon the Bible and the author's own personal struggle to paint a message of hope and help. She thoroughly explains the challenges facing people with anxiety in the world and the church and provides practical strategies for managing negative and repetitive thoughts that can exacerbate physical responses to triggers and stressors.
This is the best resource I have encountered so far that biblically and with compassionate personal understanding deals with the topic of chronic, physical anxiety. There is so much judgment, misunderstanding, and stigma out there regarding anxiety. Those who do not have the problem cannot grasp the real and visceral struggle of dealing with crippling anxiety on a daily basis because they mark it down as a purely spiritual problem while completely discounting the physical and neurological problems that exist. Either that or they dismiss anxiety as something trivial and just "in your head." The author does not shy away from exposing her own pain and the way she began to overcome the negative thoughts that provoked her anxiety by using the truth of God's Word. I recommend this book to anyone who has anxiety, anyone who has a loved one with anxiety, and anyone in full or part time ministry. I will promote this book any way I can because it was such a help to me.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. A positive review was not required, and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.
Stop Saying I’m Fine isn’t a self help, practical instruction book regarding anxiety. Instead it is a book that reads like a beautifully scripted memoir in which the author invites you to join in on her journey of struggle and seeking healing, married with the wisdom of experience she shares.
This book would be helpful for any struggling with anxiety, depression, shame, self-hatred, rejection and similar issues as it mentions so many of the unhelpful thoughts and lies we sometimes believe.
One helpful suggestion mentioned in the book is that we need to dig deep and search out what is causing our anxiety, which means “listening to our thoughts, revisiting our stories, and seeking to identify those fears, patterns, and beliefs that can trigger our bodies’ biological responses.” This takes us far closer to discovering the cause of our anxiety versus advice simply to cast our cares on the Lord and just trust or pray more.
I also appreciated how the book clarifies that the feeling of anxiety is not a sin. Worry is sin, yes, and actions or responses that stem from anxiety can be sinful, but the emotion itself is not. The last chapter was especially rich, focusing on true community.
One issue I had: I usually don’t mind whatever Bible version someone cites. However, Scripture quotes from the newer Passion “Translation” of the Bible were used and this is problematic because the TPT translator has an agenda to spread the unbiblical teachings of the New Apostolic Reformation (from churches like Bethel Redding of Bethel Music fame) through how many of the passages are translated similar to how JWs changed things in the Bible to reflect their erroneous teaching.
I received a review copy of this book for free from Netgalley, and I am leaving this review voluntarily. All opinions are my own.
This book made me cry as I recognized myself in your story. I am glad to see other people are also writing about their struggles. It is important for people of all backgrounds to realize they are not alone. I especially appreciate the parts where you talked about your faith along the journey.