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At the fragile age of 8, a man tried to define who I was. An object. Disposable. Consumable. Dirty. Shameful and unworthy.
To be honest, I don’t even remember exactly when it started or when it ended, but the years in between were the lost years of my childhood. The years I don’t remember very well.
Except for the fear, pain, and shame.
As the years went on, I escaped his hands, but my heart still held the scars. I was still fearful, still broken, and very angry at the world. Is this all there is? Will I be stuck in this rut forever?
Once you’ve been broken, it’s hard to open your heart to freedom, and author Kayla Aimee knows exactly how I felt. I was honored to receive a complimentary advanced reader’s copy of her latest book, In Bloom, and her story pulled at ALL my heart strings!
“This is what our insecurity steals from us, the freedom to live breathless with wonder rather than out of breath from running away. Shame creates a flight pattern in us that sends us into hiding… This is not the story that was written for us. We were born into an inheritance of belonging” She writes the words my heart needs to hear.
My childhood was one full of broken pieces. My adolescence was filled with cutting myself on all the glass shards. My young adulthood was spent desperately seeking healing and crying a river of tears in the process.
And the stories Kayla shares in her book were a salve to my soul. Abandoned by schoolmates, rejected by boys, fearful and insecure, broken by the premature birth of her baby. She had every reason to stay bitter and filled with shame. But God had a different plan for her. He had restoration and love and community for her.
And He has the same for me. And for you! Over 20 years have passed since my childhood abuse, and though my heart is still scarred and heavy, it has learned to trust again. I have learned to love–my husband and daughter are testaments to that.
Finding my worth in Scripture has been a large part of my journey, and also Kayla’s. She shares her favorite verses and Bible study to meditate on and truly let the healing sink in.
Her words are funny and her stories will take you straight back to adolescence in the 90s (particularly nostalgic for me–but enjoyable for all ages!).
If you’ve ever felt like you didn’t belong or measure up, I highly recommend giving this book a read and letting truth root itself in your heart. I feel like I’ve made a new friend for life in Kayla!
**All opinions are my own and reflect my truthful feelings about this book. I received a complimentary advance reader’s copy from the publisher in exchange for sharing my review.