Book Review: In Bloom

In Bloom: Trading Restless Insecurity for Abiding Confidence
In Bloom: Trading Restless Insecurity for Abiding Confidence

Insecurity has long been my unwanted companion. Since I’d love to be free from it, I chose this book from a virtual shelf. The bright, pretty blooms also called to me.

Kayla Aimee writes about tough subjects with lots of laughter and entertaining sarcasm. She tells many stories based on her past, and uses humor to open the door to dealing with past pain. Her hurts include suffering from bullying, always wanting to fit in, self-image problems, recovering from her parents’ divorce, and a child who was in the NICU for six months. She speaks about how her faith anchored her, chased away her insecurity and ultimately helped her bloom with confidence.

How This Book Helped Me

She told one story in particular that resonated with me. One woman in her social circles pretends not to remember her every time they see each other. She says this:

For a long time I couldn’t figure out why I so intensely, viscerally disliked having to interact with her…the truth is, it’s because she plays on my deepest fear: that I am so insignificant I am completely forgettable.

When you live in the same smallish town that you grew up in, you run into people that you know all the time. This is my life. I try to err on the side of being polite, simply smiling and perhaps saying “Hello” if I don’t necessarily want to interact or have time to talk. In my experience, however, several women who I once considered “friends” seem to go out of their way to avoid me.

One woman in particular was in a Bible study group we both attended for years. I remember she said once, “I’m glad you’re in my group again this year. I love hearing what you have to say.” We often had pleasant chatter and sat by each other in the lecture. I thought that meant we were friendly acquaintances, at the very least.

Dealing With Rejection

After we weren’t in Bible study together anymore, I was shopping one day and noticed her walk past me in the store, about six feet away. I sensed she was purposely ignoring me, and I tried to let it go and not push the issue by being obnoxious in public. This exact scenario repeated four, five, six times–close enough that I KNEW she knew I was there, and she simply did not want to acknowledge my presence. I felt hurt and annoyed, even though she wasn’t a close friend.

I couldn’t understand why this situation bothered me so much until I read this book. This former “friend” of mine rejected me, over and over, for reasons I don’t understand. Maybe for no good reason at all. Her behavior makes me feel invisible and forgettable, and maybe that’s my deepest fear too. 

But this book taught me I have a choice. I can allow this behavior from her or from others to touch my insecurity, or I can see it as a trigger to praise God that He never ignores me or forgets me. He’s not just polite, acknowledging my presence. His love and attention is abundant, and He alone can fill all the painful places inside me with His peace.

This book was an enjoyable read, but I’m most thankful that it helped me uncover that affirming truth.

You’ll like this book if:

  • You have a dry sense of humor
  • 90’s pop culture is your jam
  • The perfect world painted on social media both attracts and repels you
  • Quotable quotes make you happy
  • You enjoy cute stories about little kids
In Bloom: A light, funny read packed with spiritual truth. #inbloombook Click To Tweet

Here’s a sampling of the many well-written, faith-based quotes from In Bloom:

  • Like many women I know, I buried the beauty that was uniquely knit into me by my Creator…I quit nourishing the gifts that were waiting to bloom within me. I believed in a good God but missed connecting his goodness to who I was.
  • The small slight that we’re currently agonizing over is magnified by the power of memory.
  • Rejection is hard. Because regardless of our age, we all just want to fit in.
  • One of the worst feelings in the world is to not be seen. No one wants to go through life unnoticed. We all just want someone to tell us we matter.
  • Keeping up appearances is such a heavy burden placed on women.
  • We worry that one single rejection is going to be the sum total of our relationships going forward…We think this is inevitable, the leaving, that it’s only a matter of time before we’re left alone again.
  • This is what our insecurity steals from us, the freedom to live breathless with wonder rather than out of breath from running away. #inbloombook Click To Tweet
  • We’re trying to prove something to somebody, and it keeps us striving, never granting us rest.
  • Every disappointment in our lives is the result of an unmet need. And when we identify this unfulfilled desire, we create space for ourselves to fill the void with what will heal us rather than trying to put a temporary bandage on the problem.

If you’re looking for a light, funny read that still packs loads of spiritual truth, I recommend In Bloom.

Thanks goes out to Netgalley for a free review copy of this wonderful book.

Questions for you:

Do you struggle with insecurity? How has God helped you handle it?

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