Last month, I went to a women’s brunch. A friend of mine was speaking. The last time I heard her speak to a group of women was in 2006. Back then, she talked about brokenness, reconciliation and a stolen stereo. I remember it well because her story resonated with mine.

It was during a time I felt God was asking me to do something.

It was on that Thursday morning, back in ’06,  I knew God was answering my prayer, a prayer I didn’t want to know the answer to—a prayer recently spoken, but long overdue. “God help me to know if this is from you.”

Oftentimes, God speaks to me through others. He used my friend Debbie.

Fast forward to a rainy Saturday morning in March and I was met with a message about cultivating my faith and the things that get in the way, things like discontentment, comparison, lack of forgiveness and fear—all things that poison my soul.

My Soul. My tired, weary, rundown, lonely soul.

I took some notes, wrote down a few verses, said Amen, pushed in my chair and said my goodbyes.

Later, I would return home with a small plastic bag, sealed with a pink and green ribbon with a sticker on the outside that read “Bloom where you are planted.” Inside was a pink-frosted cookie in the shape of a flower, only mine was broken.

Bloom. Broken. How can you bloom if you feel broken?

I grabbed my unbroken cookie off the table after hearing someone say, “Don’t forget your cookie!” Little did she know, I meant to leave it. Not because I didn’t appreciate the gift for me to take, but because my jeans were getting tight… again.

Before I left, I hugged the friend who invited me and thanked my friend for sharing, then headed for the back door. Another woman was leaving at the same time when I noticed my cookie was broken. I said, “Do you think that’s a bad sign?” I was only kidding, but her response was, “No it just means you can share it with others!”

I thought about her words as I walked to my car. I don’t know why, but I didn’t think of sharing the actual cookie like I’m sure she meant. I thought, “I am a broken cookie. Maybe I should be sharing more of myself.”

I’ve been investing time and energy into becoming a better blogger, a more successful writer, a better this and a better that. It can be overwhelming at times, especially since I have other things to do—like providing meals and clean underwear. Plus, I work 20 hours a week.

In these things alone, I could be doing better.

As I learn more about the world of writing, I’m discovering I am a bit of a rule breaker. It is encouraged to share the things I’ve already overcome and I’ve overcome a lot of things, but still have much to overcome. Discontentment for one… and comparison… and forgiveness. Oh and fear. Fear gets me every dang time.

Somehow, I think these things should come easier, but in some seasons, they just don’t.

Recently, a guest speaker came to our church. He said, “Stop striving to become a better person, but to become fully human!” Wait, what? Fully human? Humans are sinners. Humans are broken. I hung onto his words because I am good at being human. I am also tired of striving. I’m tired of trying to be better. Are you tired too?

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. —Romans 3:23

Maybe, just maaaybe, the more in touch we are with our humanity, the more it allows God to do his work, his glorious work. So rather than choosing to give into all the things that get in the way of cultivating our faith, we can choose to give unto God all the things because just like my friend said, they are poison to our soul.

There will be days when you feel like a broken cookie, but God is like frosting, the heavy duty kind. Give him your troubles so he can do his work. Care for that beautiful soul of yours. Breathe God in. Thank him for all the glorious things. Reflect. Examine. Bloom.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Christ. -Philippians 1:6