Sweet Like Jasmine: Finding Identity in a Culture of Loneliness

Sweet Like Jasmine: Finding Identity in a Culture of Loneliness

by Bonnie Gray
Sweet Like Jasmine: Finding Identity in a Culture of Loneliness

Sweet Like Jasmine: Finding Identity in a Culture of Loneliness

by Bonnie Gray


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This is the story of God whispering, “What no one wants, I cherish.”

The daughter of a mail-order bride and a busboy from San Francisco’s Chinatown, Bonnie Gray grew up never truly feeling beautiful or beloved. As an adult, she built her life to look pleasant and ordinary, with a wonderful husband, two amazing boys, and a thriving career. But despite these blessings, she still felt the tugging emptiness of a missing piece.

At 39, a long-forgotten birth certificate in an old file cabinet sparked a curiosity Bonnie couldn’t ignore. Determined to uncover her family’s secrets and understand the home she was born into, Bonnie embarked on a quest that would leave her forever changed. Returning to the culture, places, and stories that shaped her, her search led her to soul-shaking discoveries about her identity, human kindness and what it truly means to belong.

The profoundly moving journey of learning to embrace our true worth, Sweet Like Jasmine celebrates how God uses our unique and broken stories to create a beautiful mosaic of His love, one life at a time.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780736983426
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Publication date: 10/05/2021
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 1,099,219
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Bonnie Gray is the popular author of Sweet Like Jasmine, Whispers of Rest, and Finding Spiritual Whitespace. As a speaker and the host of the Breathe podcast, Bonnie guides thousands weekly to detox stress and flourish in emotional wellness through soul care, Bible study, and prayer. Her writing has been featured by Proverbs 31, (in)courage, Christianity Today, and Relevant Magazine. Connect with Bonnie at thebonniegray.com and Instagram or Facebook @thebonniegray.

Table of Contents

Introduction 9

Birth Certificate 11

The Silk Dress 19

The Candy Store 27

Strange Medicine 35

Bookstore 45

Noodle Shop 55

Vegetable Stand 63

Women in the Mirror 71

Fate 79

College 91

My Mother's Daughter 99

Homeland 107

Lotus Flower 117

Survivor's Guilt 125

Limbo 135

Red Bean Dessert 143

Earthquake 151

Cut Up 157

Family Code 165

Normal 173

Gift Basket 179

Double Happiness 189

Chinese Hospital 197

The Bakery 205

Scars 213

Dim Sum 221

The Cup 227

Cable Car 233

Homecoming 245

Parting Words 251

Notes 253

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“In a world crying out for kindness and belonging, this is a book needed for our times. Sweet Like Jasmine is a gift, a beautiful remembrance that God treasures each of our broken hearts in His sweeping story of redemption.”
—Ann Voskamp, New York Times bestselling author of The Broken Way and One Thousand Gifts

Sweet Like Jasmine feels like having a cup of tea with a kind and brave friend who reminds you of God’s love, His grace, and how His unseen hand is in all of our stories. It’s beautiful and powerful, life giving and heart freeing, deeply personal and soul-touching relatable. I read it one weekend, savoring every word, and I didn’t want it to end.”
—Holley Gerth, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Powerful Purpose of Introverts

“Bonnie has a gift! Her stories draw you in from the start, and her raw honesty captures the heart of all who are looking for love and belonging in a culture of loneliness and isolation. This book is a healing balm of beauty from brokenness.”
—Rebekah Lyons, bestselling author of Rhythms of Renewal and You Are Free

“If you’ve struggled with feeling as if you don’t fit in or aren’t good enough, Bonnie’s story of finding beauty and belonging in her brokenness will encourage your heart. I loved her poignant retelling of both the sweet and the bitter memories from her childhood, and how she can look back and see God’s goodness and faithfulness in the midst of it.”
—Crystal Paine, New York Times bestselling author, podcaster, and founder of MoneySavingMom.com

“Bonnie Gray is an engaging storyteller who reminds us of the grace woven through each chapter of our lives. This book is both poetic and insightful. Beautiful and honest. A worthy companion through the wilderness of learning to find our identity. Through stories, letters, cultural insights, and reflections, Sweet Like Jasmine generously provides much-needed language and permission to embrace the wholeness of who we are.”
—Morgan Harper Nichols, author of All Along You Were Blooming

“No one tells a story like Bonnie Gray! Join her on a journey of vulnerability, discovery, and a growing awareness of God’s redemptive power in our lives. Along the way, you’ll see that it’s right in our broken places that God shows himself strong.”
—Kathi Lipp, bestselling author and speaker

“This is one of those books that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page. Bonnie’s story is achingly beautiful—not only because it’s true, but because it is truly transformative. Our two life stories couldn’t be more different, yet Bonnie’s story is also mine. And it’s yours. This is a story of the secrets and shame we all carry, and how God is working—always working—to bring beauty out of every broken moment. This book is a treasure.”
—Jennifer Dukes Lee, author of Growing Slow and It’s All Under Control

Sweet Like Jasmine is a love story that will bring beauty and healing to tender places in the heart and deeper compassion for those who have ever felt unlovable or unworthy.”
—Melissa Michaels, New York Times bestselling author of Love the Home You Have and Dwelling

“A beautiful book with thought-provoking reflections, Sweet Like Jasmine is a captivating blend of powerful story and hope-filled self-discovery. I couldn’t put it down!”
—Renee Swope, bestselling author of A Confident Heart

“Bonnie has often led the way to freedom and truth by going there first herself. Her ability to invite us as readers into her stories, and therefore into our own stories, makes this world a better, more healed place.”
—Annie F. Downs, New York Times bestselling author of That Sounds Fun

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