We all endure seasons of hardship and struggle, but that doesn't mean we have to succumb to the darkness. We can choose to be vulnerable and start over for a fresh new season, ready for whatever God has planned. Zim Flores, a prolific scientist, entrepreneur, and speaker, breaks down how to look for success in each new beginning and find joy in the unpredictable.
Her book, Dare to Bloom, is a gorgeous ode to finding your true identity and realizing that it never changes or goes away. The book is beautifully designed and chock full of photographs from Flores's travels, as well as scripture passages and reflection questions at the end of each section.
Throughout her life, Flores has had new beginning after new beginning. The child of Nigerian immigrants, she and her family were uprooted time and again. And along the way, she's come to some truly profound nuggets of wisdom—or Zimisms, as she calls them. Here are a few of the wisest ones that gave me pause.
"Change doesn't start with planting; it begins with uprooting."
The garden imagery is abundant in Flores's life. It's the perfect metaphor for her work. This one is especially profound, because it's true: You can't start over fresh without first removing yourself from the past.
"Identities founded in people, places, or things are destined to collapse."
Your true identity is who and what you are at your core. It's not related to where you grew up or who your boss is or what kind of car you drive. It's all based on your soul and God's plan. So lean in to that, and ignore the rest.
"In the middle of trouble, what we recognize from God as harm, He sees as good."
Even through times of struggle, be on the lookout for something bright and amazing. Losing your job may feel like a tough blow, but beyond that is something greater: a chance to start something brand new.
"God will orchestrate circumstances to force your pause."
I've definitely experienced this myself. When life is feeling out of control, something will happen to slow me down—I'll have to take the long way to work, or I catch a cold and have to focus on healing my body. And it's there, in the slowing down, that I have time to reflect on what's really keeping me busy and if it's worth it.
"Difficult times reveal the priorities of our hearts."
What you focus on during a season of struggle shows your true colors. If you're going through a breakup and spend your newfound free time wallowing, that's maybe not the best course of action. If you spend the time looking for ways to improve your life and giving back to your community, you're in a much better place to begin anew.
"We are all in a perpetual cycle of new beginnings."
It is true. It is the most true thing in all of Dare to Bloom. Every day is a new beginning, sure, but more meaningfully, the decisions we make every day are the ones creating new beginnings.
Please do yourself a favor and read this book, then gift it to someone who's having a hard time and needs some perspective on coming out of the darkness. Zim Flores is a truly wonderful human with important things to say about finding your true identity.
Want to start listening to the Dare to Bloom audiobook? Start listening now:
Ashley Holstrom is a book person, designing them and writing about them for Book Riot. She lives near Chicago with her cat named after Hemingway and her bookshelves organized by color.
PAGE CHASER IS AFFILIATED WITH THE FOLLOWING IMPRINT: THOMAS NELSON