Would my mother Ah-Ma come to my wedding? I didn’t know.
One morning, seventeen years ago, I stepped into my Western bridal gown as American Bonnie for our church wedding ceremony, where my husband and I would exchange our vows. Later that night, I changed into my red Chinese wedding silk dress as Asian Bonnie at our wedding banquet.
The traditional silk dress is called cheongsam in the Cantonese dialect spoken in Southern China GuongDong where my parents are from. They escaped to British Hong Kong when the Communist party rose to power during the Cultural Revolution launched by Mao Zedong.
In Mandarin, the silk dress is called chi-pow. Brides wear red to symbolize good fortune and happiness for a new life as a couple.
That day was significant for me. Choosing happiness for myself was very different from the expectations I grew up with. I was taught to focus on the greater good, on what would be helpful and loving for others. Up to that point in my life, most of my life decisions had revolved around making choices for my family — my mother, who was a single mom, and my sister, who was five years younger than me.
I didn’t grow up in a cookie-cutter family that had a mom and dad, so I wondered if I could have the kind of whole-family happiness I’d always longed for. Did I deserve it, or was that selfish?
Happiness was more of an afterthought for me. It was nice when happiness was a part of my experience, as a side benefit to the responsibilities I shouldered. But to choose something simply because it gave me happiness? That seemed too extravagant.
Was I even worth happiness for my own sake if it didn’t serve other people?
So, choosing my husband — a soulmate with whom I’d define happiness together as a couple and later as a family — was a new territory of faith for me…to be continued on (in)courage where I’m posting today.
To read the rest of today’s blog post, click here to join me at DaySpring (in)courage, where today’s post is published. Join me there now and share a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts friend!
Preorder Sweet Like Jasmine to Get FREE BONUS GIFTS!
Friend, I’m so excited to announce FOUR BONUS GIFTS for you to order Sweet Like Jasmine! Sign up here for your FREEBIE BONUS GIFTS!
Stories of Faith Journal
This special journal pairs inspiring quotes and Scripture with prompts to help you capture your faith stories and celebrate the true beloved you God created. These pages create the space to reveal makes you incredibly unique and beautifully whole. You will remember God’s goodness and pass on your legacy of faith.
Stories of Faith Workshop (begins August 24, 2021)
Encourage your heart by joining this interactive workshop in a private loving community led by author Bonnie Gray to help you celebrate God’s goodness in your life and share your stories of faith. This exciting, nurturing workshop empowers you to celebrate being God’s beloved.
Sweet Like Jasmine Audiobook (Read by Me)
Enjoy Sweet Like Jasmine wherever life takes you. Moving through bok-choy-fish markets, noodle shops, crossing cable car tracks and childhood memories on the hills of Chinatown, Bonnie Gray takes you on a rich storytelling audio experience of the book.
Sweet Like Jasmine Book Club (begins October)
Get encouraged reading Sweet Like Jasmine in a powerful online community experience, led by soul care guide Bonnie Gray. This will be a fun and encouraging interactive experience with weekly live videos to support you to discover your true worth!
Taking the Sweet Like Jasmine journey will empower you to:
▫️Feel seen and valued, resting in God’s love for you.
▫️See the grace woven in each chapter of your life and embrace the wholeness of who you are.
▫️Learn to listen deeply to your life and feel empowered in your true worth.
▫️Find joy, hope, and healing in rewriting your stories with faith.
Your Story Matters. You Matter. You are beloved.
Sweet Like jasmine is my story as the daughter of a mail-order bride from Hong Kong and a father who was a busboy in a noodle shop who left me when I was seven years old. After stumbling on an old birth certificate, I set out to SF Chinatown to uncover family secrets I ran away from, to find the my childhood home and the dad who abandoned me! I share my hard-won lessons of faith to empower you with God’s love and hope with this book!!
You’ll be changed by what you’ll discover about God’s love for you! I’m so excited to bless you! READ about the book here on Amazon!
HOW TO GET YOUR PREORDER FREEBIES
1. Preorder the book (click here to purchase). Thank you so much for your support! I wrote this book for you. You’re the reason I’m an author, sweet friend!
2. After you preorder, click here to sign up for all the BONUS FREEBIES (FREE Audiobook, Journal, Workshop & Book Club, by filling out the form.
Then, spread the word! Invite your friends, daughter, mother, small group, ministry leaders — and everyone in-between to bless the women in your life! This book is going to be soul-changing and beautiful!
EARLY READING ACCESS
You’ll get access
to read the digital copy before release!
PLUS $500 worth of giveaways!
join the launch team here!
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I saw you on Life Today with James and Betty Robinson and I was encouraged to hear about the faithfulness of Father God. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you Debra for taking time to share your story of healing and so grateful for your words of encouragement!
Bonnie your book spiritual white space has truly helped me heal from PTSD. Thank you for the courage it took to write it.
Love your sister in Christ