Waiting on the Tides release week

When forgiveness isn’t deserved…

I know, typically these topics are fun and light, but not everything is jovial.

Forgiveness is a sensitive subject, especially when the result of the offense is life-long trauma. I have gone toe to toe with family members who refuse to forgive those who have hurt them because they somehow think it means it lets the offender off the hook. In reality, it lets you off the hook. 

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV)

Recently, I have been challenged with this very scenario. It came to light that the abuse of my children at the hand of one that my husband and I entrusted with care caused greater trauma to one of my children than we first thought. My child will forever be changed and struggles with the loss of innocence that remembering has caused. My child will have to make changes to their life forever because of the trauma.

When the diagnosis was made, I became livid with the abuser. Some would say, even violent toward this person. I would often make a particular comment with a hint of laughter to keep others from thinking that I would really harm this person–but I visualized it often. Not being a physically aggressive person by nature, I would have made an exception in this case. 

Then, one morning in my quiet time, I read the verse above and was immediately convicted. In my heart, I heard, “When will you give this up? You can’t help your child heal if you are this angry. Forgive, and heal.” 

Of course, I fought it for several months but then I witnessed my own spiritual health decline. I still read my bible every day, but there was zero retention of what was read. I listened to praise and worship music but never felt it in my heart. then church became an obligation. I was putting up a barrier between me and God by refusing to forgive this person.

One Sunday, I was giving the message and I was talking about how we need to give our hurts, our past, and all our worries to God and let Him handle those broken areas in our lives. My intention was to have the congregation write done the thing they needed to hand over to God and then it would be put in a bucket at the foot of the cross in the sanctuary. But instead, my darling husband went to the kitchen, grabbed a deep pot and a lighter, and held it up from the back of the room. I knew what he was hinting at and so we burned the papers in the pot…outside of course. I placed the name of the person on that paper and nothing else and as I watched it burn I said, “I’m mad at what you did, but I forgive you.” My walk with the Lord improved and I have felt a violent notion toward them once. 

Thankfully, I think God has kept this person away from us because of the further trauma it could cause, but it also kept me from acting out what I had imagined so many times. Many who know the situation have asked if I will ever tell the abuser what their actions caused and I always answer, “I don’t know.” And I don’t because they are the type that truly thinks they do nothing wrong and have little remorse for their actions. So I could be wasting my breath. At the same time, I believe that there can be no change if the person who is causing harm doesn’t realize they are even doing anything harmful. It is something I constantly am in prayer about, especially since it is the holiday season and I am waiting for that person to show up at my door. 

Then my prayer would be, “Help me walk in forgiveness and not push them off the porch.”

I challenge you to ask God to “search your heart” and “reveal those areas” (ps 139:23-24) that you need to forgive and allow that forgiveness to take root. It might take a few times but you will find that the peace and joy that you have been looking for will return.

 

Waiting on the Tides by Tabitha Bouldin

Get a copy here on Amazon

People are more than the sum of their mistakes.

After a life lived in her older brother’s shadow, Abby Solomon is ready to take on the world—or at least a teaching position that puts her face to face with the one guy who thinks she’s nothing more than an immature nuisance.

When his daughter’s mother abandoned them, Christian Johnson swore off women and the trouble they bring. No wife—no drama. Just how he likes it.  But as Christian struggles to juggle his job as a cop with raising his daughter and tracking down a runaway teen, he’s forced to ask the one woman who reminds him of his wife for help.

Abby is thrilled with the opportunity to show Christian that there’s more to her than what he thinks. But just as Christian begins to trust Abby, she makes a colossal mistake that threatens to ruin everything. 

She just wanted to be accepted.

He wanted to be left alone. 

It’ll take a runaway teen to show them that love is not measured by a single mistake.

This Breakers Head novel is Tabitha Bouldin’s final book in the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

Q & A with Tabitha

When the time came for this final Island, I asked the authors to do a mini-interview with me to share with readers their thoughts on the experience. 
I hope you enjoy my time with Tabitha. 
M: What has been your greatest joy in writing this series?
T: I love the sense of community and friendship that has developed thanks to this series. I’ve never worked in close collaboration with other authors before, and the experience is one that I’ll treasure. The stories themselves have made me a better writer, and I have new friends who understand this author world and what it’s like to be a writer.
M: What has been your hardest struggle writing these series?
Keeping the stories separated. I kept reminding myself about certain events that hadn’t happened yet or had happened. I was constantly worried about making sure that all the characters got their time on the page without taking away from the themes and overall plot. This is the first time I’ve had this intense of a series where the same characters show up over and over. It was a wonderful challenge and I can’t wait to do it again.
M: Who was your favorite character(s)?
That’s a tough one. I had a favorite in each book, but overall I think Abby might be my favorite. She’s mentioned in my first book but doesn’t get her full story told until the last book, and she was a hoot to write. She’s vivacious and funny and doesn’t take any of Christian’s grumpy personality. She knows how to stand up for herself but also has a warm and loving heart. She brought Waiting on the Tides to life.
M: What are you working on now that it is time to leave the Independence Islands?
I’m currently working on a new set of island books while preparing to launch my next steampunk fairy tale retelling. The Suamalie Island series writing is in full swing and the characters are having all kinds of fun telling me their stories. I look forward to seeing where all we go as the series progresses.

Giveaway Stops

Don’t forget to stop by the other authors’ websites to read their stories and enter the giveaways.

1 Comment

  1. debbiejpruss

    Thank you so much for sharing. God bless you.

    Reply

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