Forgiveness, Joy

Joy: Finding Joy in Forgiveness

Pink flowers with rain drops on them, a reminder that there is beauty after storms

Guest Post by Darlene Turner

***Over the next three weeks, I want to introduce you to three author friends. They have books that have just released, and each of them has wisdom they’ll share in their posts that guided their stories. I am including links to their books, should you want to learn more. And no, I’m not earning anything from sharing them. I just want you to get to know these authors. Enjoy!***

Darlene Turner and I have been in the writing trenches together for a number of years. My Canadian friend has such a warmth about her. We’ve finaled in contests together…and consoled each other when someone else won. We’ve talked about personal issues and how God has brought us through. Her debut novel, Border Breach, released last month. If you like romantic suspense, you need to check this one out.

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Early morning is my favourite time, especially during the warmer months (hopefully soon!). I love to sit outside on my patio listening to the cardinals sing. I enjoy smelling the freshness in the air and marvelling in the creation of the brilliant heavenly blue morning glories climbing my fence. It’s almost like they smile at me with their huge faces. I smile back. When I look at them, I see one thing. Joy.

Blue morning glories—referenced in the post by the author
Photograph taken by Darlene L. Turner

But joy wasn’t always there. Many mornings I didn’t feel like smiling. Inside, I was wilting like a flower without water. Happiness was zapped out of me after my first husband left me. I had wondered if I would ever get it back.

Anger crept in and took me to a place of bitterness.  I was mad at him for leaving, and yes, even at God for allowing it to happen. But, did I stay there?

No, I couldn’t.

A barren tree silhouetted by a sunrise, a reminder that there are dark times in life, but joy can still be found

I knew even though God allowed this journey to happen in my life, He knew the bigger picture. He wanted me to trust, so I slowly left my anger at the foot of the cross. I began to choose joy and forgiveness.

Did it happen easily? Of course not. It was a difficult journey. A few steps forward, many steps back. I worked through the anger, confusion, and defeat with the help of a counsellor, family, friends, and many prayers.

I chose to forgive him because I did not want the bitterness to consume my life. No one likes to be around someone filled with resentment. We avoid it at all costs. And doesn’t God command us to forgive? Yes, seventy times seven.

A sunrise reflecting in a small pond

In Border Breach, Kaylin struggles with forgiving her father for the hurt he’d caused even though he says he’s not the same man he used to be. Can she move past the pain before it seeps into her bones and turns to bitterness? I won’t answer that…you’ll have to read the book!

However, in my story after months had subsided, I met with my spouse to sign the divorce papers. I felt surprisingly calm. The bitterness was gone and I knew it was time to move on. So I did.

Joy came in the morning, and brought back my smile.

Bitterness can consume our lives so easily. We must learn to recognize it, forgive, and then move on. When we do, God will give us a peace and help us to find joy again.

Meme which says, "You did it: you changed wild lament into whirling dance; you ripped off my black mourning band and decked me with wildflowers. I'm about to burst with song; I can't keep quiet about you. God, my God I can't thank you enough." ~Psalm 30:11, 12 The Message on a backdrop of a Black-eyed Susan in the early morning

Psalm 30:11-12 (The Message)

You did it: you changed wild lament into whirling dance;You ripped off my black mourning band and decked me with wildflowers.I’m about to burst with song; I can’t keep quiet about you.God, my God, I can’t thank you enough.

What about you? How has God helped you overcome bitterness? What helps you to choose forgiveness when someone has hurt you?

Giveaway!

Darlene would love to give away a copy of Border Breach to one reader. Simply comment on Jeanne’s blog and you’ll be entered. Please note: If the winner is Canadian, they will need to answer an easy skill-testing question. (Open to the US and Canada only).

Winner will be announced in next week’s blog.

Click to Tweet: I worked through the anger, confusion, and defeat with the help of a counsellor, family, friends, and many prayers.

I’m linking up with #TellHisStory and #RaRaLinkup

Bio: Darlene L. Turner is an award-winning author and lives with her husband, Jeff in Ontario, Canada. Her love of suspense began when she read her first Nancy Drew book. She’s turned that passion into her writing and believes readers will be captured by her plots, inspired by her strong characters, and moved by her inspirational message. You can connect with Darlene at http://www.darlenelturner.com where there’s suspense beyond borders.

When drugs are smuggled across the border

it’s their duty to stop the culprits…at any cost.

Forming a joint task force, Canada border officer Kaylin Poirier and police constable Hudson Steeves have one objective: take down a drug-smuggling ring trying to sell a new lethal product. But when the smugglers come after Kaylin and Hudson, this mission becomes more than just a job. Can they live long enough to solve the case?

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25 thoughts on “Joy: Finding Joy in Forgiveness”

  1. Down this longest hardest road
    that I’ve ever trod,
    I must put down my anger-load
    and try to forgive God.
    I’d really like to break His nose
    and His jaw as well,
    but if I did that I suppose
    I’d go straight to hell.
    But it might be worth the risk,
    for it’s all too much to bear,
    and I might find Hades cool and brisk,
    ’cause it’s worse here than there.
    I hope God’s got a sense of humour;
    I just can’t breathe ’round this new tumour.

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  2. Jeanne, thank you for introducing us to Darlene. She is a gifted writer! Interestingly, just yesterday someone asked me how to find joy in a seemingly unending season of trying circumstances. It’s so difficult while having to endure these things and not able to see the end of the road. Yet, we have to trust God that He is walking along side us in it. Our love for Him has to be stronger than our desire to see good. For me, I look to people who have that peace about them, whose trials have made them unmovable and joy filled. Some of them have never seen the end of their affliction, but the love for God and people outshines the darkness of their pain. I think that is why we need community so much … Praying for you and your journey, my dear friend!

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  3. Darlene, your story sounds like a perfect example of God’s ability to work all things–even those we struggle with –for our good and his glory. I am sure your fictional stories also bear that mark!
    Blessings!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Michele! It definitely was a struggle to choose joy in the heat of the moment, but God gives us strength and when we rest in His arms, He gives it to us. Thank you for stopping by. Blessings!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jeanne, thank you for introducing us to your friends! Remembering how much God has forgiven me is what moves me to forgive others. We need stories that point us to respond as He does towards us. Blessings!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I have had bitterness toward certain people that hurt me and my family. These hurtful things happened over many years. Those people have passed on now and I was still holding bitterness and unforgiveness in my heart. I prayed and asked God to help me. He is softening my heart towards these people. I am thankful.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jeanne, thank you for sharing Darlene’s words with us. They are so good. When we forgive, we bless two people – ourselves and the one we have forgiven. Carrying around the bitterness of hate is not God’s plan for our lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I LOVE this and I just adore Darlene!!!!! Thank you, Jeanne, for sharing her story on your blog. I, too, have been through pain and divorce and have embraced the absolute joy of letting go of anger and regret.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Jessica! Thank you so much! You’re sweet! Divorce is NOT easy and learning to forgive is definitely tough. However, God is good and when we rest in His arms, He helps us through!! P.S. I adore YOU too! Xo

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  9. Loved the article! Thanks so much for sharing part of your story, Darlene. I know the only reason I don’t have a well of bitterness inside is because of the redemptive work Christ did for me on the cross. Seriously. I won’t go into my growing up years, or the rift between myself and my daughter. I’ll just say that if I didn’t know Christ and His Word, I wouldn’t be at a place of peace. I trust the Lord and his sovereignty over all things.

    I would absolutely love to read this book! TY for the opportunity.

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    1. Anne, it is absolutely miraculous the healing that happens when we let Jesus in, isn’t it? I’m so glad you’re in a place of peace, even with all the stuff you’ve walked through. Trusting the Lord makes all the difference. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  10. This sounds like my type of book, Darlene. 🙂 Thank you for offering a free copy. And congratulations on your debut novel! I’m sorry you had to go through divorce. Thank you for sharing part of your story to forgiveness. Thank you both for this post and the refreshing photos! Love and blessings to both of you!

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  11. That was a blessing! Thanks for sharing, Darlene and thanks for the introduction, Jeanne. What a fun idea – and I look forward to “meeting” your other friends as well!

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  12. Thanks for sharing your story! I’ve had to do something very similar myself over the last few years and it’s been pretty painful at times. But I’m so happy to be in a much better place now and can let those feelings go when they sneak up on me!

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  13. Darlene, what a blessing it must have been to see all your hard work at forgiveness pay off when your joy returned. Thank you for sharing your story here. And Jeanne …these pictures are stunning! 🙂

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