Updated: May 19
"God help us to rid ourselves of resentment and pettiness and foolish pride, to love, and to forgive, in order that we may be friends with ourselves, with others, and with the Lord." —Marion D. Hanks
Love and forgiveness - how do the two connect? What are the parallels between the two?
I don't think we can recognize the value of forgiveness until we extend it.
I write books to learn. I pick a value or a theme I want to understand deeper, create characters, place them in difficult situations, and then watch the scenarios play out, with no easy answers. But hopefully, in the process, I discover a workable path that leads the main character(s) to a better place.
That is what happened with Helping Helper. I needed to work through what forgiveness really meant. I needed to understand the freedom it could be, and the act of love that it can offer oneself as well as others.
I am not an expert on it. But after I released Helping Helper, I went on a long quest to search through my life for times I had not forgiven a situation, a person, myself, God, etc. It wasn't an instant wave of a magic wand and forgiveness just happened. For me, it takes work. It takes a desire to let go. It takes belief in a higher plan that takes into account all the injustices of life, but also offers great mercy to all of us trying our best as we sojourn through our mortal existence.
More and more I am learning about the gift of balancing. More is at work in our grand existence than we adequately realize. The more I let go of "knowing it all" the freer I am to let go of so many things.
In wrapping up this month, it seemed fitting to share a few things my characters taught me about love and forgiveness.
From Helping Helper:
"He'll never forgive me."
"You don't know what he'll forgive. You can't decide this for him. You need to be honest, and tell him our story. Then let him decide what he needs to."
"Forgiveness is hard, but it's worth it. It's what makes us free."
From deep inside, she found the strength to step forward, "Can you ever forgive me?"
He looked away for a long time as if letting her words truly sink in, as if replaying the night's events.
The silence stung, yet she had done this to him. These were her mistakes that had created this pain. She headed toward the door, only to hear, "I'd be wasting my entire life if I didn't forgive you."
"I want you to be free, to be free from addictions, from lies, from sorrows, and from any pain I added to your life. As much as I can, I give you back your life. You no longer owe me anything."
Her gift to him was her forgiveness, her ability to let go so he could too. This was her ultimate act of love toward him.
"What is happiness for you?
"I'm sure it has something to do with leaving victimhood behind. You?"
"Mending hearts. Both others and my own from what I've done. And seeing how important love is, how much it aids the healing."
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"Well-crafted romantic fiction about complicated relationships and loves lost and found." —IndieReader