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Something New: Forgiving

News for anyone looking forward to Something New's release: as of August 14th, I finished the second draft!  It stands currently at around 62,000 words.  Edits begin today.

One of the key themes for Something New involves forgiveness.  When we last saw Joanna, she had plenty of people who she didn't entirely enjoy being around, suffice it to say.  She finds herself surrounded by new situations brought up by her old college roommate, an aggressor, and her uncle (okay, he's also an aggressor).  What can you do in situations like that?  Sit and fester in anger or forgive them and move on with your life.  See, if you don't forgive someone and move on, you'll sit in the past forever and you won't truly move on.  You'll just fester over it until it infects your heart and you're no better than the person you're angry at.  This is something that we'll explore in Something New, the title of which doesn't just refer to Joanna and Walter's upcoming nuptials but to living life anew: and that means cleaning and getting rid of the garbage. 

The art of forgiving is something that I think is important to explore in this series.  In Beautiful Chaos, Joanna has to forgive her stepmother for her less-than-kind actions, and she has to forgive Walter's childhood antics in order to see the young man he's become.  In Something New, she has to forgive a good many individuals in order to find peace, which is perhaps one of the rarest things in the life of any woman in her early twenties.

Walter also goes through a rough patch with the loss of his father.  The circumstances surrounding his father's death are less than ideal to say the least; a promise he made to his father was broken on that day.  He has to learn how to move on and forgive himself, which may be even harder than forgiving other people. 

Joanna and Walter are not only embarking on a new journey through life together, they're also beginning a journey of growing closer to God, which in turn will bring them closer as a couple.  To grow closer to God, they (like us) must "forgive us our debts / as we forgive our debtors" (Matthew 6:12, NKJV).  In other words, forgive others as much as God will forgive us...which is a lot, obviously.  Going back to what I was saying previously, it's important to explore the benefits of forgiveness because in today's society, it's more popular to hold grudges against other people, even entire groups, for actions they committed long ago.  I think it's evident that this mindset is fairly negative and only causes strife in our society -- look at all of the protests, the extremist groups!  Perhaps if we step out willing to forgive, we would be less likely to act out with rage and bitterness towards others.  We'll see that in this book -- and we'll see what happens when a grudge does, in fact, boil over. 

What was the hardest thing you've had to forgive someone for?  Do you agree that a lack of forgiveness is affecting our nation? 

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