Shannon here: Patricia Lee shares her inspiration for her latest Contemporary Romance, In Search of Forever, book 4 in her Mending Hearts series. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing for a print copy of Love’s Autumn Harvest, book 1.5 in the series. Deadline: June 3rd, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Patricia:
One of the most reassuring Scripture verses I know is I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Many people believe a holy God cannot forgive them for past mistakes. The fear they’ll never again find favor in God’s eyes is ever present. But that simply isn’t true.
In this newest story, In Search of Forever, which releases June 5,2023, Baylie Summers struggles to believe she can be forgiven for her past—times when she did not live up to what she imagined to be God’s standard for her life. She questions her worthiness to be forgiven. God no longer hears her prayers. The isolation from her heavenly father haunts her. In her mind she is forever lost.
She also fears what her long time friend Jayden Clarke will think of her when he discovers how far astray she has drifted—from the energetic spiritual leader he knew in high school to the broken shell of a Christian woman she is now. Will revealing her secret make her lose Jayden forever?
Jayden is equally disillusioned. He joined the Marines to honor the memory of his father who was killed in Afghanistan when Jayden was nine. But a harrowing encounter with a hidden IED near Kabul that could have killed him leaves Jayden with physical injuries and a broken spirit. He failed his mission. He returns home with unfulfilled dreams, unsure what his life’s future will be. He has forgotten God’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11 that the creator has a divine plan for him, a plan to give him a future and a hope.
Both Baylie and Jayden hide their brokenness from each other.
Enter Parker McGregor, Jayden’s former commanding officer and longtime friend. Parker brings wisdom to the couple, filling them with promises from the Bible that can set both of them free.
Parker begins with pointing out everyone makes mistakes. Whether because of our own poor choices
thinking just one time can’t hurt us, or because we are clumsy and stumble along, not paying attention, we find ourselves at odds with what scripture tells us is right in the eyes of our loving God. The enemy takes advantage of the mistake, whispering lies to us about our depravity.
Once Baylie learns to forgive herself, she is able to accept God’s grace, paving the way to understand Jayden’s interest in her. She finally can acknowledge the fact she is truly loved.
Jayden must come to terms with his own feelings of failure, eventually realizing that God’s future plan for him is filled with hope.
Like Baylie and Jayden all of us need to know we are forgiven. All of us need God’s love. All of us can rest in the shadow of the most high and almighty God. There are no favorites. Once we accept His forgiveness, we can claim those promises for ourselves and bask in the warmth of God’s unending mercy.
Question for Readers: When have you felt out of favor with God and needed to seek His forgiveness. Did you feel unworthy of Him?
About Patricia: Patricia Lee has had a fascination with words and what they can do since she wrote her first short paragraph at the age of six. She worked as a stringer for a local newspaper during her middle and high school years representing the school’s news to the community. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oregon, then went on to work as a tabloid newspaper editor at her local church.
After she married, she began her freelancing career and sold to various publications, including Expecting, Moody Monthly, and Power for Living. More recently she has published in two anthologies, Cup of Comfort Bible Promises and Heavenly Company, as well as featured articles in Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse magazine. An Anchor On Her Heart, her debut novel, released in July, 2017. She lives were her husband and a handful of furry friends in the Pacific Northwest. They have two grown children. Learn more & connect:
About the book – In Search of Forever:
Can they bridge the long gap in their friendship?
Growing up Jayden Clarke dreamed of becoming a Marine like his late father, who was killed in Afghanistan when Jayden was nine. His foster dad, Kurt, was also a decorated soldier. But his own encounter with a narrowly missed IED in Afghanistan leaves Jayden wounded and honorably discharged. He returns home defeated, his dream destroyed, not certain what his future will hold. Who will he become now? is there anyone he can turn to?
Baylie Summers, two years out of college, has returned to the Mueller Rescue ranch where her best friend Jayden Clarke once lived as a foster teen. She hasn’t seen hi m since they graduated six years ago but she’s thrilled when she lands the job as the ranch’s fundraising newsletter writer. Seeking refuge from the storms of life, Baylie waits for Jayden to return home, hoping he’ll have wisdom to help her recover from past incidents she wants to forget. Once a foster child herself, she fears Jayden might not like the woman she’s become. Will telling her secret make her lose Jayden forever?
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