Sunday, June 24, 2018

Summer Stories: To Claim Her Heart

Dealing with Bitterness
A guest post by Jodie Wolfe

"Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness—without it no one will see the Lord. Make sure that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble and by it, defiling many." ~Hebrews 12:14-15 (HCSB)

There’s a good chance that at some point in your Christian walk, you’ve struggled with disappointment and hurts which if unchecked, led to bitterness. Perhaps you’ve been treated poorly by others, you were blamed for something you didn’t do, someone said hurtful things about you or treated you unfairly, maybe you never measured up to your family and their expectations of you, someone didn’t listen to you or said things behind your back, or maybe you’ve had a friend who betrayed you by going against their word. There’s a myriad of situations that can lead us into bitterness if we don’t make a conscious decision to root it out.

There have been several times throughout my life when I’ve suffered blows that have rocked me to the very core. I believe women especially deal with holding onto our hurts, bringing them out on various occasions to remember how we’ve been wronged, only to stuff them back down inside us again until we feel the need to repeat the process.

When we’ve been hurt, we must make every effort to forgive and move on. Satan loves to have us recall the hurts and fall into bitterness because it keeps us focused on ourselves. It limits our chance to be effective as a Christian when our eyes are on us instead of the Lord.

Letting go of the bitterness isn’t always easy and may not be a once and done type of thing, especially since the devil loves to bring things up to us multiple times. Sometimes we need to continue to pin that bitterness to the foot of the cross, over and over again.

This struggle is what my heroine faces in my newest release, To Claim Her Heart. Elmer Smith (Elsie) is suffering after the loss of her father and childhood home. The Christians in her church weren’t there when she needed them the most to come alongside and assist her. In turn, she’s bitter about life and takes it out on those around her.

She participates in the Cherokee Strip Land Run to find the land her father wanted her to claim. She does so, as a way to honor him. Sparks fly when she finds out that she’s claimed the same land as a preacher. It takes a while for her to learn the important lesson of releasing the bitterness that has claimed her life.

I love this quote from my hero, Benjamin David. He tells Elsie, “You can’t keep holding on to the bitterness, or it’ll eat you alive. Don’t allow Satan to win. He desires for you to be discouraged, defeated, and unforgiving, but God has better things in store for you, if you’ll allow Him to work in your life again.”

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather choose to walk the road of forgiveness instead of stumbling along on the thorny path of bitterness.

Author Bio:

Jodie Wolfe creates novels where hope and quirky meet. 

She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and  Romance Writers of America (RWA). She has been a semi-finalist and finalist in various writing contests. 

A former columnist for Home School Enrichment Magazine, her articles can be found online on CrosswalkChristian Devotions, and Heirloom Audio. She's a contributor for Putting on the New and Stitches Thru Time blogs. 

When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband in Pennsylvania, reading, walking, and being a Grammie. 

Blurb for To Claim Her Heart:
In 1893, on the eve of the great race for land, Benjamin David prays for God to guide him to his 'Promised Land. Finding property and preaching to the lost are his only ways of honoring his deceased fiancĂ©e. 

He hasn't counted on Elmer (Elsie) Smith claiming the same plot and refusing to leave. Not only is she a burr in his side, but she is full of the homesteading know-how he is sadly lacking. 

Obtaining a claim in the Cherokee Strip Land Run is Elsie Smith's only hope for survival, and not just any plot, she has a specific one in mind. The land's not only a way to honor her pa and his life, but also to provide a livelihood for herself. She's willing to put in whatever it takes to get that piece of property, and Elsie's determined to keep it.

Her bitterness is what protects her, and she has no intentions of allowing that preacher to lay claim to her land . . . or her heart.

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  1. I've found, in a lot of cases, that forgiveness truly is divine. More than once, I've prayed for God to help me forgive; He's always faithful to come through.

    Sounds like an interesting story!

  2. Thanks for having me here today.

  3. Would enjoy seeing how this story ends and if these two people can work together. Vivian Furbay jtandviv(at)q(dot)com

  4. I deal with bitterness and every other heart issue at the foot of the cross. It’s the only way I’ve ever been about to overcome any of it.