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  • Leanne W. Smith

The squirm-inducing topic of forgiveness

Updated: Jun 8, 2018

Today I’m blogging about forgiveness, a topic that makes me squirm.


But since forgiveness is a major theme in my new inspirational historical fiction novel, A Contradiction to His Pride, I’m braving the discomfort.


As a young adult, I remember a paradigm-shifting moment on this topic. I had been holding on to some resentments toward my parents. Perhaps you can relate. These resentments all ran in one general direction: why had they let me be so foolhardy?


Why did they let me get married so young? Why did they let me sell my car? Why did they let me and Stan buy a fifteen-year-old used trailer as our first humble nest? Why did my father actually help my husband then purchase a new truck I couldn’t even drive that was more expensive than our home? I mean…what…did they miss that article about the pre-frontal cortex not being fully developed in my twenty-year-old brain?


As I sat on a therapist’s couch a decade later, filled with the toxins of my own unforgiving nature, I remember the moment it clicked for me: my parents were amazing. God had been far more generous than I deserved the day he formed me in that good woman’s womb, as a result of that good man’s love. Some would call mine a charmed life—an idyllic upbringing—and by most benchmarks, they would be correct.


That day on the therapist’s couch, I realized my parents had allowed me the gift of living my own life, foolhardy decisions and all. And I began to offer them the grace of allowing them to be flawed in return…of being imperfectly human.


God must smile as He brings each of us full-circle. (Tweet this)

Two decades later…while working on this book, in fact…I sat on another therapist’s couch praying my own child would have a paradigm-shifting moment. I had so wanted to correct any and all parenting flaws programmed into my DNA, but failed in that lofty goal and needed her forgiveness for my shortcomings.


There is a line in Contradiction that became very important to me. Hoke says it at the conclusion of Chapter 8: “Children grow wings, Abigail. You got to let ‘em or they won’t be strong to face whatever lies before them.”


This book is dedicated to my oldest daughter. We named her Jordan. She goes by Jo. But my pet name for her is “Miss J.”


Like Corrine in the story, J is strong and strong-willed. Her desires and mine for her have often clashed…starting with that pageboy haircut I wanted to give her when she was three, to which she retorted, “I am growing my bangs out.”


No one has been a greater teacher to me on the topic of forgiveness. Mainly, I’ve needed forgiveness in not trusting her strength and God’s wing-growing process.


I sincerely hope you enjoy A Contradiction to His Pride. It was a labor of love, and cathartic for me in many ways. Squirm-inducing at times, but worth the discomfort.


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Contact me at the following:

The Seymour Agency: Julie Gwinn, agent

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