The reason they have, I imagine, is that they are a little reminder to me to ‘seize the day’ once again—to promote this new novel as best I can and to use the opportunity to be able to speak about the things God has put in my heart and mind to share with others. In one way, this is easy for me to do. Firstly, I love this novel of mine. I have become quite attached to the main characters in particular and still enjoy reflecting on how their journeys unfolded! You see, my hero Michael Trevelyan faces quite a struggle as he tries to come to grips with the past, be reconciled with himself, his family and ultimately God, and to face the future with courage and integrity. Meanwhile, my heroine Alexandra Hope has a different struggle on her hands—to stay true to her faith in God and pursue God’s purposes for her life.Secondly, I love the main theme of The Inheritance. As a result of God’s prompting, I believe, and also as a result of many situations I have seen in ministry, I wanted to write a novel that shows how anger, bitterness, hypocrisy and pretence can have such an adverse effect in our own lives, as well as in the lives of others, and keep us from experiencing God’s amazing grace. As I wrote, the words of Hebrews 12:15 kept ringing in my ears: See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. So in promoting this novel, I have the great privilege of sharing more about God’s amazing grace and about walking into all the freedom God’s forgiveness has for us.
Finally, I think the gratitude I feel to God—and to my publisher, Even Before Publishing—that The Inheritance has actually been released also spurs me on to hop into promoting it with all my heart. Even now, I find it hard to believe that, under God’s hand, I have had six novels and one memoir, Soul Friend, published in the last seven years. So surely it is up to me to go for what God has given me to do at this stage of my life. I have loved all the other roles I have had in earlier years—high school teacher, full-time mum, editor, front desk person in a busy church/community environment, local church pastor. But I believe God has melded all that experience together now for a reason—and that is to go for it with my writing and speaking as best I can, to ‘seize the day’ while the opportunities are there.
May you all be encouraged, wherever you are at with your own writing, to listen with all your heart, to hear what God has for you at this stage of your journey and then to step out and ‘seize the day’ in God’s strength. God has good things for you to do, writing or otherwise!
Jo-Anne Berthelsen lives in Sydney but grew up in Brisbane. She holds degrees in Arts and Theology and has worked as a high school teacher, editor and secretary, as well as in local church ministry. Jo-Anne is passionate about touching hearts and lives through both the written and spoken word. She is the author of six published novels and one non-fiction work, Soul Friend: the story of a shared spiritual journey. Jo-Anne is married to a retired minister and has three grown-up children and three grandchildren. For more information or to purchase her books, please visit www.jo-anneberthelsen.com or www.soulfriend.com.au.