Joi Copeland author of Hope for the Journey stops by today for a Q & A about her latest book release.
Joi: I have followed Jesus for over 20 years, and boy, what a journey! I’m a wife of 13 years (so blessed by my handsome hubby), a mom to three boys-8, 9, and 10. I work part time at a coffee shop and love to write and read! One thing fans and readers may be surprised to know is that I was born with two thumbs on my right hand. I had a little thumb growing out of my big one. It’s no longer there, but I do have a bump to prove it.
Early in Hope for the Journey, we see Sue battling with unforgiveness and Kayla mentions that forgiveness is a choice. If forgiveness is a choice, why do you believe so many struggle with making the choice to forgive?
Joi: Emotions. We don’t feel like forgiving, and therefore, we don’t. And we also have a hard time letting go, I think. We remember the wrong done to us, we dwell on it, and then it becomes a part of us. The hurt takes root in our hearts, and that springs forth bitterness. It’s a difficult road to travel.
What does true forgiveness look like?
Joi: I think it’s different for each person. For me, true forgiveness came when I was able to let go of the past. I mean, really let it go. So much so that now I can talk about the hurt done to me, and my heart doesn’t cringe, and I don’t get that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I truly believe each person has a different response to what true forgiveness looks like.
In the book you tackle issues such as infertility, adoption, and pornography. Why did you feel it was important to incorporate these issues into Hope for the Journey?
Joi: You know, I really prayed about what Hope for the Journey was to be about. As I sought the Lord, I really began to see that in all three areas, there is always Hope. Marriages don’t have to be ruined by pornography. A family isn’t only a family because a woman gave birth. Adoption brings families together.
Hope for the Journey is a fictional book but have you personally dealt with any of the issues the characters faced?
Joi: Oh, I knew this question would come up! Let me just start by saying sin is sin, no matter which way you slice it. Being prone to anger or gossip is as sinful as murder or lust. God sees it no differently, and neither should we. Tough, I know, but true. So, with that being said, yes, I’ve dealt personally with the pornography issue in my marriage. My husband struggled with porn before I even met him and it carried over a little into our marriage. I have his permission to share, by the way. Well, he admitted it to me and stopped cold turkey. I wish I could say I was like Kayla, but nope. It took me years, years to forgive and let go. Now, I can honestly say I am at the point where sin is sin and have been for a long time. I don’t struggle with trusting him anymore. He’s forgiven by God and by me. He hasn’t fallen into porn since the day he confessed his sin to me. It’s been over 11 years!
What do you hope readers will take away with them after reading this book?
Joi: I really desire readers walking away with Hope. That dark tunnel you are going down? There really is a Light at the end, and though we can’t see it, that Light is with us during that train ride through the tunnel. When our lives seem dark and troublesome, it’s not good to be alone. Find people to surround you who can encourage you and challenge you. But above all, cling to Jesus.
When did you first know you wanted to become a writer?
Joi: When I was in 4th grade. I loved writing and wrote little funny stories for my family.
What’s your favorite book you have read this year and why?
Joi: So many! I really loved Blue Christmas by Diane Moody. I think because it took a turn I wasn’t expecting, and I loved it!
What was your favorite Christmas traditions as a child and how have you incorporated them into your own family?
Joi: One thing I loved to do was open a gift on Christmas Eve. That’s what we do now in my family.
Any closing words or thoughts you would like to share?
Joi: First, thank you for allowing me to be a guest on your blog. I appreciate it! And no matter what your circumstances, God hasn’t left you alone. He loves you and will guide you through any pain you’re going through. I’ve dealt with some of these issues, and it’s hard. But you can forgive, trust me. I know.
Kayla Musso has been married to her husband, Brad, for several years. Having just had a baby, Kayla feels her life couldn’t be more perfect. Then one day, Brad drops a bomb shell on her that threatens to destroy everything they have worked so hard for in their marriage. Suddenly she is faced with a choice to forgive or let go of the life she loves so much.
Emily Sorenson had always been the picture of health, but when a trip to the doctor becomes the shock of her life, she is faced with a decision, like Kayla, to either fight the battle before her or give up the life she loves. In addition, her husband Jake has to come to grips with the struggle before them as well. As he does, he begins to question God. How could He let Emily go through such pain? As he wrestles with his questions, he faces his own dilemma. Would he be willing to seek God in his time of despair or will he walk away from everything so dear to him?
Every marriage has it struggles. Into every life, rain must fall. At some point, we all question God and his motives. Although the characters in this much-anticipated follow up to Hope for Tomorrow are fictitious, the turmoils they face are very real for many people all over the world every day, and you may find the solutions are something you can apply to give you Hope for the Journey we call “life”.
Format: Paperback, 246 pages
Publisher: Comfort Publishing (December 4, 2012)
ISBN: 1938388054 / 978-1938388057
Available at Amazon
Connect with Joi online at Books by Joi Copeland