Virginia Vaughn…Hard Truths About Forgiveness

I’m very pleased to welcome my friend, Virginia Vaughn, today. I’m warning you, her message for us is powerful. Tissues are advised. And leave a comment for her. One commenter will receive a print copy of her new release, Ranch Refuge. Welcome, Virginia!


Virginia Vaughan Author Photo

Dana, thank you so much for having me today! I wanted to write something witty and uplifting for your blog today, but certain recent events in my life have left me sort of melancholy and the wit just won’t come. I’m not one to normally air my dirty laundry in public, but as I prayed about what to write for this blog and how my recent release, Ranch Refuge, impacted my life, I felt led to focus on this aspect of my faith journey. I certainly hope you and your readers will indulge me for broaching such a touchy subject.

Forgiveness. The dreaded F-word. It’s a concept that I believe most people struggle with and no one more so than me. I can’t remember exactly what inspired my Ranch Refuge story, but I can tell you writing it has had an incredible impact on my life. You see, my heroine Laura is struggling to forgive her father after his gambling debts have placed her life in danger. She’s in the mess she’s in not because of her actions but because of someone else’s. Sadly, I can relate.

My sister, an RN, helped me a lot with the nursing and medical aspects of this story which is why I dedicated the book to her. However while I was still finalizing this story, she took a bunch of pills and plunged our entire family into chaos with her failed suicide attempt. I’m not writing this to begin a debate about suicide—I’ve had plenty of time to study God’s word and develop my own opinions about it. I only mean to express the toll her actions had on our family and the anger and bitterness I felt because of it. It was very difficult for me to finish this story while dealing with the same emotional turmoil towards my sister that Laura felt towards her father. The financial burdens she caused us were great, but were nothing compared to the emotional and mental havoc that invaded my family all because of one person’s actions.

My greatest hope since I began this writing journey has been that God would use my stories to reach others and to minister to them in some way. That has been my prayer and motivation for years. However, with this book, God ministered to me. Yes, I wrote the words, but He spoke them to me through the mouths of my own made-up characters. My fingers typed the very words I needed to hear and pointed me towards the verses on which I needed to meditate. Through my hero, Colton, my army-ranger-turned-rancher who saw the pain his own gambling addiction had caused every time he looked into Laura’s eyes, I was reminded that forgiveness isn’t only for the person who committed the wrong but also for the one who needs to forgive. His gentle reminder to Laura—and to me—that Jesus died for us while we were undeserving touched my soul and started my own healing process.

By the end of Ranch Refuge, Laura has found some measure of forgiveness for her father. I confess I’m not quite there yet. I’m still a work in progress yet I praise God every day for his continued work on me. I pray that God would use these words and this story to minister to someone, yet I know that even if it never sells another copy, it’s done the work it was created for because it has already impacted one person’s life even before it ever went to press—mine.

I love to connect with my readers and would love to hear your stories about forgiveness. You can comment here or connect with me online at the following links:




Ranch Refuge Cover


Laura Jackson trusts no man—especially after her father’s gambling debts force her into the crosshairs of a ruthless loan shark. But when fearless army-ranger-turned-cowboy Colton Blackwell charges in to save her from the barrel of a gun, the self-reliant nurse must accept his help. Whisking Laura away to his secluded Louisiana ranch doesn’t provide the sanctuary Colton planned. But he intends to keep his promise to protect her, despite secrets in his past that could drive her away. Laura may have a bounty on her head, but the only thing at risk under Colton’s care will be her heart.


Rangers Under Fire: Nothing’s more dangerous than falling in love


Author Bio: Author Virginia Vaughan was born and raised in Mississippi and has never strayed far beyond those borders. Blessed to come from a large, Southern family, her fondest memories include listening to stories recounted by family and friends around the large dinner table. She was a lover of books even from a young age and soon started writing them herself. Her current release Ranch Refuge, is Book 3 in her Rangers Under Fire series. Yuletide Abduction, the first book in the series won a RT Reviewer’s Choice Award and was a finalist for the Daphne Du Maurier award. Look for Book 4, Mistletoe Reunion Threat, releasing December, 2016.


Amazon link:


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  1. Susan on August 22, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    My forgiveness is towards my Mother and her second husband. My mother remarried and became an alcoholic and my step father did nothing about it. While still living with them and trying to finish high school was a challenge for me – I graduated. Meanwhile stepfather molested me continuously. When I got the opportunity – I moved out to stop it and leaving 2 younger sisters behind which racked me to profound guilt. When he died I jumped for joy but then it still lingered what he did. I knew I had to forgive them both and took many years to do until I finally did, only after forgiving myself. I am now in a much better place.

    • Virginia A Vaughan on August 23, 2016 at 10:07 pm

      Thank you for sharing your story, Susan. It’s heartbreaking what you endured, but I’m thankful God saw you through. Joel 2:25

  2. Virginia Vaughan on August 22, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    Thanks for hosting me, Dana!

    • Dana R. Lynn on August 22, 2016 at 10:55 pm

      Pleasure to have you!

  3. Jasmine A. on August 22, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    I, too, struggle with forgiveness. I came to a saving faith at such a young age that I don’t have that understanding that some people do of being truly rescued and saved from their sin. I understand it, but I don’t. I just try to trust God to continue making the changes in my life that I need, including being a more forgiving person, because as the kids song says “He’s still working on me, to make me what I ought to be”

    Thank you for having the courage to share your story with all of us.


    • Virginia A Vaughan on August 23, 2016 at 10:10 pm

      Thank you, Jasmine. May He continue to work on us all.

  4. Becky Chandler on August 22, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    Your words continue to inspire me. Words are a creative power that can be a blessing to behold. You are an excellent writer who words that once you begin to read will find yourself unable to put down until the end. Kudos to you, my friend. Thank you for sharing and God bless you

    • Virginia A Vaughan on August 23, 2016 at 10:11 pm

      Thank you, Becky!

  5. Lisa on August 23, 2016 at 12:03 am

    Just when I think I know all about forgiveness, something happens and I realize I don’t get it. I don’t want to confess all my nasty sins here, but just know…I’ve done some terrible things. I spent over 20 years beating myself up for some of them. When I finally turned the worst ones over to God, I physically felt lighter! I knew I was forgiven!! And so I continue in my journey to try and forgive those that I think have done me wrong. And I remind myself how I didn’t deserve His forgiveness!!! But He gave it anyway! And if Jesus died for me, and for the forgiveness of my horrid sins, I know without a doubt he died for you, too!!!!!!

    • Virginia A Vaughan on August 23, 2016 at 10:13 pm

      Thank you for your words, Lisa. I have to remind myself of that every day.

  6. Trixi on August 23, 2016 at 2:09 am

    I, too, had struggled with forgiveness for my dad in the past. I won’t go into the details, but it took me over 2 yrs and many tears, raging at God and finally understanding WHY I needed to forgive him. God very gently worked on my heart, showing me His love for me and that I needed to move past this barrier in my life so He could pour out the blessings He had in store for me. It wasn’t easy, and I knew I couldn’t do it on my own. When forgiveness came, I felt the chains holding me back break, my heart and spirit lighter, and all the bitterness & anger disappate! I’d never felt so free in my life!! Shortly afterwards, I wrote a letter to my dad telling him I forgave him and he wrote back. We exchanged letters and called each other a few times. Sadly, he passed away about four months after that. But I had peace in my heart, and can look back with no regrets!

    Since then, I’ve had two other people in my life I’ve had to forgive. But this time, it was easier because I understand why God says we must forgive others. So WE can be free of all the anger & bitterness and have peace in our hearts. And a right relationship with Him 🙂

    Your book sounds amazing! I think I could easily relate to Laura as she struggles with the same issues I did. Thank you for the chance to win a copy of “Rance Refuge”! I thoroughly enjoyed this post 🙂

    • Trixi on August 23, 2016 at 1:14 pm

      Ooops, that’s supposed to read “Ranch Refuge”! Good old auto-correct 🙂

      • Virginia A Vaughan on August 23, 2016 at 10:14 pm

        Thanks for stopping by, Trixi! I’m glad you were able to find some closure with your dad before he died.

  7. Teressa on August 23, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Forgiveness!!! Yes, it is always more about “us” than “them”!! I’ve learned that.
    Thank you Virginia aka Ginger for your honesty!! I love you dearly and am so happy the Lord is using your words to help so many deal with hard issues and to encourage through you books!!!I’ve always known you would make it!!!! Love your books!!!!

    • Virginia A Vaughan on August 23, 2016 at 10:18 pm

      Thank you, Teressa. Your compassion for others has been an inspiration to me.

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