Jillian Thatcher in Moments We Forget, the new release by Beth K. Vogt, has spent most of her life playing the family peacemaker, caught in the middle between her driven, talented older sister and her younger, spotlight-stealing twin sisters. In this post, Beth shares more about who Jillian is and the value forgotten moments can have.
“Life isn’t a matter of milestones, but of moments.”
Rose Kennedy (1890-1995), American philanthropist and socialite
I often have the title of a novel before I’ve written the first word of the story. The title becomes an anchor for me, reminding me of the central theme of the book.
But it took me a while to settle on a title for book two in the Thatcher Sisters series. I made lists. Perused quotes—often a favorite source for book titles. Ran ideas past a few trusted writing friends. Tossed my ideas around with my family.
My eighteen-year-old daughter, Christa, who is also a creative, was the one who suggested the title Moments We Forget. It’s true we can forget certain moments in our lives. But these three words perfectly capture a fundamental truth that too often can be overlooked: how the moments we forget can be the very ones that are most important to someone else. How an event we consider unimportant can be pivotal in someone else’s life.
Jillian, the main character in Moments We Forget, feels unnoticed by her parents and siblings. As the middle Thatcher daughter, she feels lost between her sisters. She’s overshadowed by the combined forces of Johanna, her successful professional older sister, as well as Payton and Pepper, her younger, identical twin sisters who excel athletically.
Because of a moment in her childhood, Jillian labels herself as “just Jillian.” Most likely no one else in her family remembers the experience that hurt her so deeply. (Sorry, I can’t tell you what happened—but it’s in Moments We Forget!) Her family doesn’t comprehend how this incident—this supposedly insignificant moment—affected her. But Jillian bears the weight of that experience every day of her life. This moment is scorched in her memory and on her heart. Years later, the experience shapes who she is and how she interacts with others.
Our lives are made up of moments too that become our life stories. These moments reflect the twists and turns that made us who we are today and that influence how we see ourselves and how we interact with others.
And so often, like Jillian, no matter what our birth order is, we just want to have our story acknowledged. We want to be heard. To be listened to. To be seen for who we are—not to be compared to someone else, like a sister or a classmate or someone else who is (supposedly) better than we are.
In Moments We Forget, Jillian had to reclaim the moment others overlooked, that others forgot about. She needed to admit how the experience hurt and affected her view of herself so she could heal and finally have a healthy, accurate view of who she was.
Sometimes we’re told to “just get over” hurts in our past. Maybe the better thing to do—the braver thing to do—is to reclaim those forgotten moments so that God can heal them with His truth and grace and we can see who we are in His eyes.
God’s Word says, “You desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom” (Psalm 51:6, nasb). He used this scriptural truth in my life to help heal an overlooked moment in my life—a deep wound that had been neglected for years. As I recalled the event in the context of wise counsel, I found restoration in remembering and was able to move on . . . to fully see who I was in God’s eyes.
Moments We Forget by Beth K. Vogt
Jillian Thatcher has spent most of her life playing the family peacemaker, caught in the middle between her driven, talented older sister and her younger, spotlight-stealing twin sisters.
Then on the night of her engagement party, a cancer diagnosis threatens to once again steal her chance to shine. Now, Jillian’s on the road to recovery after finally finishing chemo and radiation, but residual effects of the treatment keep her from reclaiming her life as she’d hoped. And just when her dreams might be falling into place, a life-altering revelation from her husband sends her reeling again.
Will Jillian ever achieve her own dreams, or will she always be “just Jillian,” the less-than Thatcher sister? Can she count on her sisters as she tries to step into a stronger place, or are they stuck in their childhood roles forever?