To forgive is to set the captive free; and in the end, you discover that the captive was you.
I’m a planner, always working 3-6+ months in the future, trying to control as much as I possibly can in my life. In full transparency – I’m a firstborn, A Type, Enneagram 8, ENTJ, high D & I on the DiSC assessment, military veteran, and former basketball player.
To say I am competitive is an understatement. I love to win.
Losing is not an option……until you realize all that you’ve lost.
Woody Allen once said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.”
Due to my stubbornness, I have been in a long season of captivity.
This season has been hard, frustrating, way too long, painful, disappointing, triggering, and extremely difficult.
Yet – through it all, I can honestly say God has been incredibly patient and good to me. This past October, I started feeling this tugging on my heart to mend some relationships in my life.
I mended a friendship after 13 years of wallowing in my hurt. The freedom I felt after extending forgiveness and reconciling with my friend is something I will never forget.
Then in January, I received a call from my nephew to let me know that my mom was not doing well. I could hear his Dad, my brother, in the background telling him what to say. I asked my nephew if I could speak with his dad.
As embarrassing as this is to admit, I have not spoken to my brother in 17 years.
I also have not spoken to my mom in over 5 years. My nephew did not realize it then, but he was an olive branch, and I am so grateful for him and the role he played in this situation.
After getting the full details from my brother, I immediately made travel arrangements to go see him and my mom. My mom had no idea I was coming. When I arrived, I saw my brother and my heart broke.
In that instant, I realized how much I missed him; how much time had been wasted. It was an emotional exchange where words were not spoken but deep feelings of regret were felt on both sides. We both realized the gravity of the time that had been wasted.
Next, we walked into the ICU to see my mom. She was in utter shock seeing me standing there in her hospital room. Upon seeing her I was reminded again how much time I have wasted, being held captive by my stubbornness.
Spending the long weekend with my small family felt so good.
Although my mom has some big health issues to heal from, she is on the road to recovery. We’ve picked up where we left off – communicating frequently and my brother and I have been making up for lost time over long phone conversations, texts, and sharing reels and memes!
I am already planning my next visit to go back and see them both.
Through this process, I have come to realize that I have lived more days than I have left to live. That being right in my own opinion isn’t as important as being right in my relationship with the Lord and my family. With this knowledge has come some wisdom and I have been reminded of what truly is important in this life we are given.
Forgiveness is hard. Reconciliation? Even harder.
In the end, it is worth the effort.
Time is such a thief. Do not allow it to steal your joy! What you choose to heal in yourself, you heal in your family for generations to come.
Choose to set the captive free, especially if that captive is you.
Vice President of Marketing
Pen Air Credit Union
*Note from Local Pulse Editor: Pam Hatt is a part of our Community Voices series. Community Voices is a group of Pensacola dwellers that are making a difference in our city by sharing best practices, experiences, their perspective on impactful subjects, and contributing expertise that leads to movement forward for a stronger community.