Forgive. Don’t Forget.

Everyone deserves a second chance. At least that’s what I’ve always been told.

I’ve messed up. A lot. That being said, I always seem to bounce back. Life is about making mistakes and rebounding from them. It’s not about living that perfect life with no snags in the rope, it’s about untangling the rope and hog-tying life up before the buzzer sounds.

OK, so maybe you don’t have to be in a rush and get your life straightened out before the buzzer sounds. Still, though, there comes a time where you need to get on the right track.

With that frame of mind, I had little to no patience after a very close friend betrayed not only me, but also my family. Well, that is what it felt like at least.

Let me tell you a story.

She was my best friend. She was like a sister to me. Then she disappeared. I last saw her on Dec. 21 of 2006.

That’s why the word “was” is used in both sentences. She’s not here anymore. She is in a place where far too many people go nowadays. She’s in rehab.

She was there for me through the tough times. She was there when I had to deal with making the transition from elementary school to middle school. She was there when my heart was broken – the first time. She was there when Mom was diagnosed with cancer. She was always there. She had a lot to say. With her being 10 years older than me, she had a lot to offer.

Now she’s gone.

For a long time I struggled with her being gone. I felt like she had let me down. Furthermore, though, she had a little girl. She was leaving her daughter behind. This hurt me even more. It so hard seeing a little girl, who doesn’t understand anything, be without her mom.

I struggled with a lot of things. I told myself that if I ever saw her again I was going to give her the biggest tongue-lashing of her life.  For at least two years I told myself that I could not forgive her for what she had done. I just wouldn’t accept her behavior.

One day Mom got a letter, though. It was from my long-lost friend. She was now in Memphis, working, but still in rehab. I read the letter, but I was still so bitter about the entire situation. Her daughter was now finishing up kindergarten, and she had not been there for any of it. I just can’t let that happen.

I was helping her daughter with her spelling words one night, and I looked at her. I don’t know if it was the light, if her Mom had been on my mind or if it was something else speaking to me, but I had to leave the room. I lost it. I cried for what seemed like forever. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I finally talked myself into doing something that was totally the opposite of what I had been doing the whole time.

I wrote her a letter.

Somehow, when my pen touched the paper, positive thoughts flowed out of me. I forgave her. I forgave her for running away. I forgave her for giving up. I forgave her for leaving her daughter behind. I forgave her for everything?

What brought this on? I have no explanation. Do I need one though?

A couple weeks later, she wrote back. She was so excited to hear from me. Yeah, I cried again. I’m not ashamed to say it. You would too.

We all make mistakes. I have made plenty. We can’t give up on ourselves though. We also can’t give up on others that make mistakes.

God didn’t.

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Pray. Confess. Forgiven.

It’s a cycle.

Forgive. Don’t forget.

“I think we all wish we could erase some dark times in our lives. But all of life’s experiences, bad and good, make you who you are. Erasing any of life’s experiences would be a great mistake.” – Luis Miguel

What are some things that you’ve had to bounce back from? What about other people? Have you ever had to just let go of something and move on, even though that was the last thing you wanted to do?

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About Hunter Patterson

I am a young professional in the news industry trying to make it in this world. I work weird hours and surround myself with people I truly care about. I have a super cool cat and make really good grilled cheeses.
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7 Responses to Forgive. Don’t Forget.

  1. Brandi says:

    I have followed your writings for sometime time now but I have been too ashamed to contact you. Your letter meant the world to me! I am sorry for all its worth, I never knew. Your writings have inspired me to continue to press forward. I have so much more to say but I will wait until I see you in person. I love you Hunter

    • Brandi, honey, you have no idea how much you have inspired me. Doing what your doing is absolutely incredible. You’ll have the supreme comeback story. I have all the faith in the world that you will. While I was mad at you those couple of years, I still prayed for you. It bothered me, but I was not going to turn my back completely on you. I love you so much. You’ve always been there for me. I can’t count the times that I have laid in my bed at night and talked to you. Yeah, sure, I knew you weren’t going to talk back. I didn’t care though. I used to tell you everything. I can’t wait until I see you again. I thank God that each day is another day closer. Know that I am praying for you, Brandi. I love you so much. It’s so strange that one of my favorite memories with you was when you told me you were pregnant with Maddi. The fact that you wanted to tell me yourself just warmed me up inside so much. I remember the last time that I say you. I didn’t know how to act. I love you more than you could ever know, and I always have — even if I didn’t really think I did. You’re doing big things with yourself right now and I could not be prouder, babe. I’ve changed a lot since you last saw me, hope you’re ready for me. I’m sure enough ready for you! Go on, dominate. And I’ll end this comment like I ended your letter:

      Just Keep Livin’

  2. Great post big guy. Very inspirational. I’m glad you were able to find comfort in the Lord. I’ll be praying for you.

  3. Crystal says:

    I think you read my mind today. I’m going through a situation, but I think time gives you the strength to let yourself forgive an to realease it to God’s hands.

  4. Matthew says:

    This is a really intense topic, but I think that it is something everyone needs to talk about because one way or another everyone is going through a problem somewhat like this and if we confront it together it doesn’t seem as bad.

  5. Hunter your blog is always inspirational to me. Every time I read it I am drawn into what you have to say. Because for some reason it has to do a lot with what is going on in my life.

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