Set People Free

I’d like to introduce you to my friend Patricia Holbrook, our guest blogger today. We met at She Speaks two years ago and instantly bonded. Little did we know that we’d be due with “twin books” this year! Her original release date for Twelve Inches was the same day as mine, but she’s been waiting patiently for a slightly late birth just yesterday. I got to read her book ahead of release, and it’s wonderful. Make sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy!

(Excerpt from Twelve Inches by Patricia Holbrook)

I was resting in bed upstairs as I recovered from a major surgery. My children’s laughter reached the bedroom and woke me up. They were giggling of excitement as grandma once again came up with a new, creative way to play with them.

I smiled and uttered a prayer of thanksgiving for my mom. Once again, this loving woman had dropped everything in her life and  had flown 6,000 miles to take care of me and my family in a time of need. Regardless of distance, time or cost, I know that as long as God gives her breath, I can always count on my mom.

My mind goes back in time and I remember our relationship as I grew up. As many women of her day, mom had to work five days a week and sometimes on the weekends to help the family budget; therefore she was not very involved in our day-to-day activities. During the teenage years, as my parents’ relationship became stormy, we were all victims in the consequences of a broken marriage. Hormones and anger made my young mind shut down to any common sense. The hurt of seeing my parents growing apart blinded any attempt to understand my mother and so our relationship became distant and shaky.

As we both struggled with our individual crisis, we hurt each other deeply. As in many other mother-daughter situations that I have known, there was pain, misunderstanding and incompatibility for far too many years.

Today, however, in spite of anything in the past, I can honestly say that Mom is a best friend. I long to see her and spend time with her. I love to hear her voice when I dial her number. And even though our personalities are pretty different and we don’t always agree, our love and longing to be together grows deeper with each passing year.

Our secret?

We set each other free.

We can’t help but grow old, but we have to choose to grow wiser.

As a grown woman, I started to understand her longings, sorrows and disappointments. I often made myself put on her shoes to imagine her experiences.

When I became a Christian at 25, I realized for the first time that no one is worthy of forgiveness; however that is exactly what Christ offers to anyone who will ask. I also came to realize that true love never withholds forgiveness and that we cannot expect to be forgiven if we don’t forgive others. This former Catholic school girl knew all too well the words of the Lord’s Prayer in Luke 11: “And forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.”

I know several mothers and daughters who are wasting time and missing out an abundant life with each other because of unforgiveness. I know daughters who dread the thought of being around their mother and mothers whose daughter can never measure up to their expectations. I know mothers who compete with their daughters and daughters who will never agree with their moms, even when they are absolutely right. The same occurs in different relationships where trust and dreams are shattered . Without forgiveness there is no factual restoration. Without restoration, our future is bound to defeat. Heaven shuts down. Our Faith Bridge stays broken and therefore nonfunctional.

As we stand in a position of self-righteousness, holding on to thirty year old grudges, we fail to realize that we are the ones held in bondage. Even if the person who wronged you has a hardened heart and continually hurts you, do yourself a favor: Set them free! Ask God to help you forgive them and pray for them. Extend the same forgiveness that you so long to receive from those you hurt.

I cannot remember exactly when it started, but somewhere along life’s way, I started to choose to love my mom for whom she is. I don’t try to change her and I don’t look back anymore. I look forward to the years we have ahead of us. No matter how many we have, I am choosing, one step at a time, to fully, abundantly enjoy each one.

Regardless of who hurt you, whether it was a parent, spouse or friend, forgiving is not easy. Actually, I believe it’s quite impossible without God. But with His help, you can.

Have you tried asking Him to help you overcome?

“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

418ZAZHGN5L._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_This devotional is an excerpt from Patricia’s newly released book Twelve Inches – Bridging the Gap between what you know about God and how your feel. Today we’re giving away a copy to one of our readers. Leave a comment to enter, or if you are in a hurry, simply say “I’m bridging the gap!” in the comments section. For more information on the book and to read some of the endorsements, click HERE

Leave a comment here | 34 Comments


  1. When I got saved in 1996 the first thing God moved me to do was honor my parents. Through that came forgiveness & washing away of all bitterness. I had 3 good years with my Mom & 14 with my Daddy before God took them home. What a blessing from God!

  2. This really spoke to my heart today. My daughter and I have been in a strained relationship for several months — and it’s not the first time. She still holds grudges from her childhood and into her adult life. It seems like I’m always walking on eggshells with her. I’ve forgiven her for all the hurt she’s caused me and keep apologizing when I do something else to offend her. I don’t know what else to do. Now my husband is terminally ill and I want to work things out with her before he passes. Praying God helps us to do that.

  3. I struggle forgiving my mother. It is seared in my mind the words she has said ” I should have never had kids” or years later her saying “I hate her” referring to me. I know these words come from a place of hurt but its so hard to hear those words from your own mothers mouth. I feel I have forgiven her but I don’t embrace my mother and that breaks my heart. I have been in a state of reflection for a few months now and I have realized that I don’t have a strong women in my life a role model or confidant and it makes me so sad. I wish I had that women in my life who I could rely on who I knew would drop everything to help me vs make excuses why they can’t. I will continue to pray that I can set her free.

  4. Forgiveness is so important not only for the offended party but for the one who has committed the sin. I’m in the midst of relinquishing the hold that my unforgiving heart has held onto for too long. I need to open my heart to my sister and really accept her as she is. It will make a difference in the relationship we have. If she doesn’t want to let go of her indignation and anger over an issue that to me is not of consequence, I will let her go her separate way. Meanwhile, I intend to find freedom as I let go of my worry and accept her the way she is. I would love to read the book as it can help me in my process of changing my outlook of acceptance.

  5. I can identify with the strained relationship with your mother. I would lov to read more about how you mended yours.

  6. Oh how I want to bridge the gap between my daughter, granddaughter and myself. Oh how much I need to get the knowledge and love and grace of God from my head to my heart. This book sounds amazing! I would love to win a copy since my budget is limited. Thanks for the opportunity and the sharing of it. I will put it on my wish list!

  7. 2015 has been my year of setting people free…I carried the grief & guilt of broken relationships – damage done to & by me – for most of my adult life…no more – Praise & Blessings have reset my heart – God’s Grace & Mercy have led me to forgive & live‼️

  8. This is the 3rd time this week I’ve been lead to the message of forgiveness. Finally, I’m going to “bride the gap”. I’m asking God for his guidance and mercy. Please keep me in your prayers!

  9. Such deep insight, thank you!
    Just yesterday I was listening to Bott radio with the BibleAnswerMan on discussing a new creation film, “The Living Waters” (I think). Someone called in and mentioned a letter Einstein wrote to his daughter at the end of his life and Einstein talked about how life began with an energy and in the letter for the first time it possible he said that energy was love but in all his wisdom never attributed it (love) to a personality–God. The caller thought it such a waste and rather sad. Einstein’s underdevelopment on that was a product of the times or his early education regarding all things religious it was suggested. Perhaps if he’d had more time on this earth he would have “evolved” to gain a greater understanding and perspective. The title of your book is wonderful! Intriguing! I hope it will help us all speed up some realizations that Einstein may not have had time to make. Thank you for sharing!

  10. Wow! This is God’s wonderful truth no matter what the relationship. Forgiveness can be difficult to offer but I am reminded of woman to be stoned. Jesus did not allow anyone to throw stone who had been guilty of sin. I remember in order to want forgiveness, I must offer forgiveness. Thanks!!

  11. Thank you for this! The Lord has been revealing this to me as I navigate the sometimes rough waters of my relationship with my mom. I’m in progress and getting better at letting go of my expectations of who she should be. Such freedom in that!

    • Yes the expectations of who/what she should be. You hit the nail on the head. I need to change my perspective of what my mother should be too.

  12. My 15 year old.daughter and i Need to bridge the gap with the father and husband who recently left glad to see this in my inbox this morning?

  13. WOW! This excerpt could have been written by me! For years I have struggled for a relationship with my mother. It has been hard and is still. It where it should be. I am looking forward to the book.

  14. I’m trying to make a me d’s with my 18 year old daughter. I have not made all the right decisions during the first few years after my divorce from her dad. But he is the one who alienated me from her. Long story but I’ve prayed daily for her to be in my life again. I’ve texted her or left her messages everyday. She’s finally coming around a little. I am not giving up!!!! I continue to pray and continue to try communicating with her. This excerp from your friends book is just what I needed to hear today. Not only do I have a strained relationship with my daughter but also with my own mother. I would love to win a copy of this book. I believe it would really help me to heal old wounds with my mother.

  15. I want to forgive and sometimes I think I have. But then I keep bringing up past issues. But I want to be like Jesus so I’m ready to forgive.

    • Praise God, Amy! I so appreciate all the comments left here about my book and about how this message has touched people’s hearts. Thank you again, my friend, for hosting me on your site. To God be the glory!!


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