For years, I carried bitterness and anger toward the man who had designed the ski that failed me, as well as his company. God, through His Word, repeatedly convicted me of my anger and unwillingness to forgive. But I refused to listen for a long time.

Ephesians 4:26–27 warns us not to sin by letting our anger control us. It also says, “Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.” My anger festered for many years. I would tell myself that I had forgiven this person, but I had only forgiven him in my head, not in my heart.

One day at a ski tournament, this person was volunteering as the dock starter. He was responsible for putting my handle on the ski rope and handing it to the boat crew. It was a bit uncomfortable as we stood there together on the dock.

It was then that I heard these words, “It’s time.”

I looked up to the heavens and started to cry.

“You must be kidding!” I said out loud to God. “You want me to do this right here, right now?” I was dressed in my ski gear, about to compete!

Sobbing, I walked over and put my hand on the shoulder of this man and told him I forgave him. In that moment, in that act of obedience, I was finally free of every negative thought I had toward him, and free to finish my own recovery story.

Are you free?

It’s time to forgive. It’s time to let go of the anger in your heart and obey God. Ask Him to show you who or what you need to forgive. It may not be another person. It may be a company or even a government. It may be God, or even yourself. Whoever or whatever it is, it’s time. Your total healing and restoration won’t happen until you do.

Written by Jennifer Leachman-LaPoint

Photo by Raul Varzar