Forgiveness is letting go of bad things that someone has done to you, and allowing God to take control over you.
During Lent, Christians meditate on brokenness as we prepare our hearts for the beauty of Easter. It is with great joy, then, that we celebrate forgiveness of sins and victory in Jesus Christ! Anna Mulatya's story is a powerful picture of the transformation that takes place when someone truly understands the forgiveness of Christ.
Almost 10 years ago, her husband was killed by thugs. Left without any biological children, Anna's in-laws pushed her away and mistreated her.
This is her story:
I did not know if I would ever forgive him.
When my husband passed on some years back, my in-laws deserted me. My father-in-law was bitter with me, because I was unable to give his son children of his own. I adopted a daughter, but this was not enough for them. They thought our adopted daughter would inherit everything, so they took everything, including my clothes, that was in our house. They even sold the land that my my husband and I bought together, and I was left with nothing. No husband, no family, nothing.
I used to cry a lot. I was hurt and at the same time mourning my husband. I got into depression and was getting sick most of the time. And the last thing I wanted to do was go back home to my parents. I feared that people at the village would start talking about me. It was too much, so I decided to stay away.
Every April, I would try and go to my husband’s home to lay a wreath at his grave. Nobody even cared. I was looking for love and acceptance, but it was not there. My father-in-law was so bitter with me that he would tell me bad things. He knew very well that I gave birth to two children but they had all passed away. I got so angry with him that I did not know if I would ever forgive him.
I realised I was not alone. My heavy heart began to heal slowly, and I began to forgive.
The people I had considered to be my family turned themselves against me. I asked God why, what did I do wrong? I thank God, because Amani Ya Juu stood by me during this difficult time.
I continued going to church and sometimes they would preach about orphans and widows. The caring fellowship in our church helped me as I heard bad stories like mine. I realized I was not alone. My heavy heart began to heal slowly, and I began to forgive. I started calling my father-in-law, even though he would not pick up my calls in the beginning. But I kept on calling.
I pray for him and assist him whenever I can, even though he has not fully embraced me. God has given me strength.
Our relationship with my in laws has not been perfect, but it has improved. My father-in-law calls me only when he is unwell. I pray for him and assist him whenever I can, even though he has not fully embraced me.
God has given me strength. When I started letting go and calling my dad, I received a lot of orders for my milk supply business. I know stress could have killed me, or I could have gone mad, or even gone to men for favors. Rather, I am able to take care of myself and my adopted children and my ailing father-in-law.
"Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you."
Anna giving testimony during chapel with her friend and co-worker, Dorcas