Bitterness and resentment from her harsh upbringing built up in Ester Kwesu's life but today she shares the radical change that brought her joy and peace.
She was raised by a distant relative who she recalls "punished me for offences I did not do".
"Without love from both my parents, I felt lonely most of the time," Ester recalls of her troubled beginning.
Her perception that her life was unfair lead to her turning away from God.
"I always told myself that God was not fair, because the relative who raised me was a church leader and treated me unfairly. That made me think that God was unable to help me."
As years passed Ester became frustrated and angry about her circumstances.
"Most of the time I hated anyone who would cross my path. This led to a bad attitude towards even some innocent people who were there in my life.
"In my loneliness I did not trust anyone and even shunned people who wished to be near me. I lost a lot of opportunities which should have come my way."
A huge transformation began in Ester's life when a friend shared good news with her.
"I was struggling with an ulcer, which was so severe that I was to go for an operation," Ester says.
"My friend shared the good news of Jesus who can restore my life."
Ester was invited by her friend to attend church.
As she heard the sermon, she recalls, "I felt like it was just for me. The man of God said exactly what was bothering me and when He promised me that God will take care of all my worries, and that I would be healed."
Ester thought about her life up to this point.
"I had tried all other ways of living. I tried the traditional way, and being a church goer, but I had never had the opportunity to receive Jesus Christ as the Lord and Saviour of my life."
That day, she says, "God's grace (underserved kindness) fell on me. I believed and was saved. I received Jesus as my personal Saviour."
There were immediate changes in Ester's heart.
"I felt inside me that I have to forgive those who ill-treated me when I was young. I also felt I had to remove the bitterness that was in me for so long. I felt a huge change in everything I did," Ester explains.
Since giving Jesus control of her life, she says "God has done tremendous things in my life."
"I can associate with everyone. All the fear of betrayal has been removed. I even forgave my own parents since I had felt bitterness towards them. I now have peace of mind and the openness I longed for."
Ester thanks God that after "God touched me in a mighty way... all that bothered me for years was taken away from me."
For those who would like to know God's grace, Ester advises "Seek the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Jesus promises us that He will not forsake those who seek Him.
"Jesus is a good Lord who carried our sins on the cross. There is nothing impossible for Him. He came to save sinners, not those who falsely think they are already good."•