Unable to cope with the sudden death of her husband from heart failure, Lena Heldzinger's mother had very little love or affection for her eldest daughter, and beat her frequently.
As a result of her difficult upbringing Lena says she grew into a "very, very angry person with no joy, no peace and no love for anyone".
She eventually got married but admits that she caused her husband a lot of unhappiness and was an unpleasant wife.
"I was a very bitter woman, with out of control anger, very stubborn and unable to show love," she confesses.
Her husband, however, understood Lena's past and stood by his wife.
When she had children of her own Lena realised that she did not want them to grow up as she had, without knowing love, and she had to find out what was missing from her life.
At the time she was working in a printing factory where her colleagues told her about the love of God and that Jesus died for her sins.
"When I believe Him and accept Jesus as my Saviour, my life will change, they told me," Lena remembers.
Lena had been a very bitter womanBut it was only later, at an open-air tent meeting that Lena finally decided to turn over her life to Jesus.
"There were tears streaming down my cheeks as the pastor's wife prayed for me and I just knew something had happened within me," she recalls. Later her husband and children also invited Jesus to be their ruler and Saviour.
Lena experienced such great love from God that she says she could not help but love Him in return, however her anger problems did not just resolve themselves.
"It took a great deal of faith in God's Word [the Bible] for me to be completely delivered from anger. I read the Bible and meditated on it (mulled it over), especially the verse that says "so if the Son (Jesus) sets you free, you will be free indeed" (see John 8:36).
Lena also forgave her mother because she realised from reading the Bible that everyone is a sinner in need to God's undeserved kindness and her mother just did not know any better way to react to her circumstances.
From being a very angry, unloving person, Lena is now filled with peace and love for God and others. One of her favourite verses is "let us love one another, for love is from God ... because God is love" (1 John 4:7-8).•