Rabecca Gudza grew up in a Christian family in Bulawayo and was taught about God from an early age, but it was only as an adult in her 30s that she really came to understand the radical transformation Jesus was wanting to make in her life.
Rabecca had struggled with unforgiveness for years. When her father lost his job when she was 10, she had had to go and live with another church family, where the children beat her up. She endured 10 years of abuse before she finally left to get married.
This unforgiveness affected Rabecca's stress and blood pressure levels and began to affect her marriage too. "I could spend the whole day not telling my husband why I was angry," she admits. "And sometimes I would have a bad attitude towards my children."
Then Rabecca attended a gospel service where the preacher explained from John 15 that Jesus is the true vine and we are the branches, getting all we need to produce fruit from the vine. We have to be connected to Him and without Him we can do nothing.
"I realised that God wanted me just as I was and all have sinned and have fallen short of God's perfection. Being made holy and useful to God is a process. God's grace (undeserved love) is sufficient for each of us. I became a born again (spiritually) Christian by committing my life to Jesus Christ," Rabecca explains.
She experienced the difference between knowing about God and knowing God; between praying as a duty and talking to God as a friend; between reading the Bible as a collection of rules and stories, and getting nourishment from it as her daily bread.
"Now I can joke about situations and I have learnt to talk to God and pray for my family and friends. I have learnt to depend on Him alone. I have learnt to love from my heart and to read the Bible with understanding. With Jesus all is well whatever the circumstances."
Rabecca particularly likes Psalm 23's description of Jesus as her shepherd. "He takes care of me all the time," she smiles.
Rabecca exhorts others: "God is a friend. Love Him with all your heart, do not doubt Him. With Him everything is possible. He can change every situation for the better. Your situation today is not permanent, it will pass. Let us live with heaven as our goal. Believe and you will be saved."•