Forgiveness sets you free

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Age 19 and half – My life has turned out for the better

Ever since I moved to Harare my life has turned out for the better. I am an intern at an accounting firm doing what I am passionate about. I really love accounting especially the way my state of being is challenged when I am studying accounting policies.  I have a boyfriend (I mean duh!!) and we are completely different I am but I think that it is in our differences that we have bonded.

He is an affectionate being who tries his level best to hide how much I affect him but oh boy has he failed to. He may have succeeded in everything else but I know of the very little weaknesses he has, I am one of them. Don’t worry though I do not rub it in his face. I do not manipulate him or anything like that but I do use it to my advantage when it’s absolutely necessary. We always argue but it is in our arguments I have grown to realize that we get better at understanding each other every day. P.S this blog post is not about relationships or about romance…I think I have written enough about that (for now). I am just trying to give you guys a background story of my current relationship.

I stay in Pomona and one day on my way to work I saw a disabled lady struggling to pull her wheelchair.  I was really disturbed by it and so I decided to help her even if it meant getting my head bitten off by my very narcissistic boss. We became good friends and I grew to learn that her name was Runako. Runako is a mother of two very beautiful daughters Zera and Naphtali.  Naphtali is twenty-six and Zera is my age. She told me her struggles and the hardships she faced after her accident and it being the reason her husband left her. I told my boyfriend about her and vice-versa and very soon she encouraged us to come to her house for occasional dinners and lunches. Stephen is very understanding; he even picks her up from work from time to time. He is not very good with people he does not know very well but I appreciate the effort he is making for me. I pretty much see Runako as my mother now and her daughters as my two sisters. I tell her all my problems and in return she gives me advice any mother would. I have paid for some of her medical expenses in a heart-beat as well as to buy groceries for her household when she struggles to make ends meet.

One day Stephen comes to work in a very foul mood and I have no idea why. He avoids me all day, doesn’t even offer to take me home like he normally does, and he just drives off. I try calling him but he doesn’t answer, the next morning when I ask him to drop Runako off to work (over the phone) like he normally does he rudely refuses. I feel a pang to my chest because no matter how much I have upset him he has never been mean to me. At work, I am rewarded with silent treatment which I cannot deal with any longer so I pull him to the side to give him a piece of my mind. However he is not having it he starts shouting, “What is your problem T? Why are you so blind and naïve I hate to say it and stupid sometimes?” I do not know what to make of this sharp retort but I keep staring at him then he continues,” why do you hang out with that disabled old hag?” I take a harsh intake of breath and shout “Stephen!” but he quickly interjects, “before you even start judging me I went to pick her up at her workplace the day before yesterday and she was with Zera who was as good as naked in the sorry of an excuse dress that she was wearing. Then when they got in my car Runako told me to take a good look at her beautiful daughter.” I look at him straight in the eye and I can tell that he is not lying. Stephen is a horrible liar. “She said to me that I should leave you for Zera because she is more beautiful, has slender legs, soft silky skin and is very satisfying in ways beyond my imagination. To my great annoyance, Zera started smiling and she opened her legs! Look, T, I care about you and I really want this relationship to work so you are going to have to stop hanging out with that family because they clearly do not give a damn about you!” he stomps off leaving me behind. I am shocked. I absolutely cannot believe Runako could do that to me. I am hurt, disappointed, feeling betrayed and I am ANGRY… very very angry.

Age 20 – I have successfully avoided her and her daughters

It has been six months since I spoke to Runako. I have successfully avoided her and her daughters. Naphtali is now in South Africa and Zera is studying at the University of Zimbabwe. She was completely unapologetic about the incident that happened between her and Stephen. When I asked her about it she sharply told me that this world is a dog eat dog one and she was trying her luck. Speaking of Stephen we have since broken up over factors that neither of us could control. He is happily dating Zera now and that is okay I guess. Runako tried calling me at some stage but I would not pick up her calls and ended up blocking her number from my phone. I have started to use the longer route to get to the house I am staying at in an attempt to avoid her.

I am not sleeping. I have not been sleeping ever since Stephen and I broke up…that was 3 months ago. I can go to bed feeling absolutely tired but as soon as I get in bed my brain switches on and I start to think about a lot of things, somehow it always goes back to Runako. How she has ruined my life after everything I have done for her. I start asking myself where it went wrong between her and I. I begin to question Jesus if that is how he felt when Judas betrayed him. My alarm goes off, it’s already 6 o’clock and I have to get ready for work.

I go to see doctors, most of them tell me its insomnia and they give me sleeping pills. That works for about 3 weeks and then I am back to where I started. “You are depressed.” One of the doctors finally says to me. I am shocked but I have to agree with him….I am not happy. I just feel empty and dead inside. “I want you to talk to someone about whatever it is you are going through. If that doesn’t work I am going to have to prescribe you to anti-depression pills.” I nod my head in understanding, “Thelma you really have to take this seriously because these tablets once prescribed, you have to take them for the rest of your life.” Those words ring in my head like an echo.

I struggle to find a person to talk to. I have always talked to Stephen about whatever it is I have been going through and he has always helped me. But Stephen isn’t in my life anymore he is with Zera who is most probably……I quickly suppress those sad thoughts wanting to improve my life. I really want to be happy again. That Sunday I quickly go to church and join the intercession team. We pray about a lot of things. In the last segment the pastor asks us to pray for healing. Healing that is one thing I definitely need. As I start to pray the tears automatically leave my eyes. At first they are mild and I am sobbing in between, but like the river Nile they begin to flow. I cry so hard I did not realize that I was this broken. One of the intercession ladies approaches me with a napkin in her hand, and just like that the words leave me. I find myself explaining to her about Stephen and Runako. She looks at me without judgment in her eyes. We pray one more time together then we attend service. I start joining intercession frequently as prayer seems to be giving me a bit of sanity. The lady I prayed with a week ago approaches me and sweetly smiles at me. “When was the last time you spoke to Runako?” I look at her; really look at her then respond, “Close to 8 months ago.” She slowly nods her head in understanding then says to me, “This month go and see her, buy expensive outfits for herself and her two daughters. After that ask her to forgive you” I instantly lose breath and I am made to sit down. Throughout that service I cannot utter a word, or decipher words that people are saying. When I get home I fail to eat, I am just sitting staring into nothingness. I am asking God really difficult questions, but i do not get a response. I decide not to do what that lady advised me to do. I fail to sleep for the next 3 weeks and for the first time in my life I have failed an exam. As I stare at my exam slip in a state of shock I walk in a clothing store and without thinking I pick out three really classy outfits with matching shoes and handbags, and I use my visa card. After buying the gift boxes I receive a message telling me that I have blown close to 500 bucks.

I thought buying the gift was going to be hard….getting in Runako’s home is even harder. I know her gate’s passcode and I am surprised that it has not been changed. She is in her wheelchair , knitting what seems to be a woolen jersey. We make eye conduct and I instantly kneel down, as I hand her the gifts I came holding. “Mama Ndiregererei.” (Mom forgive me) I say as tears fall from my eyes. She looks, grabs her gift box since I have labeled their names and quickly un-wraps it. As soon as she sees the beautiful outfit she gasps, but the look she puts on her face when she sees the handbag is priceless. Runako then places her gift on her legs, and calls the maid asking her to put Zera and Naptalie’s gifts in their respective rooms. After we are left alone she asks me, “What did you get for Zera?” I do not know whether she is joking or not but I honestly answer her, “A white off the shoulder dress which also hugs her body, and strapped heels with a matching clutch.”

“Perfect!” she exclaims, “Stephen is introducing her to his family this weekend. Poor thing didn’t know what to wear but you brought just the perfect outfit.” I do not know how to react. I just face the ground as the angry tears continue to flow. “You came here to ask for my forgiveness?” I nod my head when she throws the knits at me and yells, “I WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU FOR WHAT YOU DID!  You just went quiet on me! Of which I am disabled, I really wanted your help!” I gulp back the huge lump I have in my throat. I can hardly believe what has just happened. “Get out of my house!” she suddenly screams and I jump from my kneeling position running to the gate without turning back. That night I cry myself to sleep but for the first time in months I finally feel free.

Age 21 – My life is going in the right direction

I turned 21 a few days ago and I can safely say that my life is going in the right direction. I finally passed my bar exam which means that I can…..Boom! Boom! Boom! My thoughts are interrupted with the heavy knocking on my metal gate. Since I am home alone I have to go check who it is. I open the side gate and Naphtali nearly falls on top of me. She looks awful I tell you. Her hair is all over the place and her eyes weary. Before I can say anything she yells “My MOTHER! Thelma please help me! SHE is DYING!” with that, she starts to cry hysterically throwing herself on the ground. “THELMA!” she screams again and without further thought I find myself running towards their house. As I enter the gate, the front door, the little narrow corridors I hear someone shouting something about a pulse. My heart is beating so loudly it could jump out of my chest. “Time of death 11: PM on 8 December 2019.” The doctor finally concludes as soon as I enter the bedroom. Naphtali rushes in behind me and when she sees my downcast eyes she releases an ear-splitting scream and starts throwing things everywhere. The nurse tries to console her but I am star struck unable to understand what has just happened.

We laid Runako to rest yesterday. She died from a massive heart attack.  They dressed her up in the outfit that I bought for her Naphtali telling me that because it was her favourite. I just smile solemnly and as I am about to take my leave, she slips what seems to be a note in my hand. “My mum liked writing, she had asked me to give you this letter, the day before she di…..that she went to sleep forever but I forgot, I only remembered it now. Weird things started happening in our household after you came with those beautiful outfits you know. I am sorry about Stephen and Zera, I really am” she starts to cry but I comfort her. That incident is a thing of the past and I have put it behind me. When I eventually get to my car I take out the note just out of curiosity.  In her very neat handwriting it reads:

Thelma forgive me where I wronged you, as the Lord forgives those who trespass against him. You have always been a sweet soul, which is why I was greatly confused when you came to ask for my forgiveness.  I have not been feeling well and would like you to come and pray for me. That is the only way I can get a peace of mind.

Yours sincerely

Amai VaNaptalie (Naptalie’s Mum)

Uncontrollable tears start flowing from my eyes. I have so many questions but no one to answer them. It is also in that moment I completely understand what it means to pray and to forgive.

To pray is to let God.

To forgive completely with all of our hearts is to allow him to take over.

I learnt the hard way what it means and I now have a profound understanding of what God can do for us when we truly obey and when we listen to him. Forgiveness is one way in which we set ourselves free. So to my fellow readers going through a hard time forgiving the people that have wronged you…..Let go and let God. Icing Sugar signing out

Thelma is an aspiring writer who wants to be the change she wants for the world.