For those of you I do not know very personally, I’d like to share some of my background with you to illustrate how powerfully God has worked in my life as of late:
- My birth mother was an alcoholic and dry addict who suffered from anorexia and mental illness; she died of cancer in 2009, before we could cultivate a significant relationship.
- I was adopted by my grandmother at 6 months old (whom I call Mum).
- I do not know my biological father who is of Samoan decent. I have no knowledge of the Samoan part of my cultural identity and as a result of being raised here in Hawera. I have explored Tikanga Maori in substitution of my Polynesian heritage, but over the years have struggled to find a confident sense of self because of these missing pieces.
- I was sexually molested for the first 8 years of my life.
- My only brother shared the same mother as me but had a different father. Our biological Grandmother raised us both and her husband died when I was 15.
Being 7 years my brother’s junior I looked for belonging and acceptance from him and I desperately sought his approval, I was met with names such as nigger, sooty and spear chucker so frequently by him. I established an inferiority complex and realized my skin colour set me apart from my whole family.
In latter years, society in general reinforced this racial discrimination and I grew a protective resentment that led me into like-minded company. My adolescent years were chaotic rebellion laced with a lonely sadness so dark and enveloping I could not imagine there was a God.
Yet at 23 I met him in person when I gave birth to a beautifully perfect healthy baby girl and in the instant she was laid in my arms his Holy Spirit saturated me with what was my first understanding of true love. The next 10 years that followed brought an increasingly focused pursuit of understanding this God who redeems, restores and renews. Last year most of you know I was baptized here at church. Within that year the Lord has blessed me with a job, the purchase of my first home (which is a miracle in itself as I was a beneficiary at the time), as well as enriching, uplifting and encouraging friendships.
Last week He gifted me with the most profound supernatural experiences that have forever changed my life. I felt prompted to share them in testament of His Almighty, all knowing and awesome character. It was confirmation of the scripture Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to me and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” I went to Manna on a mission to press into the presence of God. To be still enough to hear his will for my life in service to him.
To confront residual behaviorisms that continued to limit my position with Him. I needed to set apart this time of my life to get into agreement with Him.
Within an hour of arriving at Manna, checking in and giving the manageress a nutshelled version of my entire 33 years condensed into 3 minutes, a peace that surpasses all understanding encompassed me and I prayed that the Lord develop my trust in Him so each moment I head there may have purpose and meaning.
Before I could get my head around the gravity of that prayer the manageress Marie was back and marching me into the chapel to have strategic prayer she had been given prophetic insight for, with me. She had the most uncomplicated blasé yet maternal nature I instantly felt safe and secure with her. She proceeded to settle me in to the chapel and explain the parental blessing for each stage of life prayer she was going to cover me with, before she said anything of great significance this feeling began to rise up within me, it was so strong, so magnificently indescribable I had to interrupt her and tell her what was happening to me, and how I begun to experience this after the blessing of my house some months ago, much to my astonishment she replied casually that it was the Holy Spirit working in me and I was an anointed woman of God. That just about knocked me out cold and I had to restrain myself from looking around the room to see if she was talking to someone else I didn’t see come in. Then within the moment it took for me to think that thought a sense of knowing spoke into me saying, “Yes, you Miscelle, I will teach you to love yourself the way I have always loved you. Trust in me with all your heart, do not lean on your own understanding, I will show you which path to take.” That’s when the type of tears started that continued over my whole stay, sporadically joyful tears, tears of cleansing, tears holding hope, happy tears, tears of wonder tears I had never cried before. The entire time I spent there continued like this, each circumstance confirming the next.
I met a guest there that the Lord laid a love in my heart for, who was experiencing what my mother had been through, but with the loving grace of God was transforming her life and God brought divine healing to both of us through crossing our paths, he revealed his purpose for me in service to Him through her and just continued to pour his favour out over me with every little step I took in faith.
He faithfully flooded me with blessing. It has followed on since returning home with loving reminders of his presence in songs with lyrics such as: “All of me, loves all of you,” “You and me together, any kind of weather you’ll be fine,” “take these broken wings and learn to fly again, learn to be so free.”
He has spoken to me through programs on shine when Michelle and I had our first Home group the service we turned on was focused on the scripture, Marie had given me to meditate on Isaiah 43:1-3, ‘Do not fear for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the fire you will not be scorched nor will the flame burn you.’ Michelle and I chose a scripture for one another to memorize it’s one Joyce Meyer had given me only the day before. It just goes on and on to my amazement!
So in light of this experience as a whole my prayer is for any of you who have become discouraged or disconnected, who are weary or heavy laden. If any of you feel your faith has become distant or mundane or even non-existent. If there is just one of you that needed a break away to fill up with the Lord’s love, a refuge after a time of trial or testing. A change of environment to re-establish, the freedom to be the person of His destiny, then Manna is your answered prayer.
The tangible presence of God dwells so powerfully within the faithful servants at Manna, it is a place where the Holy Spirit burns like fire, and I encourage each and every one who has prayed for relief or rest, even if it be a day, a night, a week or more. If manageable, to invest your time in renewing your relationship with God. Manna is where you can slow down enough to receive one days portion at a time.
Amen & Amen