Miliakere Oli read from her contribution at the launch of our latest publication.
Whilst waiting for the bus along Symonds Street, a van went past and written on it was the phrase…
Don’t play hard to get… BUT be hard to forget.
This phrase resurrected memories of my spiritual journey and I must confess, that I played hard to get. Being born into a Christian family, means going to church from the cradle to maturity. However, when I reached the teenager phase, I questioned God’s existence. Even though I attended the Sunday services, somehow I felt a void in my life and I wasn’t even sure if there was a God. Still wrestling with God’s existence, I decided to take time out from God. Although I wandered away, God did not turn a blind eye on me. His watchful eyes led me on a journey of spiritual awakening that made me aware of his presence. On this journey, I encountered four events that opened my heart to explore and experience God’s existence. These events embraced a surprise from God, studying theology, sailing for ordination and Spiritual awakening.
Spiritual Awakening As a teenager, I felt that going to church on Sundays was a lifestyle. From Monday to Friday I went to school, Saturday going to town or stay home. Every Sunday was spent going to church. I attended Sunday school, gave my offerings, took part in church activities, but somehow I felt an emptiness within me. When the Church attendees were talking about God, I could not relate and I wondered whether there is a God. Consequently, I stopped going to church. Then one day I had an accident, and my family members tried everything to assist with the healing process, but it was in vain. Then one relative suggested that they call the lady who runs a healing ministry. This lady would pray for people and God would do the healing. Anyways, the lady came and prayed for me. She started telling me things that I have bottled up and never told anyone.
Then I asked: “How do you know all these things?” She replied: “I don’t. It is the Holy Spirit that has revealed these.”
Truly and surely there is a God? Still, I did not change my life and I continued to live a life of chaos. It came to a point when I could not take it anymore and I cried out to God.
“Lord, I have nothing to offer, but you can use me according to your will.”
This turned the tide and I had to wade back to Church. Slowly I began to discover that truly there is a God who loves us irrespective of our ethnicity, sexuality or gender. He is also an awesome God, who is full of surprises.
 Auckland City, New Zealand.
You can read all of Miliakere’s story, plus more then forty other
stories, by ordering your own copy of Talanoa, Telling our
Stories, Kōrerohia o tātou pūrakau:40 years of the Ordination
of Women to the Priesthood in the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia
Available from email@example.com
$25 plus P&P, or $22 plus p&p, for orders of more than 5.