Set free by faith

SHINING EXAMPLE: Michelle photographed by her 10-year-old daughter when she was two years, one month sober and 20 months clean of drugs.
MICHELLE OF OLD: Michelle at the age of 24 in the midst of a miscarriage drinking her pain and sorrows away. It was her eighth pregnancy and fourth miscarriage.
BORN AGAIN: Michelle about to be water baptised on her wedding day in October, 2016. It was her 30th birthday and she was 20 months sober.

MY NAME is Michelle Hoani Heihei (née Cosgrove). I am a 30-year-old mother of four from Gisborne but currently living in the Far North. I was born and bred in Kaiti, before moving out of town at the age of 18. I attended Kaiti Primary, Ilminster Intermediate and Gisborne Girls’ High schools.

Although I had a reasonably good upbringing, there were traumatic experiences that caused a lot of pain and hurt in my life, leaving me a troubled individual. I was sexually abused at a very young age and told by the perpetrator not to tell anybody, so I didn’t. I never felt comfortable enough to say anything so I suffered in silence throughout my childhood years . . . until I discovered “liquid courage” in a bottle. The very first time I got intoxicated, I had a new-found confidence and was able to open my mouth for the first time about the molestation I endured. I felt so brave.

I started experimenting with drugs and alcohol at the age of 12 or 13 and was full-on smoking dope, drinking alcohol and having sex. I was a high school drop-out at 14 and moved out of home at 15. I was careless and disrespectful and disobedient towards my mother.

My dad died unexpectedly from a heart attack when he was 34. I was only 11 years old. For a year, I re-lived that moment over and over again. It felt surreal. Behind closed doors, I cried every single day for three years. I would cry myself to sleep every single night. Nobody knew.

I stopped doing that the day I discovered the “healing powers” of alcohol. It helped me with my grief. It felt like I was healed. I had accepted my dad was gone, that he wasn’t coming back, there was nothing I could do about it and nobody I could blame for it. I felt I could move forward. Alcohol was the medicine that made me feel better.

I hated school. Always felt like an outsider, uncomfortable, shy, fearful, rejected, ridiculed. I suffered from a severe anxiety disorder, agoraphobia and depression that went undiagnosed and untreated for many years. Kids at school used to tease me for being skinny and underweight, and spread rumours that I was poor and had no food at home.

This wasn’t true. But I did suffer from an eating disorder for six years during my teenage years then again later on as an adult because of my unhealthy lifestyle. I tried my hardest to put on weight. I didn’t like being as skinny as I was. I would live off a diet of fatty foods and junk food in the hopes I would get bigger but I never did. I would get stoned and munch out but that did nothing. This led me to be unhappy with my body image at times. I would starve myself. At least I could control that.

I would drink alcohol and feel six feet tall, powerful, strong, fearless, beautiful, sexy and unstoppable. Every problem, fear, worry and concern would disappear when I was drunk. I could block out the reality of my life even at the age of 14.

Living to party

As I entered my late teens I lived to party. I would drink anything that I thought would get me drunk — even methylated spirits and cough medicine. I would take whatever high was offered to me, even crushing up pain killers and other prescription pills and snorting it in the hopes I would get a buzz — but I never did.

I would take drugs to enhance the effects of the alcohol or to even replace it at times when I couldn’t get drunk. I had problems holding down a job because of my drinking. I enjoyed working because I enjoyed making money to fund my lifestyle. But there were times I wouldn’t show up for work because I didn’t want to stop raging. Other times I would walk off the job during smoko break because I couldn’t wait until knock-off time to get drunk.

I became a mother at 19 and for the first time, alcohol and drugs ceased to be a problem. I was able to hit them on the head. By this stage, I had moved away from Gisborne. I eventually gave up smoking, drinking and doing drugs in order to have a successful and healthy pregnancy as I had suffered several miscarriages prior to that.

I found the ultimate happiness in being a mother. I loved my baby, my family and my life. Parenting filled the void for me. I went on to have three more children in quick succession but after baby number three arrived, I couldn’t handle the stress and picked up where I left off with drinking and drugs.

What started off being a quiet drink away from home once a fortnight soon turned into several people drinking at my house for two days every single weekend.

Things went from bad to worse. I started dropping my standards as a mother and a person. I wasn’t myself when I was drunk — nor was I really myself when I was sober either. I was full of anger, frustration, resentment, bitterness, stress and hatred. It led to more destruction. Destruction of my relationship, my family, my parenting, myself, my wairua. I was losing myself. I picked up the glass pipe in a moment of weakness and temptation. Because I already had an addictive nature and suffered from the disease of alcoholism, it didn’t take long before I was hooked on meth.

Entire weekends lost

At my worst, I would spend three to five days a week partying, drinking the entire weekends away when I was meant to be having family time. I invited people into my home to drink and do drugs, smoking meth in the house while my kids were in bed sleeping. Other times they would be in the lounge watching cartoons or playing games on the iPad. I would take them to the park, kids’ birthday parties and outings when I was drunk and high, drop them off and pick them up from school when I was wasted, and allow my house to get trashed from parties to the point it was unfit for any child to be in.

I would spend my rent money and bill money on partying then be left in debt. I had a toxic relationship with my chidren’s father and exposed them to domestic violence, my inappropriate drunken behaviour and that of other adults. I neglected and deprived them of quality time and attention and would buy their affections with McDonald’s and candy to make me feel less guilty about it.

I hid a lot of things from a lot of people and became a professional liar. Those closest to me knew absolutely nothing about the extent of my drinking or that I was even using meth.

I’ve almost died twice from drinking too much — both times I passed out, vomited and choked on my own spew and stopped breathing. I’ve had alcohol poisoning more times than I can remember, almost gone to rehab but never did, almost lost my kids to CYFS (Child, Youth and Family Service) and drank until I was seven months pregnant with my fourth child because I was too greedy and selfish to stop.

My health wasn’t the greatest. I would starve myself for days on end, stay up partying with little or no sleep and drop kilograms of weight within days. When I partied, my staple diet was alcohol and maybe a few of the kids’ crackers or potato chips. At my lowest I weighed 47kg.

I would drink so much alcohol I would vomit or get the shakes and have to have a strong drink to cure it. I would smoke so much meth, I would give myself a migraine headache and often be left holding my head in pain only to want more and more of it.

I had problems left, right and centre. I had tried many times to give up drinking and failed. I knew deep down I was an alcoholic and drug addict. The longest I went without any stimulant was eight weeks and the first thing I did to celebrate was have a big piss-up. I had told myself for three whole years that I would go to AA and give up drinking and I never did.

I got so sick of the darkness, the depression, the ugliness, the lies. In my darkest hour, I was a complete mess. I was rugged. I hadn’t had a shower for six days, had worn the same clothes for four days straight, hadn’t eaten, was wasting away, didn’t want to look after my own kids, didn’t want to be around anybody, didn’t want to be drunk and sick anymore but didn’t want to be sober and sick anymore either.

Stuck

I was stuck in between two worlds. I had a bottle of beer by my side. And then when I was at my lowest, I looked to the highest! I surrendered my will and called out to God for help.

“God, I’m sick. Please help me. Please make me better again even if it means you have to take the bottle away from me forever. I’ll never have another drop of alcohol as long as I live. I’ll go to church and follow you if you make me happy, fix my relationship, my family and my life!”

That day, something inside of me changed. In my spirit. I had a revelation that I was never going to achieve the life I wanted if I kept walking down that path. My family deserved so much better.

One month later I walked through the doors of AA. I was three weeks sober. I felt the presence of God in that room. I knew I was in the right place. God Almighty gave me the strength and courage to give up the waipiro (alcohol). I couldn’t have done it without Him. All the bad behaviour, bad habits, mannerisms, hate, anger and attitudes starting dropping from me. It wasn’t an easy thing to do. There were many struggles, temptations, trials and tribulations. But I only grew stronger.

God led me out of South Auckland where I had spent the previous 10 years and led me to the Far North. I started attending The Heart Of The North Celebration Church in Kaikohe and became a born-again Christian, inviting Jesus Christ into my heart and making him the king of my life.

That’s when the real change came. I was made a new creation and given a new slate, a new way of living. I was healed of all my pains and hurts, I forgave every wrong that had ever been done to me, every wrong I had ever done and every sin I had ever committed was forgiven and cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ, for he died on the cross for my sins and the sins of many others.

Today I am two years, two months sober, 21 months clean and a healthy 60kg. I no longer suffer from an eating disorder, severe anxiety, agoraphobia or depression. I no longer suffer from addiction or have a dependancy on drugs or alcohol. I no longer carry all that anger and resentment around with me.

I am happily married to my soul mate and the father of my children and we have both been water baptised as Christians. We attend a wonderful church and our entire family love to worship the Lord including my young children.

God Almighty and Jesus Christ set me free from a life of addiction, destruction and death. They healed me, gave me love, freedom, comfort, security and peace. They fixed me, my life, my relationship and my family. They mended what was broken and still continue to do so.

I used to think there was no better feeling in the world than being drunk and high but I was wrong. The love of God and Jesus is the ultimate high. Better than any stimulant could ever make a person feel. No matter what you’ve done in your life, if you’re feeling empty, come to the Lord and invite Jesus into your heart. He will become the change you need. He will set you free.

“He who is in Christ is made new. Old things have gone. Everything is made new.”
— 2 Corinthians 5:17

MY NAME is Michelle Hoani Heihei (née Cosgrove). I am a 30-year-old mother of four from Gisborne but currently living in the Far North. I was born and bred in Kaiti, before moving out of town at the age of 18. I attended Kaiti Primary, Ilminster Intermediate and Gisborne Girls’ High schools.

Although I had a reasonably good upbringing, there were traumatic experiences that caused a lot of pain and hurt in my life, leaving me a troubled individual. I was sexually abused at a very young age and told by the perpetrator not to tell anybody, so I didn’t. I never felt comfortable enough to say anything so I suffered in silence throughout my childhood years . . . until I discovered “liquid courage” in a bottle. The very first time I got intoxicated, I had a new-found confidence and was able to open my mouth for the first time about the molestation I endured. I felt so brave.

I started experimenting with drugs and alcohol at the age of 12 or 13 and was full-on smoking dope, drinking alcohol and having sex. I was a high school drop-out at 14 and moved out of home at 15. I was careless and disrespectful and disobedient towards my mother.

My dad died unexpectedly from a heart attack when he was 34. I was only 11 years old. For a year, I re-lived that moment over and over again. It felt surreal. Behind closed doors, I cried every single day for three years. I would cry myself to sleep every single night. Nobody knew.

I stopped doing that the day I discovered the “healing powers” of alcohol. It helped me with my grief. It felt like I was healed. I had accepted my dad was gone, that he wasn’t coming back, there was nothing I could do about it and nobody I could blame for it. I felt I could move forward. Alcohol was the medicine that made me feel better.

I hated school. Always felt like an outsider, uncomfortable, shy, fearful, rejected, ridiculed. I suffered from a severe anxiety disorder, agoraphobia and depression that went undiagnosed and untreated for many years. Kids at school used to tease me for being skinny and underweight, and spread rumours that I was poor and had no food at home.

This wasn’t true. But I did suffer from an eating disorder for six years during my teenage years then again later on as an adult because of my unhealthy lifestyle. I tried my hardest to put on weight. I didn’t like being as skinny as I was. I would live off a diet of fatty foods and junk food in the hopes I would get bigger but I never did. I would get stoned and munch out but that did nothing. This led me to be unhappy with my body image at times. I would starve myself. At least I could control that.

I would drink alcohol and feel six feet tall, powerful, strong, fearless, beautiful, sexy and unstoppable. Every problem, fear, worry and concern would disappear when I was drunk. I could block out the reality of my life even at the age of 14.

Living to party

As I entered my late teens I lived to party. I would drink anything that I thought would get me drunk — even methylated spirits and cough medicine. I would take whatever high was offered to me, even crushing up pain killers and other prescription pills and snorting it in the hopes I would get a buzz — but I never did.

I would take drugs to enhance the effects of the alcohol or to even replace it at times when I couldn’t get drunk. I had problems holding down a job because of my drinking. I enjoyed working because I enjoyed making money to fund my lifestyle. But there were times I wouldn’t show up for work because I didn’t want to stop raging. Other times I would walk off the job during smoko break because I couldn’t wait until knock-off time to get drunk.

I became a mother at 19 and for the first time, alcohol and drugs ceased to be a problem. I was able to hit them on the head. By this stage, I had moved away from Gisborne. I eventually gave up smoking, drinking and doing drugs in order to have a successful and healthy pregnancy as I had suffered several miscarriages prior to that.

I found the ultimate happiness in being a mother. I loved my baby, my family and my life. Parenting filled the void for me. I went on to have three more children in quick succession but after baby number three arrived, I couldn’t handle the stress and picked up where I left off with drinking and drugs.

What started off being a quiet drink away from home once a fortnight soon turned into several people drinking at my house for two days every single weekend.

Things went from bad to worse. I started dropping my standards as a mother and a person. I wasn’t myself when I was drunk — nor was I really myself when I was sober either. I was full of anger, frustration, resentment, bitterness, stress and hatred. It led to more destruction. Destruction of my relationship, my family, my parenting, myself, my wairua. I was losing myself. I picked up the glass pipe in a moment of weakness and temptation. Because I already had an addictive nature and suffered from the disease of alcoholism, it didn’t take long before I was hooked on meth.

Entire weekends lost

At my worst, I would spend three to five days a week partying, drinking the entire weekends away when I was meant to be having family time. I invited people into my home to drink and do drugs, smoking meth in the house while my kids were in bed sleeping. Other times they would be in the lounge watching cartoons or playing games on the iPad. I would take them to the park, kids’ birthday parties and outings when I was drunk and high, drop them off and pick them up from school when I was wasted, and allow my house to get trashed from parties to the point it was unfit for any child to be in.

I would spend my rent money and bill money on partying then be left in debt. I had a toxic relationship with my chidren’s father and exposed them to domestic violence, my inappropriate drunken behaviour and that of other adults. I neglected and deprived them of quality time and attention and would buy their affections with McDonald’s and candy to make me feel less guilty about it.

I hid a lot of things from a lot of people and became a professional liar. Those closest to me knew absolutely nothing about the extent of my drinking or that I was even using meth.

I’ve almost died twice from drinking too much — both times I passed out, vomited and choked on my own spew and stopped breathing. I’ve had alcohol poisoning more times than I can remember, almost gone to rehab but never did, almost lost my kids to CYFS (Child, Youth and Family Service) and drank until I was seven months pregnant with my fourth child because I was too greedy and selfish to stop.

My health wasn’t the greatest. I would starve myself for days on end, stay up partying with little or no sleep and drop kilograms of weight within days. When I partied, my staple diet was alcohol and maybe a few of the kids’ crackers or potato chips. At my lowest I weighed 47kg.

I would drink so much alcohol I would vomit or get the shakes and have to have a strong drink to cure it. I would smoke so much meth, I would give myself a migraine headache and often be left holding my head in pain only to want more and more of it.

I had problems left, right and centre. I had tried many times to give up drinking and failed. I knew deep down I was an alcoholic and drug addict. The longest I went without any stimulant was eight weeks and the first thing I did to celebrate was have a big piss-up. I had told myself for three whole years that I would go to AA and give up drinking and I never did.

I got so sick of the darkness, the depression, the ugliness, the lies. In my darkest hour, I was a complete mess. I was rugged. I hadn’t had a shower for six days, had worn the same clothes for four days straight, hadn’t eaten, was wasting away, didn’t want to look after my own kids, didn’t want to be around anybody, didn’t want to be drunk and sick anymore but didn’t want to be sober and sick anymore either.

Stuck

I was stuck in between two worlds. I had a bottle of beer by my side. And then when I was at my lowest, I looked to the highest! I surrendered my will and called out to God for help.

“God, I’m sick. Please help me. Please make me better again even if it means you have to take the bottle away from me forever. I’ll never have another drop of alcohol as long as I live. I’ll go to church and follow you if you make me happy, fix my relationship, my family and my life!”

That day, something inside of me changed. In my spirit. I had a revelation that I was never going to achieve the life I wanted if I kept walking down that path. My family deserved so much better.

One month later I walked through the doors of AA. I was three weeks sober. I felt the presence of God in that room. I knew I was in the right place. God Almighty gave me the strength and courage to give up the waipiro (alcohol). I couldn’t have done it without Him. All the bad behaviour, bad habits, mannerisms, hate, anger and attitudes starting dropping from me. It wasn’t an easy thing to do. There were many struggles, temptations, trials and tribulations. But I only grew stronger.

God led me out of South Auckland where I had spent the previous 10 years and led me to the Far North. I started attending The Heart Of The North Celebration Church in Kaikohe and became a born-again Christian, inviting Jesus Christ into my heart and making him the king of my life.

That’s when the real change came. I was made a new creation and given a new slate, a new way of living. I was healed of all my pains and hurts, I forgave every wrong that had ever been done to me, every wrong I had ever done and every sin I had ever committed was forgiven and cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ, for he died on the cross for my sins and the sins of many others.

Today I am two years, two months sober, 21 months clean and a healthy 60kg. I no longer suffer from an eating disorder, severe anxiety, agoraphobia or depression. I no longer suffer from addiction or have a dependancy on drugs or alcohol. I no longer carry all that anger and resentment around with me.

I am happily married to my soul mate and the father of my children and we have both been water baptised as Christians. We attend a wonderful church and our entire family love to worship the Lord including my young children.

God Almighty and Jesus Christ set me free from a life of addiction, destruction and death. They healed me, gave me love, freedom, comfort, security and peace. They fixed me, my life, my relationship and my family. They mended what was broken and still continue to do so.

I used to think there was no better feeling in the world than being drunk and high but I was wrong. The love of God and Jesus is the ultimate high. Better than any stimulant could ever make a person feel. No matter what you’ve done in your life, if you’re feeling empty, come to the Lord and invite Jesus into your heart. He will become the change you need. He will set you free.

“He who is in Christ is made new. Old things have gone. Everything is made new.”
— 2 Corinthians 5:17

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Rowena Namana - 1 year ago
Hey cool, I'm kinda still in that situation. I did turn to God. I know he wants me to turn to him, it's just my partner he gave the Lord a go but never took him seriously. I got punched up today because he was still drinking - ever since yesterday. He drinks a lot. I used to be like that but now I can't handle four. I still smoke dope. Late last year I didn't smoke for three months. There's something that wants to bring the good out of my partner, he won't let me so I seem to turn to getting stoned. I can't deal with any of this any more. I know what's right but don't know who to turn to or where to step. Thank you for sharing your life inspiration. My little family need help. I like my partner when he's sober he just turns abusive when alcohol is involved . . . but when he's sober he has a gambling problem.

Michelle Hoani Heihei - 1 year ago
Hi Rowena, sorry to hear of your troubles. Hang in there bud. "Where there's a will, there's a way." Keep focused on yourself, what you want for the future and the path you want to take. You can't fix your partner. Only he can do that. Kia kaha. x

Lord Father, I give thanks and praise for this beautiful woman Rowena and her gorgeous child. I thank you that she is acknowledging you and drawing nearer to you Lord. I thank you that she has the desire to know you and follow your ways. Lord, I pray in Jesus' mighty name that you strengthen her to fight the good fight breaking off all addiction, intimidation, fear, doubt, depression and uncertainty. Fill her up with your peace, love, wisdom, comfort, security and forbearance. Bring her closer to you Lord. Reveal to her that you truly are the way, the truth and the life and that all things can be achieved through your son Christ Jesus who strengthens us. Bless her with your wisdom and show her the best path to take for the well being of herself and her child. I ask these things in Jesus' name.
Amen.

Wiremu Witana - 1 year ago
Amen to your korero. It is inspiring and uplifting how the Lord can turn your life around and bring about healing in a situation where there is nowhere to go or hide from it all. The Lord's love is like no other and the peace within that sets you free. So good to hear of your journey.
Thank you Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

Barry Adkins - 1 year ago
Congrats on your sobriety.
On the day our son Kevin moved out on his own he died of alcohol poisoning alone in a hospital while we slept peacefully in our bed.
For me, going to the funeral home to pick up my son's ashes was a turning point. I realised that I didn't want to be thought of as a victim and have people feel sorry for me. The world doesn't need any more victims, the world does need people who make something very good come from the tragedies in their lives. I thought about what I hoped someone else would do if it happened to their kid and, for me, the answer was clear - to get out and tell as many people as I can about what happened to my son.
It's a bit of a long story, but suffice to say I decided to walk from Arizona to Montana with my son's ashes in my backpack . . . not to raise money, because money will never fix the hurt, but to educate others about the dangers of alcohol abuse and to make something very good come from the death of my son. I honestly believe that the most you can hope for when you lose a child is to make something very good come from it.
I have shared Kevin's story hundreds of times over the years and have learned to boil things down to three very simple things I want people to take away from our story.
The two most important decisions I will ever make are about drugs and alcohol.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV) No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way to escape, that you may be able to endure it.
The way I respond to adversity will define my life.
James 1:2-4 (ESV) Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing
Forgiveness.
Anger and revenge lead to destruction, forgiveness leads to healing.
Ephesians 4:31-32 (NIV) Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.
Also, below is a link to an award-winning short documentary of our story.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0blTIbbzO8

Kathleen - 1 year ago
Hi chicky. Great to see you are doing good. Are you still on facebook? pm me

Yve haenga - 1 year ago
I love you my cousin . . . you are a true survivor.

Margaret Maraki - 1 year ago
Wow Michelle, so happy for you and your family.

Mary Wheatley - 1 year ago
Hallelujah! God is Faithful and True! "Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Mathew 11:28-30 Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His Holy Name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all thine iniquities; who heals all thy diseases; Who redeems thy life from destruction; Who crowned thee with loving kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's . . . Psal 103:1-5 Amen! Thank You Father God, in the Wonderful Name of Yeshua! Jesus!

Stewart Patrick - 1 year ago
Thank you so much for your story Michelle, and thank you Gisborne Herald for publishing this so boldly, so beautifully. As Church leaders/pastors in Gisborne/Tairawhiti, we know God is such a crucial part of us coming to the end of our addictive behaviours, which are coping mechanisms. We all have them or have had them, and know that we can turn back to them at any moment, by choice. Some addictions are just more socially accepted than others, e.g. over-working. The Church/Te hahi does not look with disdain upon those who are addicted, but will reach out a hand to any truly desiring change.

Adriana Manuel - 1 year ago
My beautiful friend, there was a time in my life where you were my happiness and saviour. I didn't even realise you were going through these things. It's so good to hear that you found healing and a new way of life Xx

Jenny Jackson - 1 year ago
So proud of you xxxx

Jacquelyn - 1 year ago
Praise God Michelle :) It is SOOOO BEAUTIFUL to see what He has done in your life!!!! It never ceases to amaze me, that He can take any of us, from anywhere, no matter how dark, no matter how broken, and by the power of His Blood - make us NEW and WHOLE and BEAUTIFUL in Him!!!!
There is hope for EVERYONE no matter where they are at today!
God Bless you precious sister :D I pray you and your family will continue to grow strong in your discipleship, and that you will each thoroughly enjoy living out the glorious call of God on your lives - till we all see Him face to face :D
I wonder if any of our Gospel Force team have ever met you? We evangelise and share the Good News of Jesus every week on the streets of Gisborne and South Auckland (as well as North Shore, Levin and Te Awamutu) :) It's always SO exciting and encouraging to hear of people whom we have witnessed to, who go on to receive Christ as their Savior :D
Thankyou SO much for sharing your testimony here for all to hear and put their hope in Jesus! And THANKYOU Gisborne Herald for sharing this LIFE-CHANGING!! In a world that often seems so hopeless, thank God for a paper that will print stories of absolute HOPE!!!

Raewyn - 1 year ago
Amazing testimony Michelle x

Wiremu Witana - 1 year ago
In the name of Jesus Christ bless you and your whanau - awesome testimony sister, telling it how it was and is now. AMEN

Joss, Auckland - 1 year ago
Your story is so similar to many others and so it is with my daughter Gayle. People condemn her but as her mother deep inside I know there is a beautiful person. It is just reaching her that has become the problem. Stories like this need to be shared openly. And I thank you for your courage in doing so. She was raped by a person we considered to be a family friend at 12 and carried that until it was revealed that her predator was about to become a foster parent within Gisborne. He was jailed for eight yrs. But the hurt she suffered was never healed, and still isn't. Two volatile relationships later and the death of a man she loved, and in her 40s she is on a path of destruction - in very much the same manner. She still quietly suffers, thinking that she's worthless. The relationship with her children also suffers, as it does with her family. Her sisters are like her parents. She has labelled herself the black sheep of the family. Tried to commit suicide. Suffered a stroke as a result of continued bashings from both her volatile relationships. Her first relationship saw her partner break almost every bone in her body and he almost killed her by hanging her off one of the rafters in her garage. It has been only her children that have kept her strong and going. I love her but even our relationship is strained. So reading your story I cried as her mother and I hope she reads it and also reaches out to faith. Thank you for your courage. Your story will, I know, encourage others. Like you and hopefully like my darling daughter.

Lynette Buchanan - 1 year ago
Life with God our creator promises to heal and restore us! Your story is evidence of God's healing. What a great inspiration your experience and story is to all who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction. There is a solution and your willingness to give your everything to the solution is God's promise that you will live happy, joyous and free. I'm so very happy for you and your beautiful family. A very big congratulations to you Michelle, you beautiful soul.

Michelle Hoani Heihei - 1 year ago
Kia ora Joss from Auckland. Thank you for being so open and honest about your daughter. There is hope for her. Our heavenly father and saviour Jesus Christ can heal all her pain and hurts and set her free - giving her a new life. Please add me or message me on Facebook Joss so I can chat with you in private.
Facebook name: Michelle Hoani Heihei
xx

Sonelau Crawley - 1 year ago
Wow, what a powerful testimony. Be strong girl, and be an inspiration to all others who are struggling in life, through the same problems or others. I must say, out of all the tribulations you had been through, you have come out a stronger and wiser person in the Lord. Congratulations! Keep the faith and inspire others.