God has given each and every one of us a story of hope, and as Inside Woman Online, we seek to hear the true and authentic voice of every woman. In this Heart to Heart interview we hear from Matawana Moleleki, a woman after God's own heart, a real lioness. Despite going through a very difficult period in her life, Matawana is still holding fast to the confession of her faith. She shares her own experience with a miscarriage and how through God’s total grace she and her family were kept together. Her story is of healing, hope and God's Mercy. Our hope is that anyone who is grieving any loss they will know that they are not alone – that there are other women who are finding hope, and overcoming anxiety through the POWER of Jesus. May His Name be Glorified forever. May this interview bring healing to your soul.
Inside Woman Online: Tell us about the first time you met Jesus. What drew you to Him?
Matawana Moleleki: I met Jesus at a tender age of 14 when I was just a teenager busy with all the things that teenagers do. I was drawn by the pure truth of the Word. I was at church and a young person was teaching about Salvation in a way I had never heard before. He said the right things at the right time. Things were not looking good at home and the Word of God became a soothing hope for me.
Inside Woman Online: How do you stay spiritually focused?
Matawana Moleleki: I feed my mind with the word of God, I stay in touch with Him through prayer, I cease the moment to ‘listen’ to His voice, and I wait upon Him. Furthermore, I have accepted that I am not perfect and that God delights in those imperfections. So I constantly strive to do good and see good in others.
Inside Woman Online: Even when we love God we go through things. Can you tell a little bit about your experience with your miscarriage? Was that the first time it happened?
Matawana Moleleki: True, even those who love God go through things. Psalm 34:19 says "many are the afflictions of a righteous man…" and I love the second part that says "…but the Lord delivers him from ALL of them"! That is the catch: “He delivers him from ALL"!
The miscarriage, yes it was the darkest period of my life really. The 11th June 2014 is a day I will never forget. It was in the early hours of the morning when my husband called an ambulance. I later found out that it was an ectopic pregnancy but worse, it had raptured! I bled internally and lost almost a litter of blood, which was a life threatening situation, but guess what, the Lord delivered me from all that! The reality is that I felt the deepest loss, a part of me died that day, and to me I had lost a baby, not a foetus! Something I struggled to come to terms with, I am still getting help to get through it to date.
You count every day, every week, month…till the delivery date! You keep reminding everyone that ‘the baby would have been this big today…’ It is an experience I do not wish even to the worst person! I think the worst experience about my miscarriage was the fact that I had consulted a doctor weeks before complaining about abdominal pains and she misdiagnosed me with ‘cancer’. So I went through weeks of ‘cancer’ terrified to face this big giant only to find it was a miss-diagnose but worse I lost a ‘life’ in the process. Nevertheless, I learned a lot from the experience, that you have to forgive, to let go, to accept that which you cannot change and to keep the faith. Yes it was definitely the first time experiencing a miscarriage.
Inside Woman Online: When you discovered you had the miscarriage, what was your reaction?
Matawana Moleleki: I burst into tears. I felt the deepest sadness. I wanted to see the foetus, and I felt such a loss! It was the darkest day of my life. I was in pain physically and spiritually. My mind could not comprehend what was happening. I needed answers because to me there was this ‘cancer situation’ going on and suddenly I had lost a life… It was just too unbearable!
Inside Woman Online: Do you ever get angry at God when you think about it?
Matawana: I am a child of God and like any child I do throw tantrums sometimes when I think of it. I go to the Father and lay my emotions before Him, I tell Him, "Daddy I feel very angry right now, I feel sad, I feel like blaming someone, even you Lord". I cry and pour my sadness to Him from time to time. You see, when you have a good relationship with your Dad, where you can tell Him anything. It is easy for Him not to confuse frustration with anger. I have a great relationship with God. I tell Him everything. So yes I do get frustrated sometimes but not angry. I know that everything happens for a reason and that He has ‘better plans for me, plans to prosper me, not to harm me, plans to give me hope and a future’ (Jeremiah 29:11-13).
Inside Woman Online: How did you and your family get through the grief?
Matawana Moleleki: All I can say is “a family that prays together, really sticks together”. I saw this in practice throughout this experience. Our first solace was God; we all remembered that we are not on our own and that all will be well. My eldest son said "it’s ok Mommy-Honey (as he affectionately calls me), God will give you another baby if you still want one". This while he was brushing my hair with his tender hands! I found so much comfort from their presence on my hospital bedside and at home. My eldest daughter seemed to share the pain with me, she was literally in sync with my emotions, It is like I didn’t have to explain my emotions to her, she would know what I need or what I want to say…an amazing experience I must say. We talked about it, we allowed ourselves to go through the hurt, cried together, and encouraged each other. My husband allowed me to go through the emotion; he has been there every second and still is. He watches my health like never before; he lays hands on me in prayer like an angel appointed just for me. We continue to heal, and we know it will take time, but we will get there. We take each day as it comes; we know God is with us, we know we will be ok, in time.
Inside Woman Online: What are the teachings of Jesus that helped you during the process of healing?
Matawana Moleleki: The teaching about forgiveness. In Matthew 18: 21-22 Peter asks Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother when he sins against him. Jesus responds and says, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times". This scripture reminded me that my healing will come from forgiving. The quicker I forgave, the quicker I will heal. We have to understand that unforgiveness is the greatest illness. The day you rid yourself of hate and anger is the day you will see your healing. I learned that this journey is not about me, it is about others, and how I react to challenges determines my level of maturity. I learned to forgive!
Inside Woman Online: Are you still trying to have a child?
Matawana Moleleki: I am not trying; however, if it happens that I fall pregnant, I will be happy.
Inside Woman Online: How has your experience given you compassion toward women who are hurting?
Matawana Moleleki: I no longer just understand, I now feel what they feel when they talk about their experiences. I have the greatest compassion for any woman who has gone through miscarriage. I would do anything to help them get through it if afforded the opportunity, even if it is talking about my experience. I went through counselling, websites and study materials that helped me get where I am. I needed to hear someone say., "I have been there too, I know how you feel". The knowledge that I was not alone brought such comfort and assurance that I was going to be ok. So if anyone can find peace in my story, I will give glory to God. This is the most painful experience any woman can ever go through, no woman should ever have to go through a miscarriage. I have always had a soft spot for women therefore any thought of them going through pain does not sit well with me. Women are too precious, if it were for me, they would live a pain-less, stress-less and peaceful life!
Inside Woman Online: You have a passion for mentoring other women. Why do feel so strongly about the need for women to have mentors?
Matawana Moleleki: I come from a family of five girls, with me being the last. I had an opportunity to watch five women (including my mother) as I grow. I watched not only their strengths, but their struggles brought by the disadvantage of being a woman. I witnessed how hard they had to work their way to the top, both in their careers and social lives. I only realised after a very long time that all these women were actually mentoring me, directly and indirectly. As a result, I had an opportunity to avoid or correct certain mistakes before I could reach a certain age, just by watching and talking to them (mentorship). It is extremely important to have someone to look up to, someone who will put you ten steps ahead of others; because that’s what mentoring does, it puts you ‘a few steps ahead of others’. You get to prepare for things before they happen; you get first-hand information from the source. Mentoring gives a person, not only women, a chance to do things right the first time! You get a chance to make mistakes but have time to correct them; it is like rehearsing life. That is why I value mentorship.
Inside Woman Online: Do you have a mentor and what was the most valuable guidance they offered?
Matawana Moleleki: Yes I have, actually, not one, quite a few, and some of the most valuable lessons I learned from my mentors are:
- Fear God and put ‘ALL’ your faith in Him;
- Life is too short to be taken too seriously;
- Surround yourself with those in the same mission as yours;
- Forgive and move on;
- Love unconditionally;
- Never assume the worst of people, always give the benefit of doubt;
- Work hard; don’t follow your dreams, chase them!
Matawana Moleleki: I find that I am at peace when I do what I do. There is a sense of contentment I cannot measure or explain, and I feel the void when I am not doing what I do.
Inside Woman Online: What is the message that you bring to women through Ladies Empowerment Organization?
Matawana Moleleki: That it is ok to be a woman; that there are no limits when you are a woman; that we are not God’s afterthought; that our equality is found in the ‘woman helper’, the ‘submissive nature’ that can only be portrayed by a woman; and that an empowered woman is one who has found knowledge and divine wisdom.
Inside Woman Online: So what are the modern challenges for Christian women?
Matawana: The desire for equality, and hunger for authority. Christian women tend to forget their mission, which is to advocate for the Kingdom of God. Their minds are occupied with getting back at men or proving that they can lead from the front’. Truth is, women like Deborah led from behind, until a man elevated her to the top! We tend to allow ourselves to be influenced by the standards of this world. The very thing Paul warned us about in Romans 12 when he said, "do not be conformed to the standards of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..." We often feel the need to fit in, when we were in fact designed and fashioned to stand out! Those are some of the modern challenges for a Christian woman.
Inside Woman Online: What can Christian women do to foster unity amongst themselves?
Matawana Moleleki: We can start by learning from those before us, and those among us. Women like Deborah and Jael, the incredible and lethal combination of two women that God used to put down a great warrior to save the nation. Abigail a woman of great wisdom who saved her family and the nation. Dorcas the charitable one with great Christian works. Esther the hope and saviour of God’s people. Mannete Chaba a woman of strength and great power who preached the word fearlessly without favour or compromise. Thandi Ngonelo a favoured woman of character and wisdom. Pearl Kupe a virtuous and fearless woman who is an advocate for the Kingdom of God. I could go on and on. We need to realise that we are on the same mission and start working together not against each other. We need to rid ourselves of this evil spirit of competition. We need to love one another more than before. Jesus says to his disciples in John 13:35, " they will know that you are mine when you love one another". That is what we need to do.
Inside Woman Online: Inside Woman Online: Do you think as women we are under pressure to succeed?
Matawana Moleleki: Absolutely. Our background does not help much either (especially African women or women of colour). The fact that we were previously disadvantaged influences our hunger for success. Sadly we have a distorted idea of what success is. We have allowed ourselves to be influenced by the definition of others in terms of what success means. We believe a lot of money, designer clothes, a mansion and a fleet of personalised sports cars is success! The truth is, success is finding your purpose and fulfilling it! You are successful if you have found ‘why on earth you are here for’, when you have found your track in the race and are willing to run!
Inside Woman Online: Tell us about your family? How long have you been married and what drew you to your husband?
Matawana Moleleki: I am married for 13 years this year, to the most humble and God fearing man. His vision and mission for life drew me to him. He appealed to my purpose and calling. I knew this is the man I can best “HELP” as a helper. He embraced my talents, gifts and calling, and fears God more than me. With my character, God knew I needed a man who will lead me, not dictate me.
Inside Woman Online: What is the one thing you wish you had known about marriage before you got married?
Matawana Moleleki: I wish I knew God only sees ONE when He looks at us. One, not two people! Then I would have dealt with ‘self’ before getting married or quicker into our marriage. Marriage is a selfless institution.
Inside Woman Online: What was the most pleasant surprise you learned about marriage?
Matawana Moleleki: That it is indeed wonderful to live with the person you love.
Inside Woman Online: Being a parent what are the challenges do you face and how do you and your husband handle them?
Matawana Moleleki: Juggling work, ministry and home. It is a great challenge to be a parent, entrepreneur, minister of the word at the same time. You have to appropriate your time carefully to ensure none of your responsibilities are compromised. We are both entrepreneurs and ministers of the word with my husband, so we have to make sure that our home does not suffer because we are busy making money or preaching the word. We do not want our kids to hate God because mommy and daddy were too busy with him and neglected them all their lives. Therefore, it is important to strike a balance and prioritise, otherwise, some will suffer.
Inside Woman Online: What life-giving words would you offer for a woman needing to heal?
Matawana Moleleki: You can never lose faith! You have to keep moving, no matter how hard you fall. The secret of passing the valley is walking. Keep walking, never stop in the valley. David says "...even though I WALK through the darkest valley, I fear no evil..." Psalm 23:4. Never stop at the point of hurt or pain, WALK to the other side. Remember that joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5 says “weeping may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning”. Keep your head up, never doubt God, He may seem to delay, but He will never be late! KEEP WALKING!!!
For more about the Ladies Empowerment Organisation- LEO, visit the website by clicking here.