What do you mean it is too soon?

I am always amazed at the comment that people make to one who has lost that it is too soon to move on. As a person who has experienced all kinds of losses I actually tend to take this statement very personally. What do you mean it is too soon to fall in love after your spouse has died or divorced you? What do you mean it is too soon to smile and be happy again after you have suffered a major blow? Where is this invisible timetable that tells us how long we should mourn and suffer for? Why is the end to my misery seen as disloyalty to the one who is gone? People are accused of being too happy or looking too good as if your misery will make the one who left to return. They are shocked that you are alive after what you experienced, instead they want to find you deep in sorrow and depression.

I just want to challenge us to celebrate people who are able to reach a place of closure quickly. Let us not make ourselves the gatekeepers of happiness, checking timeframes and giving people permission to move on. Our responsibility to our loved ones is to support them and to encourage them to close painful chapters in their lives. To me I cannot be happy with statements like: “My parents loved each other so much that after my mom’s death, my dad stopped living.” I want my dad to live, I want him to find a new wife and be happy and make new memories now that my mom is gone. I can’t choose for him but I can put my desire out there and let him know that I’m okay with it. Many parents live in fear of disappointing their grown children, who often live in their own houses with their own spouses.

If you are one of those loved ones who is angry that a dead or divorced loved one is being betrayed, please examine your motives. Let go of your anger. We can never force people to stay, people die and people leave. It hurts when something you cherished ends but the pain of the end doesn’t have to go on forever. Rise and Live. You don’t owe any of us an explanation, just rise up and live.



Facing mental illness

I was 9 years old and while we were playing on the school grounds, I fell and hit my head on a large rock. I immediately fainted and was rushed to the doctor who had his practise opposite our school and also happened to be our family doctor. One look at me, and he took me to the provincial hospital in town. That small accident changed my young life. The impact of that fall, led to months of fainting and overnight I turned into the school and township freak. Everyone knew who I was: “Don’t you know Mantsha? Oh that girl who is always fainting? The Mantsha that faints?” Things became so bad that one day an ambulance fetched me from the house and a rumor spread at my school that I had died and they made a collection for my family. When the school teachers came to our house I cried uncontrollably, I was inconsolable but my mom managed to calm me down.

I missed most of the school year and I spent 1987 in the hospital. I lived far from my family, lived on hospital food and worst of all I made friends in the hospital who died while we were in there. I was prayed for, consulted specialist doctors all over the country, visited sangomas far and wide and still I was not getting better. It wasn’t just the fainting, I was also hallucinating.  I would zone out and sing and speak gibberish. For some strange reason I could see it all happening but somehow I couldn’t control it all. The sickness confused me and my parents tried everything they could to give me the best care but none of it helped. Young as I was, I could hear all the whispers: “She is bewitched! She is insane! She has lost her mind! This disease is going to kill your child!” Even when I was sleeping I could still hear it all, the whispers! They laughed at me and they kept repeating my hallucinations and cracking up with laughter.

I got healed after some months but the sting of that period in my life, stayed with me for my entire life. I knew that there was something wrong with my brain and whatever it was even the doctors didn’t have a name for it. I lived with a lot of fear that one day, unaware, that strange disease would come back and take everything away from me. Overcoming the aftermath of mental illness  is even harder than going through the illness.

So today as a 39 year old healed woman, I take every case of  anxiety disorders, mood disorders, schizophrenia and psychotic disorders, dementia and eating disorders very personally. It could have been me struggling with bipolar, depression, autism,  a learning disorder or personality disorder  and somehow it was me.

To everyone who is in the middle of this struggle I pray that God may give you the strength to overcome. To everyone dealing with a family member or a loved one in the middle of this struggle: I pray that God gives you the strength and wisdom you need to support them. The most important thing I wish for you is that you may learn to live in the misdt of your struggle. Don’t allow the mental illness to take everything away from you. In between my faining episodes and hospital visits, I still managed to go to school and write the few tests and exams that I could. Some teachers were sympathetic and helpful but others were just nasty  and they broke my young heart. Not everyone will support you and some will be afraid of you but you have to live. Please live. Just live

Why we keep preaching and speaking….. we are compelled by love

There is nothing as frustrating as making a mistake when you preach or speak. I’m not talking about a grammar or language problem but I’m talking about a factual mistake. Like you keep saying Jesus rose on the 4thday and you go on to explain the significance of 4 in the life of a believer. Deep in your heart you know it was the 3rd day, in your notes everything you wrote said 3 but for some strange and cruel reason on that day when you speak to a full house you just kept saying 4 over and over and not a single person tried to correct you; or maybe they did and you were too much in the zone to notice. To add insult to injury the place was packed and there was live recording of the whole thing.

This is every speaker’s nightmare and I know something similar has happened to me many times before. When this happens, I keep replaying it in my mind and the more I replay it there more frustrated, embarrassed, hurt and ashamed I get. I literally get depressed and something deep down keeps telling me to stop speaking. If I am going to be making this kind of stupid mistakes then I surely don’t deserve to have an audience of human beings listening to me.

So if after 23 years of preaching I can still make mistakes like this, then why do I even keep preaching? I preach because even though I’m an imperfect human being who makes silly mistakes, I love the people I speak to and I want to share every single revelation with them. I don’t love preaching, I don’t even love the sound of my voice. I wish I had a more sophisticated voice, instead when I preach or speak I sound like I’m screaming and my facial expression either appears playful or just downright ugly.

I love how a life changes when an aha moment drops. When a person finally figures out that they are loved by God, or that they are here to fulfil purpose. I love it when in a period of 30-60 minutes a person moves from being a sceptical and reluctant listener to a completely sold out fan and supporter. I speak and I preach because I get to watch lives change right in front of my eyes. It’s such an honor and if it means apologising and then continuing with my calling then I will do just that. I always try my best to get my facts right but sometimes it just doesn’t work out. I must say though, sometimes when people love me too much I tend to think I’m a wow and these mistakes reminding me that I’m not such a wow after all.

Keep shining and never let your mistakes tell you otherwise. Rise up and keep moving.

Also check out The bliss of ministry and The amazing life of a speaker

Mantsha Pheeha

All my books are on https://www.amazon.com/


The bliss of ministry

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_1c17In 1996 at varsity when the discipleship team was choosing preachers for their service, they decided to pick a woman, after agreeing on the first three preachers, who were all male. The challenge was that there was only one woman in that meeting, ME! So my first preaching ever, and no one heard from God or was directed by the Holy Spirit. Or was the fact that they wanted a female speaker part of God’s intervention or even the fact that all the women in our team hadn’t come to the meeting?
I preached my first sermon ever and it was all of fifteen minutes. It was a sermon on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, gifts I didn’t know and had never experienced. I prayed and prepared all night to preach that fifteen-minute sermon and those fifteen minutes changed my life. As a seventeen year old I discovered right there and then that I will spend the rest of my life preaching all over the world, especially in Africa, that was 23 years ago.
I spent the past 23 years preaching at all sorts of places to crowds large and small, simple and sophisticated, rural and urban. I preached in a village with an intepreter until an old man stood up and told me to slow down because people can’t keep up. I screamed in tents that had poor sound until my voice gave up and left. I sweated in northen Limpopo until sweat ran down my entire body. I met people young and old, I loved the people and they loved me back.
My ministry journey is littered with people who just saw me and decided to support the calling that God has placed in my life. Many pastors opened the doors of their churches and conferences and welcomed me even though I often didn’t look like a typical woman of God. Congregants went out of their way to convince church boards to invite me to their churches. Nothing in my whole life has been more fulfilling than preaching. Sharing my heart with the nations has been and will always be my greatest privilige.
In a time where many of us write about the challenges of the ministry, I want to assure you that the perks of the ministry far outweigh the challenges. The gifts and money I have received from churches. The special treatment and the lovely food, oh the food you eat at these churches!!!! The friends I have all over the world because of the message of the cross, the family members in every township and village. I’m a blessed girl because of the ministry and I pray that after reading this blog you may also decide to join us in this amazing journey.

Let us bring back authenticity to the pulpit

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_1c17Sometimes when I listen to other people preach I feel so bad and I doubt if I’m really called. It feels like other people really struggle and pay a huge price for the ministry and now I’m beginning to feel bad that my journey is too smooth to be powerful. Fine I got fired, failed too much at school, got into relationships with a couple of hohozelas who broke my heart, made some stupid money decisions, got sick and lost a person I totally loved, but in the main I have a really amazing life and I don’t have problems.

Preaching has taken me to a lot of lovely places, where I met truly amazing people who treated me like royalty. Preaching is the one thing that has made me to grow in every area of my life and I just love doing it, even on a bad sermon day I still think there is nothing in this world that I could be engaged in that beats preaching a sermon.

I’m young in this preaching game but today I just want to say to my fellow preachers: Don’t focus on the challenges that come with being a preacher. Don’t be one of those people that says dealing with people is challenging because if the people were not there, who would be listening to that sermon you are preaching? Don’t exaggerate your struggle and make it supernatural when it is not. When I talk about being fired I also acknowledge that I should have left a couple of months before I got fired and I didn’t. When I almost got married to a conman I did confess that my heart kept warning me not to enter that relationship but I was just too desperate to get married.

What we need is preachers who tell the truth and who correct themselves when they are wrong. What we need is more truth and less sensationalism on the pulpit. Don’t exeggarate in your sermon. Don’t work extra hard to sound more powerful than you really are. It’s okay to be ordinary and still remain a preacher. I for one have seen it in my own life over the years. There is no vacancy for deputy Jesus my people, all we need is the true version of yourself as you preach about a supernatural God.

I want a child

I’m turning 39 in just under six months, I’m single and there is no possibility that I could be married before the end of this year. I am a christian who believes that children should be born in a marriage but all these facts don’t change the fact that I want a child. A good christian sister is not allowed to say she wants a child when she is not married, we are all supposed to say things like: “I am happy with the will of God in my life.” Or “If it was meant to be then I would be a mom by now.”

The reality of my life is that I am not content with not being a mom and please don’t tell me that I should adopt or love my siblings’ children or the children at the church. I want to be pregnant, I want to have a baby shower, I want to crave for pickles and mayonnaise, have swollen feet and ultimately deliver a human being.

Moms always tell me that I don’t know love until I meet my own baby. I have no idea what they are talking about because I love and I think I love deeply but I really can’t understand what they mean when they say I don’t really know what love is. I want to know that love, I want to be responsible for another human being completely but for now it is not to be.

I am lucky in that I don’t feel like this everyday. I feel like this about once every three years. I know that most women my age, feel like this every single day and the world expects them to put their feelings aside and focus on what is working in their lives. Today though this post is not about providing solutions, this post is to simply acknowledge your desire to have a child or maybe to get married, to be employed, to have a successful business, to make ends meet, to reconcile with your family, for your wayward child to come home, for your in-laws to accept you, for your boss to stop harassing you, for your weight to come down and so on and so forth.

Most of us carry a lot of unfulfilled desires and it is okay because most people can never have everything they pray for. The trick with life is to carry all your unfulfilled desires with you while you focus on all the things that are working out. The balance between hoping for what you don’t have and appreciating what you have. I pray for all of you that the life you desire doesn’t overshadow the life you have. I won’t tell you to be grateful for the life you have because it may be really terrible but what I can tell you is: “Work on yourself and one day it will work out, it may not work out the way you want but things will definitely get better but only if you are willing to put in the work and have faith.”