Donate/Tithe with Bank Deposit (direct to Mike Connell)

Personal Testimony - Adopted Daughters Wedding

Mike Connell

Page 3 of 11
These inner vows I'd made just said: “there’s no way I'm going to go there”; but what happens is: they're strong controls, and they actually build walls around your heart; but that was in place at that time in my life.

Also, my own way of coping with a crisis... Mike was saying humility is “acknowledging God's way”; but if you don't turn to God, you have all sorts of ‘great ways’ of coping with life.

The enemy will also put a few good ideas in too, but when you listen to those, and make your own way of coping - basically there's immediate short-term relief. You protect yourself, but all these ways lead to great isolation and pain, further damage, and huge bondage. But that was what it was like, way back in 1969.

[Mike Connell] Prior to us getting married, I wasn't a Christian, and did not know the Lord. When Joy got pregnant, we made a decision that we'd adopt our girl out - a very bad choice, very bad decision. It was just made in the pressure of: inability to stand up and be courageous.

Having made one mistake, we then coupled it up with a second mistake. When you cover things over, you never, ever prosper (the Bible says); and so for years, we endured tremendous grief and pain.

There wasn't a year went by, that we didn't remember our daughter, and didn't pray for her, and wonder what was happening to her. You just can't get over these things; they're just part of your life.

But the day that we got married, I made a decision to receive Jesus Christ into my life; and asked the Lord to become part of our lives. Then I went before Him and totally repented, and came into agreement with what He said, about what I had done: the failure to be responsible; the failure to actually stand up and be courageous for Joy's sake; the rejection of a child, and all that would come upon her as a result of that.

I made a vow before the Lord that day, coming out of repentance (some vows are very good to make).

I said: “No matter where we are in our lives, I know there is a day that You will bring this daughter back to us, because of who You are. It's got nothing to do with our rights, because we gave our rights up; but because God is good, You will bring her back”.

And I knew in my heart, I had a faith, that she would be restored; so when I repented, I said to the Lord then: “the day You bring her back, no matter what position, what standing I have in life - I will be open and transparent about who she is, and her place in our lives. We will give her the acceptance, and love, and welcome that we withheld from her, when we sinned.

That's what humility looks like. You actually turn around completely, and come into agreement with God about what needs to happen.

Some years later we came here. The Lord was speaking to us about issues in our life, and we ran a wedding renewal or a marriage renewal service.

[Joy Connell] The church was still quite small, but when we got married, the only neutral place we could get married was the nurse's chapel! We had: a Catholic priest; and an Anglican minister (who was married to a Brethren, and understood my side of things). It was just amazing. God came through.

It just seemed totally impossible to get a marriage which both families would accept; but Mike was flatting with some guys who had left the seminary training to be Catholic priests. One of them broke his leg, and was in Wellington Hospital, and fell in love with a Presbyterian nurse - and he created a precedent for us. He got special permission from the bishop (or whoever it was) - and he was able to get married.

So we just followed in his wake, and God made a way, which just seemed totally impossible. But we realised that a lot of things had changed from when we got married. We were very broken, barely saved, finding a way back to God; and we realised that there's others in the church at that time that were like us. They'd come to the Lord, things had totally changed for them; and they were ready to make a fresh renewal of their marriage vows, so we got about 12 couples... We met for about three weeks, and we talked about the foundation of our marriage; and prepared ourselves to go through this ceremony again - which was for me the very first time I actually lifted the cover off my big secret.