Mmakgosi Ophadile Anita Tau is a servant of God ministering at God’s True Gospel Church. She is an inspirational social and mental health advocate devoted to uplifting her community. She is a literary, recording and performance arts specialist with a Jazz ensemble album titled ‘Words Unspoken,’ under the ‘It has to be Jazz,’ project. She is a literacy development pioneer with MO Scripts and a Mentor with Sekei Girls, both of which she co-founded. Mmakgosi is a mother, a daughter, a sister and a friend. An artist powered by Christ and passionate about worship. She aspires to own a Youth Retreat Center to groom professional artists and rehabilitate those with mental illnesses using art as therapy.Enjoy!

Imagine if you were asked to die right now with the promise of a better life thereafter. If someone posed this question to me 10 years ago, I would have most probably giggled a little, told them that I know God and that He loves me. Naturally for me this registers in my mind as the crux of salvation.

I was in the Sunday School Choir, joined the Scripture Union Club both Junior and Senior school and I knew how tangible the grace of God is. I was learning and unlearning so many things that exploring a little wine or bad company here and there didn’t seem too big a deal for me. My faith can write her own story, but today I want to talk about butterflies. You must be wondering how death, salvation and butterflies have anything to do with me but here goes…

I lived the life of a caterpillar. I got comfortable with the dreams of those that came before me. Never knew what was on the other side.

Unaware that becoming a butterfly was the next thing for me, or that I’d have to die and dissolve when the time came for me to become a new creation.

God has been really clear about my gifts, but like the prodigal son I had to stray far off in order to know just how deeply my Father in heaven loves me.  Growing up I wrote things. On my bags, on tissues, on text books… basically any and everything I could lay my hands on. So when I was in standard 5, a school magazine was curated and that’s where my first poem was published. That poem has been the overarching pinnacle of what I am most grateful for to date. It was titled, ‘The Gift of Life,’ short, sweet and straightforward… (My shortest poem to date) but I look at my life, where I’m coming from and just can’t help but be grateful to God that I’m here, breathing and sharing my journey with Rising Tswana.

I started University at Monash and life happened. Being the dancer, debater, poet and socialite that I was, I split myself up into many fragments. I kept that up for quite some time but then one day it all exploded in my face and the pieces just refused to come together. Bipolar and depression struck. School ended. Time was not waiting on me. I became a King David, battling a Goliath that got up every time I thought the battle was won. I turned into the woman with the issue of blood yet it seemed as though every time I tried to reach out to Jesus, the crowds kept pulling me back. I was like a walking tomb, where hope, faith and love were buried.

It never occurred to me that King David was not the one who killed Goliath but GOD. I was so preoccupied in weeping over my school situation that when I was healed I barely noticed that the Goliath in my life was deceased.

I don’t remember how many times I tried to get back to school, yet every time I got there I would relapse and be sent back home again.  I remember seeing my mother deep in prayer, when I had no idea who she was by my hospital bed. I remember how this illness frustrated my father’s finances and yet to date he has never mentioned any of that.  I tell you no lies; right now I have a very accurate and graphic recollection of everything that happened when I relapsed.

I don’t hold on to these memories because I want to cry about them, or hold a debate with God about why I went through that experience. This is my greatest testimony. My gift of healing. My gift of life.

When God touched me, He touched all of me. I am stronger, faith-filled and fueled by the Holy Spirit. Using my gifts and my testimony to change the lives of people I have encounters with. I have never seen a butterfly calling out all animals to watch it break out the cocoon. It’s not easy when your journey unfolds. Patience is not a friend to those enduring strife. She is hard to come by. Perseverance is a grace so hold on a little longer in order to reach your land of honey and milk.  Your process is sacred and can only be understood by you and your Master.

Don’t be moved if you have to crumble before being woven back together into a beautiful butterfly.

Don’t even be moved by people that refuse to help you. Remember that the life of the butterfly lies in its ability to break its own cocoon.

With Love, MOAT.

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