A story of a mother and two daughters whose lives were changed one by one. Were these changes miraculous? You be the judge!
Getting our bananas peeled!
Stories of people being healed by God, or of God intervening in some way in someone’s life, can cause difficulties for both believers and unbelievers alike.
Unbelievers must believe that the supposed acts of God were just fortuitous coincidences. Believers are free to accept them as genuine or not, but then they face the question of why doesn’t God heal more often if he’s a God of love?
This story is illustrative.
A difficult start in life x 3
Nakita was born into a poor family in London. The family struggled with alcohol abuse, her mother had grown up with an alcoholic mother, and her father spent time in prison after turning to “other ways of making money”. Her parents split when she was 4, and she remained with her mother.
After losing her job, mother and daughter became homeless, living in hostels across London. After her mother entered a new relationship, Nakita’s younger sister was born with serious heart and other health problems. Looking at her family life now, Nakita says it is clear there was “an element of desperation” about their lives and situation, particularly relating to generations of alcohol abuse. They needed hope.
Spiritual but not religious?
In their family there was an element of exploring or seeking faith. “My mum would go through phases where we would go to a mind, body and soul exhibition or we’d go to a spiritualist church”. Nothing really stuck, but her mother’s interest remained, especially when she went sky-diving, found herself praying, but didn’t know to whom she was praying.
Then one day while out walking, her mum saw a sign on a church advertising the Alpha course, an informal introduction to christianity via dinner and discussion. Feeling “lonely and low” at that time, she signed up. Nakita was in her mid teens at this time, and she was surprised that her mother came home from one of these discussion “a different person”. She became a christian and it made a real difference as she was “set free from addiction and given a whole new life.”
A rebellious but questioning teen
Saturday nights Nakita mostly spent with friends, and on Sunday mornings, generally hungover, she would ask her mum to pick her up and bring her home.
But one particular Sunday morning, her mother picked her up, but then drove to church instead of taking her home. Her mum said she could choose to wait in the car or come in, and she chose to go in.
She says she was terrified, the whole thing being so foreign to her, but inside “the atmosphere was just different to anything I had ever ever been in before”. She felt welcomed and valued, people were friendly. She says she left the service “having not really listened to anything that was said”. But a lady she sat with took an interest in her and seemed such a nice person that Nakita left thinking she wanted whatever that lady had.
She said this experience changed her expectations about life. Instead of presuming that Jesus wasn’t real and her life had an inevitability about it, she realised that if Jesus was real, perhaps her life could change. She subsequently committed her life to following him and was baptised.
Ten year later, she says her life has indeed been totally transformed. “Jesus …. gave me hope when I felt I was really stuck in this generational pattern”. She is now an ordained member of staff at the prestigious Holy Trinity Brompton Anglican Church in London.
Younger sister isn’t left out
Nakita’s younger sister had lived all of her life with several heart conditions, including a hole in the heart and a condition where the valves in her heart couldn’t fully pump the amount of blood required. She received treatemnt, including several operations, but the conditions remained, debilitating but not (apparently) life-threatening.
Her sister was a christian too, and prayed for many years for healing, but to no effect. Then in her late teens at a church meeting, she tearfully asked Nakita, “Why me?”
Nakita didn’t have an explanation of why God might heal sometimes but not others, so she and few friends prayed for her to be healed. Her sister felt like something “shifted” in her body. She couldn’t be certain, but she felt hopeful. And at the next appointment a few days later, her specialist looked at the new scans, and reported:
“It’s as if by magic the problem has totally gone.”
Making sense of it all
Three lives changed. One physically healed. Two released from addictive behaviour and hopelessness.
I can’t prove this story is all true. I can’t prove these changes were God’s work.
But I see no reason for doubting Nakita’s story. And while some of the changes could perhaps be the result of natural psychological processes, others seem to be more than that.
And the story is consistent with other accounts that have been documented. You can find a few of them at the bottom of this page.
So if you need healing, or hope or a new direction, perhaps Jesus can do this for you too?
Of course, like Nakita, I can’t tell you if you will be healed or not, and why not. But I do believe following Jesus brings meaning and hope, whether via miracle or not.
You can hear Nakita tell her story, and more, on the HTB church video. Nakita’s story starts about 34 minutes in, but you may enjoy the music before.
Photo of Nakita taken from the video of the service at Holy Trinity Brompton Church, London on 23rd January 2022.