When Emma Mullings presents Hope 103.2’s mornings show, listeners hear a bubbly and talented woman, full of humour, positive energy and enthusiasm for life.
What most wouldn’t realise is that she’s been dealt several tough blows in life—and it’s taken a long journey to get to where she is today.
As a speaker at the recent C3 Church ”Everywoman” conference at Oxford Falls, Emma shared her very personal story, saying that her life “wasn’t always fabulous”.
But it was a message of hope, humour, and her firm belief that Jesus can take anyone from a place of despair, to great strength.
A Country Girl And A Preacher’s Kid
Emma, now 34, was the daughter of church pastors, growing up Ipswich, a country town in Queensland.
Her mum was a well-known Christian recording artist who released six albums and pioneered the use of creative arts in worship.
Emma was one of four children and her older sister, Andrea, was born brain-damaged due to a doctor’s mistake at birth. Tragically, she died at 22 months.
After Emma and her brother Cameron, came a younger sister Melanie – also born severely brain damaged, but it was a different kind of brain damage to Andrea’s.
Now 32, Melanie cannot walk, talk, eat, or hold her head straight.
“She holds a very dear place in my heart,” Emma said.
“Consumed With Anger At God”
Just after Melanie’s birth, Emma’s mum was diagnosed with intestinal cancer. Sadly, despite her faith in God for healing, she died 12 weeks later—aged only 37.
Emma was four at the time.
Then, throughout her childhood following her mum’s death, Emma suffered abuse at the hands of a young man outside her family.
By the time she reached 14 she was “consumed with anger at God for so many things” and left church.
“God had sent into my life a beautiful stepmum – who I do now call mum – and a new little brother,” said Emma. “But I was in so much pain and so angry that I had no capacity at the time to embrace that relationship.”
Running From God – A Downwards Spiral
By age 16 Emma had a boyfriend who became a kind of temporary “healer” for her pain. But at 18 she discovered another young woman was pregnant with his baby.
“All of a sudden I found myself living in an episode of Jerry Springer” said Emma.
Incredibly, with her self-esteem at rock bottom, Emma stayed in the relationship. It was only when it turned abusive that she fled, to Sydney, at age 20.
There she studied music, but also got caught up in a world of partying and doing anything that would numb her pain.
The Year That Changed Everything
In 2004, Emma graduated and was on the verge of moving overseas for a work opportunity when she had a life-changing encounter.
“I was working at a commercial radio station, and one day while driving around handing out free stuff, there was a new guy in the car with me,” she said. “It was his first day, and I noticed he was a really happy guy.
“As we were driving, he just randomly turned the radio off and put on a worship album.
“Well because of the condition that I was in at the time, I took that CD out and told him where I would put it if he continued to play it. I think I taught him a few new words that day—my language was quite colourful.
“I needed to hear and see that God could restore a huge mess, to understand that He was capable of restoring my huge mess.”
“But he was pretty switched on; he started asking questions and found out I was a pastor’s kid. I think he made it his mission that day not just to reconnect me with God, but with a great church too.”
From that point on her newfound friend phoned and texted her every weekend, offering to take her to church. After three months of this, she finally agreed and went to a service.
A few Sundays later, Emma heard an ex-mafia boss share his testimony. It was a story that opened her eyes.
“I needed to hear and see that God could restore a huge mess, to understand that He was capable of restoring my huge mess,” Emma explained. “So I gave my life to Christ and began a whole new journey.”
A Journey Of Healing Begins
That same night Emma felt prompted by God to cancel her overseas travel, and sign up for Bible College. She did, and so started a process of healing and transforming her life.
“The Bible talks about the renewing of your mind,” Emma said. “It is a process. But I was all in for the process. I was running to that operating table and I was not going to get up in a hurry.”
As for the young man who invited her church, he is Terrence Mullings, Emma’s now-husband, who married her a few years later.
“Today, 11 years later, I’m blessed to be working in radio and television, I serve at C3 City as a service pastor there, and I’m the mum of two beautiful children,” she said.
“I can honestly say God has completely healed and restored all that was lost. God has done so many good things.”
When You’re Walking With God, It’s Never Too Late
Speaking from her own rollercoaster of experiences, Emma believes that nobody’s on the scrapheap in God’s eyes.
“God truly does work all things together for good,” she said. “I’ve learnt that if I remain open and give God full access to my life, He will use what was my pain, to help someone else. And we can use everything we experience, to grow and learn.
“There is no circumstance that’s too broken to stop God from using you. With God, it’s never too late to dream again.”
Three Keys To Dreaming Again
In Emma’s message at the Everywoman conference, she encouraged to those who feel that life hasn’t turned out how they planned.
She suggested the following three keys to help the broken-hearted to start dreaming again.
Key 1 – Press Into The Dream Giver
Remember that a blessed life is not so much about chasing blessings, but walking with God who gives those blessings.
“It’s actually not about pursuing the dream at all, it’s all about the Dream Giver,” Emma said. “Because if you’re standing next to him you’ll hear His voice.”
To achieve this, Emma suggests turning your attention to God by being in church, praying with others, and listening to worship. It’s also important to allow God to heal the areas in your life that are hurt, she said.
“I think some of us really want to dream again but we have these wounds that are holding us back. We’ve got to let him touch those because that little moment of pain is nothing compared to the pain of staying the same for the rest of our lives.
“Let him heal it.”
Key 2 – Don’t Mistake Peoples’ Weakness For Wickedness
Having experienced abuse as a child, Emma said she has had to learn that everyone deserves to be restored—even those who have caused us pain.
“God does not just restore me,” she said, “He restores the man that abused me. He restores everything he touches.”
She said that viewing her abuser as a flawed and weak person, rather than an evil person, helped her to let go of anger and bitterness.
“Let’s not mistake peoples’ weakness for wickedness,” she said. “See a weakness for what it is. If your husband has gambled away all your savings, perhaps it’s not that he hates you and wants to ruin your life, perhaps it’s just that he has a weakness.
“Unfortunately you may have been the carnage of someone’s weakness, but if you can see it for what it is and pray that way, you are praying from a pure place.”
Key 3 – What Has Been Your Sorrow Will Be Your Greatest Strength
Those who have experienced great sorrow or pain in life, often develop a great resilience.
Emma referred to the Bible story of Rachel, who died in labour but before dying, named her son “Benoni” – which means both “son of my sorrow” and “strength”.
“They’re two things that you might have thought were opposite, but they’re not opposite at all,” she said. “Great sorrow always brings about great strength.”
“My dad is one of the strongest people I know. He’ll get up early and feed and bath my sister and then lead his church every Sunday proclaiming that God is sovereign, and that He loves us.
“The thing that you’re going through that’s causing you great sorrow, that is the thing that’s going to bring about the greatest strength in you. And God will use it.”
- Emma currently presents the Mornings show on Hope 103.2, from 9am to 1pm weekdays.