Sheltering in God
I am acutely aware that I do not deserve the life I have, but that for some reason God has chosen to love me unfailingly and bless me, despite my many flaws and mistakes. I had a sheltered upbringing in a large Christian family on a very unsheltered island in the North Sea. I grew up knowing that Jesus loved me, that He died for me, and rose again. As a child I wrote my own worship songs and memorised the books of the Bible for Sunday School. When I left home for university I discovered alcohol, drugs and guys. Suddenly I didn’t need God—it felt like there was too much fun to be had to stick to His “rules”. It wasn’t until I hit rock bottom in a terrible relationship that I realised my life was empty, selfish and lacking substance. I longed for the relationship I had previously known with God. I found a nearby church and slowly began opening my heart up to Him again.
It wasn’t always easy, it wasn’t quick, I still make mistakes daily. But now I don’t hide from God or pretend I don’t need Him. I seek Him and cling to Him because I have realised that I do need Him, in God I have found freedom and joy and I never want to turn my back on Him again.
What are some of the things you think are really great about Refuge?
I love how relaxed and real the church family are. From the first time we walked through the door Refuge church was a welcoming, bright and cheery place to be with no pretence or pressure. Like so many others have already shared, I too see Refuge as a family who loves and cares for each other.
How are you involved in life at Refuge?
I love hosting and baking. And that is what I get to do!
Making things look nice and feeding people is something that brings me joy. I serve with a great team of people who, every week, make sure there is tea and coffee and something delicious to go along with it. Everyone needs a bit of home-baking on a Sunday!
what about Refuge encourages your faith?
There is much to be gained from listening to the richness of God’s Word and applying it to your life. The preaching at Refuge helps me to do this, I find it encouraging and challenging and love hearing the context behind each passage. Another reason that I leave Refuge feeling encouraged each week is the time we share with each other, a chance to catch up, worship and pray together. It is a very refreshing and a brilliant way to begin each week.
If you could tell anyone Just one thing about Refuge?
It is simply real people, drinking real coffee and talking about real life!