#iamRefuge: Graham

Peace of My Heart

If I am being completely honest, I only starting taking my relationship with God more seriously 3–4 years ago.

I grew up in a Christian home, I went to church every week in my Sunday best (thanks Mum), I half listened to what was said, it was my childhood routine and I was embarrassed about it. University was all about ‘me’—I was only interested in living the student life, which involved lots of drinking and having fun. Church attendance was sporadic and half-hearted, I pushed God away.

After getting married and whilst trying to learn more about God and putting my trust in Him, my wife and her family were struck down with unimaginable grief due to a sudden loss, it shook my small faith to its core. Church stopped and I had so many questions and no answers. I felt angry, empty, scared and not in control. Life was hard.

For the first time in my life I felt I needed to know God loved me (and my family) and was in control of all the chaos, but I was just too angry and upset. Over time my heart softened and I prayed asking God to show His love, that He was in control and taking care of who we had lost. He answered my prayers by bringing peace to my heart, a longing to know Jesus and the faith to finally put my trust in Him.

I still have questions, I still make mistakes, I still go through periods of doubt, life is still hard, but it is a lot easier and more fulfilling knowing Jesus is walking by my side and truly in control.

how did you come to be part of Refuge?

My wife and I lived locally in the Southside of Glasgow, we were keen to find a local church with normal friendly people. Through a random invite to a community group food night we were introduced to some members of Refuge before it moved to Pollokshaws Burgh Hall. After we attended we knew it was exactly where we wanted to be.

What are some of the things you think are really great about Refuge?

Refuge is very relaxed, you can come as you are, be yourself and you will be welcomed by friendly normal people who would love to get to know you. There is no pressure, no judging, just a family who look out for one another. The constant coffee supply is pretty good too.

How are you involved in life at Refuge?

I have always been a very practical hands-on person, it might not be for everyone but it is what I enjoy—I serve on the set-up team.  I also have two wee boys so occasionally I will help out with kids crèche.

what about Refuge encourages your faith?

Simply being part of a family that comes together each week to catch up, has great worship and teaches us how to apply God's Word in our daily lives.

If you could tell anyone Just one thing about Refuge?

You are welcome just as you are.

Graham and his family recently stepped out in faith to pursue the dream of running their own business, Smoky Brae—an award-winning traditional Scottish smokehouse producing delicious naturally smoked ingredients, such as sugars and salts.