iamRefuge: Marianne

continually relying on His strength

Around a year and a half ago I spiralled into a state of severe anxiety. I knew what my trigger was but what I couldn’t understand was WHY?—

Why would God allow me to struggle so badly. What had I done wrong? And why wasn’t it going away?!

Cutting what feels like a VERY long story short…we are now a year and a half down the line and I still experience a low level of anxiety daily. However, it is very manageable. God has completely removed the trigger, which is a miracle in itself.

Why am I telling you this? Well, I now know why God “allowed” this to happen to me. So far I have discovered two reasons:

  1. I have really grown closer to God and have learned to continually rely on His strength rather than my own.
    And:

  2. Having experienced what I did I can now help others who are going through similar struggles. Recently one of my best friends has developed an anxiety disorder and I am really able to help her by sharing my story and offering any advice that I have. Even having a listener who can relate really helps.

Personally, I find this amazing!

I encourage you to remember that although we don’t always understand why God allows us to experience certain things, but we have the assurance that he has the best intentions for us and He WILL NOT let us fail!

For we live by faith, not by sight.
—2 Corinthians 5:7


how did you come to be part of Refuge?

My brother and sister-in-law attended Refuge before we did. When we moved into our new house, which is just around the corner from Refuge, they invited us along. I think since then we have been there most weeks! Love at first sight!


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

I love the praise at Refuge—that is a given! From the minute you walk into the church you are greeted with warm, friendly faces. We really feel we have made close friends within the church.


How are you involved in life at Refuge?

I am involved in the hospitality side of things at Refuge—this takes the form of a rota and when it is your turn you are responsible for providing tea/coffee and refreshments for the hospitality table at the back of the hall, as well as setting it up and clearing away at the end of the service.


what about Refuge encourages your faith?

I am always encouraged by hearing what God is doing in the lives of those at Refuge—we have a time of sharing at the start of each service which is a really nice way of sharing what God has been doing in our lives, big and small, over the course of the week.


How do you feel you can use your gifts at Refuge to serve God?

I am a good listener and average at baking.


If you could tell anyone Just one thing about Refuge?

Being a part of Refuge makes you feel like you are really part of the family and you are surrounded by people who CARE about you.


I am refuge | series 2

During the run-up to Easter, we are introducing a number of folk from our church family in this IamRefuge series. Ensure that you don’t miss them by liking our Facebook page!

View the original series from last year
here.