iamRefuge: Jen

the lord is close to the broken-hearted

I had a great childhood and a relatively ‘normal’ life—and didn’t feel the need to question much more for a long time. I met my husband, Graham, when studying in Aberdeen and he introduced me to church, which I found both terrifying and intriguing in equal measure. After several years of trying different churches, meeting lots of new people and questioning this new found faith, I asked God into my life and found it easy to call myself a Christian—trusting in God through good times and bad. At this point I had mainly experienced good times so this felt easy. 

Almost 7 years ago my little sister, Debbie, passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly at age 24 and it turned my life upside down. There are no words to describe the pain and devastation and I could not understand why a God so good could allow this to happen. I was broken. Instead of running, I prayed. I prayed harder than I ever thought possible. I came to understand that experiencing immense grief does not indicate a loss of faith. It is normal to believe in a greater plan from God while experiencing the pain from loss—this is something I never thought I would be able to say initially. 

Grief does not come and go—it is constant and it is sore. God gives me hope, comfort and strength when times become almost unbearable. 

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
— Psalm 34:18

how did you come to be part of Refuge?

My husband and I had visited lots of churches around Glasgow and when at Re:Hope with friends we were invited round for dinner with some people who were involved in setting up Refuge. Once we started going along we knew it felt right.


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

The warm and friendly atmosphere as soon as you walk in is an incredible part of Refuge. We have made some great friends and the sense of community and encouragement to learn and grow in faith is like nowhere else I’ve ever been.


How are you involved in life at Refuge?

I help out with the kids ministry at Refuge Kids and enjoy watching them learn from the amazing teachers we are so lucky to have in our church.


If you could tell anyone Just one thing about Refuge?

Come, just as you are. You will be made feel so welcome and encouraged. Refuge is a Church that cares and is so supportive.


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.