I’ve never been a stranger to church. I was brought up within a Christian family from Grandparents down. I attended Sunday School and Girls Brigade where I was able to learn more about the stories of God. I went on to Bible Class and read the bible most nights as a teenager. I then became a Girls Brigade Officer and Youth Group leader to our church youth group before getting married and coming to live in Arbroath. I am certainly no stranger here in St. Andrew’s Church having been attending since I got married and been involved in the praise band for many years. I love God, I love worshipping Him, love finding out more about Him, and I love the extended family of His people that it brings.

However, having a foundation of faith, having God’s people round me and trying to follow His ways, does not mean it’s been an easy road. Marriage strain, depression, illness and children all brought their own troubling and sometimes very dark, lonely times. Along with that sin and temptation leaves no man out! Those were the times when I questioned everything about myself, as a mother, a wife, as well as my faith.

However I have learnt, over the years, that when things are tough and we believe God has abandoned us and there is no hope, He is still there.

For me, I realised that when I looked back on those dark times. God had sent different people to help me. He chose to reach me through others with each individual bringing a small part that helped me heal and bring me back to Him. I have been blessed with the people He has sent me over the years. Some of them only came for a brief time and left and some have stayed but each one a piece in the jigsaw that God has steadily been building to make me “me”. God knows the path that is before me. He knows what ups and downs that are in store for me in the future, but I trust, that even in my darkest times, He will be there.

The Christian family is so important in that respect. From church on a Sunday and House groups, to the people we meet up for a cuppa and natter with. They all play their own part in God’s plan for us just as we play a small or big part in God’s plan for them.

I don’t know what lies before me and what other dark times I will go through but I know that having God on my side gives me hope and a knowledge that He will cover me with His love with the people He surrounds me with.

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