Voices: God’s outstretched hand


    Category
    Voices
    Date
    2 March 2015
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    I realise now that not everyone has to go through a marriage breakdown like me to come to know God - but I do know that if you truly turn to Him, He will be there for you.

    Pam Rawlins

    I’d like to think that the hand of God was on me from the beginning. I was born two months premature, weighing only three pounds, and my father could hold me in the palm of his hand! My survival was quite something then – technology not being what it was today.

    Being the last of five children I had an idyllic childhood

    with doting brothers and sisters. We were bought up C of E and I got confirmed at about the time I went to secondary school. All I can remember was my mother made me a white crimpolene smocked dress and I wore white platform-soled pull-up plastic boots. (This was the late 60s, early 70s.) The Bishop seemed very scary in his mitre and staff.

    I met my boyfriend when I was just 16; we were engaged at 18 and married when I was 20.

    In those years, like most newly weds, I only occasionally went to church because I was busy working, keeping house and socialising. When we moved to rural Wiltshire though, I joined lots of village committees.

    I had my daughter Emily, followed two years later by a son John. From the outside you could say I had the perfect marriage but underneath it was falling apart and soon after, sadly, it ended.

    One day, I was so desperate I went to marriage guidance counselling with Relate to get help. I had the address and went to the office door but it was firmly closed. On the way back to the car, with one child as a toddler and another in the pushchair, I called out in my heart and said, “God if you are there, I am really sorry my marriage is a mess but I need your help.”

    From that moment on things transformed. I found an inner strength and people came to help me – especially the Church. My vicar said it was a transfiguration! I knew then that God loved me and a Christian friend took me under her wing. I went to her church and when I saw the stained glass window with Christ on the cross I knew He had died for me and I couldn’t stop crying.

    I realise now that not everyone has to go through a marriage breakdown like me to come to know God - but I do know that if you truly turn to Him, He will be there for you. Now I try to live my life and put things in prayer – family, business, the Church. Sometimes I get answers I didn’t expect.

    I hope God will continue to have his hand on my life as well as yours – but remember you need to invite Him in.

    Pam goes to St Margaret's in Yatton Keynell, Wiltshire

    Contemplate now

    Are there things you haven’t ever prayed about?

    Is it easy to blame yourself?

    How do you make sense of trusting God when things are going wrong?

    Meditate today

    Letting God guide means holding God’s hand