People of Hope – Phyl and Signposts

Writing my first blog feels a little scary! I regularly read inspiring and interesting blogs written by others and if I am honest have never felt the urge to write. Tony asked me if I could write something so here goes. I have recently begun attending Hope Church who in their vision statement describe the church as‘A growing community of people – from different backgrounds, stages of life and experiences, including the vulnerable – who are one family in Christ Jesus’.
And One of the ways this is amplified is:
  • A people who want to reach out to others to bring God’s hope and His love to individuals and society.

As a child born in 60’s into a catholic family, where my father left and divorced my mother, a mother who struggled with mental illness and committed suicide when myself and my siblings were teenagers. Early years poverty, numerous times in children’s homes, my own personal struggles with a life I had little control of. A number of my formative years would have involved ‘labels’ single parent family, poor, vulnerable, rebellious out of control teenager, self harm, I could go on.
However this is not how I remember it. My incredible mother, who had no money filled my life with memories, parks, picnics, boxes of clothes we had the freedom to cut up and make into grand outfits which I would proudly go out in! Neighbours who would look in on me when I was ill and my mother was at work. Friends to ‘Play Out’ with and when the social services put us into care, memories of staff that read bedtime stories and were kind.
Of course there was bad stuff, lots of it-and as for most people along with the good times have been times of trauma which has continued to be the story of my life.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because not for one second has God ever left me, every day, all those years and there have been so many wonderful people throughout those years that have reached out and brought Gods love and hope to me. Even if I didn’t recognise it as that. That is the beauty in getting older, you can look back and remember the people that said the right thing at the right time, gave you a bed for a night, gave you money unconditionally, in short made a difference.
It is because of this love and hope I am who I am today and why I passionately believe in people, all people and that each person can be that love and hope to another person despite circumstances, poverty, addiction or the many deficit defining labels put on or accepted by us.We are all part of Gods wonderful creation, we all have gifts and talents that we can use for ourselves and share with others.
I am privileged to work with people who may have no permanent postcode but freely and generously give their time, commitment, talent and energy for the benefit of a community that belongs to us all.
I have been humbled and privileged to see people with so little happily give away and share all they have.
So in closing God is always there, he knows each and everyone of us we are all amazing, I am  going to search for ‘what is strong not what is wrong’, seek to get to know people, ask what their strengths and passions are and hope to live in a community full of love.
Written by Phyl Rainey

2 Responses

  1. Christa

    This is heartwarming .full of hope and positivity and points to such a present God. Thank you

  2. Jackie Brooks

    Phyl this is beautiful and so real. Thank you for sharing and reminding me of God’s faithful love.

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