Thought for the Month (May 2015)
When Christopher first asked me to write the Pastoral Letter this month I was at first surprised (why me?) then anxious (could I do this?) and finally incredulous (why did I say Yes?).
Well, to be honest, I'm not sure I can answer any of those questions but when faced with any situation like this I turned to the Lord in prayer, knowing that He would give me His support and guidance as always.
As with all of us, there have been moments when I have felt alone, confused and faced with problems that seem insurmountable. Before becoming a Christian I turned to the usual help available, namely family, friends and occasionally people in authority. Although helpful and usually supportive, something always seemed to be lacking.
I asked the Lord to come into my life when I was a teenager and felt His presence and guidance in the way my life should take. He firstly lead me into a career at Barnardo's caring for children, many needing specialist care for their mental and physical health, which meant getting more and more involved with their families. For a shy person this was quite difficult as I preferred talking with children.
My life and career changed with a husband and children of my own to care for and I found the Lord was asking more of me and gently pointing me in the direction He wanted me to go.
Arriving at Hawkenbury Church one day, my toddler daughter and I were made very welcome as, later, were my husband and son. Within a month, I was asked to help with the Sunday School and incidentally with the cleaning. The former sadly declined over the years but the latter continues as there is never a shortage of dust! This was followed by my becoming an Elder, training to take Communion and Christening services and lately organizing the hire of the church halls.
It was when I was reading the Group Magazine a few years later that I was given another nudge this time to become a Street Pastor, a new initiative coming to Tunbridge Wells. This owed by was an extremely scary experience but I felt very strongly that I had to be part of this but did question His wisdom of putting a short, shyish person on the night-time streets to talk to strangers some of whom in desperate need of support in many different ways.
Again, He was right. I was where I should be and had been given the confidence to deal with whatever came along. Likewise when a Prayer Pastor was wanted, He sent me along holding my hand and giving the right words to say and more importantly answering prayers for those in need.
This has turned more into a life story than a letter but, as I grow in Christ's love and accept His influence in my life, perhaps I shouldn't be surprised to be asked to do this, I should know I could do it and that I said Yes because He wanted me to.
We have just celebrated Easter and all that it means, and we give thanks and praise to the risen Lord that He is there for us all, now and forever, We just have to be ready and willing to receive Him into our lives and go where he leads us.
Sue Fickling (Elder, Hawkenbury URC)
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