Supported on her Healing Journey | The Salvation Army

Supported on her Healing Journey

Three years ago, approaching 60, with her adult children off living their lives, Wendy found herself broken and alone. Thankfully, she turned to The Salvation Army and discovered support and a place to belong.

‘My life was a mess, a big mess. Just a lot of wrong choices, including addiction. My heart was broken in pieces by quite a few people that I loved and trusted. And I'd come out of a very toxic relationship of nine and a-half years, on and off. And it took a lot to get out of that.

I've had quite a few relationship breakdowns during my life. I got into a pattern of people- pleasing. I didn't really care about myself. I was on self-destruct, making bad choices that were hurting me. And letting people walk all over me, use me and not care about me.

So, when I got to The Salvation Army, I was really broken. At first, I didn't even want to be here. I wasn't feeling worthy, but my sister encouraged me and came with me. I turned up that day for a food parcel. But one of the ladies said it was a community meal day and invited us to join.

I was emotionally depleted. I didn't want to be seen and I was leaning on my sister a bit much. At the same time, I felt so encompassed by love. I remember sitting there with guilt and feeling bad about myself, and all the things I'd chosen to do that got me to where I was at. And it was a bit overwhelming. So, there I was trying to eat and all I could do was cry.

That’s when one of the ladies came over and asked if I wanted to talk and introduced me to Officers Karl and Christine. And even though I felt a great lot of shame, for my behaviors and actions, they just accepted me for who I was and where I was at. I felt supported and cared for in that conversation and not judged. And that's hard to find.

I was back the next week for a food parcel and from there I was supported with food for about a month. I joined the monthly community meals and the weekly women’s group where I felt supported and heard. Quite early on, I signed a volunteer form and now I’m the kitchen coordinator. I just felt at home at the Centre. I felt called to be here.

The healing journey has been long and it’s ongoing, but my life has completely turned around.

I've come such a long way because I’ve put three really big things away from my life that will distract me from my purpose – bad relationships, seeking validation and addiction to drugs and alcohol. Now I’m more autonomous, I know myself better, I know who I am and what my needs are rather than my wants. So that's what I've been focusing on, what my needs are going forward.  And loving myself in a real and purposeful way.’

For Wendy, The Salvation Army was a safety net of support and acceptance when she most needed it, and your donations helped her get to a place where she is the one helping others take that brave step of asking for help. Centres up and down the country need donations to keep these lifesaving services going. Donate using the button below.