After struggling with depression and an eating disorder, Rebecca now knows the peace and happiness that comes from God.
I was born in Wales (UK), but in 1981 I moved with my mum, dad and sister to Wollongong in Australia. We moved as a family to Perth in 1988 when I was 15. The moves were difficult and I became very withdrawn, and I had broken relationships and developed severe depression. I had few friends and at the age of 22 I became a mother.
I made many mistakes bringing my daughter up and tended to be more like a friend than a mother. Then I developed an eating disorder, and unfortunately I involved my daughter in the binges, which is the hardest thing I find to forgive myself for. When my daughter was 14 she left to move to Sydney to live with her dad, and I was completely lost and couldn’t stick to anything.
I was put in contact with John at Bentley (WA) Salvation Army for welfare help, and in April 2009 he happened to give me a newsletter from the church. One lonely Sunday I saw that the service was at 10 am and I thought I would go, as I had nothing to lose. That morning I walked there and Major Sharon introduced herself and Major Charlie to me. I remember her friendly face and her son Daniel in the pram.
I would go periodically but each time I missed church, a lady called Fran would send me a newsletter with “We missed you” on it. I think if I hadn’t had those newsletters sent to me I would not have gone—it kept me going back.
The music spoke to me at the beginning, and the words and the music made me feel good. Over time I started to go regularly, and the people were very friendly and accepting so I was feeling happy for the first time in a while. I began a relationship with a man named Gary who unfortunately passed away a year and a half ago. I had great support from the church people during that time and that’s why I became a soldier (member).
Since becoming a soldier my relationship with God has become amazing.
I have grown as a person and as a soldier, and I have done many courses at Bentley. Right now I am doing the Positive Lifestyle Course, which has helped me emotionally to deal with my thoughts and feelings.
I love everything about the Army and never think on a Sunday that I don’t want to go. I have made a lot of awesome friends and my relationships outside the church have improved too. I am more confident in myself and I really like ‘me’. If I have any anxiety or depression I now turn it over to God, and I know God loves me just as I am—and that makes me happy.
Before church, life was not so good, but since becoming a Christian and belonging to a church God has given me friendships I haven’t had for a long time. He gave me my voice back and mended broken relationships in my family and in my life, and mended my broken heart. As we sing in church, he has put the song in my heart.
God forgave me for my past so the shame I once felt has gone. I still struggle with a few things but God gives me answers all the time. My life has so much joy and happiness in it, and I am at peace. My daughter is a happy, lovely woman now and I thank God for that. God has given me a life and I will be grateful for that forever.