Sandy’s long search for healing had taken her to all the wrong places, until she found the great physician.
My first connection with The Salvation Army was when I was living in the same street as the corps (church) at Long Jetty. My son and I had just moved to the Central Coast of NSW and I was needing a bed.
Darren Kingston was the corps officer (minister) at the time and he was lovely. He helped me with a food hamper and sent me down to the Family Store to pick out a mattress for my son’s bed.
At the time, I was living in addiction and had got myself caught up with the wrong crowd. I was out clubbing on the weekends and caring for my son every other weekend, and it was just getting really out of hand. My partner had died of an overdose in 2009 and it was a really, really hard time.
That’s how we ended up on the Central Coast; I had moved away from all of my family, all of my friends, just to start over. I continued on (taking drugs) but it was more secretive. I was seeking advice from psychics and mediums, trying to get in contact with my partner who had passed away. I ended up getting so unwell that I needed to go into a mental health facility.
I had been searching for healing, love and connection in all the wrong places. Then I thought, “Well, hang on a minute, who is my healer?” I started remembering scriptures about who Jesus was, from when I was a little girl.
I started to think, “Well, if Jesus is my healer then why, when I went to these healing places, didn’t they tell me about Jesus?” I felt this great injustice, like I was missing out on the truth. So I went searching.
I started attending a Baptist church around the corner from where I lived and I’d have to walk past The Salvation Army to get there. One night, I had this realisation that the reason I had become unwell in my mind was because of what I was carrying. God showed me that it was the guilt that I had been feeling from all of the mistakes I’d made, and the resentment and bitterness that I still held. He then reminded me of his grace and the promise of forgiveness.
I got down on my knees and I repented. I clearly heard, in a strong but small voice, to go to the first church that I saw. And I knew that it was The Salvation Army. The next day was a Sunday. I walked down the street and it was my first experience of a Salvation Army corps. I sat down and I was welcomed by the church people and loved. It was the beginning. Since then, my life has been transformed. The Lord has restored me. He called me out of darkness, has blessed me and has been adding to my life abundantly ever since.
In 2015, I became the very first mature-aged student and parent to attend the Salvo Discipleship School, which is located on the Central Coast. I am now the personal assistant to the Long Jetty corps officers, Andrew and Melissa Humphries.
Being connected into a church family who fellowship together, who love one another and who serve God is something that I am so privileged to be part of. I could never be more grateful to the God I serve and love.
First appeared in Others magazine