Salvos help turn Kristy's life around
2 January 2015
It was a year of mixed emotions for Kristy. In 1999, she and her partner were preparing for the birth of their fourth child. At a routine 38-week scan, doctors couldn’t find a heartbeat, and her baby was pronounced dead. Then, just two weeks later, Kristy’s mother passed away at just 40 years of age.
To try and cope with the impact of these two tragic and significant events in her life, Kristy turned to alcohol and drugs, in particular amphetamines. This addiction stayed with her for many years and led her down a path of domestic violence, which saw her lose the care of her three children in 2008.
In 2010, Kristy gave birth to a son with a new partner. However, she lost custody of the baby at four months. After spending a short period of time in jail for a minor charge, Kristy realised her life needed to change if she was ever going to see her children again.
Without the intervention of The Salvation Army, Kristy is certain she would be dead. “I would have ended up committing suicide,” she admits. “Nothing good ever went in my favour, so I’m just glad the Salvos took me in and stopped me when they did.”
Kristy was accepted into The Salvation Army Central Coast Recovery Services Selah Centre in Newcastle, where she found faith in God, and turned her life around. After graduating, Kristy told a case worker that she couldn't remember the person she was before she entered Selah. So the case worker wrote her a letter. Part of the letter reads: “You said you had difficulty remembering who you were when you came in? Well, let me remind you – fearful, defensive, anxious, demanding, impatient and angry. How are you today? You are a beautiful woman of faith, a character of determination. Open, willing, honest, joyful and giving.”
Kristy credits her faith in Jesus for the dramatic transformation in her life. “I can feel now,” she says. “I didn’t have any feelings before because it was all distracted by drugs and anger and emotions.”
Kristy now has full custody of her youngest son again. She has plans to work with people who, like her, have experienced a battle with alcohol and drug addictions. “I just felt so good the way that the people at Selah helped me,” she says. “I thought it would be good to help other people in my situation, because I never thought I’d feel this good after being there [Selah] for eight months.”
Story by Nathalia Rickwood and Lauren Martin