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Warcry: Welcome Home

Lisa Gliddon tells her story to WarcryLisa Gliddon says God carried her when she could no longer walk.

I was born into a small family, just Mum and Dad and an older sister. We didn’t have a lot and pretty much lived in the roughest part of Morwell (Vic.). My family was not religious at all and the only time Jesus was mentioned was when someone lost their temper. 

When I was young I had heard of someone called Jesus and was even keen to know more however I didn’t participate in religious instruction at school because my parents requested that my sister and I not be included in these sessions.

Life at home was very traumatic. My childhood was filled with every sort of abuse imaginable, leaving many scars, some of which are still with me today. A lot of years went by with me feeling helpless, unloved, unlovable and alone.

My mother left us when I was 13. Initially I went with her, while my sister stayed with my father. After a few months my father suggested I move back in with him. He explained that my mother would also move home. She didn’t and the next year was extremely hard.

The abuse and violence reached a high level and I regularly spent my time planning ways to end my life.

Many nights my sister and I would just hang out down the street because being at home was very frightening. Deep down I think I told myself that all this abuse was normal and happened in every family.

When I was 14 and walking around the dark streets to avoid going home, I was raped by somebody I vaguely knew. There was nobody to tell. I ended up moving back with my mother.

When I was studying, I fell in love with an overseas student. We married within the year and moved to Melbourne. The marriage lasted five years as it was full of domestic violence.

A few months after my divorce I had a nervous breakdown and went to hospital. This was the start of many hospital visits over a 20-year period, where I would receive electric-convulsive therapy (ECT) to treat major depression disorder.

There have been good memories in my life. I found love again and while in a de-facto relationship I had three darling children.

When my youngest child was five months old, my partner told me he no longer wanted a family and ended the relationship. I have been a single mother now for nearly 13 years, with usual ups and downs.

For eight years I was a valium addict. Instead of turning to God, I turned to pills.

In 2009, due to the fact that I had a stalker, the kids and I packed up and moved to Leongatha.

One day when I was at my youngest child’s school, I started talking to my friend Sue. She is a member of the Leongatha Salvation Army and she told me about her involvement in the Community Care program where Salvos visit nursing homes to sing and share the wonderful news of Jesus.

Something in me stirred and I asked her if I could join her group. She welcomed me wholeheartedly.

On that Sunday morning I woke up with a strange feeling that I was to go to the church service first. I couldn’t explain it logically, just an overwhelming need to get to church and have a look.

Captains Martyn and Heather Scrimshaw welcomed me warmly. I will never forget what happened next—as we all stood to start singing, it was like Jesus was standing behind me with his arms around me. All I could feel was complete and unconditional love. Then it was a soft voice saying, ‘welcome home’. It really was beautiful. I felt so loved and I realised that he has always been there for me, carrying me when I could no longer walk.

On 6 January 2013 I became a member of The Salvation Army. My whole world changed when I accepted Jesus into my heart. I no longer feel alone. No matter what I go through, he is by my side. He has given me so many blessings and reasons to rejoice. 

I often feel like shouting to the world, ‘Jesus is real!’ Apart from raising my three children, my time is spent helping with church programs and enjoying friendship with my Christian family.

Other stories from Warcry

To read other stories from past issues of WarCry, click here.