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Warcry My Story: Changed outlook

Julie Hardy tells her story to WarcryJulie Hardy says, ‘Believe in God, it will change your life’.

I would like to share with you how, by letting God into your life, it will change it forever.

It happened to me and can happen to you.

Years of painful abuse disappeared when I took God into my life.

I was raised in a suburb of Adelaide, the oldest of one sister and two brothers. My mother suffered from mental blackouts, alcohol abuse and aggression. I had to learn from a young age to be the mother of them, though my dad did what he could.

After my parents separated, I spent the next few years in and out of foster homes and ended up living on the streets of Adelaide from 14–16 years of age.

By this time I thought that no-one cared how I felt and my personal confidence was nil.

By the time I was 16, I was in a very abusive relationship and felt that I had no way out. This ended up with me losing my children to welfare and made me feel as low as a person could feel. 

I had no family, no children and felt my life couldn’t get any worse.

Well I was wrong. In the next few years my father was killed by a train and I had to identify him. My brother also died after being mauled by wild dogs, and I lost a dear friend who never recovered from a severe stroke—he had been a father figure for me when I lived on the streets. This really drove me to desperation, with suicidal feelings, as I felt there was nothing left in the world for me.

I moved to Port Augusta in 2000 with my partner, but found the strength to leave him a couple of months later. 

Things were still unsettled over the next couple of years but during that time I met David, my partner of the past 10 years.

In 2013, I heard that the Salvos were opening their new church building in Port Augusta. I went along and met two extraordinary Salvation Army officers (ministers), Dave and Claire. I’ve been going ever since.

Although I used to attend church in my younger days, I didn’t really understand much about religion and how it can change your life.

Claire and Dave helped turned my life around and brought God into my life.

They worked together to free the chains that bound me and as they anointed me with oil I felt the Holy Spirit move through me, from head to toe like a warm heat from fire, and all that weight just lifted off me. I immediately felt peace.The strength of the Holy Spirit opened my eyes and heart and I was reborn. I now see the world in a new bright and beautiful way and I know as long as you have God in your life, there is hope.

All of the things that worried me before now have no effect on me. 

My outlook in life is so different since giving my life to God. I am now looking forward to life and spending time in our Salvation Army store—a job I began earlier this year.

Life has changed not only for me, but for my partner and children all of whom attend our local Salvation Army church. We look forward to a wonderful life together with God in it.

Other stories from Warcry

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