I first learned of Medjugorje back in the 80s, I was in college when the apparitions started. My aunt from Denver came at least four or five times in the first ten years. This is back when you would get into the village and townspeople would come out and they would just point to which house you were going to stay in. She used to say that she would sleep in their bed while they slept on the floor! She really inspired me.
I’ve always been really intrigued by the visionaries, just as human beings. Ivan, he’s only two years younger than me. I remember being in Arizona – visiting another aunt who was like a mother to me, she is very faithful and devote – and we went go see Ivan speak at a church. I remember thinking how it could be that in this day and age there could be visionaries, like Saint Bernadette of Lourdes of the children at Fatima. I always felt a draw and a pull to come to Medjugorje because of Our Lady, but also, honestly, just to see what it was like in light of the visionaries.
Years passed by, I met my husband at a retreat, and we had a very faith-filled wedding and we have two children. However, as life went on, I just felt like life got in the way, life got busier and things became messier. Things happened in my immediate family and things started to breakdown and breakup. My kids, they went to Catholic school, but they started losing their faith. Then I started losing my faith. I thought how it could be that I say I am Christian but I’m never going to church, I’m never praying, I’m beginning to lose my children, and my husband has stopped going to mass. I realize now that it wasn’t the voice of God that was causing me these doubts.
Three years ago, I met a friend, a fellow nurse, who told me about this doctor, Dr. Kathy Wolf. I learned she had been to Medjugorje, so I scheduled an appointment to see her! It took me eight months to see her and when we finally met, we talked for an hour before any examination. I told her I had read Mirjana’s book, My Heart Will Triumph, and after reading it, I felt strongly called to come here to Medjugorje. I finally felt like there was hope. My life seemed empty, and although you could taste Medjugorje from home I felt that I really had to challenge myself and thought about how sick of being lukewarm I was. I made myself make a decision and make a change.
Before I went to Medjugorje, I was either going to lose my faith or I was going to find my faith.
After talking to Kathy for an hour, she went to get me my robe to change into and brought me back a Medjugorje Rosary. There was something special there, a doctor is handing me a Rosary that came from Medjugorje. I planned on doing a pilgrimage with Mirjana, because of reading her book. However, Kathy told me that she and her husband Tony were going in a couple months and we stay with Ivan. I said yes!
My friend Maria and I describe it here as a wrinkle in time between heaven and earth here. It’s like, you come to this place and so much resembles Jesus’ time. The way people pray and support one another in prayer. Even the landscape is so simple like Christ’s time. We say there is something different in the air here, haha! I just have the sense that this place is ordained by God.
After a few days of being here, I realized it’s not about the visionaries, it’s all about God’s presence wherever we are.
Before my first time here, I hadn’t been to confessions in 26 years.
Father Lorenzo was the most wonderful priest. It was outdoors, I was scared to death, but I challenged myself to do these things. To be completely honest, I felt my soul was really in peril. I was probably in confession for an hour – sobbing and weeping. Remember, this is in the outdoor confessional, with the breeze blowing and people walking around. I’ll never forget it. Father reminded me that there is a fight against the enemy for families and souls and only with God can these things change. Father said it was all about acceptance, forgiveness, and embracing the gifts of adoration and the sacraments.
You feel God in this place, you feel his Blessed Mother’s Love. She is trying to bring us to her son.
My first year I was trying to figure out where my faith was. The second I was trying to affirm my faith. And this year it has led me to complete consecration to Jesus through Mary tomorrow.
What I have learned is that we have to forgive and pray for those people in our lives. That we are called to leave our burdens at the cross because I know that God can transform my life and he my families – especially my kids. If we truly surrender, he can transform everything.
Lastly, I come back because I need more time. I call it a school almost, a spiritual school. I know I need this spiritual growth that I haven’t really found anywhere else.
All of this is because of Medjugorje. Praise God!
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