My mom has always wanted to bring us. She went when she was in her twenties. She said it was life-changing. You hear that from someone, but you don’t know if you’ll have the same experience. 

Right before coming here, I was finishing my freshman year of college so I was at a time where my anxiety was the worst. I struggle with anxiety. I was mentally drained from school and the anxiety of college. I was overwhelmed with life in general. I was ready to be home at the time this trip was coming up, but at the same time, I was really excited for this trip. It was a bunch of different emotions and feelings. 

The first day we got here, I felt this overwhelming sense of peace. I didn’t think about my anxiety at all. It was beautiful when we got here. 

The first thing we did was walk to the statue of the Risen Christ and sit down. I hadn’t prayed a Rosary by myself in a while. We prayed a Rosary in the line going up to the statue. 

As soon as I went up to the statue and I could actually see it in person, before I was almost like, “There’s no way.” Then right when I went up, I had this overwhelming sense of complete sadness. Immediately my eyes flooded with tears. All the emotions I had been struggling with came to the surface at once while I was wiping my cloth onto the statue. I felt so content. It was such extreme emotion. 

Then I sat down and finished my Rosary. As I watched each of my siblings come down, they all had tears in their eyes. We all sat there and had our own moment after that. 

I didn’t realize that at 6:40 Our Lady appears. We were walking back with Grayson and he was like, “Can we all kneel and say a prayer.” We were like, “Oh yeah. Let’s do it.” We sat down and he said a beautiful prayer. It was crazy to have all my siblings there, thinking about Our Lady there with us in that moment. It was such a powerful moment to be there with my siblings especially because we don’t all get to be together very often. 

One of my favorite things about this trip was the confession that I had. It was different than any other confession I’d ever done before. That was amazing, having a confession where I walked away and felt like weight was just lifted off my shoulders. I was completely clear-minded.

My siblings and I had these crazy confessions where we all walked away and just felt so happy. You could tell there was almost a switch with everyone after they had their confessions. It was important because when you’re sitting in confession sometimes it’s hard to be brave and say the things that you’re struggling with. The priest was almost bringing it out of us.

We were all eager to tell our mom about it since she had always thought about this. We had a lot of time alone without our mom so we all wanted to run up and tell her all about it. Immediately her eyes filled with tears and she started sobbing. She was like, “This is just what I’ve always wanted.

When she’s not around, when she’s busy doing other things, we’re like, “Where’s Mom?” It’s funny because our Mother Mary is always with us at that same time when we’re wanting to tell our mom about it. That connection has been one of the biggest and most powerful things.

Even having personal moments alone, praying alone, my prayers have been more thoughtful and content. That’s been the most important thing in Medjugorje. I haven’t felt that anywhere else. 

Mary’s with all of us all the time. I didn’t think of it that way. I felt like She was only with me when I prayed to Her, or I could only encounter Her at church.

But Mirjana was like, “She’s with us all always.” 

It was like, “Oh, you’re right.”

We could relate to each other on a very personal level rather than, “You’re so holy and you’ve had this crazy experience,” where I would feel lower or like a hierarchy. But she put us on this even playing field. She’s so humble.

I asked, “Why do you think you were chosen to be one of the visionaries?” 

Mirjana laughed and was like, “Oh, well that hurts my feelings.” She’s funny. She can tease and make jokes like that. 

The coolest part was that she was so young when it happened to her. Sometimes I feel like I have to be older to have these experiences. 

My life has really changed.

When I was struggling with certain things, I would pray about it. It just lifted off my shoulders so much more. I know now that going into situations where my anxiety will be severe, I know that I can pray, pray a Rosary, or offer it up and that will take it off my shoulders. I would usually just deal with it on my own and turtle-up and get foggy-minded. 

You can feel this sense of everyone around here is so happy and joyous. You can tell that Jesus is within us all.