A few years ago, my friend Sue started introducing me to Medjugorje and the messages here. I fell in love and started learning more and more about it. We started thinking, “Is that some place we want to go?”
Then, when the pope said that we could organize pilgrimages, that was kind of the signal that we need to go.
I talked to my son, Michael. I said, “Now it’s official that we can form a pilgrimage from our church to go to Medjugorje. Should we go?” I was just meaning he and I.
He said, “Yes, but I want to take everyone with us.”
I said, “Okay. Then let’s do that.”
Since it was my son’s idea, we thought maybe the Youth Festival would be a great way to get all of our young adults to Medjugorje. We had up to 15 people signed up at one time. Our plan was to be at the Youth Festival in August of 2020. That was our plan. God had other plans.
Then we just started thinking, “When else can we go?” We couldn’t be there for the Youth Festival. It was just a dream at that point. There were no trips anywhere. We thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could be there for the 40th Anniversary?”
Now that we’re here, sadly my son, who was part of the original plan, did not come with us. Since we started this planning, he’s in a relationship, he has a girlfriend who is suffering with some medical issues. When the possibility of us coming here again came up, he was very nervous about leaving her.
He’s such a good son, and he was afraid to tell me that he didn’t want to come. He’s taken the responsibility of his girlfriend, and he’s taking care of our home while we’re away. He is such a blessing. We can be here without worry because we know he’s taking care of everything.
Now we’re here, and the rest of our family came.
We’re here for the 40th. On Tuesday, it was our 25th wedding anniversary. It really was so much better timing this time, even though we were so disappointed about the trip last year. I just really feel like this was when we were meant to be here. There’s no better way to celebrate our anniversary.
Being here, I have to say, a lot of it feels familiar because of how much I’ve prayed about it and been a part of it through MaryTV.
[iMedj note: You can follow updates and watch live streams of Mass and other events in Medjugorje on MaryTV at https://marytv.tv/ ]
It feels familiar. It feels like home, but with a much greater power and focus. At home, it’s so hard to find the focus and to keep the focus, even to find the time to pray and even while you’re praying, to keep the focus.
I have learned that the repetition is so important. I used to take that for granted and saw that as a chore, saying the Rosary over and over, but I see now how important that is, and if you’re losing your focus, you need to do it more.
I’ve also learned that it’s very much a personal journey too. Sometimes you’re always doing for others. It’s important that you pay attention to where you are. That’s a hard thing to do, especially, I think, for a woman and a mother.
I’ve seen how beautiful my children are, seeing them interact with others. I’ve always loved them, of course, and I’ve always cherished them. There’s just no prouder moment for a mom than to see your children helping someone up Apparition Hill or giving away their walking stick or asking someone if they need something and talking to people and listening to people. That has been a wonderful blessing, to experience that.