My mom has always talked about coming here. She’s always set tentative dates, then the year came, and she couldn’t make it. She had been talking about March of next year, 2022. 

Then, all of a sudden, I come home from work, and Grandma and Papa, her parents, are like, “We feel that you need to go, and we’ll help sponsor your trip.” So she told me her and I were going to go.

I was definitely caught off guard. I was really excited. 

I’ve always known basically what was going on here because she’s always talked about it and been excited about it. I knew most of the story of Medjugorje. 

If we’re being honest, I was mostly excited about just visiting a new place, a new country, because I’ve never been anywhere. The furthest I had been was Texas. I love the idea of new countries, new places, and so visiting Europe was honestly the most exciting part for me, but I tried to think about the actual place I was coming to that was different than anywhere else.

What stands out the most? Everything stands out to me, especially everything that we did as a group in the mornings. The evenings were composed of naps after we were tired and done. 

The first big thing that stuck out to me was the first evening we were here, my mom wanted to climb Apparition Hill before we started doing everything as a group. I ended up going to the top on my own, and it was right at sunset when I got there. It was very beautiful. I went to pray on my own, and it was a very, very peaceful feeling. That really sticks out. And just the color of the sky. It was beautiful. 

We’ve never done a trip just the two of us. It’s always been the whole family, the four of us, me, my brother, and my parents. I was excited but kind of nervous in a way too because sometimes my mom and I don’t necessarily see eye to eye and don’t necessarily always get along. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting, but it’s been a mostly positive trip with her and I. 

Mary has always been an important part of our faith, not just because my mom has always talked about Medjugorje. Especially her, but both of my parents have always emphasized Her importance in our faith. This week especially, being here, I feel like the growth has been very high, as far as Our Mother is concerned, in my mind and heart. 

It’s definitely something totally new for me, to be surrounded by everyone who shares this sort of passion and knowledge and peace. It’s the most peaceful place I’ve been in. It was kind of shocking. 

I feel like, back home, I’ve always had influential people in my life, but outside of my mom’s perspective and my grandparents’ perspectives, I’d never really felt comfortable asking anyone else deep questions like this. I’ve felt comfortable with a lot of different people here. I’ve actually come up with questions. Because I’m not usually someone to raise my hand and ask questions. I’m a listener. But here, I feel like a lot of them were answered, and I do see things clearer regarding my faith. 

In a few days, I’m moving out of my parents’ home. Not for this first time, but this time is permanent, probably. I’m going to be starting at a new school in a couple months. It’s really exciting.

I don’t think there could have been more perfect timing for this trip. 

I know I will come back.