I’ve always had compassion for the Blessed Mother, since I was a child, instilled by my own mother. They brought me the big VHS tape to watch the visionaries at the time. I’m the same age as them. It stuck with me, even watching it on TV. I grabbed my heart, and I just knew that one day I was going to go.
Of course, life takes over. After graduating high school, college, marriage, children. I always felt called to come. I always knew I would come, I just didn’t know the timing.
I ended up joining a high school friend’s Bible course and found out that they were going in June of 2018. I was ecstatic. I felt like, “Oh finally! I’m even at a time in my life, my children are grown, I have one grandson. This is my time to go.”
That year, I had several surgeries for something I had been suffering with for 27 years. I knew the timing of the trip would be close to having the third surgery. I wanted to make sure I could do everything, climb Apparition Hill of course; I wanted to do Cross Mountain.
The trip was also to Poland, and Medjugorje was the ending part. We were here for nine days. I received so many graces the first time I came. I was totally on fire for every second that I was here. I did all the mountains. Everybody was worried about me, but I was fine.
I just felt so blessed to finally come and be a part of what everybody says is heaven on earth, the closest place to heaven, and it was. When you come to Medjugorje, you turn into a child. As you were as a child, you’re carefree, and you have no worries, no responsibilities. That’s how you feel when you’re here because you don’t worry about your family or bills or troubles or schedules. It’s so freeing to be present, just to pray.
I’ve been five times. This is my fifth time.
I had a friend say, “When you go the second time, it’s not going to be as great as the first.”
I’m like, “Are you kidding me?” Every trip holds such a special memory and a grace because of, not only the chance to come again, but the people you’re with, the friendships you make. Each trip for me, honestly held its special graces.
I did not hesitate coming that first time and came four months later. Four months later turned into coming exactly one year later with Megan, my friend’s daughter who had bone cancer. And what a beautiful trip that was. It was a challenge to get Megan here, but she had such a profound spiritual conversion.
Since then, I have helped with Angie, her mother, and a few other people in our parish to create Megan’s Mission. We have been raising money for kids to come. With COVID, we lost a year. We did come two years ago for Youth Fest. One of the children, Jude, was asked to go with Mirjana for the apparition, which was such a blessing for him. She was still having her apparitions back then.
[ Jude’s iMedjugorje: http://imedjugorje.com/jude-17-years-old/
Angie’s iMedjugorje: http://imedjugorje.com/angie/ ]
Again, with every trip, even this one, there was something that kept poking me and poking me about coming for this anniversary. I had to come. I didn’t care what I had to do, what tests I had to take, I felt so compelled that I needed to be on this trip. And again, so many graces on this trip, so many gifts.
For 40 years, She’s been heeding a call for us, for what is upon our heads now. With everything halting for Medjugorje, our hearts were always still here and worrying about not having the pilgrims come to support Medjugorje. For me, not only because it was the 40th anniversary, but to see it come alive again after having to go on that hiatus all through COVID. It almost feels like that heart is pulsating so huge.
She never left us. It’s still here. It may be bigger and better, who knows, but Her message is always the same for us. We need to trust in Jesus and come back. She intercedes for us. She heeds us constantly for the calling to go to Her son and to pray and to do those Five Stones.
I’m always on fire to come back. As a matter of fact, I’m coming back in September. We have 38 coming, signed up right now. It will probably be 50 or 55. She’s calling them, just like Mirjana says.
There’s never a mistake why you’re being called to come here. And you definitely feel that when you get here.