Emily – Part 2

iMedj note: We met Emily at Craig Lodge, her family’s retreat center in Dalmally, Scotland in 2016. She joined us an associate producer of Where There is Darkness and later came to Medjugorje to help us launch iMedjugorje.

Craig Lodge is its own little world. It feels very separate from the rest of the world. It’s funny, I have the sense when I go to Medjugorje of entering like a zone of peace. As you drive on the bus, nothing changes, but you do have this sensation that you’re in a peaceful place as you enter Medjugorje. 

Lots of people say that about Craig Lodge as well. It’s like you’re surrounded by peace. 

We’re very lucky. It’s a small chapel. It’s not a parish church, but we are allowed to have the Blessed Sacrament there. So we have Our Lord’s presence there, and you can really feel it. 

It’s called Craig Lodge Family House of Prayer. There is that sense of family as well and that sense of community. It’s just a very prayerful, peaceful place in a very beautiful but wet part of Scotland. 

Me and my now husband James, we were meant to get married in April, but then everything started going crazy in March. So one day, we decided to get married that following Saturday instead of in April. We took the wedding forward a month, and it had to be really tiny because it was a last-minute thing and because of the virus.

But it ended up being really special because I have always wanted to get married in the little chapel at Craig Lodge, but I’d always been like, “No. There will be too many people. We won’t be able to do that.” I never considered it as a realistic option.

That chapel is very simple, but it’s very beautiful. And Our Lady appeared there because Marija came and stayed at Craig Lodge and she had her apparitions in the chapel. So it’s really, really special. And I knew that it would mean a lot to my mom that I got married there. It actually was possible because there were only like thirty people in the end. 

It was sad to not have all of our friends and family, but there was something so special about it being a small wedding. It was lovely. So we got married a month earlier than we had expected and soon learned that I was expecting a baby. So I am now 23 weeks pregnant.

We’ve had a crazy time of new marriage because we couldn’t go on a honeymoon, but then we couldn’t leave our flat for 3 months. So we basically had a 3-month staycation honeymoon.

It’s been a bit mental, but it’s been really blessed because we’ve been able to spend so much time together and in a quiet, relaxed way. It’s all gonna ramp up again as we get closer to the baby coming and as we go back to work. It’s been very blessed. 

We missed our honeymoon, but we’re hoping to be able to go next year. James has never been to Medjugorje. We had planned as well to go this year. Hopefully next year we’ll be able to go and bring our baby as well; go as a family. 

Craig Lodge often called “Scotland’s Medjugorje”

iMedj note: Emily joined Cimela, Jessi and Sean in Medjugorje to help with Stella Mar Films projects.

When I joined you guys in March of 2019, you had just started the iMedjugorje project and you asked me to help. I was a bit nervous at first because you have to be a bit pushy and go up to people and be like, “Tell me your story. Why is Medjugorje important to you? Why are you here?” I was nervous about doing it, but the first few times I did it with one or both of you so I learned from the best, then did it myself a few times. 

It was good. I saw it as an opportunity to actually hear these stories, not just collecting them to do something with them, but actually learning something about Medjugorje and seeing it from a different perspective. 

I think because I have always been so soaked in Medjugorje, I sometimes forget that for some people it’s this completely out-of-the-blue experience where they’ve been forced to go and then they enjoy it. Whereas, for me, it’s just always been there. It’s always interesting for me to hear people who have stumbled across it or have been introduced to it or have gone on school groups like people we’ve interviewed. 

It reminds me how special it is and how much I do take it for granted and we as a family take it for granted. For other people, it can be quite a complicated path that gets them there, but God does get them there, and they’re there for a reason.

It was a lovely opportunity to hear those stories and record them. I liked being a part of it.