Erin: I got home and I tried to live my life but everything was different. Even the way I related to my children and to Shawn [my husband]. He can probably tell you how I was changed. The kids thought I was crazy, they thought “What happened to Mom?” I became a church lady. I did bible studies and prayed the Rosary, I couldn’t get enough. That’s all the reading I wanted to do, is to feed my soul and learn more.
Shawn: She went from being very lukewarm and going through the motions to being really on fire. And I didn’t realize it at the time, it was a little annoying for the rest of us, but that was probably carrying the faith of the family on to the next place that we needed to get to, and certainly that we needed to get to as a couple.
Erin: I started really praying the last couple times before he came. My prayer was for our marriage to be blessed with this experience and that Mary would touch his heart. And I didn’t think it would happen. Because he didn’t want to come but he did, he came because it was my 50th birthday, and he came begrudgingly, sort of. Anyway, he came reluctantly, I would say.
I let him have his space and go off on his own. Just so he could have his own experience. It was like watching a butterfly; he was like a caterpillar that went through all the stages. And all these people in the group kind of noticed it too. It was really incredible. We got home the beginning of November and he said I don’t know about you but I have to go back to Medjugorje and then he gave us a trip back and we came in April and then we’ve been coming twice a year ever since and it’s been awesome.
Shawn: Coming that first time was emotional. I committed to praying the Rosary while I was here, when I came for her birthday, and I’ve prayed the Rosary every day for the last 2 and a half almost 3 years. It’s just become a priority for me because I know that there are fruits coming from it that I can’t necessarily see right now. Probably like most people that are honest, my faith goes up and down – real dryness periods – but I think it’s the commitment. And the Rosary is an easy way for me to have that commitment every day, to offer it up and to ask for the Blessed Mother’s intercession to take weak prayers and make them better.
Erin: Medjugorje has truly blessed our life as a couple, blessed our marriage, and I know it will bless our children, and its already had an impact on our families too. It’s a beautiful, beautiful grace.
He and I share this now. We’re completely a unit, completely together in this journey, and learning our faith and practicing our faith. It’s different; it’s not like it’s just me anymore off crazy. And it’s not like he was just going through the rote motions with Sunday mass and that’s it. Now it’s definitely a lifestyle. It’s part of our life. It’s who we are.
Shawn: I think we’ve gotten lucky enough to realize there’s so much goodness, grace, and brilliance in the Catholic faith that we didn’t realize. Medjugorje was like the first chapter. It was the beginning of the book. And then you just keep turning the pages, and the more you dig, the more you find how much depth is really there, and that’s been a fun journey that we can do together. It’s pretty profound.