He called in mid December to say he would not be able to go. Circumstances in his parish prevented him from being free to travel. So now I tried to concentrate on where I was suppose to go. I was at a loss. The ones who had verbally committed were dwindeling, although there was one who had already sent in the money and seemed confident that he would go. Perhaps I was to go with just a few, not a large group.
Maybe some of you in the prayer group can understand, when you were planning your journey to Medjugorje how you wanted it to be just right. And considered how you were going to get there. I wanted to be so careful and do it right.
Well, the one who had sent in the funds cancalled, and it was now down to just me, alone. Uncertainty surrounded me. I called the travel people to inform them the 25 was a no go, only me. They said they could not help me. Only if I had 10 people could they put a package together. So I had lost all connections, and all support.
But a small voice encouraged me, to maintain a steadfast spirit, not to give up. I still wanted desperatly to attend Padre Jozo's retreat. I feel Our Lady spoke to me in my heart. Her only message was this, "You must make this journey alone".
When this message came to me I had a renewed fervor. A determination grew inside me. I knew all would be allright, and that I needed to go, but didn't need a group.Our Lady was calling me, and I had to respond.
It was a dream of mine to break the bread with Padre Jozo and have a photo with him. If these things could possibly happen, I would be truely delighted. I always kept these things in my heart.
I picked up my rosary and said a most heartfelt sorrowful mysteries asking for direction. Asking Our Lady if what I felt was true and certain.
Why must we always question? It must be part of our human nature.
I was moved to randomly pick up my Medjugorje Magazine and open it. I saw an ad for trips to Medjugorje and called and got an answering machine. I left a message and I thought to try just one more agency in the magazine. It was Pilgrims Peace Center in Florida. And on my first attempt, an actual person picked up my call! I told her briefly this story and inquired if they made arrangements for one person, and that my true desire was to attend the retreat. She responded positvely! There was no hesitation in her voice at all. She had assisted another person a few years back to attend a similar retreat! She said she would check into it and get back to me.
A few days later she called to say there were only 5 places left for the retreat. My dates were correct for it and she could help me!! Immediatly I told her to book me!!! She wasn't sure how many were attending but knew only 5 places were open. So she began to book me, and it was coming true!
My husband remained supportive and that was all I needed. I made the arrangements at work to cover my shifts, and informed the schools so they would know. People were amazed that I would do this alone. But I knew I had to.
In one of my many conversations with Pilgrims Peace Center they said they also do humanitarian efforts in Medjugorje. I said I was a nurse and asked if I could help. They said there was a need for medications for the children. Medications for upper respitory infections, fever, coughs and the like. I said I would see what I could do.
Now the journey took on an entirely new meaning, humanitarian aid, and religious retreat.
I felt so fulfilled that all was falling into place. It seemed as one door closed, another even more wonderful opened. All through the grace of Our Lady.
I contacted many doctors and the pharmacy at my hospital. In the end there were over $300.00 donated in medical supplies. I knew Padre Jozo also had many orphans and intended to share these medications with his children as well. The administrators at my children's Catholic school heard of my efforts and the children wanted to help. They did fund raising efforts and raised $500 for the children!!
The support was more than I ever dreamed. Our Lady was in control of every aspect! As I watched it happen I was in amazement. It was clear I was to make this trip alone. I did not know why, or what lie before me, but Our Lady was clearing the path. And I had never been there before! This was my 1st trip to Medjugorje!
(End of Part 3)