Faith Rises From the Ruins

What was left of Amanda's home the day after the tornado.

What was left of Amanda’s home the day after the tornado.

(This testimony is from the 20-something daughter of a couple who are regular readers here – and who I have met. It was not sent to me as a guest column, but merely as a testimony (as you can see, I get the most interesting mail!) It brought me to tears. It also touches on some profound themes we have talked about here. This young woman’s faith entered into fullness through the literal intervention of a Storm. In the midst of the terror, she underwent a profound illumination. She lost a house and found the faith – and considers it a good bargain. This so illustrates how a storm can be a profound act of mercy and is so movingly told, I asked permission to share it as a guest column.

The young woman agreed, but asked that I maintain her anonymity. For the purpose of this article, I have called her Amanda – but that is not her actual name.)

By Amanda

I had my son when I was 16… And so began my fall away from the Catholic Church. A heavy opening for any story, I must admit. The purpose of this story is not to evaluate my shortcomings in great detail- but rather, to share what I have learned through the course of my time as a young woman. I find the story back here, to my Catholic roots, inspiring, when I reflect. I could not help but write this story, even should it never be seen by another’s eyes.

I was born Catholic. Baptized as a toddler. I attended Catholic Church on Sundays. I was in Religious Education for as long as I can remember. I did not like going to Sunday School. I dreaded Mass.

I remember riding home from a carnival with one of my friends, a fellow Catholic. I was in the 5th Grade. Her mother pulled the Rosary Beads that hung from her mirror and passed them out, handing one to me. My friend, her siblings, and their mother, started praying the Rosary. I was completely and utterly lost. I felt more than a little embarrassed, as I did not know this strange prayer. I cast my eyes down, tried to mumble my way through. Later that week, my friend handed me a small white pouch. She had used blue glitter and glue to decorate the outside with a hand drawn cross, written my name on the opposite side. I opened up the pouch, and inside was a Rosary with pink and gold beads. Looking further in was a “How to Pray the Rosary” pamphlet. Looking back, I wish I would have thanked her properly.

That was my life as a Catholic up until I turned 16. I was Confirmed and would later have a beautiful baby boy. It was hard to go to Church when I had chosen to go against Church teaching in such a profound way. It was hard to live in a world where everyone, except our Church, seemed to condone, if not celebrate, such choices. Earthly desires. Not of God. I bought in- hook, line, and sinker.

I did not attend Mass for five years. I was happy, at times, during these five years. However, I lacked direction. Poor choices were made. I was doing good if I made it to Mass on Christmas and Easter Sunday. It was during this time that I would begin to date my future husband, who I had known the majority of my life.

When my son began school, I remember thinking that I did not want him growing up without a Faith. And so, I began coming to Mass again and only on Sundays. It was for his benefit that this choice was made and not my own. I felt out of place in Church. I struggled to get up on Sundays. I realize now that I was in the Catholic Church, but the Church was not in me.

I was married. In the Catholic Church, as I had always planned. It remains the best decision of my life. I am blessed with a wonderful husband and am thankful for him and all that he is and does for our family.

Our family moved to Iowa in November of 2010. I joined the local parish there. I continued on my mission to bring Faith to my son through the means of Sunday School and brief nightly Prayers. We would go to Church, he would go to class, and then we would forget about God until the next Sunday.

In April of 2011, I was expecting our second child. Then, as fate would have it, our house was struck by a tornado. It was late at night. The sky black. The wind howling. My husband had gone into town to see some friends. I was at home with our son. He called and asked that we go to the basement, as the storm was headed right over the top of us. He said he would be home when the storm had passed.


After the Storm

After the Storm

About 15 minutes later, the door swung open, and my husband walked in. I asked him why he was home. He said he just felt like he should be home- no reason in particular. We got out some board games to play and huddled around the fire in our basement… Waiting for the storm to blow over. Our son had become very distraught, crying. He said he did not want to die in a tornado.

I tried to comfort him, saying there was no tornado. The chances of one hitting our house were even less. Within minutes, we heard the gutters being ripped off of the house. My husband suggested we get under the stairs- to err on the side of caution. As we hunkered there, under the stairs, I heard a very faint groan. The sound so low, I could not tell if the noise was real. Perhaps, a figment of an overactive imagination? It reminded me, in some regards, like the absence of noise. Filling my head in the oddest manner. The next moment, the windows shattered up above. All you could hear was breaking glass scattering across the floor. Falling in shards.

My son was sitting in my lap. My arms stretched around him, holding him as tight as they possibly could. Knuckles white. I tried to comfort him, tell him that it would be okay. I felt like I said those words for a lifetime, “It will be okay.” I was not so sure. I braced for the impact of what was surely coming. I could not change this imminent threat. Powerless in a world we try so desperately to control.

The house was creaking above, from the force surrounding it. The furniture was moving upstairs. I could hear the scratch of our couch upon the hardwood floor. In one sweeping motion our furniture was ripped from the North side of the house to the South. The moment reminded me of a toddler, knocking down blocks, stacked on a table, with one fleeting and forceful swipe.

The stairs above us started to bounce, a slight up and down motion. Our house was torn from the foundation then. Turned inside out. The impact hurt. We were thrown from under the stairs to the concrete wall behind us. The stairs now gone. We were huddled in the corner of the basement. Debris flying around. My husband was on his feet, trying to shield us from what was airborne. The sky was angry above. The only light came for brief seconds, when the lightning struck. Quickly followed by the deafening clap of thunder. Rain poured down on us. I do not remember feeling cold, perhaps I wasn’t. The wind was so strong I thought we might blow away, get lost in the black abyss.

In that moment, when I saw our house disappear into the dark, and I felt the hard rain on my face, it was not of earthly things that I thought about. It was not the beautiful artwork that I had hung on the walls. It was not a lifetime of buying and selling; of the finding and fixing. It was not the hours put into cleaning or the blankets so lovingly sewn by my Grandmother. It was not the photo books, diplomas, electronics, or jewelry. I did not cry for my fridge full of just purchased goods, my car, or clothes. None of the possessions just lost came to mind. Not even one.

When death was as close to me and my family as it had ever been, I thought about Confession. I had not been but two times in my entire life. I saw myself clearly for the first time. I had not been doing my part. I had not said yes to God. I was afraid, spiritually. It remains the most terrifying feeling that I have experienced. I feared that I would not get the opportunity to meet God. I would not spend an eternity in Heaven. I realized that it was all my fault. I was so terribly sorry. The realization made it hard to breathe. I had not been able to hear God’s voice calling me because I had refused to listen. I had refused to look His way. I am nothing without my Savior… Just another floating soul; lost and without direction.

My son’s lower back had been crushed between my legs, sitting on the basement floor, and the brick chimney, that had run through the middle of the house. His upper body was still wrapped within my arms. I do not remember the weight on my legs- of my son, or the chimney, sitting on top of him. My husband was able to lift the chimney just enough for me to pull our son and myself out from underneath. I prayed the Our Father and Hail Mary with my son that night- out loud and clear, until help arrived.

In the day that followed, my husband tried to lift the chimney. He found that he could not, even with the help of a friend. Our capacity of strength knows no bounds when loved ones are at stake. Imagine the love God feels for us- when we, as people, have such love buried deep within ourselves.

The next morning, I returned to where our house had stood the night before. It was strange to see what remained of our home, laying there for all to see. Volunteers came to help us go through what was left. Our possessions scattered, dirty and torn. Some items were too far gone to save, put in a pile to be taken to the dump. Others, the things worth trying to save, were packed into a trailer and hauled into town.

rosary and pouch

I found the Rosary Pouch later, as I went through our collected possessions. I held it close to my heart. This Rosary and Pouch was one of two things that I owned to remind me of my Faith. The other was a decoration given to me at my first Communion. A ceramic book, with the Our Father written upon it in gold. This also survived- when everything else was broken and in pieces. Scattered to the wind. I washed the Rosary up, now good as new. I tucked them neatly into my borrowed dresser drawer. It is probably the best gift I have ever received. Though I did not know it at the time it was given. Her gesture was one that we are all called to do, to bring our Faith to others.

I spent the evenings following the night of the tornado, during the long and sleepless nights; in the quiet of the dark, examining my conscience.

It had been 10 years since my last Confession. I had to Google what to do, write down the Act of Contrition, so I would not forget. On Sunday, I arrived early. I was so anxious that I turned around once, deciding that it could wait- just another week. Alas, the need to go was much too great. I gathered all the courage that I could collect and went into the beautifully decorated Church. It was a tough Confession. I was shaky as I spoke. Afterwards, I felt so incredibly free! So amazingly thankful for having been given this gift. For having been given our Lord’s Mercy. I had taken His Mercy granted for much too long. The relief of it was overwhelming. I wept. Perhaps it was my sorrow in all that I had done to offend. Perhaps it was the fact that those sins no longer sat heavily upon my shoulders. Both, it seems, to me.

Later that morning my Mother called and told me that it was Divine Mercy Sunday. She had to explain what all of that meant. I had not known. It was a wonderful surprise. I told my Mother that I had already gone… proud of my small accomplishment. This was the turning point for me. The moment in which I really, truly, wanted to grow in my Faith. Become closer to God.

My journey in Faith is far from over. But looking back through my life, it is amazing to see the changes that have unfolded. I look forward to Mass now. I go to Confession more often than before. Though, truth be told, I need to go more. I have a Crucifix hanging by the front door and in each of our bedrooms, a Rosary hung around. I bought Psalms and Prayers to decorate the walls. I have Praying Hands and a small statue of our Blessed Mother. My son has a Prayer Table.

An unlikely font of faith.

An unlikely font of faith.

Prior to the tornado, my house was full of things. My Faith was not in my home. My home was not where I practiced it. I had almost nothing there to remind me of the sacrifice Jesus made for us. To remind me of the enduring love that God has for each and every one of us.

My Mother encourages my family to grow in our Faith each day. For all that I might have missed in my Faith- I have been given the opportunity to nurture it within myself and my children now. I signed up for Adult Faith Formation Classes. I want to feel capable in teaching my children about our Faith; with confidence and strength.

For the first time, I have chosen to truly practice my Faith with my own free will. I still have much work ahead of me. Trusting in the Lord and getting out of my own head is difficult. My fallen nature assures me of the challenges still to come. But I am excited at what my future holds and what our most Merciful Father has in store for me. I love my Catholic Faith. Years ago, I would not have said the same.

With little steps in the right direction, who knows what the Lord might have in store for each of us. This is how the Lord chose to call me back to my Faith. Each of us has our own story. God calls to us all. The question is, will we listen?

Psalm 51:10-12

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.

About charliej373

Charlie Johnston is a former newspaper editor, radio talk show host and political consultant. From Feb. 11, 2011 to Aug. 21, 2012, he walked 3,200 miles across the country, sleeping in the woods, meeting people and praying as he went. He has received prophetic visitation all his life, which he has vetted through a trio of priests over the last 20 years, and now speaks publicly about on this site. Yet he emphasizes that we find God most surely through the ordinary, doing the little things we should with faith and fidelity. Hence the name, The Next Right Step. The visitations inform his work, but are not the focus of it. He lives in the Archdiocese of Denver in the United States.
This entry was posted in Family, Guest Columns, Spiritual Preparation, The Storm. Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Faith Rises From the Ruins

  1. Andrea says:

    What a beautiful journey of faith testimony.
    Our LOrd has so many wonderful blessings and graces to pour out into your life. Thank you for sharing your story


  2. Audie says:

    This is a powerful testimony, Amanda. I am so glad you shared your experience. I felt like I was right there with you, your husband and son, as you described the storm so vividly. It helps me to realize what is important in this life, which is our Faith in our Lord. Thank you so much.


  3. Thank you so much for reminding me why we must always be grateful for all that our good God sends us. He sees our need and comes to meet it, sometimes in the strangest ways. . . May you continue to find Him in every circumstance and grow in faith and trust as you experience His love and mercy every day.


  4. Mary says:

    That was wonderful, thank you, it reminds me in many ways of myself and my story.


  5. BB says:

    Wow, Amanda, what a miraculous wonderful testimony of God’s mercy. Because of stories such as these, I have great hope for all my family members who are not yet following God, and perhaps I should get myself ready to receive them should they come to me for counsel, or a rosary, or what to do next when they finally decide to turn back to the Lord! May God continue to bless you and your husband and your children.


  6. Beautiful story. I loved it. Thank you.


  7. What a beautiful testimony, inspiring,thank you for sharing!


  8. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, Blessed be the name of the Lord.


  9. Anne says:

    A friend is always saying that we have to lose to gain! Oh Lord have mercy on us all.


  10. laura says:

    Welcome home, sister.


  11. ellenchris says:

    What happened to her under the stairs, I believe, is exactly the nature and meaning of “The Illumination of Conscience” that many people are looking for and expecting. The touch of Grace that wakes us up and turns us around to look toward God. I’ll bet her mother had been praying for exactly this grace for her for many years. Congratulations and blessings, Amanda — and thanks for sharing this.


  12. Bonnie C says:

    Amanda, even at 16 – you made a very wonderful and right (so-called) “choice”. With you, I thank God for your good parents. God bless you and your family!


  13. Amanda, your testimony is very powerful. Tragedies and terrible trials like what you underwent seem to set our hearts on what really matters. Ellenchris mentioned “Illumination of Conscience” and I agree with her thoughts on this as I had something similar happen to me years ago. It turned me right around. Thanks so much for sharing your story. I love reading about all the different ways God pours His grace into our lives (even when things look dark and bleak)!


  14. Kim says:

    Well, it is shameful but the truth is that for many years we lived our life in a very similar way to our daughter. We though we were giving faith to our children by the means of brief nightly prayers, catechism classes and going to church on Sunday. We too pretty much just forgot about God the
    rest of the time. We were just as consumed by this world as our children were. But…..God works in miraculous ways.

    As our children reached the teenage years, you could say my husband and I had our own Illumination of Conscience. In despair….. seeing what was happening to our children and waking up to just how much evil there was in the world and how it was seeking to destroy our children was beyond scary, it was terrifying . In desperation we were left with nothing else but to reach out and try and find our faith. We needed help, answers, comfort and peace or it felt like we were going to go crazy. We could not find any of those things in this world and believe me we tried. So…….with faith as our last hope we started taking little steps. Someone gave us a Seven Sorrows of Mary prayer card and we started praying it. It helped, but it was when we got to the point that we were able to completely turn them over to Mary and place them under her mantel with the trust that she could do for them what we could not. We then accepted that whatever happened in their lives we could accept it because it must then be God’s will. This is when we started finding that help, answers, comfort and the peace we were so desperately looking for. Very slowly over the years, miraculous things have happened to our family and things have improved for all of us. Our daughter’s Story “Faith from the Ruins” is one of them.

    We believe that God has used our children and tragedy to save us and bring us back to our faith. In doing so we believe he will now use us to help save and bring them back to the faith that they missed as children. We are starting to see that maybe when we are looking for answers in life, that our frustrations come from wanting quick answers and quick relief, but maybe God is not interested in providing quick answers and quick relief. Maybe he is looking at the big picture……..and is trying to save us ALL. Maybe we should just be patient, try not to worry, and trust that he has a much more glorious plan than ours.

    We hope our daughter’s story can be a sign of hope for others. Our daughter and her story have certainly been a sign of hope for us!

    For those of us that have regret and worry over our families, God knows we and our family members have lived in a world full of deceit, and he has great mercy for us and is calling to us all. While I have a hard time understanding why God allows people to suffer, especially when it concerns my loved ones, I have to admit that it seems that in suffering or tragedy many times it is the only chance God has in this crazy world to get our attention, in hope that we will listen and come back to him.

    Thank you Amanda for letting us hear your Story in such a personal way as it has helped us see and examine the bigger picture! Trust, do, and love.


    • charliej373 says:

      Pain and suffering are often the only tools sharp enough to prune away the dead wood and wild branches we have let our lives fall into. How often it is that it is in the pruning of these things that we first begin to bear real fruit. And so the crosses in our lives, seen from God’s perspective, are usually just a prelude to joy.


      • Kim says:

        Thank you Charlie! I think the way you put it was a much simpler, direct and certainly a much shorter version of the point I was trying to make. You are good!


    • Janet says:

      One of the prayers I pray when I have messed up royally is, “Lord please fix my mistake better than if I had done it right the first time.” I am nothing; He is everything, and He can certainly fix even my worst mistake without any effort whatsoever. What’s more, he WANTS to! Thank you Jesus! Thank you Father. Jesus I trust in you! Save souls!


      • Kim says:

        Thank you Janet for this wonderful prayer! I will add it to my daily prayers. I certainly need a prayer to help cover all my mistakes, those in the past and the daily ones.


    • Barbara Dore says:

      I am very interested in the special rosary of the seven sorrows of mary. when did you start it? for your children? how long?


      • donna269 says:

        I hope if you don’t mind if I chime in. I was just introduced to the Seven Sorrows Rosary last Saturday and pray it everyday. I received it from Imaculee at a conference. It is her praying the Seven Sorrows with such beautiful and moving meditations….utterly beautiful. I pray for my son who is suffering from depression….and who know what else (addiction?) because I don’t really know…..I pray for my entire family. It is beautiful…..the Blessed Mother’s sufferings. Helps me to keep my sorrows in perspective…..


      • Kim says:

        There is the Seven Sorrows of Mary Rosary and then there is also a shorter version of the devotion. The one I spoke of is the shorter version, it is a devotion that was passed on by St. Bridget. We started the devotion at the height of our despair, when one of our children (not Amanda) was in danger of losing their life due to despair. We pray it for our whole family, we pray it in family prayer times and also individually. It is an ongoing devotion.

        The blessed Virgin Mary grants seven graces to the souls who honor her daily by meditation on her tears and dolors (sorrows). The Hail Mary is prayed once after each meditation.
        Here are the seven Graces:
        1.I will grant peace to their families.
        2.They will be enlightened about the divine mysteries.
        3. I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them in their work.
        4. I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the adorable will of my divine Son or the sanctification of their souls.
        5. I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives.
        6. I will visibly help them at the moment of their death, they will see the face of their Mother.
        7. I have obtained (This Grace) from my divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and dolors will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness since all of their sins will be forgiven and my Son and I will be their eternal consolation and joy.

        The Seven Sorrows:
        1. The prophecy of Simeon.
        2. The flight into Egypt.
        3. The loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple.
        4. The meeting of Jesus and Mary on the Way of the Cross.
        5. The crucifixion.
        6. The taking down of the Body of Jesus from the Cross.
        7. The burial of Jesus.

        There are some beautifully written meditations online of these sorrows that a person can read over. Can you imagine the sorrow Mary must have went through? Mary was not exempt from such sorrow, and it appears that neither are we. I thank the Lord every day that he has so far spared our family from having to live the most painful ones.

        I have to say that the Divine Mercy Chaplet seems to have had a Miraculous effect on the life of Amanda’s sister. Our Lord said to Saint Faustina among some other promises, but I will quote only one of them here…..”Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this chaplet ONLY ONCE, he would receive grace from My infinite mercy”. While this daughter has been far far from her faith, while at a very distraught point in her life, agreed that she had nothing to lose by saying it with us ONE time. In a very short time maybe a month or two, along came a good paying job that allowed her to live on her own in her own place & actually pay her bills, she did not have to live with other people that were dragging her down a dark path. Her whole life really did a turn around. While still far from her faith at this point, he showed her great mercy as promised, and I have confidence they will work out the faith part of it all in God’s timing. But….. she is happy and we rejoice in the progress she has made.

        Another one of the most helpful devotions we have done is the Green Scapular given to Sister Justine Bisqueyburu. It does not need any special enrollment. It just need to be blessed by a priest. It is a Scapular for conversion. It can be used to help those you care about. It can be given to a person, or hid among their belongings. Everyday one should say the prayer “Immaculate Heart of Mary, Pray For Us Now And At The Hour Of Our Death”. If the person for whom the scapular is intended will not say the prayer then the one who gives the scapular must say it in his or her place, everyday.

        While these things have been extremely helpful to our family I don’t believe they are a magic antidote. Sometimes…. rightly or wrongly…. I can’t help but feel that God has a plan for all or our lives and he already knows the end story of all of our worries….. so he really does NOT NEED me to do anything to bring about his will. But….. he loves to hear from us, they help keep us close to him, and in his mercy he allows us to at the very least feel like an active participant in his plans.

        Sorry about the length of what probably should have been a short reply, I just do not write well enough to sum up what I am trying to say in a shorter version.


  15. Bob says:

    God is merciful even when, and especially when we didn’t deserve it. That is why it is called Mercy and on Mercy Sunday with a returning confession besides! Thanks for sharing and now I need to ask myself if I don’t sometimes keep my light hidden. I will discuss this with my spiritual director soon.


  16. MM Bev says:

    I have come to the same conclusion with regard to the “Illumination of Conscience” that Charlie has expressed. Not an immediate, here for everyone, lighting up all of us at the same time, WHAM! I think each of us will have this experience, but sometimes I am afraid that things in this world will prevent some people from “seeing”. I have had the experience, and in a way that I never would have expected. But, none the less, He let me know, in the quietest most unrealistic way imaginable. To someone else, it would seem ludicrous.
    Reading Amanda’s experience has made me realize that part of the reason that my son does not have his Catholic Faith is due to me. I was always so busy trying to focus on his health, that as he grew past the grade three, four age, I neglected the things I should have done as a parent to help his faith develop. And now I am one of the many, many, who are crying, longing, praying, hoping for that miracle that will transform the hearts of our children. He doesn’t want to discuss “faith” or “God”, and I sure can’t bring up suffering since that’s been the most predominant feature of his life-every single day.
    Things are speeding at an astounding rate, and it’s going to get faster. I prayed the Miraculous Trust Prayer after reading it on this blog.
    I so desperately want this gift for him. Once it was his, and I believe that I may be a piece of why it no longer is, even if I don’t know how. I do know that I am going to print out Amanda’s story, and Kim’s too, and put his father’s rosary with it and find a special box to hold them. His father, although not a Catholic, was sickly as a young child and went to a Catholic school for a couple of years. His grade two teacher gave him a rosary, which he kept and gave to me after we were married. I think of it as “a Divine Mercy” rosary because all the beads are clear, except the Our Father beads, which are red.
    My dear friends: and all of you here really are my friends. I don’t have anyone I know well enough to ask this favor. It doesn’t matter why God has chosen this for me, and I embrace whatever He wants in my life. But there is no one else that I can turn to and say, “Will you please pray that when God decides the moment is right for me to give this gift to my son, that I will recognize it, and that I won’t mess it up by getting in His way.” If each of you only asked Him once, an overwhelming flood of prayer would rise up to Him through His Mother’s Immaculate Heart.
    My pain of longing for my son is so great that I have to pray for all the son’s and daughter’s of our countries, especially Canada and the United States. I am compelled to pray for all those who began, and didn’t for whatever reasons, keep, and allowed that faith to slowly or quickly drift away. That means every single extended family in our countries. Then I have to include everyone who does not yet know the Father’s love.
    I know what I’m asking, I have just described in the last paragraph what every one of you already do. The only difference is that tonight I am asking for my son, Richard.


    • Janet says:

      MM Bev, I place your son Richard in the Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Your pain, united to your prayers for him and for all those you mentioned will bear fruit, I am certain of that! Jesus we trust in you. Save souls!


    • Fran says:

      Dear Bev, I am also praying today for your son, Richard, the Flame of Love prayer, and for your intentions. Our Lord said to Elizabeth Kindelmann, “Have you ever asked for souls and I did not grant it?” Our Lord has heard your prayer, Bev… Trust.


    • Irish7 says:

      Count on my prayer for Richard, MM Bev.


    • SteveBC says:

      Done, MMBev. May the prayers of your fellow members here help ease your heart enough so that you can let this go into God’s hands and allow yourself to relax and heal. Who knows what will come if you can let this go to make room? Surely it will be an unexpected way to solve this. That seems to be the way God works in your life. 🙂


    • Kim says:

      MM Bev, I will pray daily for Richard and for your intention on the timing of the gift to your son.
      Don’t be to hard on yourself. I am sure that by the worlds standards you were an exceptional mother and did a wonderful job raising him. I remember a time when I thought this type of heartache could only happen in a dysfunctional home of some sort. The truth seems to be that the majority of homes (not all) and individuals are dysfunctional in one way or another whether we like to admit it or not. The dysfunctions are just played out in varying forms of heartache within many families. Who knows why you and your son have been given the crosses you have, but I would bet you and your son are receiving graces and blessings from God that are undetectable at this point. Fear Not…..God Wins. Richard now has many many more people praying for him, thanks to a wonderful loving mother that made a choice to just take the next right step, and be a sign of hope for him. As long as you have trusting in God’s will in with the rest of that formula I would say rest peacefully in the arms of Jesus and his Mother, they love you both.


    • Amanda says:

      MM Bev, so many of us have been lost but have been found. It sits heavily on my mom’s heart, that she did not spend more time developing her children’s faith when we were young. You are not alone in this struggle- so many families face the same. You can count on my prayers for Richard. Keep faith and trust that God will call us all home.


  17. ellenchris says:

    Thank you so much, Kim, for sharing your part of the story from your heart. God bless you and your whole family with His own peace, His shalom, which surpasses all understanding. Our good Lord Jesus never wastes a single prayer, especially those in which we place our trust in Him and His holy mother. He is gathering up the lost sheep and bringing us all home. Lord, increase our trust in You.


    • Kim says:

      Your welcome ellenchris, I just did not want people to get the wrong idea, that Amanda was raised by devout Catholic parents…. I thought it was important for people to understand the whole picture, hope it all can be a sign of hope for someone out there.

      I thank you for your kindness and encouragement, along with everyone else here. God Bless you all.


  18. MM Bev says:

    Irish, Fran, Janet and all of you who did not put on a comment but also prayed: I am finding it hard to breath, and tears are, frankly, streaming down my face so that it’s really hard to see. You are right. Our Lady does not abandon us, nor those we hold in our hearts. I can’t express what I’m feeling because it is too overwhelming. I just know there is no need for me to worry, all I need to do is TRUST–and you have shown me that, and literally enable me to see my lack more clearly and have touched my heart to do exactly that. I give it to Jesus, and take it back. I guess we all do that. Charlie, when you said to say the Miraculous Prayer only once, that was the important part. Say it and believe it–really believe it with all your heart, with all you being. I hate to admit that these replies have given me clearer sight and greater trust. No! I am glad to say that. What a gift! I had not even thought of placing all of my prayers into the Flame of Love. That begins now. And my oldest son’s next order from Amazon is going to include Elizabeth’s book
    Ellenchris, I feel the same as you do. Kim’s humility to include “her” story with her daughter’s created an added dimension that not only enhanced the truth and beauty of Amanda’s column, but showed me as a parent that I was part of the problem, and only Our Lady and her Divine Son are the solution. Like you, I can only kneel and say, Lord increase our trust in You.
    May Our Lady ignite in my own heart her Flame of Love and through all of us may it spread and burn over all those we know and all those we pray for. How much I love all of you and how much I thank you for your gift to me.


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