If I had ever doubted Shannon (from "A Friend of Gianna")'s closeness to our Lord before, I certainly never will again. As my prayer buddy this Lent, I believe her prayers went directly to God's sacred heart and worked miracles in my life. One in particular.
I have received what I thought were "signs" in the past. A hawk (messenger of good news) flying by when I believe myself forgotten and abandoned. A rainbow when all seems dark and hopeless. Flowers from St. Therese after praying her novena. These are not new to me.
But I have never received what I believed to be a message from God. I've never heard His voice. I've never felt Him speaking to me. When I am in the presence of the Eucharist, or when venerating holy relics, my mind goes blank and I find it difficult to even pray. I remember last year at the St. Gianna Mass, I prayed fervently from the pew, but the minute it was my turn to hold the gloves, all the prayers shot right out of my head! I put the gloves down, walked away, and went "DOH!" What a missed opportunity to offer up intentions!!
All of that changed on Good Friday. While at the 3:00pm service with my husband, I received what I positively believe now to be a message from God... delivered from none other than my Prayer Buddy, Shannon. After receiving Communion, offering intentions for MY Prayer Buddy (Grace in my Heart), I went back to my pew and contemplated Jesus' crucifixion. I began to get emotional, and those tears quickly turned to tears of joy at the thought of what was coming oh-so soon. Jesus' TRIUMPH over death! His Resurrection! I was in awe of this thought when suddenly my mind went blank, and I heard my own inner voice say these words:
"Your Easter is coming. Can't you feel it?"
Just at that moment, I felt a rush of God's peace, so strong, so tangible, it seemed to fill me from the inside out, instead of coming from the outside in. I felt, for a brief moment, "I'm pregnant." But that thought quickly turned to, "It doesn't matter if I'm pregnant or not right now... God will deliver me from this all, and it will be soon."
As I told Shannon in my recent email to her, I wish I could have bottled up that feeling of peace and kept it with me at all times. It was wonderful. But shortly after leaving church, my human doubt began to taint it. Was this message really from God? Or was it my own wishful thinking?
But of all things to "hear," why those words? Why not- "You'll be a mother soon," or "Your pain will be over shortly"? The message was not JUST about the end of suffering, but about an Eastertide. The Resurrection is so much more than the end of suffering, after all. And furthermore, the message included the words, "Can't you feel it?" as if to show me in a tangible way how the prayers of my prayer buddy were working in my life. Accompanied by the FEELING of peace gave me reason to tell my husband in the car outside of church, "I think we are going to be parents soon." He said he felt a similar feeling during Communion.
Well, when I read Shannon's blog this morning, I nearly fell off my chair. Along with some amazing compliments that I am hardly worthy of, she wrote:
"In that time, however, I also felt deep, abiding, trusting hope. I had a sense that God will "deliver" (literally!) and that she will have a baby in her arms in His most perfect time. Nothing is impossible for God and I know her Easter will come."
Wow. Just wow.
Shannon, you have been my strength during some of the hardest moments of my life. I know your prayers were joined by so many others of my readers, friends, and family and I want to thank you ALL for praying for me and lifting me up to a place where I no longer feel pain. I am truly blessed.