I was a single mother 11 years ago, having gone through an ugly divorce. I met my husband, a man with great integrity, from a wonderful strong farm work ethic, stable and good. I had always lived my life doing my will, not really caring or understanding how to be Christian in my way of living. I was raised protestant, my husband was protestant and I had just begun my journey into the Catholic Church. He was very supportive at the time of my religious beliefs and agreed that we would raise our children Catholic. Looking back, there were many red flags that I ignored because I just wanted to be married. He was completely opposite of my 1st husband and so I just thought that God sent him to me. I was trying to form God's will to what I wanted. I NEVER waited on God, not ever.
A month after our wedding, I began to see that this man was not who I thought. He stopped going to Mass with me, and began demanding that I change. I began to suffer in this marriage with him, and we began to have serious sufferings for several years, sickness and death seemed to plague our family. After I lost my first baby-a boy who died inside my womb, I had to carry him for a few days, I met our Blessed Mother that week. It was 7 years ago this week that I began to know her. My 9 year old daughter brought me 2 books that she found at Church when they were giving them away. They were about Marian apparitions happening in the town where I lived as a child. I was completely fascinated and began studying Lourdes, Fatima and Medjugorje. I really began to know Jesus in a way I never experienced in my life. To really participate in the life of Christ through His Church, is amazing. However, I still was so depressed and darkness was constantly inside me. I wanted to die by 2004, I prayed for God to take me from this world, I dreamed of getting in a car accident. I just didn't want to be here. I had to take anti-depressants because I could not deal with my husband. I wanted my living children to have more than a depressed mother, so I felt I had no choice. This didn't help at all, I wanted to leave, but had no way out, no money, no support from family, nowhere to go. In 2006 the same church had another book giveaway and my mother brought me a new book written by "a friend of Medjugorje" called How to Change Your Husband I was 8 months pregnant with living daughter #4, praying for a miracle every day. I really felt the grace of God during this pregnancy because I wasn't supposed to be fertile after the last pregnancy loss and it was a miracle in itself. The readings of this book told me what to do. To be submissive to my husband, to do anything he asks (excluding sin) and to try to be an example of Christ. I guess I had been trying to be an example, but just couldn't. Something about this message began to change my life. I received the anointing of the sick before my daughter was born and I believe the combination of Medjugorje and the sacrament changed my life. I began to try to think of how Mary would react to this. I had been fighting God's will because I wanted my husband to be what I wanted him to be, I couldn't accept him as a flawed human being. He needs to heal from his past. I pray daily for his conversion, I still suffer with his impossible demands, yet he began to change a little when I began to practice this. I embraced my cross and could have never ever done this without Mary's intercession. My daughter was born in November 2006, her name is Monica, after St. Monica who prays for us, too. I ask daily for my life to be a continuous YES to God. Just by saying yes to God, I do not have inner turmoil, depression or anxiety about things. For the first time in my life I am waiting for God. Divorce was not the answer for me for it brings on a whole other set of problems. Prayer is the answer to everything. I just thank God for this grace. I know this is the old-fashioned way, but I am full of joy for the gift of life. I want to live now, to be a good wife and mother. Though my marriage is not perfect, it is very flawed, I know that Christ is with me. I wait at the foot of the Cross with his mother. We all suffer in some way, this is my cross, I accept it, embrace it and pray for the grace to get through this life, anti-depressant-free!