Over the course of the past month, I have embarked on an intense spiritual retreat. I have often written about how the Lord has blessed me by truly healing so many aspects of my life, I cannot begin to express how miraculous this transformation has been.
Despite all this healing, I still found myself struggling with my faith. I would be praying and become so distracted that I would be unable to recall what I had just prayed about.
I hit my breaking point when these distractions began to consume my life. These distractions were basically food, self-image and weight. These are the key obsessions that had taken over my life and the main weapons Satan uses to cripple my spirit.
The wisdom of St. Ignatius of Loyola suddenly filled my thoughts. St. Ignatius was known for his pioneering contributions to spiritual exercises. He understood that the best way to be entirely united with God was to eliminate all material elements that have priority in one’s life. St. Ignatius himself was a military man; his self-image was extremely important to him, yet he decided to go and live in a cave where he let his hair become unkempt and his fingernails grow ragged. He did this because he recognized his unhealthy attachment to superficial practices regarding his physical appearance.
I decided to follow this saint’s example and went on what might best be described as a spiritual rampage. I made a vow to visit the adoration chapel every day; I started a consecration to Jesus Christ through His mother Mary, and I fasted from food, exercise and looking at myself in the mirror.
During the days leading up to this consecration, I was filled with fear and uncertainty, questioning whether or not I could actually do all this. These thoughts were from the evil one, who was trying to convince me I was too weak. When the day came to start the 33-day consecration, the moment I woke up I could already feel the weight of all my distractions being lifted from me.
Even though it was a struggle and there were times when I faltered, I could feel the Holy Spirit supporting me. The encouragement I received from the Holy Spirit and Mother Mary was affirmation that I was on the right track. Going to the adoration chapel every day helped me pay attention to my prayers again.
As part of the “spiritual rampage,” I embarked on a 33-day consecration to Jesus Christ through Mary. The basic premise of this exercise is to give your life entirely to Jesus through the intercession of Mary. Through this consecration, I pledged to give myself to God. I no longer want to live my own life–from this moment on, everything I do will be for God and according to His will.
This miracle has been so monumental that I was afraid to write this blog in fear of unwanted judgment from others. However, when I made the decision not to write about it, I immediately encountered writer’s block and was unable to write anything for 2 weeks.
It was not until yesterday while I was praying in the adoration chapel that I heard Mary’s voice. I was dozing in the chapel after a long work week when suddenly I awoke with a slight jolt and Mary’s voice ringing in my ears, “be brave.” It took me awhile to understand what she was trying to tell me, but I finally got it. I am supposed to speak about this miracle and not let the fears of being judged by the earthly world keep me from proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ.
Here is my personal miracle: only a few days after my consecration began, I woke up early before anyone else in my household was awake. I had to go to the bathroom, which is quite normal, but the feeling I had was different. There was blood in the toilet. I had my period. For most women, this is a normal occurrence that happens every month, but not for me.
Ever since I was diagnosed with diabetes almost 13 years ago, I have been unable to have a period. I have spent countless hours praying for the restoration of a monthly cycle and had reached the point where I believed I was not meant to have a period. If I was meant to have children, the Lord would make it happen without going through a period.
On that morning, however, the Lord made the impossible a reality. Having a period again was a most incredible experience and almost indescribable. My body was strong enough to bear children!
God had healed so many mental and emotional difficulties in my life, but that morning He showed me that He could heal me physically as well. There, in actual blood, was evidence that God is real and alive and working. It was the greatest affirmation that not only do I personally want to have children and a family but that God wants this too, and He is physically preparing my body to take on the role of a mother.
I thank His Mother for giving me that jolt in the adoration chapel to “be brave. She assured me that the Lord is actively working in my life, and that He can transform anyone’s life in unimaginable ways. Just ask Him and allow Him in yours!