John 1:5 “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Recently, I have stumbled upon article after article on the darkness that is around us and I can see how people are feeling lost and hopeless. The constant negative headlines can be very overwhelming for a lot of people and the overdose and suicide rates have been sky rocketing. Hearing the news of so many young people dying of overdoses weighs so heavy on my heart as I lost my mother to a overdose when I was a teenager. My Mother’s death impacted me so much, and opened my eyes to the darkness of drugs which stole away a precious life.
I personally went down the dark road of addiction as well, but witnessing the death of my mother woke me up. My mother saved my life by waking me up to the realization that addictions can kill you. Ignorantly as a young teen I thought I was invincible and that my body could easily rebound from the abuse I was putting it through. Obviously this is not reality and the darkness of addiction is real. Are you sick of being a prisoner to your addictions?
I want you to know that there is hope and that you are precious to God. Jesus loves you so very much and wants you to turn to him in the midst of your pain and suffering. You are so valuable and loved. Jesus has a unique plan for your life and wants you to know how special you are to him. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Dear Jesus, I thank you for bringing me out of darkness and into your glorious light. I pray especially for those who are lost in addictions that they too will find hope and healing. Help them to see how precious and loved they truly are. Amen.
Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
It can be easy to become discouraged if we allow the negative talk we hear to decide our emotions. We can choose to look only at the bad that is happening which most often leads us to become frustrated and angry. With this choice all hope we once had is quickly lost and forgotten as negativity dwells in our hearts. Are you feeling hopeless right now?
Think back to the times that God made his presence known to you, and rest in the love that he has for you. In these moments that seem hopeless it helps to remember the struggles we have overcome in our own personal lives, and to reflect on how Jesus pulled us through those challenges. When I encounter hardships it helps me significantly to reflect back on all the times that Jesus was with me through the storms. Knowing that when I turn to Jesus in prayer it leads to a deep peace and hope that can only come through him. Each day spend some time with Jesus and allow the peace of the Holy Spirit to rest in your heart.
Dear Jesus, I thank you for all the times that you have rescued me throughout my life. You brought me out of darkness and into your light. I pray for all those who are lost and in darkness that they too will come to know your love for them. Amen.
Psalm 34:1-3 “I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!”
There are days that can be extremely difficult and we can quite easily become discouraged and frustrated. Times where we feel lost and our minds become filled with unanswered questions. The thoughts that run through your mind could lead to anxiety and fear in a matter of minutes. Are you willing to seek Jesus in the midst of your trial?
Instead of allowing fear to consume your mind, turn to Jesus who is always at the door of your heart. If we turn our fear into praise the Prince of Peace will fill our hearts with love and joy. Jesus can heal our hearts and bring true peace in the midst of our storms. Together let us exalt his name as we praise our king!
Dear Jesus, I thank you for the trials that bring us closer to you. Help us to trust in you more each and every day. With thanksgiving and praise we turn to you in search of true peace and restoration. Amen.
This past weekend I took part in our yearly Life Chain here in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in Canada. I am very grateful to Jesus that I am healed and now able to help others. I chose to have an abortion in 1995, and this choice caused extreme guilt, shame and anger as well resulted in the death of my own child. This is a condensed version of my personal testimony:
I had an abortion in 1995. I experienced the deep shame, guilt, anger, and depression that came with it. I grew up in a dysfunctional home and experienced physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. My mom was severely depressed and addicted to prescription pills. My father was a workaholic and never spent much time with his children. At an early age, I had to take care of my siblings. I worried constantly about my home life and what was going to happen on a day-to-day basis. I remember as a child having anger towards God as to why I had the life I had. I had a grandmother who was always there for me. Her home was a place of safety, and I would go to visit her quite often. My grandfather was a war veteran, and even though he was angry a lot of the time, it was still a safer environment than my own home.
I started to get in with the wrong crowd when I was a young teen. I began using alcohol, which led to drugs. I avoided going home, and no one seemed to notice. I dropped out of school in grade 9 and found a family amongst other friends who were experiencing similar problems. I later found out that my parents had separated. My mom had moved out without telling me, and took my younger brother with her. My father and my other brother stayed together and later moved into an apartment. My grandmother had died shortly after this and that was very hard for me to take. It was like losing my mother. To deal with my hurt, I began to drink more heavily and use more drugs. I stayed with my mom off and on because I felt she needed someone to be there for her after losing her mother. I never saw my brother and dad for years. For some reason, his absence seemed normal to me. I kept drinking and partying and started to get in trouble with the law. I ended up in jail as a minor. But even when I got out of juvenile jail, I continued with the same old habits.
My mom met another man and decided to marry him. He started to physically abuse her and my younger brother. I would run away from home and then feel guilty for leaving my brother behind. I drank to numb the pain, and then at the age of 19, I became pregnant. My mother told me to have an abortion, and so I set up an appointment with the doctor myself. I was so addicted to alcohol and drugs that I thought this was the right decision. A friend drove me there and I was left alone in the hospital to have the abortion.
When it was over, all I remember was waking up and feeling extremely weak. I was white as a ghost. I was given a snack and drink and left the hospital. My friend picked me up and I was in extreme pain and cramping the whole way home.
After the abortion, my life went from bad to worse. I did more drinking and harder drugs to mask my guilt and shame. I was hurting beyond belief. I kept getting in trouble with the law, and I pretended that the abortion had been a good choice for me.
I got pregnant again a year after my abortion, which I later realized was an atonement pregnancy. I wanted to replace the baby I lost. I told my mom I was pregnant and she said I couldn’t keep this baby and should have another abortion. I told her, “No, I am keeping my baby.” I could not go through that hurt again. I quit drinking and doing drugs cold-turkey, and was eager to have my baby. When I was 3 months pregnant, my mom died of an overdose. I thought my life would only bring never-ending pain. I had a baby boy who I believe is the angel who saved me. I married the father of my son and ended up having my marriage annulled 2 years later. My husband didn’t want to quit drinking and doing drugs, but I wanted to grow up and have a family. It had always been the desire of my heart to have a family. I needed something he couldn’t give me, a life without addiction.
Shortly after that, I was led back to the Lord. I attended a youth retreat and experienced a deep healing. God had spoken to me and said “I am your father, and I love you”. During adoration God had pulled something out of my heart, and I felt love and joy beyond belief. My shirt was soaked from the tears I cried during that adoration. I was on fire after that and kept seeking the Lord. Yet I kept feeling the guilt and shame of my abortion, haunting my mind. I would cry out for forgiveness. I felt I had committed the most unforgivable sin. I went to reconciliation several times about my abortion and would cry my eyes out in shame, guilt, and fear that I was going to hell. I had thoughts about my aborted baby hating me for what I had done to him. I could sense him wondering “Why me mom? Why am I the one you killed?”
As my relationship with God strengthened, I was led to speak to someone at my church about my hidden secret. She informed me that there was a retreat for abortive woman coming to Saskatchewan. I never knew these types of retreats existed. I went to a retreat called Rachel’s Vineyard, and received a huge healing from God. He showed me that He had forgiven me, and why I had done this sin. Before this retreat I could not forgive myself. But God made it clear to me that I needed to do that, and accept the gift of His forgiveness. I named my aborted son Michael, and had a memorial service for him.
When I got home I knew both God and my aborted son Michael had forgiven me, and wanted me to move on with my life. I let go of the guilt, shame, and unforgiveness I had carried for years. I was a single mother for 7 years before I knew what real love was and what a marriage truly is and means. God has blessed me with another son and a loving husband; the family I’d always longed for.
God has placed a compassion and understanding on my heart for the women and children affected by abortion, and for those who are broken-hearted. Currently I am speaking in schools and telling my testimony to teenagers, in the hope that an abortion can be prevented. I also tell them about some of my post-abortive symptoms and how an abortion doesn’t instantly make your life go back to what it was before your pregnancy. If it wasn’t for God, I would not be able to do what I am doing. Truly, He has shown me His mercy and forgiveness.
My testimony can be purchased through Lighthouse Catholic Media if you know of anyone who could benefit from hearing it:
If you have had an abortion and can relate to my testimony, please reach out to someone and seek help. There are many ministries that focus specifically on post abortion recovery. You are not alone and there is hope and healing available.
Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.”
Last week while on a morning walk I had noticed the beautiful red sun above this rugged staircase. I stopped and took a photo as this picture reflected my own journey with Christ. There are days which seem smooth like the bottom stairs and then we have times that are challenging and rough which reflect the upper stairs. It is a good reminder of how much we need Jesus in our lives to help us through our rugged staircases.
There are also times where we are made aware of our own character traits that we seen as smooth but were in fact more rough and rocky. The Holy Spirit will remove the scales from our eyes and reveal to us where we need to grow if we humbly turn to Jesus in prayer. We all fall short and are in need of God’s Grace and Mercy that comes from asking his forgiveness for our sins. With strength that comes only through Jesus we can endure the stairs that are set before us.
Thank you for the trials in our lives that bring us closer to you. Through these struggles I ask that we will grow in trust and patience as we turn to you for strength. Thank you for your everlasting love for each and everyone of your children. Amen.
Ephesians 6:10-11 “Finally, be strong In the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
The last few months, weeks and days have been challenging for all of us as we have had to adjust our lives around COVID-19. Uncertainty of the unknown outcome of how things will change for all of us as we face this time. It is a hard time financially for many including my own family as we enter the uncertainty of how things will unfold. At this time our minds can wonder as to what is to come and how will things look in the months ahead.
The last few weeks I have had many occasions where the devil whispered negative lies into my ear. The whispers consisted of criticism and thoughts of how I should stop ministry work and the sharing of my personal testimony. The good news is that I was able to recognize these foul lies and I hope that all who are reading this will as well.
We can turn to prayer and our sacraments to help us through these times of battle. You need to know you are not alone and that God is always with you and that he loves you deeply. When you feel negative thoughts arising within you turn to Jesus. Reading scripture and praying the rosary daily are key to overcoming the distractions of the evil one. Therefore put on the whole armour of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits, who prowl around the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
Psalm 113:3“From the rising of the sun to its setting the name of the Lord is to be praised!”
Last week I was Blessed to have been able to catch this sunrise as I opened up my blinds one morning. The beauty of this sunrise once again reminded me to appreciate the moment and to see the good in each day. When we overlook the beauty around us we tend to close our hearts and ears to God’s still small voice. Do you take time in your day to appreciate all the blessings you have?
We can forget the blessings we have been given most easily when we are going through trials in our lives. Hardships can blind us at times to the hope that is found only through Jesus Christ. Jesus is always with us and sometimes we need to be reminded of that. Are you willing to open your heart to Jesus?
Each day take the time to recognize the sunsets in your life that are blessings from God. Praise the name of Jesus through music and prayer as you turn to thank the Lord for all the good things he has done for you. Tomorrow when you open up your blinds allow your heart to see the beauty that surrounds you.
I thank you for today and all the beauty that surrounds us. I thank you for the gift of life and all you have created. Thank you Lord for the blessings in our lives. Amen.
1 Peter 5:7“Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you.” The above picture illustrates a child in a conversation with Jesus or perhaps just being comforted in his presence. I absolutely love this image and the reflection it has on our own personal relationship with Jesus. Do you know that Jesus cares about you deeply and wants a personal relationship with you?
We all have challenges and hardships in our lives and the weight of that can really be heavy. Some challenges are like boulders, while others can be light as a pebble. No one is free from facing problems within their lives and it is how we deal with the burden that will make the load lighter. Would you open your heart to Jesus like this child in the picture, and trust in his love for you?
When I am faced with problems I find it so comforting to share my heart with Jesus. Over the years I have learned that if I run to my Heavenly Father like a child, he is there waiting with open arms. He loves and cares for you deeply and is wanting you to speak to him. The next time you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders, will you turn to Jesus?
I Thank you for the love you have for us your children. I pray for all those who are carrying heavy burdens to place them at the foot of the cross. I ask that they would be comforted by your Fatherly love for them.Amen.
John 14:27″Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
This picture was taken last year in Newfoundland where we travelled for our vacation. The sounds of the ocean water touching the shore I find very calming and peaceful. Stepping into a place with such beauty can easily allow us to forget the troubles of this world. For myself I find it very relaxing and liberating to slow down and take time in silence to allow Jesus to speak to my heart.
We are surrounded by constant noise and distractions in our everyday life which makes it hard to hear the Holy Spirit. The hustle and bustle of busyness has sadly become first priority in so many peoples lives. Peace has been replaced with anxiety, fear and division. Have you personally lost peace in your own life? Are you willing to spend some time with Jesus?
Looking back in my own life I would allow fear, and anxiety to consume me to the point where I was affected physically. The symptoms which stemmed from that caused numerous stomach and headaches. It was only through spending time with Jesus and building trust in him that I was freed from my physical ailments. As I started to trust Jesus, my fear and anxiety were replaced with peace. Through spending time with Jesus I have grown to love silence and the peace that accompanies it. Only Jesus can provide true peace that lasts forever.
I pray for those who are anxious and restless. I ask that they will seek peace that only comes from a personal relationship with you. I pray for the conversion of hearts who are lost and misguided that they will turn to you their Heavenly Father. Amen.