My Heart in Medjugorje
- Written by Maureen Ucles
Believe it or not, it all started with a traffic ticket. I got a $200 dollar violation ticket on my way to school. You need to have 3 people in the car in the morning. I had passed that way so many times and I watched, as people were pulled over and they never saw me in my Ford Ranger with my 4-year-old daughter, until that day. I was late for work, so I took the chance that I would continue to be invisible. He waved me over and I just felt so guilty. I always said, laughingly, that I would tell the officer that I thought baby dolls counted as three. Nope, not that day. I was caught and I somehow didn�t try to get away with it and talk him out of it. I just sat there waiting for him to give me the well-deserved ticket. I was numb and actually so surprised that I got caught. Yes, thank the Good Lord; it started with a traffic ticket.
I arrived at work on time, surprisingly, after I dropped Elizabeth off with the sitter. I told one of my co-workers that I just got a ticket and how embarrassed I was.
She looked at me and smiled, �Maybe God is showing you He loves you!� I thought her response was strange. I mean if God loved me so much then I shouldn�t have gotten caught. But because the response was so rare, I pondered on it for the whole day. What did she mean? Maybe she was right, I mean I was wrong in taking the HOV without three passengers and everything. But God showing me that he loved me?
It was around August that this happened and God had been calling me back to the Church for a while and I kept trying to get back but kept holding things back too. Not long after the traffic ticket, I kept thinking about God and how far I had strayed from Him and I felt so hopeless because I couldn�t forgive myself for wandering so far, for so long. I could never get back because I wasn�t willing to let God have control over my whole life again. I mean, that means I�d have to change and I was �such an intelligent woman who thought for herself.� If I let God have control then I�d have to give up my mind too!! I was too prideful to do that. At least that was what I thought. I remembered back to the previous Easter, even though I didn�t go to church, I did pray the Divine Mercies, which I found at a Christian/Catholic book store. I always loved the picture of Jesus this way. Maybe there would be hope after all. I mean Jesus is known by many names, one being the Hound of Heaven.
So He was softening my heart and there was a spiritual battle going on in my soul. I had trouble sleeping and I would wake up praying the Hail Mary, Glory Be and the Our Father and ask for His protection. I felt evil around me in the darkness.
I hadn�t seen my husband (by law) for about 3 � years and it didn�t look like he was going to ever come back home to my 4 year-old daughter anytime soon. He would give the excuses and I would just keep hope alive that he would come back and we would then be a perfect family. That�s when I�d come back to Jesus, perfect. I never wanted my daughter to ever grow up without a dad. I grew up without an active father as my mom and dad divorced when I was in second grade. That tore my family�s hearts out (there were six of us) I was the baby. I grew up fast since mom had to go to work for my uncle in a bar and I was one of those �latch-key� children that educators so pitifully talk about. So, needless to say, I wanted better for my daughter. I hated the idea of her growing up without a father. But that was the reality that I was denying and it helped me deny God. I wasn�t �being real� with my self, let alone a God that I had forsaken 12 years ago, in the Peace Corps.
I was in a state of Mortal Sin not being married in the church and such. I knew it was wrong but, hey, I could make up God the way I wanted in my subjective truth because everybody around me was doing that too. But in my heart of hearts, I knew I was wrong. It was my pride that was killing me. I didn�t want to admit that I was doing wrong so I said, �I am a good person. And the God I know would never send someone like me to hell. Anyways maybe I�ll repent just in time!!� There were a million reasons why I couldn�t just call out to God. But everyone has a breaking point and part of that breaking point was the ticket.
It was as if it was a judgment in miniature. I couldn�t try to get out of it in anyway. I just accepted it. Soon, about a week later, I just broke down a surrendered my sinfulness and situation to the Lord Jesus. I didn�t care what happened with Jose Armando but I just wanted to be back in the Lord�s loving arms. I guess you could say I was the prodigal daughter. I cried and I cried, tears of sorrow and joy at the same time. I was lost but now I was found.
Immediately, I stopped listening to other music and started listening to Christian music. I started going to church more. I started reading more.
I told my friend at work about this. She said, �Make sure you go to a Bible preaching church.� I nodded and thought I�d try some protestant churches but never did. I went to church off and on at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church, just down the street. For some reason, I knew no other church would do but the Catholic Church.
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