I wanted to share how our Good Lord gives us hope in the most devastating times, how He and our Most Blessed Mother are always tenderly caring for us, and how They brought me full circle, back to our One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church.

I was raised in a loving Catholic home, and our family of 8 prayed the Most Holy Rosary often.  I thank my beautiful parents (who still pray the Most Holy Rosary often, just the two of them now).  Then I grew up, went to college, got married, and moved not only away from home, but also away from my Holy Catholic faith.  I never physically left the Church.  But I just didn't see the need for too much of it.  I prayed only when I needed something.  I have no idea if I even owned a pair of Rosary beads.

After 3 years of marriage, and a 2 year old, we were expecting our 2nd child.  We went to the hospital, as I was scheduled for a C-section the next day.  The nurse came in and tried to find our precious baby's heartbeat.  Another nurse came in to help.  Then the doctor came in and ordered a stat ultrasound.  He told us the baby had died.  I looked at my husband and saw the tears streaming down his face.  I looked at the doctor and said "I need Rosary beads".  A nurse gave me hers that she carried with her. God bless her!!  I clung to those Rosary beads.  Our Lord and Blessed Mother took such good care of me at that time.  It was difficult to pray, but I knew they were there.  They held me and comforted me.  Our Blessed Mother knew my pain, she had lost her Son.  Thank you, Jesus and Mary for your love and comfort.  I love you!!

We traveled back to my parents' home for Justin's funeral.  That night, I was so angry with God.  I threw the Rosary beads behind the big entertainment center, which I was not able to move myself.  They were there to stay!  For now.  After many tears, I fell asleep.  When I awoke in the middle of the night, the Rosary beads were in my hand, I was clinging to them.  I asked my husband why he had gotten them for me.  He hadn't.  Neither had anyone else in the house.  (No one here, I mean).  I wasn't very spiritual, but I knew something spiritual had happened. So I just kept clinging to my Rosary beads.

About 2 weeks after Justin had died, I went into the nursery and leaned against the crib. I felt I couldn't go on.  I didn't want to live, I felt so empty.
I wept.  I cried out to God, "God, I can't go on like this.  I need your help.  Please help me"!  Almost immediately I began to feel lighter.  The weight was being lifted.  Can't really explain it.  Then I heard my 2+ year old talking to someone.  He was carrying on a conversation across the hall.  But there was no one with us, just he and I.  I listened to this for several minutes.  Then it was quiet.  I went into the room and looked around, no one there but my little boy.  I asked him who he was talking to. "That man, mommy".  Again, I looked around.  Noone was there. "What man, honey"? I asked him.  "That nice man that was here to make sure you were OK, mommy.  He left, mommy".

Yes, there is always hope in the Lord.  He will NEVER leave us nor forsake us!!!

Thus, my search began.  I needed to draw near to God. But what is the best way?  I prayed and I prayed harder.  I didn't know where I belonged.  I searched.  And again I prayed.  For guidance.  Where was "home'?  I attended a Life in the Spirit seminar at our Catholic Church.  This awakened me to the Holy Spirit, Who was already within me.  I knew it was time to give my life to Jesus.  (Though I have taken it back quite often)!  I learned how to praise God.  I began to pray the Most Holy Rosary again, after many years away from it.

And I had a great yearning to receive Jesus in Holy Communion.  I began to go to Holy Mass daily.  Jesus in His Most Holy Eucharist gives me strength
for the day.  He is my strength!  I felt drawn to spend time with Jesus in His
Most Blessed Sacrament.
"Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you".  (James 4:8) 

And Confession, oh, I never really " liked" to go to confession. But there were sins from long ago I knew needed to be forgiven.  The priest who heard my confession at a weekend retreat was an absolute blessing.  I cried and asked if I really needed to say  these sins out loud.  He looked at me so kindly, and I saw Jesus.  I cried and confessed aloud these sins I had carried around with me for so long.  The priest stood up, came to me, hugged me and told me how much Jesus loves me.  At that moment, I knew it was true.  I saw our gentle Jesus that day. Oh, our Holy Sacraments!!  What graces we receive through them!!! Yes, I am home to stay in our One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church!!!

Thank you, saints and angels, for your intercession and protection.
Thank you, Blessed Mother, for your love, your tender love.
Thank you, Holy Spirit, for your loving guidance.
Thank you, my precious Jesus,  for dying so that I may live.
And thank you, Heavenly Father, for taking such good care of your
child who had taken her faith pretty lightly.
Thank you, Father God, for everything!

I love you!!!


Linda J. Handel

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