Pope Francis asks us to seek a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least openness to encountering him, every day. He adds, “No one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord” (The Joy of the Gospel).
Maureen Pollard knows God wants to share his love with us in unique personal relationships. She seeks a personal encounter with Jesus Christ both in prayer and in her everyday life. Read her most memorable experiences below.
Help us share the joy of knowing God. Please send your faith story and any questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org now! I’ll publish as many stories as I can.
Here is the first part of Maureen’s story in her own words:
“I had an adorable 22-month old daughter and a newborn baby. I had a great husband.”
“Ten days after the birth of our daughter, I realized something was wrong. A pre-dawn visit to the emergency room ensued. Many tests later the diagnosis was unceremoniously handed to me: lymphoma. It was difficult to comprehend. I was joyful with the baby and filled with dread with the uncertainty that lay ahead. The Sunday after my diagnosis I attended Mass and “Be Not Afraid” was the Communion hymn. I walked down the aisle with tears streaming down my face.
“I had a year of chemotherapy and long hospital stays. Each admission was 10 long days until my white counts came up. I missed mothering my girls. I was overwhelmed with fear that I would die if this protocol didn’t work. The distress knowing my daughters would never remember me was heartbreaking.”
Maureen credits her husband for being her strength and support. She said emphatically, “He was my rock.” That year, she and her husband drew closer to each other and together drew closer to God. Maureen joyfully recalled that they exchanged cross necklaces for Christmas that year, without any previous discussion.
Throughout the entire year, Maureen knows God carried her through. “He was my ‘footsteps in the sand.’ He carried me gently through and granted me the best gift I could have received. I was cured! Halleluiah!”
The most significant lesson Maureen learned from suffering through this life-threatening illness is that she is not in control.
The next few years of Maureen’s life passed without incident. By the time her daughters were ages 4 and 6, she longed for another baby.
She was afraid that the chemo might have affected her ability to carry a healthy baby. Her husband was also concerned about Maureen’s health. She had developed lymphoma while she was pregnant. He was happy and grateful that his wife and children were healthy.
“Yet, I couldn’t shake it,” Maureen said. “I wanted another healthy baby. I wanted to stay healthy too. What were God’s plans? I prayed for an answer. I wanted God to make the decision. I yearned for his plan to be what I wanted and nothing else.”
While she was visiting her in-laws for a vacation in Florida, she was praying in their bedroom. She suddenly felt warmth from her feet to her head. “I heard what I could only say was an audible answer. A voice filled the entire room. ‘I will love you no matter what you do.’”
These were the exact words Maureen needed to hear. She was filled with peace. She didn’t need to hear anything else. “He gave me the perfect answer!”
With these nine words, God reminded Maureen that he loved her, he would never leave her and she had free will.
“He would be by my side,” Maureen said. “He would be my God, loving me through thick and thin. He was in control with whatever situation or decision I made. He had proven his goodness to me by guiding me through my life in so many instances. He taught me that his support is unconditional. I can trust him and rely on him always. He enriched my faith in him. This was a lifetime of love handed to me.”
In closing, Maureen shared, “Whenever I forget, which I am ashamed to admit I do, of the covenant God has promised to me and to his people, I remember that he will love me no matter what I do.”
When God speaks to our heart, we are forever changed.
Thanks so much to Maureen Pollard for sharing her inspiring story. She and her husband John reside in Malvern and are members of St. Patrick Parish.
We all need confirmation. Whether you have a major conversion story or a momentary connection with God, please send your story and any questions to me at email@example.com.
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My “shell” story, part of my own witness story; and
Cathy Peacock holds an M.A. in theology, is a certified public accountant and a member of St. Isaac Jogues Parish, Wayne.
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