An Unplanned trip to Peoria
Nov 20, 2013 10:09amYesterday we did something spontaneous...well, less planned than we have been living our lives for the past 3 years! We cancelled ALL but 1 of Danielle's daily therapy sessions... why would we do this? Monday morning we received an unsigned message in the guestbook (Thank you for the message and for offering your pain up for Danielle, I hope your headache and your sons headache are gone) that prompted me to move into action because, the first class relics of Blessed John Paul II were traveling through Peoria. This is NOT something that happens everyday... or will probably ever happen again. Danielle's confirmation Saint is Saint Joan of Arc, but we have also asked for healing from God through the intercession of Blessed John Paul II. This was prompted through a feeling Fr. Hoefler had, a pull in his spirit, to direct prayers to the Pope in Heaven, as he suffered afflictions of the brain, and would in turn be sympathetic to such ailments... AND if Pope John Paul II received a recorded miraculous healing, he would receive the title "Blessed" and with 2 healings he would be welcomed into the realm of Sainthood. How wonderful! I am sure you can imagine my HUGE expectations, Danielle's healing AND her healing in turn being part of God's plan for the Sainthood of one of His faithful. I don't pray small prayers do I? Well as many of you know, Blessed John Paul II has received 2 Miraculous healings, and will be canonized on April 27th of 2014. We may not have been part of his sainthood, but that does not mean we should not continue to ask this heavenly friend to pray for Danielle along with we who are still on earth.
And so, yesterday morning we made preparations to travel with Danielle, meds, feed, supplies... as I was preparing Danielle, Jeff changed his clothes, and he came out wearing dress slacks, a crisp shirt and jacket, his Sunday best, I said "WOW, look at you!" he responded, "I am going to be in the presence of the Pope!" It is possible to love him even more than I did before? We loaded Danielle up and off we went. I have to admit I had started to feel a little queasy as we got closer to OSF, where Danielle was airlifted and spent 5 weeks in PICU, it is amazing how memories can all come flooding back.
Danielle did VERY well traveling, I read the new Joel Osteen book out loud and we arrived with 15 minutes to spare. I had called ahead to make arrangements and make sure we would be able to view the relics and we were able to sneak in among the visits of several schools. Everyone was so helpful, we were met at the door and escorted to the Chapel. Jeff had just been saying, it would be so wonderful if the relic could be touched by Danielle, better yet touched to her head... we had our doubts that we would even be able to get close enough to touch the relic. As we walked through the Chapel entrance the atmosphere changed, organ music was filling the room, and a chorus was singing about Jesus, the room felt... charged, electric. We received prayer cards and were told that we would be able to touch them to the relic, turning them into 3rd class relics themselves. I started to remove the necklaces from Danielle's neck that I had brought, a papal cross and a Pope John Paul II pendant hoping we could touch them to the relic too, and I noticed my hands were shaking. As we approached the relic, the 2 nuns who were standing next to the Relic, looked at Danielle and then at each other, and as we wheeled Danielle closer, they lifted the entire relic and PLACED IT ON DANIELLE'S LAP, they laid her hand on it, then touched their heads to hers and, one in Latin, one in English, prayed out loud for healing. Tears were flowing down my face, Jeff was praying I was praying. IT WAS SO POWERFUL! SO EMOTIONAL! I envisioned Danielle rising up out of her chair, praising God, envisioned taking her to OSF and letting her parade the halls and offering her wheelchair to someone else in need of it! SURELY THIS WAS THE MOMENT!
Jeff and I each touched the relic, then placed the prayer cards and the necklaces to the relic and moved Danielle into a sitting area, still within view of the relic. And we sat there and soaked in the moment. I closed my eyes and prayed, Thanked God for the opportunity to be there, together, worshipping Him, Thanking Blessed John Paul II for His love, loyalty and service to God, and then I watched as others reverently filed past the relics, small children with their mothers, young teens, it was all very moving. And I thought wouldn't it be wonderful for Danielle's Miracle to manifest itself here? The nuns had a video camera running, they were prepared, just in case, and to have all of these faithful witnesses, it would be a moment that would stay with them FOREVER, change their lives. But God's timing is not our timing. He has better plans for Danielle, it was not the moment I was envisioning. We left, me with tears still flowing, Danielle and Jeff peaceful and at rest. We walked past dozens of teenagers lined up and waiting, anxious for the opportunity to view the relics, and I know they noticed Danielle, curious, and hopefully many of them offered a prayer for her as well. And even though the experience was INCREDIBLE, I couldn't help but walk away disappointed, that the moment I had envisioned had not played out the I wanted. But again... God's way, not my way. I had texted several friends and family members before we left asking for additional prayers, and I texted them on the way home. They were all so encouraging, knowing that Danielle's healing is coming, and God's timing will be perfect. I want to Thank each of you for your continued strength, you are absolutely the gasoline on my Faith-Fire! :0)
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