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November 21, 2021
We share our stories to raise faith!
Stories From The Street- downtown Cuyahoga Falls 11-20-21. Rita and I partnered with new team leader Sue Smith and her husband Lenny from Newbury, Ohio.
A young woman, not yet twenty, approached Len and I and I asked if she would like prayer for anything? She shrugged her shoulders. I said, well, how’s life in general for you? With that she unloaded that she has suffered from anxiety and depression for years and is just now in therapy. She said she believes in God but not sure about any particular religion. It has been "a while" since she had been to church. After speaking longer with her she revealed she was raised Catholic and goes to my parish. She is familiar with both our priests. Our pastor came and ministered to her once when she was hospitalized for her mental condition. So after sharing that doctors and medicines were great to help the body, but only Jesus can help the soul and peace of mind, I shared my testimony about St. Therese of Avila “I have no hands but yours, no feet but yours” story. I told her that was my theme for a witness I was giving at a retreat many years ago. The night before the witness, the hands and feet broke off the large crucifix I wear. I knew Jesus was near to me and wanted me to give that testimony. Fast forward many years, and having been away from the church, I walked into St. Joe’s one Sunday only to hear the pastor give the talk “I have no hands but yours, no feet but yours” and went to confession and returned to the church the next week and have not looked back.
By the time I finished my 3 min story, we were both in tears as she shared that the verse about “the vine and the branches” has been cropping up for her for the past several months. I again shared “one good reason” for being Catholic was the Holy Eucharist, the food only Jesus in the Catholic Church can give to nourish the branches. She allowed Len & I to pray for her, we asked for an infilling of the Holy Spirit, and healing of anxiety and depression. During the prayer she said she saw a bird. We talked about “Godwinks” and how God speaks to us through other people. I asked if she would wear a Miraculous Medal. As I placed it around her neck, I told her the story. She nearly collapsed when I mentioned St. Catherine Laboure as she said her grandmother’s name was Catherine. She was just getting confirmation from all directions today. I am so glad Len was there as a prayer partner.
I invited her to confession that afternoon and to Mass the next day. She said she would see. I gave her my card and my phone number and told her she could call me anytime. Praise Jesus! I did not see her at confession yesterday, I’m sure she will get there. There are no “coincidences” with God. It was a Divine Appointment and a great first outing for Len!