I am just a pitiful creature always begging God for signs, directions and answers. Like a lost sheep spinning circles trying to find my shepherd, analyzing my steps and searching for the way. I have grown, in some ways, one being that I try to find space to stop and listen -ahhh how much sense it makes for me to slow down, listen for the Lord and correct my direction. Isn’t it all about trust?
For me it has been a journey to learn how to surrender and trust but that’s another part of another story. Today I am going to share with you a most memorable day in Southern Vermont in July of 2015.
There are the days that information comes to me that I wasn’t looking for but it is evident that is deserves my attention, and so is was for me last fall when I received two emails within minutes of each other, both suggesting I take a look at this man named Charlie Johnston and his blog.
Yes, my father and my friend Peter both know I am slightly obsessed with two things; living in an organic, ( I mean that in the holistic way rather than as in food grade) Catholic community and my constant searching for homes and farm land ( where maybe the two can meet ) and the other is devouring books on apparitions and reading 20th century prophecies. I have had many conversations with the both of them over the last 10 years about the coming times, and I have had these conversations since a trip to Medjugorje in 1987.
I have had so many of these conversations, so many books I have read, prayers prayed, stories listened to about the many things like; the 3 days of darkness, the 1990 prophecy, Maria Esperenza and Fatima. Ever since I was a child I have listened intently to Mary’s words from Lourdes to Kibeho. She is telling us of a new era that is to come.
So, I must say I was excited when my dad invited me to a Southern VT farm to meet this Charlie Johnston who has received prophetic visitations all his life and who speaks of all these things; the times we live in, Mary’s mission, and how we can be better soldiers for Christ.
The drive from my childhood home in Alburg Springs, VT with my father to the farm was beautiful; baby Veronica in tow, prayers and music as we meandered our way through VT’s twisting roads.
We wondered together out loud what it would be like to have dinner with a man who speaks about communicating with Mary, Jesus and archangels. I was excited to meet other people who are not blinded by our culture and rather see the great storm that brews around us.
We arrived and I fell in love as we drove up a long dirt road to a house on a hill with gardens all around, rolling green hills as far as the eye could see, a pond in the distance, a cow bellowing, barn cats playing, children on bicycles and the sun shining on the porch.
We made our introductions, helped with dinner and enjoyed varying conversations, planning the next days radio show and evening talk. I was enamored listening to a beautiful love story about how the Farm host and her husband met in Medjugorje and stories about how Mary has worked in their lives. We enjoyed homemade raspberry ice cream from their cow and bushes. We talked and listened to ideas about how to prepare for the coming times and how to be at peace by trusting every step we take in God’s will. For me the dinner conversation of the farm life, living out the Catholic faith in a troubled world, prophecies, and signs of the times was intriguing, to many others it may have seemed odd.
But there was nothing odd about Charlie Johnston, a man who walked across the USA because God asked him to. He wasn’t glowing, lofty, complicated, pretentious, pious, nor self deprecating, nor overly humble rather he was just available, there to share, generous with compliments, a good eater, and a smoker. He recounts his stories like a folkteller, except his stories are real life accounts and not tales. We laughed and listened about his trek through cities, sleeping like a hobo and the invitation of welcoming strangers. As the sun set and the mosquitos came out, spiders as big as bats too, we heard him tell us that America still is good, and angels do protect us. I overheard Charlie telling another mother that Obama would not finish his term and that there would not be a 2016 presidential election, that one of the candidates that many loved and respected was not what he seemed and that Obama would convert later in his life.
My oldest daughter had recently just decided to travel to Peru for a 9 month mission trip, my curiosity for the future was piqued and I wanted to know, “should she go, would it be prudent?, would the world fall apart while she was away?” On one hand I wanted to know what was going to happen in our future where was I going to be, what should we do, was I ready for what was ahead? Yet all these questions set against the backdrop of greenery, gardens, tiptoeing cats, leaves in the breeze and blueberries ripe for the harvest reminded me that absolute reliance on God’s providence is really and truly the only way to live. When the berries are ripe pick them, when it rains find shelter, when it’s spring plant and when it’s hot, go for a swim!
The next morning we were invited back to the farm for coffee and scones, our coffee turned caramel with heaps of fresh cream. I soaked it all in and asked so many questions, have you heard of Raphael’s oil? Me neither. I walked through the gardens and the rows of Hawthorne bushes. Maria Esperenza told those who would listen that the Hawthorne bush would provide a healing remedy for an epidemic illness that was/is to come. Veronica sat on the ground eating the blueberries that fell as I picked them, staining her face and hands.
I soaked up all the beauty and the way of life of the faithful farmers. I longed for my own piece of land and prayed for God’s direction. I wondered if I would return to my home state. I mostly longed for the rhythm of a farming life, a life driven by purpose, to be surrounded by the very breath of God’s creation. We are living in a dark storm and I fear my children, my family, being swept away into the tide of lies, false reality, materialism, the overly chaos of so much that doesn’t matter. I want to wrap them all up in a worn quilt and bring them to the country to taste God’s goodness, drink His living water and be soaked in the warmth of His love.
I will listen with hesitation at Charlie’s prophetic warnings and listen intently to God’s calling for myself and my family. For God loves us, not because we are good but because He is good, He is love. Confident in His love I will trust God, put one foot in front of the other and take each day as a gift, giving my talents, capabilities and overwhelming short comings to God. As a mother and a wife I am called to bring my family closer to God by showing them His goodness, His providence and His love through prayer, example, reliance, trust and gratefulness.
Yes, I am totally curious how this storm around us will unfold, of course I want to protect my family, my home, my life but I must put it all in God’s hand. Mary calls us closer to her son, she warns us because she loves us, because she wants us to fight this battle with the rosary and as warriors for Christ. Fear is useless, preparation is prudent; we stock fire wood before it snows , but what is needed is absolute trust.