September 22, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — On September 23, 2019, my mom took my eldest son on an adventure. They had burgers for lunch and visited a museum. She wanted a special day with just him. On the way back, just five minutes from my house, someone ran a stop sign and t-boned her car. My mom died on impact, and my seven-year-old son miraculously survived.
Needless to say, my life, my son’s life, and indeed our entire family were plunged into the darkness of grief. That first night, as I had to leave my son at the hospital in the care of my husband while I returned home to nurse our four-month-old daughter, I wailed in the darkness at the overwhelming sadness and worry that gripped my entire being. In the wee hours of the morning, I found just enough solace to slip into sleep by praying the Hail Mary, thanking God for the life of my son and asking for the first time, “Mom, pray for us.”
In the days that followed, our family would pray those prayers often. My son was terrified of cars, and I wanted to join him in that terror. I wanted to stay at home and avoid that danger at all costs. My three-year-old daughter had nightmares for months. I knew that God did not want us living in fear. I knew that He wanted us out in the world, doing the work to which He had called us. He wanted us to go to sleep trusting Him and to face life and death in the same way. The answer again to both these fears was prayer. This time, we would say the St. Michael prayer and entrust our dreams and our time in the car to God’s will.
Just before that earth-shattering day, my husband and I had discovered LifeSiteNews. We began paying closer attention to what was happening in the Church and in the world. I had long avoided paying attention to the news because it seemed as though there was only bad news about which I could do nothing. My mom always watched the news, mostly mainstream sources, and it only seemed to fuel the worry she carried in her heart. But with LifeSite, I found something different. I found that the news they shared didn’t carry the burden of worry. Whether it was the constant reminder to take these things to prayer or the ability to take action by signing a petition and sharing it with others or the opportunity to donate to the cause of life and family and culture, I found a place where I could learn the truth, stay informed, and be empowered to actually do something with the information.
I had always avoided conflict and shied away from controversy, especially in social media. Despite my strong beliefs about the sanctity of life and the fullness of truth found in Catholicism, I had long been silent. Not wanting to make waves. Not sure how my voice could help change anything. In the spring of 2020, I watched in horror as the bishops of the Catholic Church declared Mass non-essential. I saw the entire world do what I longed to do after the accident: to deny the reality of death, to hide away from any risk. To let fear overcome.
As my friends can attest, in the months following my mom’s death, something shifted inside me. I felt this burning deep in my core. And I realized that silence was no longer an option. I started speaking out. I started encouraging those around me with the truth. Most noticeably, I started sharing LifeSite articles and petitions. I got a lot of pushback. A lot of people wanted me to just stay silent — to quit sharing truth and just go along with the new prevailing norms of social isolation and life without the sacraments.
God had used the death of my mom, the persecution I had to endure, and facing the reality of mortality to prepare me to stand up for the truth and give hope and courage to those around me as the world collectively looked death in the face. As we each had to decide if we would trust God with His timing and His will in our lives and in our deaths.
Or, if we would try to wrestle Him for control and run away from the work we were meant to do and from loving people by being present, despite the risks. The hope and truth running throughout the work LifeSite does gave me solid sources to point people to so they could come to know about the battle being fought on so many fronts. I became, without meaning to, an influencer for LifeSite. My hope was that if I shared articles, petitions, episodes, and more with my circle of friends, others would take the knowledge and encouragement and move forward with something to actually do: pray, sign, share, and support.
LifeSite had already distinguished itself as an organization I would have prioritized working with if the opportunity arose. In July 2020, God flung wide the door for me to actually join the LifeSite team. I have been blown away by this opportunity and am honored to now be part of the beautiful work they are doing. My family has had to make sacrifices and changes to make this work possible, but as my husband put it, “all our sacrifice will be worth it if just one life or one soul is saved.”
I think that captures the heart of all those working with LifeSite. Each person who joins us in prayer, in signing a petition, in sharing something on social media, and in supporting the work we do is taking part in the work of saving lives and souls, of turning people from staring into the darkness of the stormy sea and focusing instead on the light and hope of Christ. Together we can walk on water; we can say to the storm with Our Lord, “Peace. Be still.”
If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll consider helping us in another way today: join our growing family of supporters with a gift of support. We are in the midst of a fall fundraising campaign and are relying on our readers to help us reach our minimum goal. You can use the donate button on our website or follow this link to make a secure donation today: https://give.lifesitenews.com