I went to Conyers in September of 1993. I was in college
when I visited Conyers. I was raised Catholic all my life but had fallen into serious
sin in college. I wasn't attending Mass regularly and my prayer life was non-existent.
A friend gave me some messages from Conyers in October of 1992 and asked if she
could give me a copy every month. I read the messages and at first dismissed them
but Our Loving Mother was calling me and I just did not know it yet.
Over the next couple of months my thoughts on the messages
changed from "this is nuts" to "if this is really happening then everything the
Church has taught is right". I started to say the rosary and started to make attempts
of curbing some of my sinful behaviors. I started to go to church on Sundays and
even to confession. I didn't know it but my journey back to God had started.
Around July my friend came into work and told me about a
trip to Conyers. I just knew that I had to go. When I arrived at Conyers all
I wanted to do was pray. I remember my prayer to Our Loving Mother, "All I
want to do is to draw closer to God". I didn't really ask to see any signs, but
things happened anyway. I was praying in front of the Fatima statue with my friend.
Afterwards I told her about the smell of roses but she did not smell anything, even
though she was right next to me.
The day of the apparition I decided to sit and pray at Holy
Hill. It was crowded so I sat against a tree and just started to pray and
listen to the Lord. I told my mom and friend I was going to pray for 5 or 10 minutes
and then we could go back up to the house. I can't really explain what took so long.
I had been praying for about 45 minutes. It felt like only 5 minutes or so.
The real shocker is I was sitting Indian style against the tree. I did not feel
any discomfort from the tree and my knee was fine. I can never sit Indian style
for more than 5 or 10 minutes because my one knee I had surgery on gets real sore
and stiff. After that prayer time I felt so alive and full of love. When I
looked at people my heart was full of love. I didn't care how people looked or how
they acted, I just felt a deep love for everyone. During the rosary I sobbed continuously.
I felt so at peace and full of joy. When I got home from Conyers I looked at the
world so differently. It was like I had new eyes.
I started going to daily mass and said the rosary every day.
I started to fast and could not read enough about the Church and her teachings.
My pastor even told me how different I was. People in my family started going back
to church. Now I am married and have five children. Three living and two in heaven.
We also have one on the way. I am in the military and we travel a lot. I have been
involved in every parish I have went to. I have taught RCIA, helped host three Marian
Eucharistic conferences to spread devotion to Our Lady and the Blessed Sacrament
and now am involved in the Knights of Columbus.
My wife and I never miss mass and send our kids to Catholic
Schools. We also use NFP and try to encourage others to do the same since so many
Catholics we know use artificial contraception..
I know Our Loving Mother is constantly calling me to conversion
in my life and I strive every day to follow Christ and His Church.