WATCH ANTONIA'S STORY
A few years ago, I was in a dark place. I was also struggling with migraines, spotty vision, forgetfulness, and exhaustion. Part of me wanted to chalk this up to being a mother of three young children, but another part of me wondered if it was more. The only place I felt comforted was at church. One day, I found myself there alone, crying, and feeling helpless. I thought the church was empty that day, until “My Angel” suddenly appeared beside me—a woman who saw me suffering and wanted to help. It was like God had sent her at the moment I needed her compassion the most. She pointed to a mural on the wall and asked, “do you see Jesus?” I replied, “yes.” She continued, “Jesus loves you, Jesus knows you, Jesus wants to help you, Jesus is a doctor.” I looked at her with tears in my eyes, and she gave me a Pink rosary and said, “PRAY.” I told her I couldn't accept this rosary because it was too beautiful, but she insisted, “its OK. PRAY.” I will tell you that since that day, I never go anywhere without that rosary. It is a constant reminder that God is with me through good times and bad. It makes me feel calm and reminds me to pray. And it helped me through what happened next.
It was Feb 2, I was in my car driving the kids to school when I received a call from my doctor letting me know the symptoms I was feeling were caused by a brain tumor and that they wanted me admitted to the hospital immediately. I was terrified. All the important moments in my life flashed before my eyes—my wedding day, the birth of my children, my time spent with loved ones. Would I be leaving them all behind? It was hard to process what he was telling me. I spent days in the hospital going through tests and blood work, with the doctors telling me that I would need a risky brain surgery to remove the tumor. Scheduled for Feb 12, (This wasn’t my first health scare when I was five months pregnant with my third child I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, 2 types, one rare and aggressive and the other more common, and had to have emergency surgery. I believe God was with me then too, as both my daughter and I survived. Her name, JamieGrace, represents the Grace of God I felt at that time in my life.)
It was Feb 10, A jewish woman in the hospital bed next to me was also not well. Her daughter was sweet and kind, and came to see her mother every day. She noticed how broken and frantic I was. I was in the dark and afraid. She knew I was religious and prayed. I would say to her I'll pray for you and you pray for me. Two days before I was scheduled to have my brain surgery, the daughter said to me, “before you go to bed tonight and you say your rosary, make God a promise. A promise?” I replied. “I don’t understand.” “Tell God that if he helps you not get this surgery that you will make him a promise of some sort in return.” I closed the curtain and thought about what she said. Then I grabbed my rosary, looked up with an open heart, lifted my arms, and prayed, “Lord Jesus, fill me with your love and light. Help me to be healthy again without this surgery. if you do so, I promise to speak love and light in your name and be a vessel for you.” That night, I slept better than I had in a long while.
Feb 11, The next morning, the doctor came into the room and told me that further tests had proved the tumor was benign. He didn’t think I needed the surgery. He asked how I was feeling physically. And I answered honestly, “I feel fine.” Then I said, “Dr., I have three children and I’m trusting in you and in God on what to do.” He looked at me thoughtfully and said, “go home to your family.” No surgery! (I called my mom and she said to me, do you know what today is? I said NO, she then said. Today is the day of the sick! Lady of Lourdes, Virgin Mary!)
And since then, I have had four MRIs and the tumor has not grown. But stranger than that, since that final prayer in the hospital, my symptoms have gone away. No more headaches. My mind feels clear. I no longer see spots. What happened to me was nothing short of a miracle—one that I believe wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t put my complete faith in Him. I went from a place of darkness to a place where I wake up each morning filled with joy.
On Pentecost, I received the Holy Spirit of flesh and spirit as one. Shortly after, I went to a concert, United Hillsong NYC Madison Square Garden (Hold Me Now) as soon as that song started to play and I looked at the crowd and the part of song started (once I was BROKEN but you loved my whole life through sin has no hold on me cause your grace holds me now, Healed and Forgiven look where my chains are now, DEATH has no hold on me cause your grace holds me now, and your grace holds me down, and your grace holds me down, you grace holds me now) it was that night that the idea of OUR cross was born. I was Inspired!
Now I want to fulfill the promise I made to Him that day with an open heart in the hospital. Having my rosary as a physical reminder of devotion, belief, and prayer—in good times and in bad—has been so helpful to me, and that’s what made me want to create my version of the cross for you. I want you to look at that broken figure in the cross and say, “that’s me. And I believe that God will lift me up.” Each necklace includes a Pink bead that represents a piece of the Pink rosary my “angel” gave to me. Now I want to pass that faith, love, and light on to you.
THANK YOU JESUS!
In love and light,
"We Are All Broken"