One testimony has led to another and today, our joy has a name!
When the Lifestyle editor of the Spanish-language edition of Aleteia asked me to write an article on how I raised my children alone, after giving it a lot of thought I accepted. It was a very personal assignment, and I never imagined it would give me the greatest joy of my career. And that joy has a name: Juan Ángel!
One day, a woman named Carolina sent me an invitation via Facebook. She greeted me saying that she’d read my article about my children, and that she was desperate.
She felt alone and abandoned. She was a single mother with a beautiful 13-year-old boy. She had only been 15 when she became pregnant with him. The father of the child wanted nothing to do with him, and never took care of him.
Carolina knew all too well the work and effort involved in bringing a child into the world alone, providing for him, and taking care of him so that he would grow up well … That’s why she was completely overwhelmed with fear and worry when she found out she was pregnant again.
“I’m ashamed and afraid”
She surfed the internet looking for a place to have an abortion and “unintentionally” (here I can only think of divine providence) came across my article.
She decided to write to me and tell me her story. She said, “I’m so ashamed and afraid.”
I consoled her, listened to her, and understood her, because at one point in my life I also felt the same way.
“Abortion is not a good option”
She told me that she’d already seen her baby in an ultrasound and he was beautiful, already formed in miniature. She knew well that abortion wasn’t a good option, but felt that the very difficult moment she was going through was forcing her to do it.
I continued to reassure her, emphasizing what she herself had said: “Abortion isn’t a good option.”
That day I worried. I worried a lot. I couldn’t sleep because I was thinking about them, and I asked my Aleteia editorial team for help.
The Lord’s ways are always wonderful. Our dear photographer Marko Vombergar had the phone number of a person who might be able to help us: Nany.
It was as if Nany had been sent by the angels. She was able to step in and help Carolina through her difficult situation. I asked her to tell us how the story continued after I put her in contact with Carolina, and she sent us a beautiful audio, commenting on what happened after I had spoken with her.
I’ll never forget that day I received your message. How is it possible that they know about me in Rome? I always wanted to go to Rome, and meet the Pope. … The Lord makes use of plans so different from ours; for me, that call was a way to be in Rome….
When I got in touch with Carolina, we began to have a conversation. First of all, I like to listen to people. It’s very important to let them feel heard. Then I began to tell her whatever the Lord inspired me … also telling her what he has done in my life and how those deep wounds were difficult to heal, but not impossible. Perhaps that inspired Carolina to keep going.
Obviously it wasn’t a one-time talk, because I had to keep motivating her so she wouldn’t give up … and the fruit of that is that three years later, Juan Ángel is with us today.
2 Beautiful gifts
That’s how Carolina made the best possible choice, and she’s so proud of having done it. Today she looks at Juan Ángel and remembers the words that struck her most in my article:
And how do you get through all this? How did I manage it? I just looked at them with that look, the most powerful of all, a mother’s gaze. That look that has a supernatural strength, a look of incalculable love, a look full of pride and gratitude to God for such a beautiful gift.
Carolina, like me today, has two beautiful gifts, two little men: Manuel and Juan Ángel. She’s a very determined and happy mom, and she keeps in touch with us. Nany says:
We must not help only at the moment when a person is in crisis. No! We have to keep in touch, and even more so with a mommy who’s pregnant. It’s not just the moment when she decides to have a baby, it’s what comes after … It meant motivating Carolina for a long time to keep doing things right, to keep giving her advice when she asked for it.
And to this day, three years later, this friendship continues. These are treasures of love that the Lord gives us and that allow us to grow in faith.
Being able to give life
I’d like to express all the happiness and pride that this experience has caused me, but I can’t do it … it’s beyond my ability. Because one of the most wonderful things that God has given to humanity is to “give life.”
Thank you, Carolina! Because of your courage, today we can see the beautiful pictures of Juan Ángel.
Thank you, dear God, because today I can tell this story and I’ve been able to be an “instrument of your peace.”
Nany continues to evangelize and help people, encouraging them to encounter and love God, as He Himself urges her to do.