Jesus, I Trust in You!
On February 22, 1931, as Sister Maria Faustina Kowalska (proclaimed a Saint on April 30, 2000) prayed alone in her convent cell at Plock in Poland, she received a vision of Jesus Christ and received the following words:
Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature “Jesus, I Trust in You.” I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and (then) throughout the whole world. Notebook 1 – #47
I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over (its) enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I Myself will defend it as My own glory. Notebook 1 – #48
My image already is in your soul. I desire that there be a Feast of Mercy. I want this image, which you will paint with a brush, to be solemnly blessed on the First Sunday after Easter; that Sunday is to be the Feast of Mercy. Notebook 1 – #49
Jesus complained to me in these words, “Distrust on the part of souls is tearing at My insides.” Notebook 1 – #50
The first pages of The Diary of Divine Mercy in My Soul by Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska begin with these words from Jesus:
“My daughter, be diligent in writing down every sentence I tell you concerning My mercy,
because this is meant for a great number of souls who will profit from it.”
Whenever I pray with this diary, and read the words that Jesus spoke to St. Faustina and I read her own thoughts and prayers, I have found consolation, solace and great strength. I have found a flashlight that guides me on the unknown path of my journey. Knowing that this coming Sunday will be the great feast of Divine Mercy, I find it to be the most perfect time to share with you how meaningful the words, “Jesus I Trust in You” were to me and my husband many years ago as we faced one of the most critical times in our married life together.
And so I begin my story of my own personal Trust in Jesus. . .
In 2009, my husband had been hospitalized yet again for variceal bleeding which was due to something called portal vein hypertension. When blood pressure increases in the portal vein systems, veins in the esophagus and stomach enlarge to accommodate blocked blood flow through the liver. As the blood pressure in the portal vein system continues to increase, the walls of these expanded veins become thinner, causing the veins to rupture and bleed.
Between 2008 and 2009, my husband was having frequent hospitalization stays and increased “banding procedures” for the varices veins bursting and bleeding. A banding procedure involves endoscopic variceal banding (or ligation). Rubber bands are placed around varices in the esophagus through a flexible endoscope which is used to visualize the vessels.
Now it seemed these banding procedures were not helping and his condition seemed to be worsening. Rob’s spleen continued to enlarge because of the portal vein hypertension and it was causing him great discomfort and pain . . . yet removing it would be risking my husband’s life and that clearly was not an option open to us.
At the hospital, my husband’s hematologist told us that we should “get our papers in order.” We were literally shocked by these words and they seemed to be frightening and so hurtful to us, yet we knew the grave circumstances we were facing at that moment. Somehow, both my husband and I maintained a peace that I believe came through the graces of our marriage. One doctor actually told us they were surprised by our calm demeanor in the face of such news.
I remember leaving the hospital with my two sons after visiting my husband one night. Walking through the darkened parking lot of the hospital, I spotted a young man walking ahead of us wearing a baseball jacket. On the back of his jacket, in a semi-circle, was the word, “T R U S T.” The letters seemed to be illuminated in the darkness. They seemed to shine like stars. I knew then at that moment that Jesus was telling me, “Anita! Just trust Me and I will find a way where there is no way! “
Shortly after that night in the hospital parking lot, my husband was released. We came home trying to live in the present moment and to wait and see. I contacted the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and actually was able to make an appointment with a specialist there; however, Rob was not in good enough condition to travel. Again I found myself trusting in the Lord’s promise to me that “He would find a way where there was no way.”
Jesus never breaks a promise and He delivered not too long after that night in the parking lot. After our inability to make it to the Mayo Clinic, I remember my husband was not home too long from the hospital when I found myself praying one morning from Isaiah 30:21: “Whether you turn right or left, your ears will hear these words behind you. This is the way, follow it.” That evening a dear doctor friend called us with news that he found a pediatric liver transplant doctor who he felt could help Rob at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. Before I knew it, the specialist that had been recommended personally called us to set up an appointment to come and meet with him. I will never forget that consultation. He was so sure of himself as he entered the examining room and told us that he had reviewed Rob’s case and thought he could be of help. The surgery would be risky and he was planning on removing my husband’s spleen among many other “plumbing procedures” as he called it. He suggested that we make the arrangements for the surgery as quickly as possible. I remember thinking how humble he was. First to make a phone call to people he didn’t even know to set up a consult appointment and again at his entrance into the consult room. There were four of us in that room and it was a bit crowded, but the doctor planted himself on top of a covered garbage pail reaching behind him to use paper towels to sketch for us the surgery that he had envisioned for Rob. He suggested that the surgery be done as quickly as possible suggesting that we make an appointment for the surgery the following week.
After the consult, I remember the ride home in the car. I wasn’t happy! I was scared! I was wrapped in silence! Doctors in the past had advised us that taking out Rob’s spleen would be disastrous and that he would never make it through the surgery. It was our only hope and yet I felt downcast and not very confident in what was unfolding before us. Hadn’t I prayed for this? And didn’t I just open up to Isaiah in the Bible with the scripture. . .”This is the way, follow it!” What happened to my “Jesus I Trust in You?!” Ugh!!! I found myself being a “negative vibe’ for my husband and I felt really ashamed of myself. I knew clearly that I would have to go and pray about this fear and dread that had welled up within me.
The next day I found myself driving to a nearby church to present myself to Jesus in the Tabernacle. The Church is quite large and I found myself entering into that sacred space feeling alone and scared. Not a soul was there but me so I knelt down to rest and pour out my thoughts to the Lord. Before I knew it, a little old man entered through the doors of the church stopping at the Shrine of Our Lady. He seemed to be having quite a chat with her and then he immediately turned to face me kneeling in the pew.
He pointed his finger at me and asked, “Do you believe in miracles?” “Yes,” I replied “I do!” “Can I talk to you?” he asked. I will never forget the moments that followed after that initial statement. He came over to me and introduced himself as Paul. I introduced myself as well, still kneeling with Paul standing by my side in the aisle of the church. He told me he had a doctor’s appointment across the street but the doctor didn’t show up and that is why he found himself inside the church! Paul shared with me that his son had been sick but then cured recently by a doctor.
“You know Anita, Jesus is the Divine Physician but sometimes He sends us to physicians here on earth!”
I knew then that something magical and miraculous was happening here. Jesus was yet delivering again on His promises to just Trust in Him. Paul then asked me if he could pray over me and hold my hand! His words that follow below were beautiful gems that I will never forget. . .
“Lord Jesus, I don’t know why this young lady is here . . . maybe she is sick, maybe she is praying for someone who is ill or maybe . . . Lord . . . she just likes being here with you. I ask you, Lord, to bless her with Your peace, Your joy and Your love.”
Before leaving, Paul looked back at me and said, “Always count your blessings.“ As he walked away, tears streamed down my face as I quickly grabbed a little pad out of my bag and wrote everything down that I had heard as he had prayed over me. Quickly tossing the pad back into my bag, I returned home to share with Rob the experience that I had within the walls of the church and my encounter with an angel in human form!
Feeling great peace within and a calm that could only be given by Jesus, we went ahead with scheduling the appointment for the surgery at Mt. Sinai Hospital. I still knew deep within my heart, that my husband’s greatest battle of his life thus far would be just beginning . . . and also my own challenges of placing all my Trust in Jesus!
©2018 Anita Guariglia
Quotations taken from “Divine Mercy in My Soul” Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska
Scripture taken from Jerusalem Bible
Photograph – Anita Guariglia
Song – Do It Again by Elevation Worship