I think God brought me to Magdala to culminate my launching into my mission as a storyteller by bringing me to the place of His ministry, His story on earth, His miracles, to witness for myself almost His homeland, where He loved to escape, where He loved to adventure, where He loved to change people’s lives, like Mary Magdalene. On a recent podcast called “Abiding Together,” a dear friend and mentor of mine, Michelle Benzinger said that when we “receive His grace, receive His calling, receive His spirit, He invites us into His story of redemption and restoration that are the best stories you could ever imagine.” I think God is unfolding how my life and story and gifts are a testament to that. I am a humanitarian photographer- I tell the stories of the forgotten, invisible, orphaned, widowed, poor and broken. I want to tell the stories of women like Mary Magdalene, the miraculous stories of redemption, of hope against all hope.
On the last night of my time in Magdala, I just wanted to be alone with God and hear His voice, so I went to the same spot where Nia and I had prayed earlier that day, overlooking the field of yellow wildflowers, the Sea of Galilee, and then the mountains on the other side, as the sun was setting. I worshiped and worshiped while the wind blew and the trees swayed until it got dark, really dark, and the lights around the sea began to flicker. I looked behind me and saw the Boat Chapel through the huge floor to ceiling window, and something gold sparkling upon the altar. As I drew closer to see what this gold sparkle was, I realized it was Jesus in the Eucharist, and my heart skipped a beat. Oh how sweet He was to be looking upon me as I offered Him everything I had! This was the moment of Jesus saying the same message to me as He told Mary Magdalene… “This is what I made you for, to spread my glory and love upon the whole world, to penetrate the darkness with my light, to destroy death with my resurrection power. So go, worship, dream, adventure through all the earth, capture my beauty and be a prophet to the nations. Tell my stories of hope against all hope, of restoration, of life, of power, of love.” And as I was worshiping out into the world, Jesus was pouring His Spirit through me from my back and over all the earth. Oh how sweet He is to bring me into the place of His life-changing ministry during His time on earth, to root me in who I am as a woman, as a daughter, in order to send me out on my mission. But I think the profound thing about it all is that I just have to BE exactly who God created me to be, and He will change the world. – Madi
Holding my beautiful Magdalena piece I am transported back to the magical place of Migdal. The transformation that happened there, within my heart is profound, it continues today. I feel forever changed. The blueprint for Divine Union is there. When I hold the piece I am brought back to Divine Union. I am eternally grateful. There is a deep knowing within me that we, each of us, can embody that truth anytime, anywhere… the beautiful necklace helps me to remember that. – Barbara
Medjugorje was a magical trip in so many was… life changing on so many levels! So grateful for being given the opportunity to experience this beautiful miraculous place where Heaven touches the Earth!
One of the blessed evenings after a long few days of travel and trekking up Cross Mountain, we gathered as a group for dinner. As MSMH usually does, they encouraged each of us to share our experiences of this trip to get to know one another better and unite us. They also selected a prayer partner for everyone in the group from within the group to also bring us a little closer. Mine was Barb, Amy’s sister who visited Israel with Amy and Nia before joining us in Medjugorje.
During the trip, I had noticed Nia Peeples wearing this beautiful necklace, I was very drawn to it, in an intriguing way …. as this pendant just illuminated and pulled me in. I had to understand what it was, so I had asked her what it was and the significance behind it. Once she told me the story behind this piece, I loved it even more. Nia proceeded to share with me that it was called the Magdalena or flower of life and that it was a feminine symbol and how they discovered this symbol when excavating the Holy Land where Jesus preached in Israel. She also noted that this symbol was also found in Russia and another country which is very interesting to me. I believe this symbol is now being discovered during a period of spiritual awakening, after being hidden for 2,000 years!!
This feminine symbol carries a message of softness and strength as everything originates from the seed of life. I also believe that there are no coincidences….
Honestly, I was in awe with Nia’s personal connection to the seed of life and coming together, with meeting Amy and Christine who had just discovered the Magdalena and the symbol was one and the same?!?!
Anyway, that night before we sat down to dinner, my prayer partner pulled me aside with so much love and excitement! She told me she had prayed about this and handed me “the necklace” ….. I was immediately drawn to tears and in disbelief as she just purchased the necklace as a souvenir from her journey to Israel?! I told her I could not accept this as it was so beautiful and meaningful to her that I just couldn’t accept it. She then proceeded to grab my hand and tell me she understood what I was saying, and wasn’t sure she wanted to give it up either…. but she prayed about it and was told I needed this piece and asked me to put it on. I was blown away with her graciousness and felt honored to have received this beautiful piece. Once we returned to the hotel, Nia noticed that Barb had gifted me the necklace and had proceeded to give her another one to replace the one she had given away… which was such a beautiful exchange of love and giving, exemplifying the meaning behind the piece.
I have gone on to read more about this symbol and believe it there is going to be a big shift taking place and excited to be a part of it and feel that My Saint My Hero has already started contributing to this major shift that is taking place. – Tamara