Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thank You!

Dearest family, friends, readers, supporters, and Saints:

Thank you SO much for your wildly gracious support and kind words to me since my "blog reveal" of our little miracle.

The "Unexpected Miracle" post has had over 1000 views and has added over 2000 hits to this site. Praise God for the media!
God really knows how to get His word out there and to the people that need it the most. I have been so humbled and blessed to receive comments, texts, emails, and phone calls from family, friends, and even random people about how Jesus spoke to them through this Miracle Story. It is so encouraging for me and my family to see and hear your glory stories!

I wanted to share with you just a few of these "glory stories" or quotes from people who have read the blog and who were impacted by the Lords movements.
(Just to be clear, this is not about me, this is about the glory of the resurrected Jesus who has graciously blessed me to see how His glory is being manifested in those who have read my testimony of His new life.)
"I will boast, but about myself I will not boast, except about my weaknesses."
  - 2 Corinthians 12:5

"After reading your blog you've given me kind of peace of mind, I guess you could say, about being Catholic and what it means. Since high school I've pretty much stopped going to church. At first I would go and skip occasionally now I only go for special occasions. But within the past few weeks I've been considering going back.....So really what I wanted to say was thank you for sharing! You've given me the push I needed to get back where I need to be!" 

"your post helped renew in me a determination to trust in Our Lord's Will in my own life"

"I saw jesus as I was reading his name in your blog. Now you know I am catholic, go to church on sundays, volunteer at any functions at church but I am not "religious". I dont know my faith as I should.  But I tell you I saw it as you were describing and felt it."

"Thank you for reminding me that though I may choose to fall...Christ has given us the power to choose to rise again. Thank you for being SO brave by being so little."

"I'm so humbled by your message.  I don't even know what to do with myself.  Thank you.  You have consoled my heart in ways you don't even know."

"...And I know as a strong pro life catholic you probably knew exactly what to do but as someone whose mother was told by my father and every close family member and friend she had that death was an option and laid down her reputation and financial burden and the foot of the cross and chose me against all odds, thank you for choosing life. Thank you thank you thank you!! That yes means the world to the world!!"

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

With the blog sites radical increase of visitors and some awkward news that Google could take what I write and claim it as their own, I have decided to change my site to WordPress.
This site will not be deleted since I am still learning the wild world of WordPress (and as tech-savvy people would say, it is "under construction"!
The new link will be:

So thank you again for the 8000 views from all over the globe since I have began blogging in 2013 and salamat kaayo satanaan (thank y'all very much) for your prayers and gracious kindness and support!!

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
  - Mother Teresa

Breana and baby

Monday, October 27, 2014

Walk Upon the Water: Round 2

In August of 2013 I wrote a blog post about St. Peter (Walk Upon The Water) related to the song that I had recently heard: Oceans by Hillsong. This song was one of my signs from God to make the bold move to become a full-time Catholic Missionary. I completely trusted in God to go wherever He would call me and to have the faith that He would provide everything I needed. Each lyric was truly inviting me deeper into the anointed call of missions.
Now, a good year later, the song has a completely different meaning in my life.

Before and after returning home from missions, I received many beautiful emails from missionaries around the world and family and friends says they were praying for me and they love me despite the situation. Well, I received this email from an FMC missionary living state-side just a few days after finding out officially that the Lord had blessed me with life, and this is what it said:

Hello Breana,

Peace in JESUS!

I just wanted to write you a quick note to say that I love you. I know that you probably feel all over the place right now, trying to make hard decisions and do hard things - but I want you to know that we are covering you in prayer and love right now. 

Yesterday morning we were singing at morning prayer and we sang Oceans by Hillsong and it always makes me think of you when I hear it because you were the first person to introduce me to it! I felt a strong anointing of the Holy Spirit - I think you should re-read the lyrics and allow them to penetrate your heart!

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine


Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

The part that really made me think of you and your situation is - "your grace abounds in deepest water" - I know all of this was not part of your plan but I know and firmly believe that God can make so much beauty from everything - even our mistakes - and He really is present in a deep and intimate way in our greatest trials. Please be assured of our love and affection for you. I am praying for you and here for you if you need anything at all - please don't hesitate to ask. 

This song made perfect sense in describing my first year in missions, but now the words are about the beauty and immense suffering of a single mother who is struggling daily to give all of herself to the Lord.
Just as Peter denied Jesus over and over and over again, after the Resurrection Jesus asks Peter 3 times, "Peter, do you love me?"
I really believe the times I betray Jesus and fall into sin, He lovingly asks me, "Breana, do you love me?" and I respond, "yes Lord, I love you."
Jesus replies: "Then feed My sheep."

My missionary call is not invalid because of my sin, it is redeemed and made perfect and made beautiful in the eyes of God. He is calling me to understand that in the deepest of waters-in the deepest of sins, His grace abounds EVEN more. His grace is guiding me through this awkward unexpected turn of events from single missionary to single mother.

Peter, an avid follower of Jesus, denied Jesus and repented and Jesus still called him to "feed My sheep"...and Peter became the first Pope.
I do know and firmly believe that God can make so much beauty from our mistakes and trials. We can see that from the witnesses of the people in the Bible and even in my own witness.
I KNOW that God can create beauty out of mess.
I KNOW that I am still being asked daily be Jesus, "feed My sheep."
So I will fulfill the new mission the Lord has called me to in this present moment of my life.

Visit this super cool link to see each lyric related to scripture and to hear the song!
Oceans (Where Feet May Fail): Song and Scripture

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Unexpected Miracle

Happy World Missions Sunday!

I'm not sure if you heard the news through the great grape vine that is South Louisiana, but I have returned home from the mission in the Philippines a few months ago.

Missions was INCREDIBLE and the Lord just rocked my face off to an extent I never thought possible and now I have a totally new face. It's great.

This story begins with "Desert Day" at the end of May. Each week my team and I would pray for 2 hours alone out in nature and during my prayer time I was reading "Come Be My Light" by Mother Teresa.
Everything was going so great so far in missions and nothing "hard" had happened yet... so in all my great wisdom I decided to ask the Lord for a test (mistake #1, NEVER ask the Lord for a test).
Well, it was like the sky got dark and I immediately felt the spirit of joy leave me. I opened the Bible and it said something along the lines of, "and the Lord gives her a test of self-control and will not be with her for some time."
I knew I would be experiencing a time of desolation and I stayed committed in prayer and persevered through the difficult time in the desert.
Temptations were REAL and I did fall into sin with a friend on the Island and I immediately knew in my heart that I was pregnant.

I went to the Sacrament of Confession and then I went back to my little hut to have a feisty conversation with Jesus.
I actually told Jesus to tell me if I was pregnant... well I opened the Bible and it said, "Go home and prepare a place." HA!
I slammed it shut and said no.
What I really meant to say is tell me that I am not pregnant, Jesus. I opened the Bible again and it said, "...and John the Baptist leapt in Elizabeth's womb as Mary greeted her." WOAH
(If you don't think the Lord speaks to us through scriptures, think again my friends!)

I knew in my heart that I was pregnant, but I didn't tell anyone because I felt like dirt and trash. I mean, I was a Catholic missionary for crying out loud.
I felt completely alone and abandoned by the Lord. I didn't have any spiritual direction or a consistent confessor to give me guidance and Jesus wasn't speaking to me...I was afraid.
(Desolation is real, but the best thing to do is to stay committed to prayer and persevere!)

A month went by and I still had not taken a pregnancy test, but I knew that I was pregnant. At the end of June all of the missionaries in Asia went on retreat together in the Philippines. There was a missionary family in the U.S. that came lead the retreat for all of us and it was such an incredible retreat! Each session really convicted me and one of the talks was about some people that betrayed Jesus. I immediately flashed back to my prayer time on the beach when I asked Jesus for a test and I realized that Jesus never left me - I left Jesus. In my pride I was cocky, it was almost if I freely choose to enter into desolation. I betrayed Jesus.
While the missionary was giving this talk, I felt like I should share my whole story with her because what if I really was pregnant. So I went to pray and I asked Jesus to make it very clear if I should share my whole month of desolation with her. During my prayer time I opened the Bible and the reading was 'The Samaritan Woman at the Well' (if you know scripture, feel free to laugh) and my first reaction to the title was lip quivering weeping.
I already knew what Jesus was going to say.
He said, "Breana, you keep going to all this water and nothing satisfies...because I AM the ONLY ONE that satisfies." Then He hit me with the doozie, "and you DO NOT have a husband."
(yeah...He's a good and convicting Father.) I was trying to satiate my thirst for God with people of this world, when really only the pure and good and unconditional love of God can satisfy that thirst. It is agape love that I desire, but it was eros love that the devil tricked me with.

I shared this whole story, while hysterically crying out of shame and fear of being hated and abandoned, with the missionary and in all her Marian mercy she said to me, "Breana, I love you and I forgive you and the Lord has forgiven you. You are not dirt. You are not trash. We share flesh with the prostitutes and the greatest sinners...and I share flesh with you. Do you think that I'm dirt? Do you think that I'm trash?" I was like, HECK NOOO. you are so holy! But what a scandal I have caused! Then she says, "Breana, the Cross was a scandal! This sin does not define you. Sin does not define us! We are all human and we all make mistakes! You can be Saint TODAY. If you are pregnant, your baby can be a Saint!" (this is a small summary of what she said, I feel like we talked for hours)
She stood by me through this entire journey and was Christ to me.

Then she came with me to buy a pregnancy test...

We prayed and then I took the test and then we prayed and looked at it... and it was positive. We prayed again and I began weeping because it was not fair! It is not fair that there are so many women throughout the world who are in beautiful marriages that cannot get pregnant. It is not fair the women in China are forced to have abortions because their government tells them that they can only have one child. It is not fair. I wanted to get married and have a big beautiful super Catholic missionary family. It's not fair that one mistake could change everything! This was not my plan! Then to top it all of, this beautiful woman who was with me and the only one who knew what was happening when it was happening has been struggling to get pregnant for years. It is absolutely unfair that this holy woman of God can't get pregnant and now this single sinner is.
(fast forward to a few weeks ago, this missionary woman is now miraculously pregnant! PRAISE THE LORD! Please pray for her and for her health and the health of the baby!)

She then tells me, "Breana, this baby is innocent life and you can no longer have any shame or fear or regret because none of that is from God. You have to love this baby. Use this suffering you feel to pray for women who cannot get pregnant, pray for women who are forced to have abortions!"
After I calmed down and realized that I really knew I had been pregnant since the moment I fell into sin, I walked to the Chapel. As I was walking to the tabernacle I felt all of these waves of emotion flash by me... my family will be disappointed in me, where will I be welcomed in church, my Catholic community will disown me, my friends and family will abandon me, everyone will gossip and judge me, what a great suffering I have caused my family and this baby.
Then I knelt down and looked at Jesus and I had this immense feeling of peace. I felt the Lord say to me, "I am enough. I am enough for you, Breana. You have to love Me more than you love your family, you have to love Me more than you love your baby, you have to love Me more than you love your future spouse. I have to be enough for you if people gossip or hate you or persecute you. I have to be enough."

Later in prayer I received three readings about obedience, truth, and trust. To be obedient to God, to the mission, and to my parents; to believe the truth that I am not dirt and I am not trash - I am redeemed; and to trust that God still has a place prepared for me in Heaven. I applied and believed these three things and everything has gone so smoothly! I know I am riding on supernatural grace from God!
After taking the test and spending some time in prayer, I had to tell all of the missionaries and my family and friends this whole story. Praise God that everyone received this well and they all still love me and most importantly, they love this baby and they pray daily for me and the baby!
Of course the missionaries responded with such merciful forgiving love because they are Christians - little Christ's. Even though I am not a full time missionary with Family Missions Company, they are still my family. I love each of them dearly and I'm still in contact with all of the missionaries in the field and the missionaries in training! (I can't wait to see them when they return to the States to visit!)

God has shown me His GREAT and UNFATHOMABLE mercy in all of this.
Everything has been so BEAUTIFUL. God is so so so so so good. Being able to humble myself in sharing my sin and share this story of mercy with anyone and everyone has been so healing and such a beating on the devil! The devil can't steal my joy!
I know that I am human and everyone is human and we will all make mistakes.
What was done in the darkness, I'm bringing to the light.
So darkness cannot take this story of God's Glory!

Can you believe God has known this baby since the beginning of time?!?
If I wouldn't have made this mistake, I wouldn't have this specific baby that God has destined for me to have since the beginning of time!
Through the sacrament of confession God gives us new life and He did that very literally for me. I know He would not have made His mercy so obvious if He didn't want me to share it.
I am not ashamed, I am not afraid, I am not guilty and neither are my family and friends!
God has saved me from my sin and BLESSED me with new life!!
As Fr. Andre said so well, people will gossip, but it's their sin - not mine. We all sin and especially as a woman in South Louisiana, I know that we can all fall prey to gossip. This life changing experience has completely eradicated the desire to gossip from my life, praise God.
You really have no idea what people are going through or their whole story, so just say no to gossip!

Sharing this miracle is now the mission the Lord has called me to!

Before I returned home from missions, the whole Asia retreat went to mass at the Monastery in the Philippines. After I received the Eucharist, knowing for a fact that I was pregnant, I had a beautiful vision. In the vision I was in a huge crowd watching Jesus walk down a dirt road. I pushed through the crowd while holding my baby and I crawled to the feet of Jesus and kissed his feet. He looked down at me with perfect eyes of pure love. Then the vision immediately changed to an angel holding the baby's hand and taking them to heaven and I was holding the baby's hand. Through this image I discerned that it meant through this child I will gain Salvation. What a more beautiful sacrifice than the vocation of a mother?! I really don't know what that means yet, but I am about to learn!

If you made it to the end of this post, I commend you.
Please pray for the baby and my family and especially for the father of the baby and his family (they live in the Philippines and we have remained friends, praise the Lord.)

This baby is a beautiful precious miracle and I thank God everyday that He has chosen me to tell His story of His great mercy and life!

If you have any questions or comments or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me! I'd love to talk with you and pray with you.

I still love missions and I am a huge supporter of missions! I wanted all my benefactors to know that all of the money raised will continue to be used to support the mission on Camiguin Island in the Philippines and all of the FMC missionaries throughout the world!! Thank you for your generosity and support and please continue to pray for the mission in Camiguin and for all of the missionaries in Family Missions Company!

Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” - John 4