Before I came to Medjugorje, I had really hit rock bottom. My parents are atheist. When I was 9 they divorced. After that I let myself be taken in by all the evils in society.
At 13 I started doing drugs. My broken family slowly reduced me to a state of fear and withdrawal. I was going forward without feeling, without seeing, without living, like a zombie. Empty.
I threw myself into the 'pleasures of the flesh', and I fell apart. I took refuge in my work. Last summer I attempted to commit suicide. Waking up in hospital I realised that life was just horrible. I had no way out, no future.
I had a Catholic friend, Alice. Her life had changed after coming back from Medjugorje, and every time she talked to me about Mary, I could feel light coming into me.
At the end of July she called me: "Pauline, I'm going to Medjugorje and I've booked three seats - one is for you. Come."
It was a shock to me, because I felt Alice's words were a calling. I immediately said 'yes'. However, I had a summer job as an extra on a film set, and I couldn't quit. Also I had no money for the trip.
So I asked my dad, without much hope, because he had told me in the past that he was done helping me. Miracle of miracles, he immediately said 'yes' for half the amount.
My mom gave me the other half. Then the studio informed me there was to be a 10-day break in filming, just at the right time.
I arrived in Medjugorje on the last day of the Youth Festival. I went to evening adoration, then we climbed Cross Mountain for the Mass at dawn.
As I climbed I tried to experience this time with God, but I couldn't concentrate in prayer. I felt only emptiness. When I got to the top I paced back and forth. I felt tormented inside.
Finally I left the Mass and went down the mountain alone. It was like I had heavy armour around my heart. It made me suffocate, and it was blocking out God.
I was not baptised and, at that moment, I understood the importance of baptism. A boy from my region told me, "Pauline, you have to go to confession!" But the idea of telling all my sins to a priest stressed me out completely.
I was thinking, "How am I going to say this? And that? It's too horrible, I can't do it." But I did it anyway. It was my first confession, and I did not know you had to be baptised to receive the sacrament.
Right from the beginning the priest seemed to see very clearly the immense wound that was inside me, and he told me the solution: take Mary as my mother and become again like a little baby in her womb.
What mattered to him most was not my sins but rather having me welcome the heart of the God who was waiting for me and who was suffering with me.
During confession and the blessing that followed, the emptiness that had been inside me disappeared and I cried for joy. I was laughing! It was like all the evil that had built up inside me since the beginning was coming out of me. I could feel all the filth leaving me.
After that, joy kept coming into my heart more and more every day; at last I could pray with the heart.
Now I got up every morning to say my prayers. I experienced the feeling of being filled for the first time. I could feel God healing me. I know the road will be long and tough. "Be strong and hold on!" - those words keep coming back to me.
Now it is impossible for me to consider life without the Holy Trinity. The truth is there. It is so good to be happy.
o Pauline, 18, is now preparing for baptism.
[This story is taken from the book, The Hidden Child of Medjugorje, by Sister Emmanuel.](Via Alive )