Awakening at Lourdes: How an Unanswered Prayer Healed Our Family and Restored Our Faith

Awakening at Lourdes: How an Unanswered Prayer Healed Our Family and Restored Our Faith

Awakening at Lourdes: How an Unanswered Prayer Healed Our Family and Restored Our Faith

Awakening at Lourdes: How an Unanswered Prayer Healed Our Family and Restored Our Faith



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Winner of a third-place award in the memoir category from the Catholic Media Association.

“This is your cross, and I am not going to take it away from you. I will be with you, and I will help you, but it is yours to carry.”

Christy Wilkens heard Jesus speak those words after she prayed for her son Oscar’s healing in her parish adoration chapel one bright September day. Almost a year later she would find herself in Lourdes, France, seeking a miracle.

The grotto at Lourdes is known as a place of healing. But sometimes the miracle that occurs is not physical, but something much deeper. Wilkens made the long trek to Lourdes with her husband, Todd, and their toddler—who is plagued by mysterious seizures—through a program with the Order of Malta. In Awakening at Lourdes, Wilkens shares that while Oscar’s condition did improve after their visit, the real healing took place between she and her husband. Through their time at Lourdes, they discovered a deeper love for each other, a renewed sense of appreciation for their faith community, and an abiding confidence in God’s mercy.

Persuaded by her husband to take the trip, Wilkens summoned her faith– faith in God, faith in her husband, and faith in the doctors and other helpers who surrounded them every step of the way—to embark on the journey of a lifetime. Recording their experiences with deeply personal yet highly relatable language, Wilkens offers a firsthand account of the traditions and culture of the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes and the shrine’s special servers, the Order of Malta. She also captures her own doubts, questions, and fears as she attempted to process the family’s physical and emotional journey.

The Wilkens family’s story will help you learn to be open to what God has in store for you and to see that if you surrender control, open yourself to God’s grace, and lean on your community, you are never alone.

The book includes a study guide for individual or group use.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781646801121
Publisher: Ave Maria Press
Publication date: 10/08/2021
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 224
File size: 3 MB

Table of Contents

Foreword Jennifer Fulwiler xi

1 Little Earthquakes 1

2 Together, Alone 9

3 The Brink 17

4 We Are in France 25

5 Malade 31

6 My Faith Is Not Equal to My Situation 37

7 On Holding On and Letting Go 43

8 Prostrate in the Mud 51

9 Gethsemane 61

10 Raise You Up 71

11 The Dark Night of the Soul 79

12 Water, Fire, and a Cave 85

13 Lowered through the Roof 93

14 Outward Signs, Inward Grace 99

15 Nothing a Bottle of Wine Can't Solve 107

16 The Beloved 113

17 Crêpes au Chocolat 121

18 In the Footsteps of Bernadette 127

19 Sealed with the Gifts 135

20 Life Wins 139

21 Our Lady of Lourdes 149

22 The Other Brink 157

23 "What I Have Seen and Heard 165

24 Rise, Take Up Your Mat 173

25 Chosen, Blessed, Broken, Given 179

Epilogue 185

Acknowledgments 191

Ecce, Fiat, Magnificat: A Discussion Guide on the Healing Power of Surrender and Community 195

Notes 209

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“You will recognize your own story in these pages. And you will walk away knowing, on a soul level, one of the most essential truths any of us could ever hope to understand: your brokenness is not just something to be endured; it may very well turn out to be your greatest blessing.” —From the foreword by Jennifer Fulwiler

“The very word ‘Lourdes’ speaks of healing, love, and consolation. Our Mother, Mary, and her son, Jesus, are so evident there. To savor these tender reflections by another mom, Christy Wilkens, only enhances the power of that word ‘Lourdes’!” —Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York and conventual chaplain ad honorem of the Order of Malta

“In Awakening at Lourdes, Christy Wilkens spins a powerful tale of suffering and redemption, describing her journey to Lourdes with her son and husband and the miracles that ensued. Wilkens’s writing is luminous—full of heart, raw honesty, and touches of humor and both intensely personal and universal in its insights. Her reflections on the many varieties of healing bring the gift of Lourdes to everyone who reads her words.” —Lori Erickson, author of Holy Rover and Near the Exit

“In a world where strength and health are so often equated with blessing and merit, Christy Wilkens asks us to question everything we thought we knew of healing. This book gracefully challenges our assumptions about what makes a miracle and extends an invitation to find God, not outside of our present reality but right here in the middle of it.” —Shannon K. Evans, author of Embracing Weakness

“If you’ve ever wondered what happens while on pilgrimage to Lourdes, this is a great place to begin that exploration. Christy Wilkens brilliantly captures the joy, blessing, and true sense of hope her family received while on their faith-filled pilgrimage to find healing for their young son Oscar. Let yourself be drawn in to this powerful account and experience vicariously the beautiful culture and faith Lourdes is known for. I promise that by the final sentence you will be booking your flight.” —Mary E. Lenaburg, author of Be Brave in the Scared

“Many people who are sick seek the intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes for healing, but what happens when they don’t get their requested miracle? They discover the other miracles along the way. This is the story of the Wilkens family.” —Fr. Edward Looney, author of A Heart Like Mary’s

“Christy Wilkens’s insights go far beyond the beautiful details of experiencing Lourdes. Not only does she show us what receiving a miracle means but she also reveals how God knows far better than we do what our needs are. Readers will join a swarm of believers, along with a few humble doubters, on this journey to Lourdes to experience through Wilkens’s eyes and heart what a Lourdes pilgrimage truly does for one’s faith and life.” —Michelle Buckman, author, international speaker, and writing workshop instructor

“In vivid and lyrical prose, Christy Wilkens shares with us the most intimate details of a pilgrimage that was both physical and spiritual. From gut-wrenchingly raw moments to periods filled with the kind of peace that can only come from true joy, Wilkens’s story carries us away until we are forced to admit to ourselves that, despite our flaws, we are all unconditionally loved by our Creator God.” —Amy J. Cattapan, Catholic author, teacher, and member of the Order of Malta American Association

“In this honest, piercing story of brokenness and blessing, Christy Wilkens is a narrator we come to love and trust. Beyond that, we fall in love with her family—in particular, her son Oscar—as they seek a path toward wholeness. Their challenging, difficult journey is one full of grace, love, and redemption.” —Kate Rademacher, author of Following the Red Bird

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