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I’m Alisa.  I’m 28, and today I’m happy because in the Community I have met God’s love.
Thinking about my family, I always remember my parents working constantly.  I used to spend lots of time with my grandparents, and this was hard for me to accept.  I had everything I wanted, everything. My granny really tried to protect me, but she could not protect me from myself, from my inner pain. As time went by, I built a wall between my parents and me. I didn’t trust their love. It was all words to me.  I suffocated every good feeling I felt for them. My first mask was to appear strong, but this was not true. My parents gave me everything, unable to say ”no.”
Then in my country, war began.   In my family, there was tension and anger, instead of dialogue and peace. My parents split up, and I felt lonely.  In a minute, I thought I was free to do what I wanted. I was caught by a false freedom, which took me to darkness. Addiction became the remedy to my sadness, the only source of my strength. The void inside grew bigger and bigger. I got my diploma, and I started my job as a nurse. A job, a car, a flat:  I had everything I thought I wanted, but it was not enough to fill that void.  It was only a mask to hide myself from others. I got married to a boy who shared my problems. 
Our marriage didn’t last much at all, but we had the joy of a beautiful daughter who changed my life. She gave me the strength to enter the Community and the will to change my life. I entered the “Field of Joy” in Medugorje.  Today I thank Our Lady who helped me to meet Jesus through the girls who were so close to me. Their friendship, truth, and solidarity helped me to accept myself for what I was, and true hope was born in my heart. They taught me that love is not only a feeling, but it means being able to sacrifice ourselves, to suffer together, so that good may win. Above all, I learned that love is a free and spontaneous thing that comes from the heart, not something you cann buy.  The sacrifices made by my “guardian angel,” the girl who stayed by my side day and night when I entered, woke up my conscience and helped me to stay and trust the words of the Community. When I was able to be true, I could accept the help of a sister without judging her.  I could feel the strength of good inside me, which sent sadness away and filled my heart with true joy.
The hardest moment in my walk was when I was informed that my father had committed suicide. I had been in the Community for only a month, and I understood pretty well that I was not ready to go back home.  I was too weak. In that moment, I experienced the great love of the girls around me and of the Community itself. I realized the only thing I could do was commit my father to God. It was a hard moment, because I had to accept that I could do nothing to bring my father back, to save him. Thank God the Community taught me to pray, to be able to say to my father in prayer all the things that I couldn’t say before to him:  “I love you.  Forgive me.”  Prayer gave peace to my heart.
Now I’m not ashamed to show my tears, to show love to my daughter and my Community sisters. I think that, with God’s help, I can go on living with a smile on my face.  I can be a true mother. When I pray with my daughter, I know what she desires, because she tells Jesus what she does not tell me, so I can understand her better and be closer to her. I thank so much the sisters and brothers  I share my walk with, because they love me as I am. I thank my parents because they gave me life, but above all I thank Mary who took me by the hand and has become my best friend.

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