Vicka Ivankovic about following God's will
Date: February 24, 2007 , Originally published February, 2004
Author: Sr. Emmanuel
Category: Visionaries , Vicka Ivankovic-Mijatovic , Interviews
The village is quiet during these winter months. For many pension owners and the visionaries, less pilgrims means more time spent with family around the wood-burning stove. This past month a woman from China stayed in Medjugorje, with my community. She mentioned that she thought it must be easy for the visionaries to discern what God wants of them. "When you see Our Lady every day", she said, "you know how to follow the right path. But for us, how are we to know the will of God in our lives and how can we be sure not to be mistaken?" I took a chance that Vicka would have some "winter time" to spend with us and would share some insights of hers. She welcomed my friend very kindly. Because she radiates such a heavenly joy and love, one may think she can give a magic recipe for peace! Well, she did draw a clear line to happiness, but indeed nothing magic!
Vicka spoke directly to my friend without even one question being asked. She said, "People who think they are clever and intelligent will do things according to their own plans and not care about God's plan. Because of pride, they fail and face many difficulties in achieving their goals and in seeking God".
In my case, I follow my own plans, yes, because of pride, but also because I want to know what will come step by step?
Vicka: You know, many people say they want to do the Will of God, but actually, when they have to choose a way, they choose what they like most, what brings them pleasure. But one cannot do the Will of God some of the time and at other times follow one's own feelings! Many say, 'Lord, show me the way', but deep in their heart they have not yet made a strong decision to put God in the first place. They keep going back and forth with Him, and then they lack peace. After a while, they are stuck with no way out, and they find themselves in great pain. Then they cry to God saying: 'Lord, why have you allowed this to happen to me?!' Unfortunately, these people have created their own problem! But God is merciful. When you follow Him again, He will work everything out for you. When you start with a strong decision to fulfill God's plans for your life, then God sees your good will and He gives you everything! God is always ready to give! And if you have missed the right path, He is always ready to take you back in His arms and to console you! But all this time spent going the wrong way and then returning to where you started, see how much time you've lost? You have no time to lose! All you have to do is to ask for the thing you need and then be open to receive God's graces. People just do not ask God for it. There is in every person's heart, God. Everyone knows somehow that God exists but some people avoid thinking about it and they deny it.
Is it not right to follow our feelings? Aren't our feelings from God too?
Vicka: You have to see God's Will first so that you have inner security and peace in your heart! When you have fear in your heart, you cannot feel right. You are not in harmony within yourself and you cannot trust your feelings. Seek first to be happy with yourself, to love yourself. When something is from God, you feel great joy, peace and harmony within you. When you feel fear, confusion and anguish, that is something from the enemy. If it is God's will, there will be problems, yes, but He will smooth out the way for you. When it is God's will, God will give you everything you need, problems and difficulties will finally go.
That sounds so easy for you!
Vicka: You have to do it step by step, don't think of something big. It doesn't happen overnight! Usually, the most difficult part is the start. You have to start slowly to understand and to listen to God's will. Day by day you are learning to listen to God's will. You will find God's graces working for you. You'll receive God's graces when you follow God's will. There are times that God wants to test you to see if you are truly willing to follow His Will. God wants you to choose. Sometimes you have struggles among other attractions and alternatives. God has given everyone a great gift: a free will, a freedom, he wants you to choose and to use your free will. God does not want to force you into anything. Sometimes we fail and choose the wrong things. God is merciful and God knows. As long as we have the good will to follow Him, God will help us.
How can we win over those feelings that trouble us?
Vicka: Don't be afraid of anything, just renounce them and give them to God. You cannot pray if you let those troubles in. You know, Satan is always trying to trouble our hearts. We have to be aware of him, of his actions, and not let him work in our hearts. He will introduce worries and fears and he will disturb you in many ways. But all this, just give it to God and accept his peace! People do not realize how much He wants to give us, how much He loves us! You don't need to be afraid of anything.
Three days later an American friend visited Vicka. That day the question was about Vicka's out-of-town missions:
How do you decide where to go, does it depend on invitations?
Vicka: "But you know, people are constantly asking us (the visionaries) to come to them, requests arrive day and night! No, you see, the important thing is to look into your own heart and ask, 'what does the Gospa need me to do?' I receive many invitations from countries with all they need materially and I could spend my time in the United States, in Italy or so. But I also have to listen to those countries with nothing that have many difficulties and to tell myself, 'I will respond when the Gospa puts a sign in my heart'. I wait peacefully and sure enough, she shows me the right time, the right place, how and when she wants me to go. When this sign comes, you just know it, you can feel it, it is clear. And even if some friends push me to go and visit them instead, I must not pay attention to their request, because friendship has nothing to do with it, it is something else. You should not decide on a trip in order to please your friends; you have to follow what your heart tells you in prayer and stick to it. You have to be strong. The important thing is to go forward, in peace, in the way God shows you in your heart."
These words from Vicka may help a lot of people who, in the Marian movement, have an earnest desire to be instruments in the plans of the Gospa. As a matter of fact, when confusion comes up and pressure is felt in working together for a mission, a retreat or other activity, what a grace it is to be able to share the same goal and decide together: "We are going to open our hearts and welcome what God has in store for us. How can we put ourselves at the service of Jesus and Mary, finding their plan for us, and not putting our own plans first?"
When God really holds the first place in our dealings, our first concern is to please Him. Obviously, we all see that God blesses the efforts of those who do not compromise His work with other priorities.