November 1 2014

Witch Way To Go From Here

My walk with witch craft only increased with time. Eventually I got into a relationship and began to teach him about paganism. He got very interested in it as well, and soon we were doing rituals together. We also played music and wrote poetry together. It was not a relationship I envisioned myself in long-term, because I had big dreams of becoming a dancer or a writer or a rock star. I moved away from my goth style and into a more hippie style. Free and wild and in love with the earth and nature. We were young and in love and I didn’t worry about birth control and before I knew it I was pregnant. It kind of threw our lives into a tail spin. I felt trapped in a relationship that was supposed to be fun and temporary with a baby I was not ready to take care of.

Our relationship was fraught with problems from the beginning. As the relationship continued, with the added stress of a baby coming, things only got worse. We argued often and I had an idea of changing our pot smoking lifestyle to be more responsible while he did not. That made things worse. By the end of my pregnancy I really felt that we should get married. Believe it or not, deep down inside I was a traditional kind of girl.

We were married in a Celtic Hand-fastening Ceremony in a friends back yard. He was ordained as a minister online, so he performed the wedding for us. They were also witches, and there back yard was a pagan haven of sorts. It was the perfect atmosphere for two hippie witches to get hitched. The ceremony was a complete ritual in every aspect. Somehow when we were fighting just minutes before hand I knew it was doomed.witch

Months later he would cheat on me, with a friend of mine. It killed something inside of me. I never felt so betrayed in my life. I wanted to kill him, but mostly her. We had a baby together, only 4 months old. I did not think I could ever trust another man again. He did not want to be married any more. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised, but now that we had a family I just wanted to keep it together. Because that is what is right. I couldn’t live with him cheating on me, and well he wouldn’t come home. He stayed with our two friends – also witches.

I moved in with my parents house and it was like hell all over again. Back in my old bedroom where I had tripped out on drugs so many times, and cried from depression and loneliness. Now I was back again with my precious little son and I thought my heart was going to crawl out of my chest and explode all over me. I had hurt before, but this was a new level of hurt unlike anything I knew existed.

I decided to move up North, about 400 miles, into a tiny hamlet where a cousin I barely knew lived. He lived in a mobile home park and offered to pay my first month rent. At the time, the escape sounded great, so off I went. I couldn’t take much, and because I didn’t even know how to drive (remember I rode my bike everywhere) my parents had to drive me and a little trailer full of stuff. It was about the most depressing drive ever.

This tiny village was in the middle of a national forest. There was a mobile home park, a gas station, a diner, a post office, and some scattered homes. That was it. Nearest real town was 20 miles down a long and windy road. I was officially stuck with no car, no job, no friends, and family I didn’t even know. Talk about jumping into a decision.

It didn’t take me long to regret that decision or for my husband to want me back. Problem was we still couldn’t stop arguing and he was 400 miles away. After a few months he decided to move up and be with us. As good as intentions we had, we were both too messed up to have a healthy relationship. Things went from bad to worse and escalated into physical fighting. It was a nightmare.

We were still practicing magic all the time though. As a matter of fact being in the forest made the magic more, well magical. To be so close to our mother goddess was amazing to me. I remember one Samhain (Halloween) doing a ritual to contact the dead. Samhain was a very special night as a witch, a night all about celebrating death and the witches new year. On Samhain, the veil between the worlds is the thinnest, and so it is the best time to contact the dead – our ancestors. It is a beautiful night, filled with reverence and awe. A Hallowed Eve, or Holy Evening for witches.

Out in the dark forest we built a fire and began to summon the dead. We were chanting and calling upon the goddess and god. The energy was stirring and the wind was blowing. Suddenly a giant face, pale and ghostly loomed before us. We had achieved our goal and reached through to the spiritual realm! It was exciting and scary all at once.

Our magic began to cross the line from white to grey. White magic is done with the intention of doing good, and grey magic is the intention not to harm, but not to do good. More moving into a selfish territory, but not harming anyone. Well we had a big problem with another man. He was going to do something to get us into trouble and we wanted to stop him. So there we were again, out in the forest, around a bonfire, casting a spell to keep him from doing any harm to us. We took something of his and burned it during the ritual.

This was just normal life for two witches. We loved Halloween and were proud to dress our young son up as a wizard. He would follow in our footsteps of course. I was a witch, and a pagan, and I would die that way as far as I was concerned. It was real, it was the truth, and I felt sorry for all those silly little Christians.

Well it wasn’t long after that our relationship ended permanently. I had wanted it to end, because I was so miserable, but when it did I could hardly bear it. You see I was pregnant with our second child. He left and moved in with another woman he had been seeing and I was alone again, with no job, a 1-year-old, and a baby on the way. Misery was like a bottomless pit that swallowed me whole. I was so deep inside that pit that I could not see out. I had no hope. I begged him over and over again to come back and make our family work. Reality is sometimes an ugly thing when it slaps you in the face.

I could not eat, could not sleep, could not function. Just the bare minimum to take care of my son and that was it. I was loosing weight and I was desperate. I began calling psychics to find out if we would get back together. Finally I concocted a spell that would bring him back to me and keep him from her. Except it did the opposite, and he was gone for good. I did not see him again for over a year, when our second son was 6 months old.

I moved back to my parents house again. I was more depressed than ever. Something really died in me then. I had no luster for life anymore. I started to feel those old feelings of wanting to just die. But I couldn’t because I had a son and another on the way to take care of. My parents helped me a lot. Somewhere on the way to maturing I stopped hating them and realized they did their best as parents. But I didn’t have it in me to do magic anymore. Not that I stopped being a witch. No. I could only focus on what I could, and that was getting through each day and taking care of my kids and picking up the pieces to my broken life/heart/family.

I am saved now. Saved by grace and mercy. Saved by Jesus Christ. I do not celebrate Samhain or Halloween anymore. I do not take my kids trick or treating, or to harvest festivals. We do not want to be associated with the evil of that night anymore. We want to honor Jesus now, because he is King here. Thank you God for taking me out of that life, and giving me hope and love. Thank you Jesus for loving me enough to heal the wounds from paganism, and to give me a new life. I am a new creation. I wish you could have seen me then and now, because you would be shocked at the change. That girl died the day that I accepted Jesus and as He hung on the cross, bleeding and dying, He took that old life with Him. Thank you. I have hope now and it is in Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

 

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November 2 2014

Love Lost and Found

loveAfter the dissolution of my marriage, which ended in divorce after less than 2 years officially, I tried the best I could to move on. But having kids changed me in ways I did not expect. For one thing I experienced love in a way I never had before. I adored my children and they were my life. I was willing to sacrifice and be a better person – anything to give them a better life. Unfortunately their dad did not feel the same, and was not around much. All I could think of how I had failed them because I couldn’t give them a dad that would be there. I know in his heart he loved them, but he was in a very bad place for a long time.

I was so depressed during the first year of my second sons life. I wanted to give them a family, a real family, and I couldn’t. So once again I was in that place where I was on a man hunt. I thought I was way past that place in life that I would feel like I needed to find love and approval, but I was not. I soon met a man who I became quite smitten with. It was ten years older than I was, and I somehow felt that made him very mature. Not to mention he ran his own business and was already a father. The authority he had in life was attractive to me, like he would be able to take care of me and my kids.

He was also an artist, which I loved. I really just blew him up in my mind to be so amazing. And with my desperation to regrow a family and to be loved, it was the perfect recipe for a totally destructive relationship. My specialty! This relationship went on for four years. Well, it was on and off for four years. He tried to end to relationship early on, just a couple of months in. But I was determined to fight for him, to show him that I was loyal to the core and would not give up on love. I was able to convince him that first time that he was worth the fight to me, but that just set the stage up for a vicious cycle.

We literally spent the next four years of the relationship breaking up and getting back together. Well it was more like him leaving me and coming back. The relationship became very abusive emotionally, than physically. Eventually I slipped back into that dark place of suicidal thoughts. I began cutting again. I wanted to live for my sons, but I was overwhelmed by despair and pain. I knew the relationship was killing me inside, but I couldn’t get away from it. My whole life began to revolve around this man and this dream of being a real family.

I was so very lost during these years. I did not know which way was up, and I started to even lose what was even right and wrong. I lost myself, because I just gave it away. I did not practice magic, because there was no room in my life. My desperate need for this man was a hulking monster that left no room for anything else. But this is not what love is. Love is patient and kind. Love is not self-serving or easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Instead love trusts, hopes and protects.

I had never experienced love in that way before. I did not even know it existed. All I knew is I needed love. We all need love, every last one of us. It’s just that we don’t know that we do not have to go on a long search to find it. We don’t have to wait years and years to run into it. We do not have to achieve certain goals in life or go through hellish relationships trying to dig for it. Because love isn’t something far away from us or something that we need to work for. No. Before you ever loved, He loved you.

And I am sure that neither death nor life, nor trouble or hardship, neither the present or the future, or any powers, will ever separate you from the love of Jesus. And He is waiting for you. Waiting to heal your broken heart and bring you into a love that is so powerful it would overwhelm you. There is nothing more in this life that could ever satisfy you like this one thing. All you have to do is ask. Are you ready?

 

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November 3 2014

Relationship Roller Coaster

I was beaten up by love and by the world by the time my relationship with the older man ended. I was really done with love and wanted to be alone – just me and my sons. I didn’t want to think about trying to secure a father figure for them, nor to have someone to love me and accept me. I was just done because love hurts and I couldn’t trust anyone. I had been in countless relationships it seemed, I had fought for true love and lost. Again. And had been thoroughly beat up, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.relationship

Love had other plans for me apparently. I had been working in an office of a construction business for over a year, and always was very friendly with everyone. Especially the guys, because hey flirting always made a girl feel like she was worth something. One guy in particular never flirted with me, but I had heard he liked me. I was never interested before and I wasn’t interested the day he walked in and wanted to strike up a conversation with me shortly after my relationship ended. But I was always friendly and enjoyed talking to him. I found out we had a lot in common. We were both been cheated on by our spouses and were divorced with two boys.  He was nice. But not my type.

Eventually he asked if he could buy some beers and bring them over. I was not one to turn down alcohol however, so I said sure. I was trying to be nice, but I hoped  I was not giving him the wrong idea. When he finally did come over later that night, he did have beer for me, but he had already been drinking. As a matter of fact he was very drunk. We spent about an hour talking, and he talked mostly about his ex-wife. Needless to say he did not make the best impression on me.

He was not going to be swayed though. He persisted in pursuing me. I just liked to talk to him. I felt comfortable opening up to him, because I felt he understood me. When I was having a problem he was the first person I called to talk to. He was a good friend, but I didn’t have feelings for him otherwise. I just wasn’t attracted to him like that. He took me and my boys out to dinner and bought us gifts often. Soon we were going out just the two of use, to a movie or to dinner. Sometimes we would get real snugly on the couch together, but it never went further than that. I’m pretty sure I had no idea what I was doing. I just knew I couldn’t be in another relationship.

I guess I didn’t realize that we were in a relationship. For me, we were taking it slowly. We did not even have our first kiss until we had being seeing each other for 3 months. That was a very big deal to me. He was never pushy with those things. Emotionally he wanted more than I had. I was scarred from my previous relationship and I felt like I could come undone at any moment. He was willing to wait for me though, like I was the most beautifully wrapped gift under the Christmas tree that had to be opened last of all.

Four months into things I found out the house I was renting was going to be sold and I was going to have to move. I was getting a steal  on rent, and for a single mom, I couldn’t really afford much more. I was out looking for a new place day after day on my lunch break, but there was nothing in my price range in a decent neighborhood. My new guy suggested we move in together. He was willing to jump ship on his lease so we could rent a house together. I was vehemently opposed to such an idea, but after about a month of looking, I gave in. Before I knew it, my two sons and I, and his oldest son, were all living together.

If my life was a roller coaster, then this would be one of those times where you have just gone slowly uphill and are now looking at a steep drop in front of you. The ride is about to plunge down at a hundred miles an hour any second now and you aren’t sure what lies ahead on the track. I was not ready for it. But much like the rest of my life, I was already on the ride and going faster than I knew how to keep up with, so I just kept hanging on.

I came to regret the decision to move in together because it was very difficult for the kids to adjust to it. It was a rushed move, and I didn’t want to be in a deep relationship. We ended up fighting often over the kids, because we had been raising our kids so differently. And we were both so wounded from our past broken hearts and betrayals. I never truly had time to move on from the previous relationship and heal, and I was hurting him by pushing him away. I didn’t want too, but I was just to afraid to get closer.

We lived together for 7 months before it dawned on me that I was in love with him too. We went away for the weekend for my birthday. There were no distractions in the room and not much to do outside of it, so we spent a lot of time just talking and getting closer. And it stuck me then, what I had been missing all this time. A man right in front of me who loved me and treated me like his queen. Never in my life had I experienced that and I didn’t even know what to do with it. There was just one problem. He was tired of me pushing away, and as soon as I started moving closer, he started backing off. Our relationship was headed towards disaster quickly and I didn’t know if there was any way to save it.

Funny thing about the plans we have for ourselves and what actually happens in our lives. No matter how we think we might direct our paths and control our lives, that is just not the case. You see we already have a purpose that is far greater than anything we could conceive of for ourselves. And we can plan in our hearts all we want, but our steps have already been directed. So we can fight it, or we can go with it.

You have been appointed for victory in this life and right now in this very moment you are being prepared. No matter how bad it seems right now, or how bad it has been, all that is going to be worked together for your good, and used to move you closer to your purpose. In this life you have two choices – you can run and run, searching for the meaning of life and desperately trying to accomplish something that makes you feel whole and important all the while wishing for love to take you away from it all – or you can just stop. Stop running, stop searching, stop trying to find that thing that will make you feel whole, and stop wishing that love would find you.

Because all that running and searching and waiting and trying is all a lie. Everything you need, everything you could ever need, is already right there, waiting patiently for you, waiting patiently for that moment when you decide to stop. The world is full of distractions that steal you away from truth. And it can be overwhelming, and confusing. But I implore you in this moment to just stop. Be still and listen. He is there, on the other side of the door, knocking. And if you listen carefully, you will hear Him. Are you going to open the door? Because when you do, all your questions are going to be answered. Do not be afraid or discouraged, but instead seek with all of your heart.

 

 

 

 

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November 4 2014

Hope is Confidence

All my life I felt walked on, alone and unimportant. So when I finally met someone who thought I was important and amazing even, it just didn’t register. A year into our tumultuous relationship things were going south and we were on the verge of breaking up. We were fighting over our kids, his ex was always trying to interfere with our lives, and we had baggage the size of Texas blocking the way of moving forward. I was on the verge of loosing hope, but I wasn’t ready to give up. I still had some fight in me, because I still had that little place inside me that said I could have love and happiness in my life. So I fought, and we came out stronger and better as a couple. As a matter of fact, we decided to buy a house together in get married. Yes in that order.

hopeAnd so we did. We got ourselves into a bit of a mess with the house situation, getting a mortgage that was far greater than we could afford. It put a lot of pressure on us, but we tried to be positive. We were getting married and we were going to be a real family. Unfortunately the stress of our financial burden only increased when I had to quit my job. I was pregnant just months after the wedding – yay!, but I was awfully sick and couldn’t do much. The whole pregnancy continued with me being very sick and often bed ridden. My husband was a hero and took on everything in the house, cooking, cleaning, the kids, and his job. But things were very stressful and we began to bicker again over money.

It was about a month after our first son together was born that we realized we could not continue to keep our house. It was make house payments or eat and pay bills. The housing market was crashing and our house was now worth half what we paid for it. We decided to walk away and moved into a nearby rental, so the kids could go to the same school. It was devastating. The home we had made together, the home our son was born in, was now gone. I didn’t know where we were going to go from there. The rental we had been a dump, our credit was ruined, and it was all just depressing.

In less than a year we would have both of his sons living with us and our financial burden grew while our rental shrank. We moved again into a bigger rental, but then the economy took a huge dump and my husband’s job went with it. (He worked construction). We loved each other deeply, but we couldn’t seem to heal all the past hurts we brought into the relationship. I still had a hard time trusting him, and he had a hard time opening up. There were many times I just wanted to give up and walk away, and I told him so. I didn’t want to hurt him, it’s just that I had no hope.

Soon I was pregnant again. I was very happy about it because I wanted a big family, but again I was having a difficult time. I had bad morning sickness and I gained a large amount of weight. I was just generally miserable and it made it difficult to take care of my duties around the house. My husband didn’t mind though, because he just wanted to take care of me. We had another beautiful home birth,and yes another son!

Unfortunately things had been getting worse day by day, because my step sons did not want to live with us at all. They wanted to live with their mom, but we both felt that was not the best decision for them. Eventually we gave in against our better judgement because their determination to leave our home was tearing our marriage apart. I never thought being a step mom would be so hard. I loved his boys, but they never wanted to accept me as any kind of mom.

That was about the worst year ever. We had our car repo’d, we lost his kids to another state where their mom lived, then we lost our rental house. When it rains, it pours, right? And through all this there was just no hope. There was no rainbow over the clouds, no silver lining, nothing. It is hard to find happiness when you have no hope. It is difficult to lift your head out of despair, when you have no hope. There is no bigger picture to see that things can get better. It’s just bad, all the time, except when you have distractions to make you temporarily forget. And we did.

I wish so much I would have had hope during that time in my life. I really think a perspective like that would have helped me get through some dark times. Because with hope comes faith, and with faith comes love, and with love comes peace and joy. But there was nothing for me to take root in, nothing grounding me in my life. There was no place of strength to draw upon for hope or faith. It was just like I was out there floating with no anchor to bring me back down to earth. Just this constant sense of fear and anxiety, of what will happen, how will we survive, how will we take care of our children? All the moving and financial worries and the changes were so much to bear on our own. And then we would look around in the world and it was all so bad. What is the point of this life anyway? We toil away every day only to suffer and then what? We die.

Hope is not just wishful thinking, it is confident expectation in what we cannot see. It is trust that you will be taken care of, it is faith that you will come through the trials of life and still find blessings, and it is patience in waiting even when you cannot see the bigger picture in your life. There is only one source of hope in this world. Only one way that you can have the strength to endure the pain this world so easily doles out. Only one way to muster up the faith that will take you through every daunting day that wants to knock you flat on your face. And that hope is in Jesus Christ. Without Him life can seem bleak and meaningless. I discovered hope as I began to know Him. I had never know hope before, but now my hope is never diminished.

 

 

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November 5 2014

Spiritual Hunger

During the last few months in our rental home, before we couldn’t pay the rent anymore and had to move, I remember feeling the stirrings of my spirit within me. I hadn’t had time to “do” anything spiritual or to nurture my spiritual self. And I was beginning to really feel it. I missed that connection I felt with the earth and the universe. That bigger picture of being a part of the universe and everything in it, and it all being connected by the power of love. I just had this emptiness in me – not the normal depression emptiness, but an emptiness in my spirit. I was hungry for more, but I didn’t know how to get filled.

I began looking around for witches covens that might have children in it. I wanted to be a part of a community of like minded people. I wanted to get back into my pagan roots and teach my children about it. Witches are a little bit out there though, and there were some things I didn’t want to expose my kids to. Like, naked adults out in the moonlight. But, that’s just me.spiritual path

One of our neighbors had a son not the same age as my second son. They were great friends and the family was Christian. I tried not to hold it against them, which was easy because they didn’t talk about it much. The husband had a brother that came over often and he was much more outspoken about his faith. He talked about his God in a way that sparked something inside me. He would talk about having problems with people and praying for them and praying for blessings for them, and then the problems with them would just disappear. I was fascinated at the thought of being able to resolve problems with people, and in such a positive way. It seemed I was always having problems with people in my life, and they would often get out of my control.

I started to ponder going to a Christian church. The brother gave me a Bible and I thought about reading it. I had never really even cracked the spine of a Bible before, except a Mormon Bible my grandma gave me as a youth. All I knew is the Bible represented a lot of things I considered to be completely false. I can’t even remember now if I read that Bible or not, but we did try out a service at the brothers church one Sunday. At first I liked it, but then things just went wrong for me. I ended up leaving very angry because I was stuck in this little room with all the other mothers with small children and couldn’t hear the sermon. I felt resentful about it and started a fight with my husband. The whole place just made me uncomfortable. Needless to say we never went back. I was done with all that nonsense.

Except I couldn’t shake the feeling that I wanted to go to church. Just not a Christian church. I wanted a spiritual life again, and I wanted it desperately! Then I heard about the Unitarian Universalist church. There was one a half hour away from our house and I asked my husband about trying it out. He was pretty reluctant, but still open to trying it. It had grow up going to church, but never really found God. I think he wanted to know more about God and what life was really about though, and that was why he was open to trying this out.

The UU Church was very different than the Mormon church I had been to as a child. It was very free and people were dressed casually, and their were flags from all the different religions all over the main meeting room. It was just a feeling of being open to everyone and every religion, not judging or saying there is only one way. I really liked that. The pastor had long hair and gave the aura of an ex hippie. I felt like I could fit in. But it was just so far and it was hard for me to separate from my baby to leave him in child care. We tried going on and off for a few months, but the distance was far and it just ended up not being worth all the work.

I didn’t forget about it though. When we moved out of our rental we had to move in with my parents for awhile. Our lives were upside down once again, but this time moving back in with my parents didn’t depress me. I had a husband I loved and a family that was solid. I was actually somewhat happy. As happy as I could have been anyway. We found another rental very close to my parents, and that neighborhood was very close to the UU Church we had attended before. So I asked my husband about going back and he said sure. He had liked it too.

So we tried going regularly and it was nice for a short time. The older kids got to go to class while we sat through the sermon. We felt like we were getting some food for our spirits and it was uplifting; refreshing. Then summer came and they stopped doing sermons and just had speakers on different non spiritual topics every week. I felt that black hole inside me just aching once again, and realized it wasn’t ever really being filled at this place. My husband agreed, and it was easy to stop going because the kids didn’t even like it.

I still wanted a community and a spiritual place to connect with others. I kept searching and finally found the Unity church. Their motto is “many paths, one god”. It sounded nice and it was not too far from our home. My husband agreed to try this one out as well. I think inside he was searching for more too, but he is not a super vocal type of man. This church was held in a community college auditorium. It was even more different than my experiences with church than the UU church. They had a band and they played a mix of spiritual sounding songs and just regular songs you might hear on the radio. People were flowing with love and smiling and wanted to shake your hand. It really weirded me out, because I was not used to people wanting to be so friendly towards me. On the contrary, my experiences with people were always quite negative.

This church taught about all religions as well. They would even talk about Jesus in the Sunday school classes. I wasn’t totally against it, but I was interested to know who this Jesus fellow was. In my house the name of Jesus was a swear word, and I used it a lot. We went every week and enjoyed it, again for a short time. I just started feeling very negatively about it and even dreaded Sundays and having to try to get up early and race over there. So again we decided to stop going.

Could I ever find what I was looking for? Could I fill this deep need inside me to connect with a community and feed my soul? Why was it so hard! I was grieving inside for the loss of a life so spirit filled and yearning so desperately for something more. I knew there was more out there – I had already experienced it. Why was it that it just had to go away now that I had kids? It just didn’t make any sense.

The road I was traveling was like an overgrown path where the way is starting to become hard to see. It was covered with weeds and rocks, but you just know at one time it was smooth and beautiful to walk along. Now it was difficult to tread and you weren’t quite sure where it was going to wind up. I was lost and confused and really didn’t even know where I was going anymore.

Have you ever had that feeling before? That longing inside of you, like your spirit is just so hungry to be fed? But you don’t even know why you feel that way, or how to fill it? You are not alone, friend. Thousands of people all over the world are just like you, seeking and longing, but so lost and confused. It is a dark place to be in; feeling so empty in a dry and parched land. We were meant to be fed with the bread of life and nourished with the living water. To never hunger again, but to receive an endless supply of food for our spirit that would fatten us up. Food that would help us to grow healthy and strong and defeat depression, anxiety, fear, shame.

We were made for this deep connection to be filled. We are not made to live on just bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of Jesus. And He gives this gift free of charge. If you are thirsty, come. If you are hungry, come. He is inviting you to come nearer, to dine with him and be satisfied. All you have to do is ask.

 

 

 

 

 

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