The Merry-Go-Round of Religion

“If God leads you to it, God will lead you through it.”

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that phrase and thought that the women in my life were more likely to be there for me as a guide than any man would be.

Fifteen years ago, thinking that my father would be more accepting of me if I believed in his God, I told him what he wanted to hear. I would go to church once in a great while with friends, just so that I wouldn’t be a liar. I borrowed the Book of Psalms from my Grandfather and knew the very basics about the Bible. No matter how I tried to please him without being drug down the whirlpool called Christianity, I felt hollow and empty.

What did I really believe in? Who did I believe in? Why….why was I willing to put up a false front just to please someone?

Five years later I was introduced to Wicca through some of my mother’s side of the family. Their comfortable demeanor and sense of pride with their religious beliefs intrigued me. Over the years, the popularity and rise of Wicca and other Pagan faiths in the mainstream public eye spurred me on to find out as much as I could. You hardly ever see a mainstream religion having that kind of comfort level unless they are recruiting others, or proclaiming Christ while taking the money out of your pockets.

Do as Christ would do? I don’t remember reading about Jesus being a thief, a liar.

My children are my guiding force, urging me on to help find something for them to believe in besides SpongeBob, Dora, and Hannah Montana. They ask me questions, I try to answer as best as I can. If I don’t know, I ask someone more knowledgeable. I tell them to believe in themselves, to follow their hearts, to respect themselves, others and Mother Nature, to only “harm” in self defense. I tell them to be honest and truthful to themselves about what they want to believe in, and to do it for the right reasons, not what someone else wants.

Some of those who guided me along my path and who inspired me have forsaken their beliefs in favor of believing in Jesus and the teachings of the Bible. Were their beliefs strong and steady? Were they Wiccan or Druid because they believed, or was it just convenient at the time? Did they change faith to be part of an accepted, mainstream religion because of peer pressure, or do they really now follow their teachings? There are so many questions, and the answers are, to me, as false as a pair of Vegas eyelashes.

One person who has chosen to convert to Christianity gave excuses about Wicca having “no unity”, no “unified moral code of ethics”. Reading the mass email she sent out, she professes that Wicca teaches us to think selfishly, that the spells and “ritual things” aren’t needed to be close to God. In a way she is right, I know many who don’t use things like athames, or wands. I just have to say though, excuse me?! What does she call all the pomp and circumstance of Sunday Service, all the “ritual things“ that they use?  That could even go for the whole “church” concept. We, as a nature-based faith, often don’t feel a building is needed, for anywhere can be our “church“.

As predicted, she then goes on and tries to recruit those she sent the email to. How disgusting is that?!?

Finding stability in society is hard enough, without the people you look up to for guidance doing a wishy-washy dance of uncertainty. What is even more disconcerting and suspicious, is when they change without any forewarning or clues. For some, maybe it is a life altering event that has made them think twice about what they believe in or practice. My father hadn’t gone to church for years, but always told me to believe in God and to go to church.

In 2003, my father was driving down a poorly lit main road when a man stepped out in front of his truck and was killed. My father never saw the drunk man until it was too late. He took this as a sign from Jesus and God. The man’s name was Jesus, and he had been trying to cross the road to his daughter’s house from the church across the street. My father saw this as a sign that he could still go to church. He explained it to me this way; he said that at 52 (at the time) it wasn’t too late to go back to church and be one with God.

My epiphany moment happened and I didn’t even know it. My soon to be mother-in-law was dying of cancer. On the morning of May 29, 1999 we were all at their house doing some major cooking for a birthday party. Three of us were in the kitchen when we heard a “thump”; her lungs had filled up with fluid, her heart had stopped beating, and she fell to the floor. We tried CPR, we called 911 and we cried. The Hospice showed up (I won’t go into that here), the paramedics, the whole neighborhood. My husband’s cousin was on the way with her three day old daughter, just moments away. There was nothing we could have done, she was gone. I want you to understand something, my mother-in-law was and IS a very strong-willed woman.

Later that night, about 7 or 8 pm, we got pager messages to get to a phone. We were worried about my husband’s younger sister or his father. Needless to say, what we found out was NOT what we expected.

The God and Goddess work in beautiful and mysterious ways.

After all those hours at the funeral home, the funeral director heard a noise. I kid you not, he heard a noise coming from her bag. When he opened it, she was breathing, her eyes were open and she looked right at his ashen face. The poor man fell, screamed, called 911 and promptly passed out. He would never talk to us after her memorial service.

She was with us until around 11pm that night, giving her friends and close family time to be with her to say goodbye. I look back on that day as the day when the Goddess first showed herself to me. The strength of my mother-in-law, her love for and belief in her family was like none I had ever witnessed before. She was a mother, a sister, a warrior, and a Goddess in her own right.

My point is this; we all have our reasons, but we should have them for the right ones. Have them because you believe, not to be part of the “In” crowd. Be proud of who you are and what you believe in.