No doubt a highly controversial subject, in most cases, you have clicked to read either because the title angered you or because you have felt the same. The few in the lower percentiles that are just here to see the shit show ensue… wish me luck.

To say I was born a pagan is probably a little silly unless you are one of those who still think pagans are satan worshipping baby killers. I have always felt at home in nature. My soul seemed to rest easier in a bed of grass than it did in my actual bed a majority of the time.

I Wanted To Be A Christian

Blind faith was never really an easy concept to accept. Still, I was jealous of those who believed. I went to church with friends or family and participated in every activity I could. I saw those with unwavering faith each week, sometimes moved to tears by the love and passion they felt.
I prayed to feel that. I prayed every night that I would see a sign I was not alone. I was a Christian who also was dirt worshipping, tree hugger. I also failed to see where “God” would look down upon me for putting my faith and passion into the world he had created. Still, I was judged by many and followed blindly any hand that would lead me. My father was still around for most of the time. I worked hard to become… proper to those around me. My father was a spiritual man, and while he did not follow closely in organized religion, he believed in God. I struggled to find my place, and the only time I was truly moved to tears in the church was shortly after my father had passed, a Hymn that I had never heard before. A Sunday based around the times’ people felt alone and were comforted by God. It left me feeling alone but with no comfort in sight.

Losing my father was a hard hit as a child but the reasonable suggestion that with God, everything happens for a reason was enough to suffice, and even though I had questions, what Christian didn’t?

Meeting In The Middle

While I prayed regularly and convinced myself that God was, in fact, there, just silent, I entered adulthood with a general understanding that faith was not knowing. It was believing.

My Sundays were spent hiking or fishing, barring everything organized religion had taught me. I refused to believe God would punish me for enjoying what he made, instead of sitting in a building made by man being read a book, also written by men, who are by his own definition flawed.

I didn’t need the bible to teach me not to kill people or not sleep with everyone I met, much less to remind me every Sunday.

The Turning Point

Have you ever watched a child in a grocery store accidentally follow the wrong person? They get distracted by what they are looking at, and when they see a person moving, they follow without looking. It usually only takes a few moments before they look up and panic when they see a stranger’s face.

I watched my youngest stepson do the same thing. At around 4 years old, his little face sunk my heart, and he began to panic before I could even say his name to reassure him we were still right there.

Years later, when my first son died, I was the little kid in the grocery store. I had loved and followed Him without even questioning or looking up to see his face. Everyone else reassured me he was there, so I held onto faith.
I begged and pleaded to anyone who would listen that my baby would cry, that he would magically take a deep breath and be fine. No one answered…

After 45 minutes, I was no longer begging to save him. I prayed that he was not in pain and was already in a better place, not surrounded by doctors working on him.

I prayed for comfort as the nurse walked up to me and said they would have to stop, but they wanted to ask me if I was okay with that, even know there was nothing they could do. I prayed for an answer. No one responded… The moment they called my son’s time of death was the moment in the grocery store. I looked up and not only realized there was no one in front of me, I realized the store was empty. I ran through the store and tried everything to find just one person, and there was silence. When I walked outside, no one was there but my husband. A man who had also been left alone, and he grabbed my hand.

The Aftermath

I picked up the broken pieces of myself as much as I could in the following months. My husband followed behind me and held me up when I lost the strength to continue. The numbness was overwhelming in such a way that sometimes you wished it would just end, and our remaining children were the only reason the following days continued. Yes, we grew stronger. We healed the bleeding pieces of ourselves and hid our scars as good as we possibly could for them. It didn’t matter how strong I felt, when our baby girl, at the age of 7, would break down at the realization baby brother would never come home, it brought me to my knees.
My husband looked for every opportunity to make me smile, even if he had to endure the yuckiness of baiting a hook to take me fishing, he did with as much of a smile as he could muster.

I never spoke to God after that.

An all-knowing and all-loving God would not have taken away my child.

However, a Goddess stood firm under my feet. When I fell, she caught me, and she gave us a reason to smile, to laugh, and a home in nature when we felt like we didn’t belong anywhere else. She brings beauty, joy, and children’s laughter to the place we spread my son’s ashes.
And every time I look up, she is all around me. She couldn’t save him, but she gave me the power to continue when I didn’t believe I could. She gives me the power to stand on my own.

My Personal Conclusion

I look at my children every day and know that something much more beautiful and powerful than I had a part in their creation. If he is there, he doesn’t seem to be listening. I do, however, sometimes still find myself jealous of those with faith. Those who walk through their day with the belief that someone, somewhere, loves them and is watching over them.

It was instead the power of a man who helped me up off my knees, the power of mother earth that created a haven in my storm, and the power in myself to keep breathing, even when I wished I wouldn’t.

The next time you judge someone’s path, remember all the things just behind their eyes that you have no idea about. Just because we don’t follow Him, does not mean that we are lost. And I hope more than anything no one would ever have to go through my pain, nor that

you would ever feel the urge or pain to dare to look up.

-The Un-Traditional Mother