Showing posts with label miracles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label miracles. Show all posts

Friday, November 4, 2022

Each Time I Break, The Gods Put Me Back Together

There comes a point in every Hellenist's life, I think, when the Gods have shown themselves so many times that it becomes absurd to fear anything but them. The reality of the presence of the Gods becomes self-evident. Recently while talking on the phone with an old friend, they too said the Gods have saved them so many times that a blind person could see it, metaphorically speaking. I didn't take a lot of time to explain my own experiences, but the conversation did take me back to some very notable times in my life, ones I haven't really talked about that much.

One of the greatest potential disasters I found myself in, along with my wife and son, happened on our moving journey from North Carolina to Illinois in late 2012. What we couldn't pack into our cars, we sold before leaving, but all of the items that we did pack weighed down my wife's car so much that the back right tire began to split open. That's right, there was so much weight that it literally squashed the guts out of the wheel. I didn't even know that could happen, nor that it would take place in the worst possible circumstance; the middle of a remote Indiana interstate. Fortunately, there was a sideroad for emergencies.

However, we were in a bad situation. We were stranded with our two year old baby, and the cold night was coming. I began addressing the problem as any sensible man would. I pulled the spare out of the back of my wife's car and slid the jack underneath to change the tire, a fairly simple process. Except the jack was so badly bent that it was disabled. So I stayed with our son while my wife took my car and drove to a local Walmart to purchase a new one. It was already completely dark by the time she returned, and as bad fortune would have it, the new jack broke when I tried to lift the car with it.

At that point in my life, my anxiety disorder was at its peak. I became hysterical. But I turned my emotions and voice to the sky as I looked up and yelled, "Gods please help us!" Shortly after that, a young couple spotted us and pulled over. The man was a mechanic and managed to use the old jack to finally get the spare on the vehicle. From that point, we managed to make it within twelve miles of our destination in Freeport, Illinois before another tire gave out (Illinois is a long way from North Carolina). We came in with one car on a wrecker, but we nevertheless made it. We were determined to start a new life. 

If the Gods hadn't heard my plea and sent that couple toward us, I have no idea how things would have turned out because, at the time, we did not have roadside assistance or any kind of close emergency contact. But when I think back on this time, I realize it was by no means an isolated incident. I could write a book about all the times the Gods clearly came to the rescue of my family and I, and in the worst situations that seemed hopeless. There are many mysteries in this world, and so many things we cannot understand. But what I have always known for certain is that the Greek Gods are real.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Did The Gods Reward My Perseverance and Faith?

It has long been thought that the Gods admire those who persevere. I believe this is very true, especially after what has happened to me over this summer. Since I was 14 or 15 years old, I have suffered with severe acne. You can't tell by looking at my pictures over the last several years because I used the best over-the-counter medication on the market, but even that didn't stop all breakouts. I had to use it every morning and every night, and if I missed a treatment, especially overnight, I risked a resurgence of some sort. My problem continued well into adulthood and I thought I was simply destined to have this skin issue that I would always have to fight. For anyone who has suffered with lifelong acne, they know it's not fun. Your face is constantly oily, cracked, and covered with pimples and bumps that not only make you extremely unattractive, but are very painful many times. Without treatment, your face just feels like a desert or a tarpit that's infected.

Then this late spring and early summer, after using the medication for around 21 years, the treatment just stopped working and my face erupted. The doctor attributed it to the fact that over a long period of time, the bacteria on someone's face can build up a resistance to the medicine. So it was time for me to see a dermatologist, which I promptly did. However, even his prescription strength medicine, by itself, did not do a single thing. After combining it with the over-the-counter remedy, I did get relief, but it was a constant battle both health wise and monetarily, as the prescriptions were expensive even with insurance, and needed to be filled on a regular basis.

I probably don't have to tell you that someone is my position, or with any major health problem, may have a crisis of faith. A lot of people blame the Divinities, even hate or resent them, but no matter how bad my face got, I never did. Even after suffering for almost as long as I can remember being alive, I still loved the Gods. No matter how bad it got, the Gods were the happiness and love I could always experience in my life, and I knew that was greater than any ailment I may have. Of course I wondered why it had always happened to me, but I knew that even though there were things I may not understand fully, the Gods were still there. 

Last week, something amazing happened. My acne just stopped, literally. It cleared up and I have not really used facial medication since, which normally would result in severe breakouts by now. I no longer use facial cleanser, toner or repair lotion, which were essential to my skin's health. My face doesn't even produce a lot of oil anymore. You may call it a miracle, and perhaps it is, but this issue that I have fought for over two decades was wiped away, even after its strongest return. I no longer have acne. I believe the Gods found my perseverance, faith and piety to be very noble and admirable, and rewarded me with one of the greatest blessings I have ever had, a life free of acne. There's no other way I can explain it. There's no reason for this sudden shift. Perhaps a change in hormones or something to that effect, but the Gods are able to do anything, including changing my body for the better, and helping me where I had, for so long, tried to help myself.

Don't ever give up hope. Keep going in life. 

In the Goodness of the Gods,

Chris Aldridge.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Miracles From Olympos

Scrummaging last night, I found two relics, forever sealed in time. It was refreshing because I thought I had lost them. It was an accident that I actually stumbled upon the two. They brought back to memory one of the most priceless times of my entire life, and reminded me just how much my wife and I have been through together during these last 10 years. After she became pregnant, she began experiencing life-threatening complications in early June of 2010, and my son had to be delivered early, 24 weeks as a micro-preemie at 1 pound, 5 ounces, with the worst chances of survival, literally. I named him Gryphon Maximus that night, which means Gryphon The Greatest. Fortunately, he was stabilized and moved into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, or NICU for short. The image you see on the left are the pictures that I placed on the windows of his incubator when I went up to see him for the first time. They are of Apollon and Artemis, Gods who protect children and heal the sick. The original pictures were actually removed by the NICU staff through an honest mistake because they didn't realize what they were. When I informed them that they were religious to our family, they reprinted and sealed the pictures in plastic bio bags and taped them back onto the windows of his crib. What you see is 100% original from that day and through the entire time he was there, the plastic and tape still on them. 

A very short time after these pictures were put on his incubator, he began breathing on his own for hours without the help of a ventilator. He was already showing signs of unconquerable strength, and it was the Gods who always gave me peace in the knowledge that my son was going to make it. The baby that should have died was not only breathing on his own, he was eating and growing. All of his doctors were amazed. With each passing day, it became more obvious that he was going to grow into a full term baby and come home, and he eventually did, without even having to have a single surgery. One might think that even with his survival, his premature birth gave him crippling disabilities for life, but actually no, the Gods blessed him in that area as well. The doctors said he would never even walk, but today he runs and climbs, and his intelligence grows by the day. He's very smart. He may not talk a lot, but he takes in everything and knows how to get his point across. As every doctor and nurse calls him now, he's a miracle baby.

When I found the pictures again last night, it didn't bring back feelings of sorrow or fear, as some may expect, but memories of how much the Gods have blessed my family, of the amazing journey I have had with my soulmate Anastasia, and how both have changed my life forever in the best ways. It also reminded me that the Gods are forever and we can get through anything, and do anything, when they are with us. Even when you find yourself in a situation that seems hopeless and the most horrific, don't surrender yet. Stand up, be brave, and keep going, because even the most dismal circumstance can turn around in the end. The Gods can intervene and alter anything, no matter what it is. Just when you think you've lost and that the world is going to collapse, it may not end up being as bad as you expect. Wait until the final cards are laid down. Miracles still come from Olympos.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Catholic Schoolboy Sees Artemis

The year was 1984 or 1985 when John of Freeport, Illinois saw something that would alter the course of his life. He was not Catholic, or really any particular religion, but attended the local St. Thomas institution because he had no other choice, and found himself on a school retreat to the local Oakland Nature Preserve with his class on this occasion.

John is an adult now with his own house and family in Freeport. He's also a good friend of mine and invited me to his family cookout today where he told me what happened to him as a child during this time. With his permission and approval, this story has been told here, and I thank him greatly for being kind enough to give me such a treasure to share on my blog. However, he also requested that I don't reveal his last name or picture at this time due to his family issues. Things are too stressful right now for them to have to deal with any direct or abundant publicity.  

The night it happened, the hour was around 10 when John realized that, unlike his classmates, he couldn't fall asleep, so he decided to go for a walk in the woods even though it was against the rules at that particular time. Everyone was supposed to be in bed and locked down for the night. John didn't care, and he knew well enough how to work the door lock so he could get in and out, a talent that seems to be natural because, still today, John is a magnificent inventor and engineer. The moon was full and bright enough to where he could see his way around in the dark and he eventually came to rest near a creek, listening to the owls and watching the bats catch insects.

At some point, everything went dead silent, not a sound of anything. As John described, it was something that happens when a predator approaches, and he knew enough about survival to know that you don't run or make sudden movements at that point, so he remained still and observed. The first sound he heard that broke the silence was that of what was clearly a deer approaching from the nearby trail. When it came into view, John saw that it was a large buck, and stranger, it appeared to be ghostly. As John described, he could see the trees behind it. The beast looked at him for a moment. Then a falling branch echoed. The buck looked behind, looked forward again, and dashed off, leaping a great distance over the creek and heading through the woods.

Then on the same trail, came the sound of someone running. "Who the hell is out here at this time of night running through the woods?" John wondered. As the two stampeding feet came into view, he saw that they were attached to a beautiful woman in a white tunic-like gown, with long black hair, a quiver of arrows on her back, and a silver bow in her hand. She caught sight of John, stopped, and said to him, "You're not supposed to be out here." In his childhood attitude, he replied, "Yeah, but neither are you." She smiled, "I figured you'd say that." Then, she asked John where the deer went. He pointed her in the right direction and she was off, never to be seen again.

When the next day came, there was a time when John thought he had simply dreamed up the encounter while asleep in his bed, but then, he explained, he went back to the creek and the trail to see the footprints of the stag exactly where they had been, both on the trail and on the banks of the water. "I knew I didn't dream it," he said. John would eventually come to realize that he had encountered Artemis with his own eyes and talked to Her with his own voice, and She to him. "That was the first and only time I've ever physically encountered a God," he finished. 

What makes John's story even more interesting for me is the fact that I have also seen Artemis in my dreams, and we both describe the same appearance and features, without ever having disclosed them to one another beforehand. We also had the same feelings in Her presence. The fact that there is an immense peace and calmness, and equally that, while admiring her beauty, we never became sexually interested or thought sexual things. Artemis is a Virgin Goddess who doesn't like sex and doesn't want to be sexualized, and both John and I had a revelation together today when we described our encounters, because we realized that it's actually not possible to sexualize Artemis in Her presence. It never occurs to you. Sex simply doesn't exist there. It's not possible to go against a God. A mortal is completely subject to their will. During the entire time that he and I saw and interacted with Her, we admired Her beauty, but nothing sexual ever ran through our heads at all. We knew we were in the presence of a Divine Virgin at that point.

I have known John for many years, and equally know that he has absolutely no reason to lie to me about such a story. He had never even told it publicly until I posted a Facebook thread asking my Pagan friends about childhood encounters with Pagan Gods. He decided he would wait to tell me in person, but he also didn't even ask me to publish the story. I asked him if I could do so. John had no reason to tell me a falsehood, and nothing to gain from it.

I certainly thank him once again for allowing me to talk about such magnificent experiences with Olympos, and hope that Artemis visits him again.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

When The Greek Gods Saved My Son

When my boy was born severely premature at 24 weeks, every doctor expected the worst, and were clearly not setting themselves up to overtly hope for his survival. They were prepared to expect death. He had the worst chances of any child born in his condition, a 50% chance he would not make it, and a 70% chance that he would be a vegetable if he did survive. It's a grim and painful forecast when you have to think about the possibility of burying your child, or not having any room to celebrate just yet even if he makes it out of the hospital. 

I remember one of the first days I visited him in his incubator in the NICU. My faith in the Gods has always been strong. I knew they had saved me and my family in the past, so I knew I could put my trust in them again. I placed pictures of Apollo, Artemis and Athene on the windows of my son's crib. Soon after, he began to breathe on his own for a while without the help of a ventilator. Everyone was amazed. I realize now that what I saw was more than just my son breathing by himself, it was the presence of the Gods there with him. Apollon and Artemis protect infants and children, and Athene is the Goddess of Strength. Following this, I was also astounded to find a numerical sign surrounding Gryphon. He was born on the 4th, his incubator number was 4, and his mom's discharge room number was 4444. This is the number of prosperity and good fortune and none of this was in our control. It's like the Gods were telling us not to worry, that they were there.

As time went on, Gryphon grew bigger and stronger and exited the NICU after a little over 100 days with no major complications. Later in his life, he was diagnosed with a mild form of CP that made his legs tight, but that did not prevent him from walking. This baby that they said would be a vegetable or in the grave, now walks, runs, laughs, plays, goes to school, has friends and can do basic things for himself. And even though his CP cannot be cured, it is in such a state where it can be treated and improved.

Gryphon has always been one of my proofs that the Gods are real. All I need to do is look at him, remember all that's happened and all he's accomplished. Everyone loves him. He's brought so much light to the world and happiness to everyone around him, and especially to me. I find so much inspiration in him and his story. He was simply meant to be here; it wasn't his time to go.

In the Goodness of the Gods,

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