I'll try to keep this short. I was raised Presbyterian and baptised in both the Presbyterian church and the Catholic church to suit my dad's side of the family, even though he had gone through a divorce and was no longer allowed to take part in the sacraments. Anyway, that was the reason that I was never really exposed to Catholicism outside of an occasional Mass on Sundays, and because I didn't understand what was going on I felt like a real fish out of water.
I wasn't really exposed to Catholicism again until I started to Catholic high school, by choice, and that was where I slowly developed a better understanding of and appreciation for what Catholics believe. That said, I still nursed a fondness for the idea of a god that was closer to my mother than my father who I constantly butted heads with. For that reason, I had kind of an antagonistic relationship with Catholicism and I decided to put my focus on a softer, gentler side of God, one that more closely resembled a loving mother. And that was, oddly, how I feel the Blessed Mother found me, through my best friend's mom who is a devout Catholic and dedicated to Mary. I believe Mary found me through my interest in a softer, more beautiful image of God. My friend's mother started to talk to me about Mary and I began to read about Mary, and long story short I started seeing tons of signs that Mary was around me, guiding me in her way. Well, recently, as I was praying to Mary about helping me through my situation with my HD (very emotional, of course), I felt compelled to find out more about the saints. In doing just a small amount of research I found that St. Anthony of Padua is the Patron Saint of lost articles. So I bought a medal for Saint Anthony and a small statue to place in my meditation area and I began to petition him for the return of my HD specifically, but for help in general in knowing what to do next.
Fast forward a few months, and I found myself drawn to this website. As I looked over the information here, I felt sure that Spellmaker would work. I don't know why. Clutching at straws? Possibly. But it's always felt more certain than that. I ordered my spellkits and candles and such and then, as I waited, I poured over the information on this site and the testimonials and the forums, and finally, very recently, I found Papa Legba's page (not sure how I missed it before, it's referenced all over the freakin' place ). I laughed out loud when I got to his synchretization with St. Anthony of Padua! It makes sense, then, that I have felt such a closeness to Legba since the moment I first asked him to open the gate! I always feel as if I'm in the presence of an old and true friend when Legba is around.
I have always believed in the power of things unseen, but for a long time I kind of turned my nose up to the idea of the saints or their influence in certain matters. After a lot of experience, I now feel that I was led to this site through my prayers to both Mary and St. Anthony- especially considering Erzulie's relation to the sorrowful aspect of the Blessed Mother. It's been a very interesting time filled with moments that made me sit back, take a deep breath, and be thankful for the guidance I have received. Just thought I'd throw that out there.
Good luck and blessings to everyone!