My family and friends know I love butterflies. But few people know their significance in my life. After the death of my first husband, Eric, I learnt a powerful lesson from butterflies.
If Not For Change
Somewhere along my travels, I encountered this quote: “If not for change, there’d be no butterflies.” It had a profound impact on my outlook during a time when my entire world had fallen apart and my heart felt as though it had been ripped from my chest. This lesson has continued to minister to me since that fateful time almost a decade and a half ago.
Peter and I returned from a road trip the other day, to the presence of an army of caterpillars marching across our patio. Over the past week, they attached themselves to window frames, fences and mozzie gauze. I confess I was a bit annoyed at first by the sight of the ‘untidy’ cocoons dangling everywhere. Then, the magic began…
The Magic of the Struggle
Soon, the chrysalis (pupa) began to show signs of change and we were treated to a wonderful experience. Watching the butterflies form in their self-constructed incubators filled us both with wonder. Finally, they emerged – totally transformed from lava, into stunning butterflies. I can only imagine how wonderful it must be to go from the limitations of a caterpillar, to the freedom of a butterfly with wings!
I once read somewhere that during the butterfly’s emergence from the chrysalis, the struggle is critical to stimulate the release and function of the wings.
I am so encouraged by these reminders from the life of a butterfly –
- Every worm has the potential to become a majestic butterfly.
- Each butterfly literally earned its stripes as a caterpillar in order to fulfil its destiny.
- Sometimes we need times of seclusion and confinement for real growth.
- Pain is often the catalyst for us to grow beautiful new wings, to help us reach new heights of freedom.
- And, sometimes, that which looks (and feels) like the end, is actually a wonderful new beginning.
It is my hope that you will also be encouraged by the birth of the butterfly today. Perhaps you are weighed down by your journey as a caterpillar right now, or discouraged by the belief that you will never have your own wings? Or maybe the pain of unfurling your new wings is making flight seem like an impossible dream? Take heart – I do believe I can see your stripes already…
Watch this space for Part 2…