Every single day. For six months and counting-
I have seen orange butterflies- EVERYWHERE.
Flittering all around as if they are dancing in the wind to show me something.
Now, I’ve seen butterflies before- but not like this. Every single day for over six months straight and it doesn’t matter if I travel across the country. They seem to follow me. To the point, I now have my husband confirm that he sees them too! Confirming I'm not crazy!
What makes this even more curious is that they began to appear after I had an interesting experience at church. I was leading a women’s small group study related to breaking free from strongholds and this was our last session. On this particular day, I had a guest speaker who shared her testimony and then ended the session by leading our group in an "encounter" with God. She prayed over us and then asked us to do something a little unusual…. to use our imagination and imagine walking to the front of the church and selecting a present- a gift that God wanted to give us. Once we selected our gift, and before opening the box, we were to ask the Lord to show us what was inside that He wanted to uniquely give.
My first thought was “this is nuts” but, as I looked around all the women had their eyes closed and seemed to be concentrating.
Ok. I’ll play along.
When I did-I saw a beautifully wrapped gift with a large bow- upon opening the “gift” & removing the lid- out flew……..
You guessed it- orange butterflies!
I wasn’t sure what to make of any of it and honestly thought it was more like a game of pretend. Never did I dream I would literally see real orange butterflies in real life for over six months!
I have no choice but to believe God is trying to teach me something in this daily gift of butterflies.
So, for these past months, I've been asking myself "why butterflies?”
They are beautiful creatures that capture our attention. A friendly insect that teaches us from childhood the lesson of transformation- beginning life as a crawling caterpillar only to be transformed into an elevated butterfly.
We all love a good transformation story. What we tend to skip over is the actual transformation process- the tedious work in the middle that is painful and slow. We overlook the prolonged struggle the butterfly must endure as it attempts to emerge from the chrysalis. For the butterfly to fly it must first squeeze its oversized body through the tiny chrysalis opening to force fluid from its body into the wings. This process is strenuous and takes much time and effort. When the butterfly finally breaks free its wings are tiny, shriveled, and initially useless. Thus, the butterfly must pump its wings to expand them to their full size. After all that work, the butterfly then rests for hours to allow the wings time to fully dry and harden before it can embark on its first flight!
I believe we can all learn something very important from the butterfly-
Without the struggle, the butterfly would be left disproportionate, damaged, and weak.
Without the work, its wings would never stretch to their full potential.
Without the wait, allowing time for the wings to dry and harden, the butterfly would never be able to sustain flight.
And finally, without the ability to shed the old the butterfly would never leave the ground.
Emily Maroutian says it so well-
“As we grow older we let go a little at a time: a bad memory, a negative habit, a toxic friend. Bit by bit we shed what no longer serves us until we reveal who we are underneath it all. We soon discover that even though we gave up many things, there is no feeling of loss. What we have gained in return is far more valuable.”
I hope (like me) the next time you see a butterfly God will remind you that there is beauty and purpose in your life- in the process. That you will see His handiwork and embrace the struggle. That you won't give up and will do the work needed. You will know when to rest and master patience. And most importantly, you will be willing to let go of the old that no longer serves you! For there is tremendous gain when you allow God to take you through the full transformation process!
YOU ARE A NEW CREATION. ~2 Corinthians 5:17