Do you see that butterfly? I watched him from caterpillar through pupa to chrysallis to fully emerged Gulf Fritillary. He doesn't look great in the image on my title page - kinda brown and tired - nothing special and pretty worn out. He had just emerged. But, oh, when he spread those wings and the sun glinted off of those irridescent white spots! The brilliant orange with black markings of the tops of his wings became visible and his grace and ease of flight was breathtaking.
The journey was treacherous. As a caterpillar he was jolted from his feeder passion vine when the neighbor took hedgetrimmers to it. He was "rescued" (along with 3 of his buddies who didn't make it) by two curious little boys with sticks who found him crawling around in the dirt. He was transplanted from outdoors to a glass vase. He became dependent on the food and water provided by novice caretakers. His climb up the side of that glass vase to get himself attached on that stick was agonizingly slow and difficult; he kept slipping backwards. Once he was attached, the contortions he had to go through to get his chrysallis spun while hanging upside-down with his spinners at his mouth were worthy of the most adept acrobat. And that chrysallis - symbol of change and transformation - hardened into the ugliest, driest, most uncomfortable-looking habitation ever. His emergence was not sudden; it took place over hours of work, bit by bit, requiring rest and rejuvenation throughout the process. And when he did spread his wings? Well, that was hours again after full emergence from the chrysallis. His wings and antennae had been so crushed against him inside that they had to slowly unfurl, become strengthened, become attuned to the environment around him. But when he finally flew, it was with confidence, grace, beauty, absolute jubilation.
It has become glaringly apparent that I'm in one of those stages. I'm still not sure if it's the terrified caterpillar thrown from its vine; the struggling pupa being inexpertly fed; the dry, cracked, unattractive chrysallis; or the beginning-to-emerge strengthening period. Sometimes I think I go through the whole process daily. What I am sure of, though, is that if I focus on the struggle, the dryness, the hardship, the pain of those wings being pinned in there, I'll never see what I'm becoming. I'll never be jubilant and glorifying to my Creator for Who He is and what He has accomplished in me. It is for this reason that I'm beginning this blog. I need to be accountable to see the beauty in this process of becoming who my God has created me to be. I too often feel the pain, am surrounded by the dryness, am insensitive to the soft sunlight and refreshing breeze due to my poor crushed antennae.
But that doesn't mean it's not there. The beauty and glory, I mean. I just need to work at seeing it. I need to look past what I feel, the confusion and newness of it all, the pain and seeming endlessness, the utter lack of control over my own circumstance, and see the TRUTH of what is happening. In me and in those I love. And so, I choose to obey Philippians 4:8. "Whatsoever things are TRUE, whatsoever things are HONORABLE, whatsoever things are RIGHT, whatsoever things are PURE, whatsoever things are LOVELY, whatsoever things are of GOOD REPUTE, if there is any EXCELLENCE and if anything is WORTHY OF PRAISE, DWELL ON THESE THINGS. You're welcome to join me as I choose to exercise the mind of Christ in this area. Maybe, just maybe, if I choose to think like He does, I'll begin to see what He does, too. And my world will expand beyond daily chores, endless correction of the same things, struggles with finances, struggles with children, thwarted plans and instead become an ever-more-revealed emergence of a gorgeous, graceful, joyous creation of the most masterful Artist ever.