The clock is ticking with reminders of the new year that lies before us. I sit pondering a new year but must take a moment to reflect on the old.
The 10’s were the hardest yet the most defining years of my life. After my Father drew me back to Him, He proceeded to transform me. Truly, they were my decade of the Chrysalis.
I find the butterfly a fascinating creature. One of the only creatures unrecognizable from birth to adult. Perhaps our Creator gave us a beautiful example in nature of what our transformation looks like in His care.
A caterpillar eats A LOT. I wonder if consumption is their sole goal in life? I can relate. For many years I consumed things, people, fear. It was all about me, what I was going through, what I needed.
Then something happens inside the caterpillar as it loses interest in eating. Sensing that change is on the horizon, she finds shelter in a safe place.
That was the beginning of the 10’s for me. Jesus met me in a little church called 12Stone and began to unwrap the cocoon I had built around my heart. He drew me under the shelter of His wings and gave me a safe place where I could grow in Him.
What comes next in the life of the butterfly is nothing short of miraculous. A slow transformation takes place when the body of the caterpillar actually digests itself from the inside out. During the first three to four days, the chrysalis is a bag of fluid with legs. Then organs that were previously hidden begin to take form. While the old body is broken down, not everything is destroyed- disks will become wings, legs, antennae and other organs.
This was the transformation taking place in my heart. Jesus calls it “dying to self” in John 12:24-25. It’s quite a scary thought if you’re not ready, but just like the caterpillar- you know when you are. The old desires fall away as you are met with the love of your Father. You recognize that life is but a whisper in the breath of eternity. The hole in your heart yearns for the One who created it. You realize that the things of this world will never satisfy.
Jesus meets us where we are, but He doesn’t leave us there.
I was dying to self. No longer was success a priority. No longer was I consuming the things of this world to become somebody that I wasn’t. I was learning to let go of the taskmaster of time. Jesus was teaching me that to die to self was to see myself through His eyes- to love others with His heart- to serve Him with my hands and feet. The organ of my heart was taking form- “He was removing my heart of stone and giving me a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26)
I was saying goodbye to the old Eve- the one who tried so hard to be who the world said she should be. I was learning a beautiful truth- dying to self is not the end as Jesus teaches us in John 3:6-7- “…Spirit gives birth to spirit.”
Just as the butterfly is being born again, in our transformation, we too are “born again.”
A couple of days before her transformation is complete, the chrysalis changes color. The patterns and colors can be seen through her soft silken shell.
The Light that my Father had placed inside of me had been screaming to break free. No longer would fear of other's thoughts hold me back. I wasn’t afraid of the sweet Sanguine inside- His Love was breaking free as His Spirit led me on a beautiful journey. Oh, how I treasure this sweet gift, just as Mary did.
Breaking free from her protective shell, the beautiful wings of our butterfly soar as she finds the purpose for which she was created. Her purpose- not only to bring beauty but to transfer life everywhere she flies.
This too is the purpose for which we are sent- to break free and shine the beautiful light of Jesus while sharing His life and love with everyone in our path.
He is doing a new thing.
"This is what the Lord says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." (Isaiah 43:16, 18-19)
Thank You Father for your amazing Creation! Thank You for the transformation that You breathe into nature which breathes into us. Thank You for not leaving us as we are, but serving to transform us day by day into the likeness of Christ. This is our destiny- to say goodbye to the things of this world which will be gone in a breath while we say hello to life eternal in You. I pray Lord that in the years to come that Your glory will rise. I pray that others will know Your heart and be filled with Your Love. We are hungry for change Lord, change that only You can give. Fill us up God, we are ready.
In Jesus’ Name AMEN