Sunday, January 4, 2015

Transformation in the Waiting

The image of the butterfly and the transformation it experiences as it goes through it's lifecycle has been significant to me and my faith journey for several years. Just like the caterpillar must die and give up all it knows to become what it was meant to be, a butterfly, we must die to ourselves to become all Christ desires us to be. With new life that is found in him, we can soar with Christ daily. I recently started reading a book called When the Heart Waits by Sue Monk Kidd and it has completely changed the meaning of this metaphor in my life.

My focus has always been on the outcome, the beauty that is experienced in the butterfly, the final stage of the life cycle. In a season where I feel like I am constantly waiting for things to change in my life, my attention has shifted to the chrysalis stage. The time the caterpillar spends in darkness, being transformed, and waiting for all God has. There is so much wonder in the mystery of what is happening during this seemingly dead and long time period when we can't see what is actually going on. In order for the transformation to occur, the creature must be still. And W A I T. It might be tempting to think of waiting as mere passivity. But is so much more than that. In her book, Kidd says that the words passive and passion come from the same Latin root pati meaning "to endure". It means diving deep into who we are in God and living that out boldly.

This season of examining myself, the way I love, relate to others, live my life, and view God has not been easy. But it has been an incredible journey of learning about God's grace, unfailing love, and perfect character. I feel like the last seven months, since graduating, have been seven months of waiting for a real job, waiting a place to live permanently, waiting for my real life to begin. Some days have been filled with joy and blessing and some days have been filled with tears and frustration. Life looks nothing like I imagined it would right now. But as I wait for God to reveal his plan for this season of my life, I'm not just waiting and doing nothing. I am entering into the places he is calling me. Exploring what is means to love deeply, being content in whatever my circumstances are, and trusting in the divine plan of the God of the Universe.

I'm choosing not to sit around waiting, hoping, and wishing for my life to change. I am going to be S T I L L. I am going to allow the Holy Spirit to transform my heart, endure the hard conversations, and give up what I so dearly hold on to.

In our hurried society, it is easy to want to quickly go through this process and try and do it on my own. It's not a quick process. I'm exploring what it means to slow down and actually be still. Be patient. And truly wait. For it is in this waiting that the transformation begins to take place.


When I was looking for a picture of a chrysalis to include, there weren't many beautiful pictures to choose from. Then it occurred to me that the chrysalis stage is not the most beautiful stage of the butterfly life cycle. But i found beauty in the simplicity of God at work on the inside creating beauty despite what we can see on the outside. 

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