When I got my butterfly tattoo, I decided on a butterfly because I just like butterflies. I think they are pretty, so delicate and free. Free to fly and flutter through the fields and flowers and trees. But where do they come from, these things of delicate beauty? Have they always been so free? Do they arrive in the world with such brilliance which allows them defy the gravity that holds them down? And why does my eye follow them in wonder?
|The Butterfly Tattoo I have on my lower back.|
I read tonight on The Butterfly Site on the internet that the pupa stage is "one of the coolest stages of a butterfly’s life." It sure doesn't seem very cool to me though. I remember once as a kid finding a chrysalis, as they are called, in our back yard. To me it didn't look very cool. It looked like something that was dead. I watched it for a moment, and nothing happened. It was ugly, and I threw it away.
As I think about that, I think about my years of deep, dark struggles in depression. I felt like I was something that was dead, something that was ugly and needed to be thrown away. Nothing good was happening.
A chrysalis once was a caterpillar that was very much alive, moving around, taking in all it could. Wasn't that what happened to me? I was once so alive, and then everything stopped. I was stuck. Nothing good was happening.
But wait, as the web site continues it says, "From the outside of a chrysalis, it looks as if the caterpillar may just be resting[or dead], but the inside is where all of the action is. Inside of the chrysalis, the caterpillar is rapidly changing. Now, as most people know, caterpillars are short, stubby and have no wings at all. Within the chrysalis the old body parts of the caterpillar are undergoing a remarkable transformation...to become the beautiful parts that make up the butterfly that will emerge."
I can now look back and say that about myself at my time of depression. From the outside it looked(and felt) like I was dead, but the inside is where all of the action was. Inside, I was slowly changing. Within me, the old parts of myself and my understanding and my heart were making a remarkable transformation to become the beautiful parts that make up the me that is starting to emerge bit by bit today.
I realized that God loved me even in that time of death and ugliness. In fact, it is because of that death and ugliness that I was able to feel an unfathomable, deep, and unconditional love that God has for me. "For God soooooo loved the world[including me] that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16) Wow! Because I believe, when God looks at me He sees the perfection of His Son Jesus! I can't even understand that great of a love. Feeling that love made it OK for me to be me, just me as I am, just me with Jesus as my Savior and the Spirit within me. What a freedom!
This freedom that I now am experiencing to be me, the me that God made and loves, brings with it a kind of quiet confidence to begin to stretch my new wings and to start to learn to see that there is hope that God will really let this butterfly fly free, released from the gravity of what held me down.
So, now when I think of my butterfly tattoo, I think of the freedom I have in Christ, and I wonder what delicate beauty the world will be able to see in me?