Nature has always fascinated and inspired me. When I was a little girl, I wanted so badly to watch a caterpillar turn into a butterfly. I became determined (mildly obsessed) to make this happen so that I could witness this metamorphosis for myself. Almost every day, I would go out into the backyard to catch a caterpillar and place it in its new home: a shoebox with holes in it, lined with leaves and grass, and smack-dab in the middle would be the sturdiest twig I could find, perfect for climbing. Despite my many efforts, I was unable to capture the magic of this transformation. This was rather disappointing for me as you can imagine. As an 8 year old I couldn’t understand why it didn’t work...I did all I could to make the caterpillar feel at home in its new environment, I made sure it had plenty of leaves to eat, and grass to crawl on and still nothing worked.
As I sit here and reflect on this childhood memory, I can’t help but smile as I’m reminded of our Heavenly Father who is the author of transformation. He alone is responsible for the metamorphosis within US. Therefore, I’m reminded of my own conversion. After my abortion, I didn’t recognize myself. And even after I had gone through the SaveOne bible study, there was still work to do; pieces were still missing that needed to be found and put back together. I had come to the realization that the puzzle was now different. I couldn’t put the same pieces back in their former places because the puzzle had changed. Everything had been rearranged and reorganized in the most beautiful way possible. And the most beautiful discovery of all was that I had absolutely nothing to do with it.
The life of the caterpillar is rather simple. Once it’s born it’s sole purpose is to eat until it’s time for metamorphosis. I don’t know about you, but I can definitely get down with that kind of lifestyle. Only if that lifestyle included a swimsuit body at the end of metamorphosis! Sounds lovely doesn’t it? No dieting, no workouts, no pain or suffering...but change isn’t necessarily that easy. Change often comes with a price, and sometimes that price is accompanied by pain. It’s painful to let go of relationships you once held near and dear to your heart, it’s painful to leave the place(s) you are familiar with, it’s painful to walk outside of your comfort zone especially if you have no idea where you’re going. Whether or not the caterpillar feels any pain during its metamorphosis is unknown, but what is sure is that during its time in transformation, it is “breaking down” and “reorganizing” the old parts of itself to make way for the new parts which will be made into a new creature, the butterfly.
Immediately, Ephesians 4:22-24 comes to mind. The New Living Translation starts out by saying in verse 22, “throw off your old nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception.” Which mine was. Verses 23 and 24 go on to say, “Instead, let the spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your NEW nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” I know for me personally, it took me a while to actually do this (and embrace this), only because I didn’t fully understand what it meant to “let the spirit” renew my thoughts and attitudes until I surrendered my will to God. This meant change was inevitable for me, and with that I had some difficult decisions to make. While it hurt me deeply to block the father of my child out of my life, and to separate myself from the people (a church) I had made my home with for the past 2 years, I’ve come to realize now that all of it was necessary for my growth. You see, when we let the spirit govern our lives, we are changed. God has to break us down and reorganize parts of our lives (and parts of ourselves) in order to bring us back to purpose. Only then will we see the metamorphosis come to life before our very eyes.
A wise preacher I know once said, “We change only when the pain of staying the same is greater than the change itself.” No matter what stage of the process you are in right now, I want to encourage you to “let the spirit renew your thoughts and attitude” as your metamorphosis unfolds. None of us are destined to be caterpillars forever. “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10). So, I’ve come to the conclusion, that it is always better to change than to stay the same. We must accept our wounds as a part of our story, but more importantly, we must embrace ourselves as a new creation when we accept Christ. When the metamorphosis is complete, our wings will be a beautiful display of God’s transformation within us. For WE are HIS masterpiece!