“If you cut (butterflies) out of their cocoons or help them out in any way, they will never fully develop the strength they need in their wings to be able to achieve takeoff. They have to struggle out in order to come into their own. Flight only comes after the fight.”
I love to read. Before my Lyme disease reached my brain, it was common for me to read three to four books at a time, switching between each book depending upon my mood.
Since I was a child, if I did not want to (in my best Mom voice) “Go play outside or downstairs (in the basement),” my mother would tell me, “Then go read a book.”
Reading is a great escape from reality.
When my Lyme was at its worst just a few months ago and I would try to escape the pain and anxiety by reading, I found I could not: I would look at the words on the page, but my brain could not process what I was seeing.
On better days, I was able to read the words on the page, yet my brain could not comprehend what I was reading.
Escaping into a book was impossible, and I felt trapped in the waking nightmare of my life.
The pain and anxiety took a stronghold, and my ability to cope came only by numbing the pain and panic with pain killers and anxiety medication.
Thankfully, I am now able to both read and comprehend again. YAY! This is an enormous victory as far as my sanity is concerned.
I just finished reading, and highly recommend, Levi Lusko’s Through the Eyes of a Lion: Facing Impossible Pain / Finding Incredible Power. The title is what hooked me, but I could not put the book down once I began to read it.
Lusko’s message evokes inspiration, hope, and peace in the trials of life, but what struck me right at the core was when he spoke of the butterfly, my favorite animal (or INSECT, as my ten year-old quickly points out to correct me).
What I like most is the cuteness of the caterpillar and the beauty of the butterfly, yet the true miracle occurs in the brown, hard, ugly shell of the cocoon.
The cocoon metamorphosis is the time when the caterpillar is forced to be present and to remain still, for that is where and how God’s transformation takes place.
That struggle concept of the butterfly got me to thinking about my own battle with Lyme and how I keep wanting to avoid the pain with painkillers, escape the anxiety with medication, and beg God to take this horrible infection away from me…instead of seeing it as a gift from God, which only He can use to develop and transform me.
Funny how it took a struggling butterfly metaphor to get the gift in my illness.
Now I see that if God takes away my struggle, I will not develop to become the person He wants me to be.
The BEST thing for me to do right now is to simply be present and still and to wait and listen in obedience, knowing this struggle is serving a purpose.
God is strengthening me in this struggle, and I will emerge a beautiful, strong, healthy butterfly.
Lusko adds, “Suffering isn’t an OBSTACLE to being used by God. It is an OPPORTUNITY to be used like never before.”
A gift. This ugly, brown, hard, shell experience is a gift!
My eyes are now opened, as I ask, “What opportunity is available to me only because of my personal suffering?”
“What gifts is He developing in me through this struggle?”
Lusko’s words are so powerful as I grasp hold of this new perspective when he proclaims, “You need to be actively on the lookout for every way you can redeem the hell you are put through by shining your light in the darkness…squeeze every drop out of your trial.
Let nothing be wasted.
None of your tears have fallen to the ground unseen.
God wants you to shine brightly…the only reason He has allowed you to be doubled over in grief is so He could pick you up and help you reach new levels of influence you could not reach otherwise.
God’s up to something!
He’s turning your mess into a message.
He’s turning your pain into a platform.
He’s turning your trial into your testimony.”
What’s my testimony?
What’s God’s calling on my life in amidst this struggle?
Whose Life is this, Anyway?