I can’t remember a point in my life when I wasn’t fascinated with animals. From a young age, I was taping together colorful pieces of construction paper in order to create my own animal encyclopedias that had drawings of animals in glitter crayon. Any chance I had in school, I would do a report on animals. Until early high school I was convinced I was going to become a zoologist, but ultimately marketing won over my heart.
I’m eternally thankful for the patience my family and friends have had with me any time I’ve gone to a zoo with them. If I’m not shooting animal facts rapid-fire at them at every single exhibit we visit, then I’m probably taking hundreds of photos. And if it involves gorillas, hippos, or alpacas, they know they’re going to be waiting a while.
I’ve always been captivated by unique animals, whether it’s because of their appearance or their behavior. The ability they have to adapt and change in relation to their environment is astounding. I find that sometimes I get so caught up in discovering new things to learn about animals that I forget to appreciate the uniqueness of some of the most common animals. One animal, or insect, that I’ve never truly appreciated enough is the butterfly.
I remember being in second grade when my teacher brought caterpillars in to class for us to observe metamorphoses. Other than that, I always admired their beauty during the summer when they would flutter through the air. But when you look at the process that caterpillars undergo to become butterflies, you appreciate them much more.
We’re all familiar with how caterpillars hatch from their eggs and stuff themselves with leaves so they can begin the transformation process. But once it spins itself into a cocoon as a chrysalis, that’s when the grueling part of the process begins.
In simple terms, its body begins to digest and destroy itself.
Except for the imaginal discs, basically everything begins to be destroyed. Cells in the imaginal disc will divide and begin to “attack” the caterpillar’s body. The caterpillar’s immune system is unable to fight off these new cells, and eventually gives in to these changes. As more of these cells combine, new limbs and other features begin to develop. Eventually this process ends, and the newly formed butterfly emerges from its cocoon.
It’s incredible to think that a process as grueling as self-digestion could result in a beautiful transformation, and as Christians, I believe we are called to undergo the same process. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” I truly think there is no better creature in God’s creation that can illustrate that verse better than a butterfly. I believe God is calling us as women to undergo these changes as His new creation.
It’s called the process of sanctification. Being a Christian isn’t a one-time prayer and then you’re set for life. Paul writes that we were created by God to do His good works (Ephesians 2:10). It’s a lifelong process that involves us dying to ourselves and allowing God’s Word to work in our lives, transforming us from the inside out. None of us will ever achieve perfection in this life, but the process of sanctification allows God to mold us into what He desires for us to be. And that can look like a lot of things.
He wants to transform me into the woman He desires for me to be in my relationship with Him, growing closer and more in love with Him.
He wants to transform me into the woman He desires for me to be for myself, being healthy both physically and emotionally, so I can live the life He has planned for me.
He wants to transform me into the woman He desires for me to be for my future husband, understanding what my role as a wife will look like one day.
He wants to transform me into the woman He desires for me to be for my family and friends, finding ways to be selfless and maintaining healthy relationships.
He wants to transform me into the woman He desires for me to be for my country, showing me how faith and politics do go hand-in-hand.
He wants to transform me into the woman He desires for me to be for every person I encounter throughout the day, sharing His love through my actions and words.
And quite honestly, He desires the same for you.
Undoing years of thinking and teaching that our society has taught us is not an easy process, and can be quite painful at times. But I can’t remember one time in His Word that God called us to live an easy life. He never called us to comply with society.
In no way, shape, or form do I have everything figured out. Far from it. But I’m willing to go through the transformation process to become the woman God desires for me to be, and I hope you will join me on this journey as well.
Ladies, it’s time to stop allowing ourselves to be caterpillars. It’s time to grow our wings and fly.