Oh, but after a while into those 6 months that illustration seemed a tad bit dramatic and I realized it was more like this...
And the funny thing is, the second one seems more poetic. It's as if it represents God holding my life in His hands... or at least what initially felt like my life a few months ago.
You see, life threw me an unexpected curve ball, much like it has in the past. I realized things were not as they had seemed but what I found was a beauty yet to be discovered. Often times in the past when life has thrown me curve balls I've allowed myself to get angry, to wallow, to sit and ask myself "what did I do, why this when it all seemed so good?" And not that there is anything wrong with those feelings, but for me I would stay in that darkness for longer than I needed to. But this time was different, it just felt like it had to be. I'm not sure if because of the life experience before, or because I was already in the midst of a self-seeking journey. I always already in the midst of hungering at a deeper level than ever before for the love of my Heavenly Father, to know Him at a grander scale, more intimately than ever. I realized that those I've leaned on for so long for direction and advice need not necessarily be replaced, but most definitely not my first resource in the midst of struggle. I was using others as a quick fix for a larger problem, a way to fix the wound at a much faster pace than what God had planned. My heart continues to hunger at a deeper level than I've ever known and I hope and pray that I will never lose that hunger. Should it wane I pray to continue to surround myself by a magnificent cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1). That I would not be allowed to turn my back on God, but gently reminded of the love He has always shown me.
Over the last 26 weeks (6 months, 2 weeks) God's word has come alive like never before... words that I wrote years ago regarding Hope Deferred suddenly rings true once again and guides my heart back to the verse that inspired it...
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." ~ Proverbs 13:12
And then there is the verse that I was gently reminded of during a season that lasted a mere 10.5 months...
"An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up." ~ Proverbs 12:25
So much truth lies in that one sentence and so many others that come alive when I open God's word. I long to be that person that brings others a kind word, a loving word... it's part of the reason I chose to become a counselor. I realized soon into those 6 months of darkness that coming out of it couldn't take the length of time it has taken in the past. I didn't want it to. I have longed to see God's hand in the unexpected, to continue to believe in the unbelievable, to trust that the impossible truly is possible. It has been in the last week where that clarity has finally shown through once again. The beauty is finally arising from the ashes of what was, or what could have been.
For me this picture represents that... I believe that within the life of a butterfly is a lovely story yet to be told. What once was a fuzzy and possibly not the most attractive caterpillar, is now a gorgeous, fluttery butterfly. No longer having to inch along on so many legs, but now it is nearly weightless and able to fly to parts never reached before. What a beautiful story of redemption!
Beauty is arising from the ashes, and not a physical beauty, but rather an inner beauty I've kept hidden from myself and from the world for much too long. The time has come to let that girl arise, the one that was silenced nearly 20 years ago. I find my days spent thanking God for the journey I've walked, for the wisdom I've gained for the truth of His love for me.