Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Butterfly Said So

“Your sister will call you on Tuesday after my surgery and then you can let everyone know how I’m doing,” my mom said, as we stood outside next to our cars. She prepared to go to church, while I had packed to
return home. 

“It’ll all be okay,” I replied, “the butterfly said so!”

“Okay,” she said, maybe a little hesitantly. 

“I’ll be praying,” I said as I entered my car.

Maybe you’re thinking—butterflies don’t talk, is she crazy? But I say, “Oh yes they do. They talk to me spiritually, not literally, and I have proof.”

I first encountered a butterfly one month after my daddy died. I drove to a neighbor’s house to deliver her mail and as I started to get out of the car, the floodgates opened and my tears fell. Those moments come unexpectedly when one experiences the death of someone dear. As I looked up, trying to control myself, a big beautiful orange butterfly flew up and over the hood of my car, hovering in front of my windshield. Immediately I felt peace, knowing in my heart that my dad had been healed through death into eternal life because he believed in Jesus Christ. Somehow I knew God spoke words of comfort to me through His exquisite creation. He loved me enough to care for my grieving heart. “Thank you, Jesus,” I shouted and my butterfly journey took flight.

During the days and months of mourning the loss of my dad, I also wept bitterly over the absence of my daughter. Her relationship with a controlling boyfriend continued to destroy our relationship. It tore my heartstrings and sickened my stomach. “Lord, help us,” I cried. 

Immediately a small yellow butterfly flew in front of me and peace invaded my heart. The memory of the butterfly flying over my car recurred and suddenly I recalled another moment when a little yellow one flew in front of me after praying to God about my son leaving home for college. “Wow, God, you really care about me,” I said.

Days, months, and years came to pass and life presented more trouble. Both my mother and my father-in-law were diagnosed with the C-word (CANCER). Over time three of our dogs died (our pets are like family to us). I missed my dad terribly, my daughter was still absent, and my heart ached. “Why, God? Why all this trouble?” I cried. His quiet devoted answer kept coming in the form of butterflies, and amidst the pain was peace. His faithfulness astounded me, and yet at times my hope faltered. 

One day God pulled out all the stops. I suffered from back problems because of wearing a boot for 2 months following a fall that tore ligaments and tendons in my ankle. I left work discouraged, stressed, and in pain. In my mind I screamed at God, “I can’t do this anymore. I’m tired and frustrated.” A butterfly flew all around my car as I got inside. “Okay, God, you have my attention,” I said, waiting for Him to speak. While driving the 10-mile stretch home, I counted 29 butterflies floating around my car. And God allowed me to arrive home safely while I tallied them. “You are awesome, God, and I love how you love me. Thank you for speaking butterfly to me!” I exclaimed. 

I’ve experienced seven years of ups and downs. My daughter returned to the Lord and us, leaving behind the boyfriend, and God grew our family by three (a daughter-in-law, a granddaughter, a grandson). My mother and father-in-law continue to battle cancer with some success, we have two more dogs, and I perservere through back strengthening exercises. Life is good because God is in control, even in hardship. 

Last week my mother received another diagnosis of cancer in her colon. Surgery will be this upcoming week. I almost questioned God until I glanced up at two butterflies fluttering before me. God has continued to speak through His beautiful creation ever since I heard the news. So I just had to tell my mom.

“If I haven’t heard something by noon, I’ll call somebody. Don’t worry, Mom, the butterfly said so!” I said to her, and she smiled with some reluctance. Who wouldn’t be doubtful when circumstances scream disaster? But in the middle of distress, God reigns as Ruler of heaven and earth. Praise His holy name! Thank you, Jesus.

Butterflies may symbolize different things to different people, but Christians see the butterfly as a symbol of rebirth and transformation. The beauty of the butterfly is the hope of a new beginning. Every time God shows me a butterfly, I’m reminded that He holds the key to new life and my soul is filled with peace. 

Does God speak to you through His creation? Is He trying to get your attention? Be still, pay attention, and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10). He knows all of your trials and tribulations and He desires to give you His peace. Read His word below as if it were a conversation between you and your Savior. Give Him praise for His faithfulness.

Remember my affliction and roaming, the wormwood and the gall.
My soul still remembers and sinks within me.
This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, 
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. 
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I hope in Him!”
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. 
It is good that one should hope and wait quietly 
For the salvation of the Lord.  Lamentations 3:19-26

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