Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Whispering Wings

Butterflies on the plants in our back and front yards.
 What beautiful creations of God!


Many people who know me personally realize that God and I speak “butterfly.” Whenever I’ve needed courage, strength, healing, or peace, God has provided His answer of assurance with the appearance of butterflies. Whether real or man-made, butterflies materialize before my eyes and God’s powerful presence is recognized.

To gain understanding about my butterfly encounters, please read my September 23, 2012 post entitled “The Butterfly Said So” (if you haven’t already). And then continue reading (below) my butterfly saga from the story “Whispering Wings” to a recent butterfly encounter while on vacation in Costa Rica. 

God’s abiding presence in our lives is endless. He tells us so in His Word....for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” so that we confidently say,“The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5b-6 NASB) 

God blesses me with His signs of butterflies. I love the sight and flight of butterflies and I believe He reminds me of His love with His creation that I admire. Other people have told me that God speaks to them through the vision of red birds. How does He give you favor? All around us is God’s creation and everything He created is good (Genesis 1-2). Do you ever look around at the world, seeing and hearing our Father God calling you? If you don’t know God Almighty or have never heard from Him, acquaint yourself with Him. He loves you so much that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for you, exchanging His righteousness for your sins. If you believe in Him, your sins are covered by His righteousness. Look to Him and realize He’s waiting to bless you with His loving presence.


                                       Whispering Wings
     I sat in my car agonizing over the loss of my dad and the absence of my daughter. A wave of grief flooded my heart and tears began to fall. Why now, I thought, when I’m returning this dish to my neighbor. Taking a deep breath and peering out the front window, I noticed a big orange butterfly fly up over the hood of my car and hover over my windshield in front of me.  
     “God, are You there?” I asked. His answer filled me with peace as His presence enveloped me like a warm blanket. “Thank you, Jesus,” I cried.
     I’ve never heard the audible voice of God, yet I believe He engages all of creation to  reassure us with visual messages of hope. I see Him all around and delight in experiencing His companionship. When I gaze at a full moon or the rising sun, and view autumn leaves or springtime blossoms, I feel my Creator’s gaze and know in my heart that He watches over me. I look up to heaven and smile, saying, “You are awesome, God.”
     God’s mighty presence pierces my senses when butterflies appear. Their colorful beauty astounds me and the symbolism of new life gives me eternal hope. Frequently I’ve experienced a number of “flutter bys” by butterflies. When I’m nearly consumed with worry over family situations, I quickly offer up breath prayers and God calms me with a passing butterfly. Throughout my life when I’ve needed a touch from God, He’s shown His love and care for me through these majestic creatures.
     When life proceeds with ease, I occasionally notice a butterfly or two. But during difficult seasons of life, butterflies flutter by me in groups of ten or more. A number of years ago an extremely stressful time erupted over our daughter’s relationship with her new boyfriend. His controlling nature changed her personality and her infrequent visits home from college generated tension that unraveled our once tight-knit family. One slip of the tongue, one wrong move, and the ranting began between my daughter and me. Even when apart our phone calls became screaming matches. My stomach knotted and my face expressed worry. At times it was even hard to breathe. “God, help us,” I screamed out in desperation one afternoon. I heard no voice, nothing but the echo of my own through the halls of my hollow house, yet outside I saw a yellow flutter. Several yellow butterflies danced around each other in the air, breaking rank and then merging again. I desperately needed God’s satisfying peace and He generously supplied signs of His presence.
     While chaos reigned within our home, death came knocking. One afternoon in May of 2005 my youngest sister called. “Deb, you need to come home. Dad is not doing so well,” she said. He resided in a nursing home trying to recover from knee surgery. Bleeding had begun somewhere in his body causing his blood pressure to drop dangerously low and his kidneys to fail. We quickly made arrangements to kennel our dogs, packed our clothes, and began the four hour trip home to North Carolina. After three nights and days of camping out in the intensive care unit, my extended family said goodbye to our patriarch. Even though I numbly walked around in shock, my tears flowed. I didn’t know if I was crying for my dad, my daughter, or me. But I did cry out to God, “Please, Lord, take this sorrow away. My heart is breaking.” A few days later a big orange butterfly hovered over my car windshield and peace began to flood my heart.
     Not long afterwards butterflies began to move in to my yard. Front yard, backyard──monarch and yellow butterflies frequently danced together in front of me. It was as if God was saying, “Debbie, I hear your cries and I’m aware of your situation. I AM here beside you. Lean on Me.” Calm filled my soul over time while God continually manifested Himself through butterflies.
     God loves each one of us very much and daily proves His existence to us through creation. He desires to confirm His presence and strengthen us when life is difficult. The signs of His grace are everywhere for all to see, but, as for me, my eyes will scan the skies for His whispering wings of peace.

                                       Vacation Butterflies

     A vacation is about rest, right? Oh how blest I was to be able to enjoy a brief stay in Costa Rica with my husband, and his company. You see, he did so well in sales at work for 2012 that he won this trip. And one of the adventures offered was zip-lining (aerial ropeslide over a rainforest canopy), and my husband signed us up. What, I wondered, we’re going to get strapped up and hang from a cable over a bunch of trees. “Are you crazy!” I said aloud. “Doesn’t sound like rest to me.”
     Well, I suddenly got “butterflies in my stomach” and my nervousness increased by the hour as the time approached. What if I fall, I thought. Silly notions of plunging off the cable and being speared by a tree continued to interfere with my sleep that night. The next morning I woke up with nerves of jelly. After breakfast, we headed to the hotel lobby to catch our bus for the zip line tour. I said a quick prayer, and looking up, I saw a young girl wearing a beach outfit. I couldn’t believe my eyes. On the front AND back of her cover-up was a big beautiful butterfly. Immediately I knew who was speaking to me and I said, “You are a wonderful and crazy God. I can’t believe how much you love me, even on vacation. Thank you!” 
     Butterflies fluttered beside our bus as we traveled and several flew around the building where we “signed our lives away.” I knew in my heart we would be okay. My Friend had spoken and His peace penetrated my soul.
     Afterwards (and it was awesome, by the way) I bought a souvenir butterfly magnet, telling the cashier a bit of my story. She excitedly called in the manager to hear my tale and then he began to tell me his own experiences with butterflies. Amazing! God, You are amazing! Thank you for loving us so!

Keep your eyes open. A butterfly may “flutter by” you one day when you most need it and least expect it. It’s just one of the many ways God will use to let you know how much He loves you!

As it says in Romans 1:20 - For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

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