For two weeks, I have observed a beautiful yellow butterfly. She floats by on a breeze several times a day. She is not your ordinary butterfly. She is living her life in full splendor, EVERYDAY. But her two-week life span is coming to an end.
The first day, I was on my back porch enjoying the warm Colorado sunshine. She flew three feet in front of me and landed on a branch nearby. The second day, as I watered the tomatoes, she fluttered around my head three times and drifted away. Day three, she floated past, catching my periphery, then magically caught a draft lifting her over the neighbor’s rooftop and back down to a blade of grass in front of me.
Each time this beautiful yellow creature caught my eye…I felt internal butterflies …HOPE!
This butterfly I have named Joy, because that is the promise she has given to me. She has begged me to visit my recent life lessons of days gone by. When I often had journal entries of how my life struggles have metaphorically mimicked the life cycle of a butterfly.
I am nearing the completion of a 16 year project. A book my Creator asked me to write. Its been a struggle, far from easy, a birthing process all its own. A metamorphosis of sorts in order for healing to take place.
Voiceless, Spencer’s Story calls for the attention of mom’s who have lost a child to brain injury. Told through a mother’s eyes, it touches the internal struggle of letting go of what was, to move forward to the difficult but necessary transformation that daily caregiving requires-from the brain injured-to the parents-to the siblings-and beyond.
In Voiceless, Spencer’s warrior like spirit teaches us to never, never give up. And the love of God, family, and community proves that unconditional love still exists. It’s a must read for parents of special needs children!
In 2003 when a voice told me to remain safe in my cocoon, where I would grow strong…I remained. I was too wounded to come out and face the world. In my cocoon, God was fervently doing some internal healing so that when the time came, I would be able to fly.
By 2006, I was facing internal struggle, separate from Spencer. A butterfly landed on my toe, opened its wings and I heard this still small voice in my head, “Angela you are out of the cocoon, your wings are drying. You are not ready to fly, yet. Be patient. Your wings will be strengthened. I am preparing you for flight!”
In 2011, as I looked towards the heaven’s, pain…tears…questions…lost hope once again clouded my vision. The pain of divorce consumed our world. I heard, “Hang on Angela, in five years you will look back and see how far you have come. Joy will overwhelm you! I know right now you do not see how this is possible. Hang on to my promises. Be brave. Be strong. Your wings are drying.”
And so I waited…battled through more life lessons…and learned so much along the way.
“HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR WINGS TO DRY, ANYWAY?!
I do know this…if a butterfly is helped to fly before their wings dry, they will die. So I took the Lord’s leading seriously.
I am five years out from that day in 2011 and I am convinced that Joy is here to tell me that maybe—maybe, my wings have dried and I am preparing for flight. As I sat in my office this morning tying up loose ends for the book, Joy fluttered in front of me five times. People laugh at me because I seem to connect a spiritual meaning to everything. Symbolism and metaphors are huge for me in AHA moments. Ask my kids, it gets annoying! Nevertheless, the number five symbolizes God’s grace, goodness, and favor towards humans and is mentioned 318 times in Scripture.
My office sits upstairs, where Joy seemed to find me. On day 5, Joy flew past my second story window, right in front of my face, 5 times, at random times throughout the day. It was odd but not a coincidence, that it was always the times when I would lift my head and look out the window, pausing with a heavy sigh. I am weary from what this book has demanded from me, but I have pushed through the resistance. “If it helps one person, it will be worth the effort.” I keep telling myself.
When I saw Joy it was like a kiss from God, and my sighs turned into smiles. It’s as if she was saying, “Go…Be Brave and Dream Big!” I can be hard-headed and even clueless at times, but I took this beautiful butterfly as a sign…I think my wings have dried.