graceful and beautiful as the butterfly
by Jessica LeBlanc
When I think of transformation, so many things come to mind. The change in seasons is definitely one of them because as we’re getting ready to enter the autumn months, we’ll actually get the chance to see and feel the changes. Leaves begin falling, the air gets cooler and crisper and the sun sets earlier.
However, the first thing that comes to mind is the butterfly. It’s remarkable to me how it goes through four different stages before it becomes fully developed. I think more than any other animal, this one truly captures what can happen to us sometimes, as human beings, when we’re going through a transformative process. I decided to do a little research on this colorful creation and I was able to draw some major connections.
Stages of the butterfly
Egg: This obviously is the beginning stage of its life. Fresh, new and nowhere near fully developed; a blank canvas with a lot to experience. This can represent the first part of becoming a Christian. In order to be in Christ, we must be born again to begin our transformation from being dead in our sins to being alive in Jesus. This can only happen through repentance of any and all sin in our lives and a belief and devotion to God. (See Romans 6:23, Romans 5:17) As a babe in Christ and often times as millennials, we have a feeling of trying to keep up. In a world that’s constantly changing, there’s always something to keep up with. Things can get overwhelming quick when we feel like we always have to start over. But we must stay encouraged and keep pressing forward.
Caterpillar: Sometimes called the “feeding stage,” this is the time when the butterfly is growing and eating as much as it can to store food in its body that it will need later on. It’s not very pretty at this stage in life and some may even say it’s downright ugly and a little scary looking. But the caterpillar isn’t concerned about what things look like on the outside so much as it’s determined to build its inside to what it’s supposed to be. Its main goal during this time is to eat, part of the process of becoming something beautiful down the road.
For us, this can be a tough time, the beginning stages of becoming who we are meant to be. But it starts in our minds and hearts. The Bible says in Romans 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is the good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” This requires separation from the world and feeding on the Word of God in order to “live godly in Christ Jesus.”
Pupa: At this point, sometimes called the “transition stage,” the butterfly has separated itself and retreats inside of its cocoon. It can be found tucked away in the silky confines of the safe space, preparing for its grand debut. Things may look dead and quiet on the outside, but a lot is happening. Cells are expanding and other body parts are developing. For us, times when we have to separate ourselves and retreat might make us feel that we’re never going to get that job, travel to that city, marry that person. But just know that during your cocoon process, God is preparing you to re-emerge and be the beautiful person He has created you to be just like He does with the butterfly.
Adult: Finally, the butterfly is here in all its glory. Gracefully fluttering around, showing off colorful intricately designed wings, it is one of God’s many masterpieces. But even at this stage, it has a purpose — to mate and prepare for the next line of butterflies that will come after it is gone. In Matthew 5:16, the Bible says to let our “light shine before men … that they may see our good works and glorify our Father which is in heaven.”
We are God’s creation and we are made to glorify, praise and worship Him. And we should always be thinking of the generation coming up behind us, ready to offer an encouraging and guiding word to them when they need it. I hope as you go through the month of September, that you remember life is a transformative process and as long as you’re in the center of God’s will for you, you will always re-emerge as graceful and beautiful as the butterfly.
Jessica Leblanc is an award-winning, Emmy-nominated journalist who was named one of the top student television n news reporters in the country by college broadcasters in 2011. While in college, she traveled to Europe and wrote political and human interest stroies for UPIU.com. Upon graduation from Southeastern Louisiana University, she began working at WBRZ New 2 in Baton Rouge as a multimedia journalist and later as an anchor. Originally from NOLA, she spends her free time working on blog Moments with Jess, reading, taking on various speaking engagements and spending time with her family