Wednesday, January 16, 2013

From Caterpillar to Butterfly

My dearest friend in the world sent me an e-mail this week in response to my frustration that I'm not well yet.  She is a steadfast prayer warrior and forever-encourager.  She knows my daily ups-and-downs and the condition of my heart that goes along with the roller coaster ride.  Her insight is amazing and so instead of writing myself on this post, I'm sharing her thoughts. 

Published with permission from my dear friend, Summer Powell.

There are 4 stages of a butterfly's life cycle:
  1. Egg - The egg is laid on a select leaf.  The egg is somewhat transparent, and, if you look closely, you can actually see the tiny caterpillar growing inside.  In this stage, the caterpillar is well-protected and really has no purpose.

  1. Caterpillar/Larva - Once it has hatched from the egg, the primary purpose of the caterpillar is to eat and grow.  The first thing it eats is the leaf where it was laid.  Knowing this, the mother carefully selects the leaf that the caterpillar needs to eat.  Caterpillars can grow 100 times their size during this stage.  Because of the rapid growth, their skin cannot grow with them.  It actually splits and breaks off.  They shed several layers of outgrown skin during this stage.  

  1. Chrysalis - Occurs when full growth has occurred and they are ready for the next level.  During this stage, they wrap themselves up in a cocoon (often made of silk) or pull themselves away.  It may look like nothing is going on but big changes are happening on the inside.  While appearing to be doing nothing, they are changed literally from the inside out. They enter in short and stubby with no wings and emerge with new tissues, limbs, organs and a new purpose.  All the components of a butterfly are already there in the caterpillar, but this time of isolation is necessary to allow them to develop and emerge.

  1. Adult butterfly - Wings are initially soft and folded from the cramped space in the cocoon.  Within hours, they have spread their wings and learned to fly.  The main goal of this stage is reproduction.  By laying more eggs, the life cycle can begin again.

So, the parallels are pretty obvious, but here are my thoughts:
  1. I see the egg as an immature Christian.  You are kind of just a shell with a growing being inside; really no purpose, or at least, unsure of your purpose.  It's no accident where you land for your period of growth.  God carefully selects the “leaf” where you will emerge for your growth phase, knowing what you will be able to digest and what will help you grow to your greatest potential.  

  1. The purpose is to eat and grow.  You are to devour as much of the Word--the bread of life--and to learn as much as possible to facilitate growth.  The period of growth is not comfortable or easy (remember the splitting, shedding skin?).  You may have to outgrow some things or people during this stage.  It is just to get you to your full potential.  
**I feel like this is where you have been since October 2011.  You've been learning, listening, and experiencing growth, howbeit uncomfortable.  Your leaf was Meniere's in Monroe.  For whatever reason, that is what God determined was best for your growth, to bring out the beautiful butterfly inside.**

  1. The cocoon is a period of separation (maybe where you are now?). It reminds me of II Corinthians 6:17 "Come out from among them and be ye separate."  You've done the studying.  The growth has happened.  Now wrap yourself inside of His word and His wings and rest.  Allow yourself to be changed from the inside out. Romans 12:2 " ye transformed by the renewing of your mind..."  All the elements of what you are to be are in place.  This time of rest and solitude is necessary, though, to allow them to fully develop and emerge.  Isaiah 40:31 "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."

  1. The mature butterfly’s main goal is reproduction.  In our case, it is sharing the love of Jesus, spreading the good news.  Your skills and abilities of teaching and leading will be utilized to their greatest potential during this phase.  An adult butterfly can travel much farther, and have an exponentially greater sphere of influence than a caterpillar.  You will be able to have a greater impact and plant more seeds than ever before.  When the seed is planted, then the life cycle can begin again with other developing butterflies.
Nicole's note:  How can I add to this beautiful description?  I am so incredibly blessed to have a friend so inspired by God with these thoughts.  Thank you Summer! 

Other News
I feel guilty that I lamented on and on and on last week about life in the Gregory home.  What I failed to mention or recognize are all of the wonderful friends and prayer partners that I have.  I continue to be blessed with friends and supporters who do kind and wonderful things for our family and I am sincerely grateful.  Thank you for the outpouring of love and offers this week (and all of the other times).

I talked to my main doctor at the Mayo Clinic on Friday after he and my neurologist there had consulted.  He said that CSD has really only been treated the last 10 years so anything they try and do with me is still fairly experimental.  Not in the sense they don't know what they're doing, there's just not enough data to know definitively what will work for everyone.  He said my headaches are a greater issue than they first believed and so we now have a plan to get those under control.  Headaches/migraine can actually cause dizziness so I may be dealing with a 2-fold issue.  I started an additional medication this week.  I will introduce it into my system slowly over the next few weeks.  It's like the Zoloft in that it may take a while to work, for the side-effects to die down and for us to figure out which dosage is best.  And we will also be working with this new med and the Zoloft to find the right balance between the two.  So, at the 3 month mark we're still working to get it right.  I am a little bummed but I try and take it one day at a time.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I can only imagine how frustrating this must be for you, especially since your visit to Mayo had you hopeful that it would end soon or at least be under better control. I pray that you will soon be much, much improved. You are such an inspiration!