Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Butterfly Struggles

My daughter has been struggling with a few issues lately. She has become cognitively aware of the cocoon that surrounds her life and the writhing and struggling has begun as she discovers her own strength and beauty. How I am tempted at times to trim away parts of her struggle; to seemingly make things simpler, easier. Yet I know that this struggle has been custom designed within and without for her benefit. So I pray for wisdom and strength of my own as I encourage and guide her. There have been and may again be moments of rescue needed; but for the most part, I can see that my role is changing. Bittersweet as it is; there is nothing my mother's heart longs for more than to see my beautiful butterfly stretch her fully developed wings and fly...

The Struggle of the Butterfly

author unknown


A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared and he sat and watched the butterfly as it struggled for several hours to force its body through the little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared it had gotten as far as it could. The man decided to help the butterfly, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of cocoon.

The butterfly then emerged easily, but it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would expand and be able to support the body, which would contract in time.

Neither happened! in fact, the butterfly spent its whole life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It was never able to fly. What the man, in kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required to get through the tiny opening were God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved freedom.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If God allowed us to go through life without obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as we could have been.

And... we would never fly.

23 comments:

joanofalltrades said...

I love the butterfly story and analogy. I used to use it with my students when we studied butterflies.

Leslie said...

That is great!!

Gretchen said...

I have a 10.5 y.o butterfly. Oh, the days are bittersweet, indeed. Blessings to you.

Busy Mom said...

Love this--I've never read this before. Thanks for sharing.
Marie

Mikki Black said...

Yes, Annie's at one these points as well. It can be hard for all of us, but I'm sure your little butterfly will be a beautiful one!

Kathryn said...

Shanda, I love this and had forgotten all about the butterfly story until your post brought it to mind. What a beautiful and timely reminder that some struggles are Divinely and lovingly ordained to ensure that our precious little ones will emerge fully developed. Oh, for grace and patience to guide them through the process without "helping" them out too early!

Pam D said...

What a blessing for your daughter that you recognize her struggles for what they are; necessary. So many parents nowdays remove the obstacles and eliminate the struggles, and yes, their children have stunted wings. And then they wonder why the kids live with them when they're in their 30s. huh. As hard as it may be, you're doing the right thing... hugs...

Midwest Mommy said...

What a great story, thanks for sharing.

Rachel said...

Thank you... what a beautiful lesson and reminder!

(and we love Chaos to Grace too!)

rhemashope said...

I never thought I'd say 'I'm thankful for the struggles and obstacles (for us and our children).' I've always understood that they were necessary for growth and development, but to actually be *thankful* for them is something different. The Butterfly Struggle stories are a precious reminder to me of the beauty God is creating - that we are indeed His workmanship. For that we can be thankful!

Thank you, Shanda!

Pam D said...

Just a quick comment on your comment at my blog.. I didn't "connect the dots" on Rachel TIL you commented! I didn't click through Dana's site... but Rachel left a message on my blog and I visited hers. How awesome! And I'd seen her winning entry on I Heart Faces.. it just took a bit to put it all together. LOVE her.. LOVE you.. LOVE Dana.. and I love the fact that we can find others with hearts like ours via blogging. God is SO good.....

2SetsOfTwins4Me said...

So very true, with all the struggles i have faced in life, i have always said if anything it made me stronger

Katamommy said...

I have a 6 month old and this was a great post to read, thank you! Happy SITS day!

Becky @ Farmgirl Paints said...

Oh I loved that. Thank you so much for sharing. The balance between being a mother and a friend is a fine line and letting her learn on her own is a tough thing to do. Good for you!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

So true.

Marrdy said...

Great story.

Wrider II said...

I have read this before and every time I see it again it makes me take a step back and say, "Oh yeah, now I remember why some things are just a little more difficult." They often make us whole! Thanks for the reminder.

Dropping in from SITS!

The Un-Organized Mom said...

Thank you for sharing this, it is such a beautiful story and a wonderful reminder.

Denise said...

As the mother to an 11 year old daughter, I understand this well! We want to swoop in and save them, but they have to learn to save themselves.

Jennifer said...

Stopping by from SITS. That was so beautiful. Having 2 daughters of my own I am scared to death of the changes, heartache and decisions they will have to make in the years to come. I want to keep them in their cacoon forever! :)

Stacey said...

Such a beautiful analogy. Thank you.
Thanks for SITS

"FINE"al thoughts... said...

Why is it every time I read your posts I just want to sign my name to the bottom of it? You are so inspiring!

Sparcam said...

thanks for the boost!
a fellow SITSta