The other day while I was on an evening walk with my husband on one of our local community trails, we came across a bridge flowing over a creek. Down on the bank of the creek was a mother and her toddler daughter, there was another woman at the top of the bank by the bridge. The little girl was crying hysterically trying to climb up the bank to the bridge to the other lady. The mother was trying to let the child know butterflies don’t bite. The little one wanted nothing to do with the butterfly. I smiled at the scene and we kept walking.
As we walked that same spot again tonight, my mind went back to the little girl’s drastic fear. Butterflies to me they are a symbol of change. I thought there are times in my life, that just like the little girl I have an adverse reaction to what I fear might happen if I change.
There are times that change does not bother me in the least, I have a motto “The only thing constant is change.” However, that mostly applies to my work life. When I worked for the state, one thing I could always count on was change. Change to the work flow, the policies, and leadership. Every job after, I kept the same mantra. I don’t get worked up over change that impacts me but that I have little control over. I realized a long time ago it does not help at all. I generally will just go with the flow, although I may grumble a little if it doesn’t make sense. I can move on rather quickly.
There are also times when I do have some control over change, even in my personal life. There are times that I can press in to the change. I can prepare myself for it and move successfully through it without problem. I think of my children growing up and moving out and away. Or my mother passing away, job changes, and moves these were changes that I navigated. Although there were hiccups along the way, I have never found myself fighting those changes. They are changes that are part of the circle of life, they still happen to me. With the exception of moves and job changes, I have little control over the change they would inevitably happen
Yet with the butterfly, there are changes that happen to and around it – the cocoon that it spins, the time inside, the struggle to get out, but the changes are also personal. They transform from a simple caterpillar into a magnificent butterfly. They go from crawling to flying. The personal process can not be short changed.
To often I am terrified of the change that lies before me personally. When I feel called to step out of my comfort zone in a particular area, I would say especially spiritually, that irrational fear creeps up. Every ounce of my being can fight that change. Unfortunately, God will not go against my will. So while He like the mother is trying to convince me that the butterfly of change is good, I am scurrying away from the change trying to get to the bank of comfort zone. I am working against His efforts. I don’t want that cocoon around me.
Even though eventually I will step out in that change, I often make it much harder on myself than He ever designed it to be. It is not that changes that God asks me to make are completely pain free, there are times that there is a struggle and it is God ordained. However, His change and process is always for growth and always for good. He is looking for me to trust Him, to not scream hysterically or run irrationally away, but to press in and let Him bring me to the place of safety even as I walk though the change. He will walk with me as I learn to adjust to the new circumstances He is calling me to. I have to be willing to let Him help me be where He is calling me and stop resisting the change or even the notion of change.