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  • Laura Alvarado-Newson

Beauty from pain

The Butterfly. Each unique, graceful, elegantly dressed in magnificient colors and shapes. Not only for show, those colors and shapes warn the predator of possible poisoning. And who is the designer of this tiny, yet amazing creature: our God the Creator of the universe and beyond. The butterfly with wings as delicate as rice paper yet strong enough to fly long distances and against the winds. The butterfly's life has always been a such an inspiration to me, just think about it, it's not born a butterfly, it's born a caterpillar which seems very closely related to a worm. Caterpillars are so vulnerable, pushing themselves from leaf to leaf, only two purposes: eat and not be eaten.

During a 3 minute research (all I have time for), I stumbled across this phrase: "To become a butterfly, a caterpillar first digests itself. But certain groups of cells survive, turning the soup (yummm) into eyes, wings, antennae and other adult structures." Ummm is it just me or does that sound painful? Especially the digesting part. One of the questions I plan on asking God when I go to heaven is do the caterpillars know what's going to happen once they are in cocoon? Honestly, if I knew I was going to have to digest myself and completely liquify, I don't know if I would have been able to go through with the process.

I compare this now to my pain. To come to the realization that I would not only be a caregiver to my son, but now to my husband as well. This is painful to accept. Sometimes I wonder why God didn't give me headsup to what type of life I would have as a wife and mother, but deep down, I know why. I would have ran in the opposite direction and joined a convent! The only comfort I find is from the Word of God, a promise of transformation.

"For you know that when you faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing."

(James 22:3-4)

Good and beauty can come from my pain. Good and beauty can come from your pain. Whatever it is. I am not saying this is an easy or a pretty process. I am a mess most days, taking one step at a time, each time looking up asking for strength for that next step. Some days I cry, some days I whine, some days I complain and regret, all days I look up to my only strength. This same strength is here for you too. A wise man recently told me that God only gives grace for today, it's not yesterdays grace and it's not tomorrow's grace. "His mercies are new every morning". One the biggest mental battles I fight is the "what ifs" of the future, than I remind myself, I only have strength and grace for today.

The verse says to "let it grow", I have an active part to play if I want to emerge from this cocoon of pain as a beautiful, graceful butterfly. My part is surrender, to let God work in me, my mind, my heart, my spirit. To allow Him free access without limitations, and without me butting in. This is easier said than done, I have to throw up my hands several times a day and remind myself that God is still on His throne, He sees the end of this trial and He has a plan, and since He loves me, it's a good plan. I try to resist arguing the impossible, my mind can't comprehend the why's of God allowing such pain. This is when I take comfort when I see a butterfly, the result of it's pain is beauty, uniqueness, freedom, strength in such a delicate graceful form. The ability to take flight souring from flower to flower

when only a month ago it was subjected to crawling and hiding. Could the butterfly confidently say, "it was worth the pain?" or maybe it's like childbirth, the pain is unbearable and excruciating but once that baby is put in mom's arms, the pain is a thing of the past and oh, so worth it! ( I won't say forgotten, because I certainly can remember it).

So cheers to all of the future butterflies out there! Til next time....

-Laura

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