From Caterpillar to Butterfly

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:  The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

November 2004. I got a call that my mother was taken to the hospital because she had no feeling in her left leg. She went to bed fine the night before. In the morning, she fell to the floor with no ability to use her leg. I believe that the doctors really had no idea what was going on. So, they just sent her to a nursing home for physical therapy.

It worsened. And quickly, she lost use of her left arm too. In January, we insisted on more testing to determine the cause.

Brain tumor.

Then, failing kidneys was discovered too.

I’ll spare you all of the sad, disappointing details. But long story short, the prognosis was that we only had a few more months together.

My sister, Deb, came to me and told me that I needed to create a memorial handout for when the time came. It should have photos of Mom and photos of her with the family. It should have quotes and scripture.

Uh, no. I don’t want to think about that. I’ll just ignore Deb and she’ll forget about it.

When we got to the final days, my siblings and I pretty much camped out at the nursing home. Many friends and relatives stopped in for support and to say their goodbyes. I know this sounds strange, but it was a really sweet and precious time – and a testimony to the special woman Mom was.

While we’re living at the nursing home (two hours away from my home), Deb comes back again telling me that I need to prepare this memorial thingy.

How am I going to pull this together? Especially, when I’m not at home with my computer? Ugh!

I prayed for God to figure this out and show me what should go in this important memorial.

One day, my brother, Ken and I were sitting by Mom’s bed. At this point she had slipped into a coma. We sat hours at a time. (If you know me at all, you know that I don’t just sit.) I picked up Mom’s copy of “Guideposts” and flipped through it.

“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a butterfly.” – Richard Bach

This jumped off the page! I passed the magazine over to Ken. He read it and smiled, “Yes, that’s it.”

I went out to the waiting room that we had taken over and showed it to Deb. She loved it.

Here’s where things get interesting…

While Deb and I have our heads down looking at the magazine, we hear our brother, Sam, say, “Look at this picture of a butterfly.” We look up and he’s showing us a two-page spread of a beautiful butterfly.

We just stare with our mouths open and Deb says, “Well, there’s your sign. That’s the quote!”

Sam had no idea what’s going on. I pass him the magazine and point out the quote. Now his mouth is hanging open.

From then on, we found butterflies EVERYWHERE!

Deb pulled a shirt out of her suitcase (she lived outside the area too) that had been packed days earlier, butterflies on it.

She opened her car door and guess what flew out? Yea, a butterfly.

It became a game with us to find the butterflies.

In the midst of our pain, God chose to reach down. He reminded us that death on earth is not the end. It is the end of our being tied to the ground. It is the end of the fear of being stepped on.

And if we accept Jesus as our Savior and repent of our sins, death is our breaking free from that confining chrysalis and becoming a beautiful, perfect butterfly.

“For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God Himself and not by human hands.  We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies.  While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life.” 2 Corinthians 5:1-4 NLT

Mom emerged from her chrysalis in June. She is no longer confined. She is a new creation.

But the butterflies didn’t stop coming when she passed. We found butterflies everywhere we looked. A butterfly fluttered circles over my head as I sat on my porch the morning after. Florists added them to arrangements from friends. Our young niece, that was not aware of what was even going on, suddenly became obsessed with butterflies. I could go on and on with crazy butterfly stories!

The point of all of this is… God cares so deeply for us. He sent butterflies to my family to comfort us in our grief. He is always with us and will bring you comfort too.

“The Lord hears His people when they call to Him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” Psalm 34:17-18

Mandy Hood

Want to learn more about accepting Jesus? Please talk to me or another TC leader. We’d love to sit and talk.

“If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

Follow the Roman’s Road HERE.

Mandy Hood loves to watch the Monarch and Swallowtail caterpillars in her garden. She feels doubly blessed when she finds their chrysalis’ and can see the new creations emerge. Yes, after all of these years, God is still sending her reminders of His promises.

Mandy is also a board member and executive director of The Connection. She and her husband of 41 years enjoy spending time with their children and grandchildren.
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2 thoughts on “From Caterpillar to Butterfly

  1. Beautiful story!!!! Every time I see a butterfly, I always think it is my Mom & i talk to her. My Daughter lives in Smithsburg, not far from you. Awesome. My name is also Debbie.

    Like

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