I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26 NIV
Just as we are all being transformed into the image of Christ, from glory to glory, the Lord transforms the caterpillar into a butterfly. All along God knows the end from the beginning. When the egg was forming the caterpillar, God saw the butterfly it would be.
Something in the caterpillar drove it to nourish itself so that it could grow. Though it ate and ate, the hunger for more was not satiated. Then one day when it had shed it’s skin multiple times, and reached its peak physical capacity, it wandered from what it was familiar with in search of a safe place to pupate.
Once the caterpillar is safe it sheds its skin for the last time to form the chrysalis. This shed skin begins soft, and then hardens to form a protective cover. Within the protective shell, a meltdown into cells, similar to stem cells, that can become anything they need to begins. This process will result in complete transformation into a butterfly.
Dependant upon the species of butterfly, this metamorphosis takes place in a time period from five days to a year.
Why I find this all so intriguing is that when I reached a certain point in my walk with God I knew there was nothing I could do to change my heart.
I desperately wanted to love others as I loved myself, but the problem was, I did not love myself. Most of my time was spent criticizing myself, and I knew that because I couldn’t receive God’s love for me I wouldn’t be able to love anyone appropriately. I spent my time feeding on God’s love for me, until I noticed I would shed my protective skin, and let Him in a little more.
In all of this shedding of skin, I came to a realization, that I needed healing that was going to be a long process for me. (Definitely bound to take more than five days, and is now going on years.) I was in need of a safe place for these changes of heart, and I was going to need protection from those that intended to harm me. That included myself.
I had to surrender to the process, and allow God to decide how long it would take. God saw something in me before the beginning of time, which I was driven to, but couldn’t realize without healing. My stony heart of self-protection needed transforming before the butterfly could be released from my hollow caterpillar heart.
I had eaten alcoholism in my father, his pedophilia, insecurity in my mother, the results of my mother’s childhood abuse, my own childhood emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, an abortion that was the result of incest, every sinful act I had committed following it all, an abusive marriage, addiction, and complete failure to put myself back together again when life fell apart.
I cried out to God for change I knew I couldn’t do on my own. That’s when I shed my skin of ability to help myself for the last time, and I ended up in a safe place of healing, breaking down, and restoration more than once.
It has taken a great deal of surrendering, most times in great fear, but the most recent part of that transformation began when I sought out a healing support group for those who had an abortion.
My heart pounded in my chest, every thought was too much to bear, and yet my foot stayed on the gas pedal as I drove toward the pregnancy support center. I had reached any potential to love I was capable of, and I knew I needed a safe place. It was time to stop chewing on insecurity and the past.
I walked in, feeling full of shame, a heart heavy with doubt, and a longing to run in another direction. What must they think of me? I swallowed the question down with prayer and scripture, and tried to just breathe.
I am still in transformation there, but little did I know that when I chose to remain that first night of bible study, my stony heart would be unlocked and flesh was already being revealed.
Sometimes our heart healing moments come and go without our awareness. We only become aware as days and weeks go on. All of that healing happens from glory to glory.
The wounds of my heart have been stitched, bandaged, barred, and still it bleeds and longs for the key of Christ to come in and heal.
I believe God knows the butterfly within me will fly and lay eggs that will become all they were meant to be in this life, but first my stony heart will be transformed into a whole heart of flesh. It’s happening one day at a time.
Do you recall the beginning of God’s changes in a specific area of your life?