Many times in life, we end up in situations where cannot anticipate or even believe that we will ever come through it out the other side.

I myself have been through many of those situations. Ones where I have wondered if I was actually going to be able to survive what life had thrown at me and if I was, how would I emerge on the other side?

The situation was so desolate soul wrenching and my ability to fight the good fight and carry on was utterly depleted. The pain was so raw that I could feel it circulate through my body in time to the beating of my heart. Every heartbeat not only circulated my blood through my body, it circulated pain through every atom of my being. Times when I couldn’t see the end of the road nor the light at the end of the tunnel. All I saw was sheer darkness. Utter blackness. Not even the faint glow from a tea light candle.

And I did not know where to go nor how to get there. Hope was an intellectual ideal with no reality or “legs” to it. For me hope was an intellectual exercise, not something my heart could hold onto. And I simply did not know how to take one more breath let alone one ore step.

I have been there. We all have. Each with our own struggles and battles. II am sure that each one of us has been in those deep, dark moments.

And I was pondering this the other night, it struck me how the metamorphosis of the caterpillar is a very similar experience. Once the caterpillar reaches a certain age, it enters into its chrysalis. It shrinks away from the outside world and wraps itself up in ti’s own version of a soft warm blanket- the chrysalis. As time passes, the chrysalis becomes hardened and becomes a protective layer while the caterpillar undergoes its metamorphosis. The time that a caterpillars stays inside varies,. Sometimes it’s as little as 2 weeks, sometimes 4. However, sometimes the caterpillars stays inside for 10 months and there have been occurrences where the caterpillar stays inside for 3 years. Why? Because conditions have to be just right before the caterpillar will emerge. Both external environmental conditions have to be just right as well as the metamorphic conditions.

But when the time is right the chrysalis becomes a darkened black shell. It is then that the caterpillar starts its journey out. The caterpillar struggles against the chrysalis, slowly breaking it down piece by piece. And in the breaking down of the protective cocoon that kept the caterpillar safe, the wings of the butterfly grow stronger as it fights to break loose of what once held it captive and forced its growth. And in those final moments as the caterpillar turned butterfly breaks free of its cocoon, it has the strength to fly and soar away into freedom!

But the beautiful butterfly could never be without the protection of the cocoon and the growth and struggle that occurs as it leaves what it once was to become its full and beautiful self in all its radiant glory.

And for me, this is what I have found to be true in my own life. Those times were dark and dismal and scary. But as I walked through them the process and the struggle made me stronger and that is the strength that finally enabled me to break loose of my cocoon. It had its place, it kept me safe in times when I needed to be safe and protected. But as with all things, it had its place and if I chose to stay in the safety I could never soar and fly into freedom in all my radiant glory.

There is a season for all things. And all things require a process. And it is through that process that we develop the strength to soar. And once we have the strength, we find the freedom to fly.