The Struggle

In my late twenties I had the opportunity to teach second grade for five years. While I loved my second graders, I longed to be a stay-at-home mom.  When our oldest boy, Griffen, was four, we were able to adopt Sammy. With two boys at home I decided to be a stay-at-home mom.

One day, I ran across a beautifully written article in a newspaper that reminded me of teaching the lifecycle of butterflies to my students. It also caused me to reflect on how much I had learned though my own struggle with infertility and how that experience brought me closer to the person the Lord knew I could be.

“The Struggle’s the Thing,” by Tug Gettling, recounts a story about a gardener who had found a chrysalis, noticed movement from inside and knew a butterfly was struggling to emerge. He wanted to watch this miraculous process, but he felt sorry for the struggling butterfly as it attempted to enlarge a hole in the cocoon to get out. The butterfly would work until exhausted, collapse, and then try again. The gardener decided to help; taking a tiny pair of shears from his pocket he slowly and carefully cut a small slit so the butterfly could slip through. The gardener could not wait to see this insect spread its new wings and fly. Eventually the butterfly did appear, but it was different than the gardener had imagined. It was crippled; with a bloated body and wrinkled wings too soggy and heavy to lift. It wasn’t able to fly, and he knew the poor butterfly would shortly die. 

“The principle the gardener did not understand is the hardship law. The butterfly needed the hardship—the struggle to escape the cocoon is what ultimately saves the butterfly. Through that immense effort the butterfly becomes what it is meant to be. Working through the cocoon develops fortitude and strengthens the butterfly’s wings; squishing through the hole squeezes the fluid from the body into its wings slimming down the body and inflating the wings. The butterfly is meant to struggle.”

(Gettling, Tug. “The Struggle’s the Thing.” Daily Herald, Sep 6, 2014).

Just like butterflies, we are also meant to struggle! Jesus Christ loves us, allows us to struggle, and wants us to grow and be transformed through Him.

We must remember that we are daughters of God; we are of royal birth. He loves us as we are right now, and He also allows us to grow, struggle, and change to become the person He knows we can be! We are undergoing our own grand transformation, but it takes time.