Yes…I’ve contemplated suicide. Why, you may ask?
Honestly, there is just something seductive about ending it all when the pain you’re living in becomes unbearably excruciating. For me, without becoming too transparent, it was an attempt to salvage the last iota of control I felt I had over my life…to control how and when I was going to die. My apologies…I know this is not a pleasant thought; however, when pain of any variety becomes chronic, it tends to produce this type of negative, destructive thought pattern, even in the strongest of us. Unfortunately, far too many people fail to make it out of this downward spiral before crashing and going up in flames. I’m so grateful to God for pulling me out of this destructive pattern, into a place of hope and empowerment in Him. For this reason, I feel compelled to inspire others, and to share this hope with everyone I possibly can during my tenure on Earth.
During my darkest hours, my greatest encouragement has often come from choosing to change my perspective, in order to see God in everything. I’ll be the first to admit, this can be very challenging. However, in my experience, God always leaves trails of bread crumbs that feed our hopes, if our hearts remain open to His voice.
An example of such bread crumbs happened during one of my nature hikes not long ago. As I was entering a shaded section of my trail, I found myself under a beautiful canopy of trees with lush, low hanging branches. As I looked around to breath it all in, I noticed what seemed to be a cocoon hanging from a tree branch. I couldn’t tell if a butterfly was actually inside the cocoon, but it was quite the spectacle. I immediately started to wonder about what actually takes place inside this silken structure, so I decided to do a little research.
As nature would have it, butterflies are actually born caterpillars, whose primary job is to eat (I like that job). Although the caterpillar is unassuming, and to many people, somewhat repulsive, it’s born with everything it needs to become a butterfly. According to ScientificAmerican.com, caterpillars are born with “imaginal discs” which ultimately become butterfly parts, such as wings, eyes, and legs. One may think this transformation from caterpillar to butterfly is a rapid one, but the converse is true. Caterpillars undergo a series of molts, before spinning and entering the cocoon. As the caterpillar eats, and eats, and eats some more, it grows. The larger it grows, it literally becomes too big for its skin, and has to shed, or molt. This happens several times before the little guy enters the cocoon for the big reveal.
I believe the agony that we feel is our soul’s way of telling us that it’s time to molt or grow again. It just may be a signal that you’ve gotten to big for where you currently are. The more we grow, the more we must shed and leave behind our old restrictive skin. Everything that we have experienced in our past (good and “seemingly” bad) is meant to be used as fuel to become bigger, better, and stronger.
To me, the most fascinating aspect of the cocoon experience is what happens inside. Hidden from public view, the caterpillar molts for the last time forming the cocoon, or chrysalis, and there is where it literally digests itself. Yes…the caterpillar digests its previous body in preparation to become something spectacular. It spins the cocoon to encapsulate the digestive process, and thus begins the metamorphosis.
Remember those “imaginal discs” I mentioned earlier? Well, they are the only things that survive the digestion process. While in the cocoon, these discs are pre-programmed to interact with each other to miraculously form the new symmetrical butterfly structures.
God has placed components of our future greatness inside of us, but we must die to our old nature before those components become visible. We’re encouraged to abide in Christ (John 15:4), so that He can give us the necessary strength to commit a figurative suicide of sorts, as we slay the carnal and inferior nature that keeps us bound to the ground. We simply cannot do this on our own. We were not destined to be bound to the lowly estate of ground-living. We were destined to become new creatures, able to fly above our circumstances, and overcome our limitations. 2 Corinthians 5:17 states:
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
According to Butterflyschool.org, once the butterfly emerges from its cocoon after about 10-15 days, it doesn’t just spread its wings and take flight. It first practices flight drills by flapping its wings to dry them out, and to build strength in its primary flight muscles.
It takes special muscles and skills to manage success. The degree of success we experience greatly depends upon what we eat during our “caterpillar” years. Too often, people try to fly before they’re ready. Their muscles haven’t been properly developed, which makes their flight awkward, sloppy, and short-lived.
What are you doing to develop your muscles? What books are you reading? What are you watching? Who are your mentors? Are you surrounded by people and things that feed and nourish you?
Are you simply waiting to die, or are you dying to live again?
I am Brian Evans, and as always, thank you for visiting Wisdom’s Quill.
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