Embrace Your Cocoon

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?


BE

I am Brian Evans, and as always, thank you for visiting Wisdom’s Quill.

Keep Learning ♦ Keep Loving ♦ Keep Living

5 Life Lessons I Learned From Rudolph

DreamWorks Animation Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

The classic holiday special “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” celebrates its 50th anniversary with a new DVD and Blu-ray, featuring brand-new bonus features. It’s available Nov. 4, 2014. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer(c) and (r) The Rudolph Co., L.P. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” animated program(c) Classic Media, LLC. All rights reserved. (PRNewsFoto/DreamWorks Animation)

  1. When life gets dark, that’s when you’ll understand why God gave you a shiny nose.
  2. Although others may laugh and call you names, eventually someone will come along that actually likes your glow…so let it shine.
  3. You will never “go down in history” until you learn to market YOUR mystery…you have that nose for a reason, so find out why.
  4. Eventually, you have to grow up, and stop playing little reindeer games.  So what, they won’t let you play…create your own game with your own rules.
  5. Finally, embrace what makes you different…you just may end up leading the whole darn sleigh because of it.

 

BE

I am Brian Evans, and as always, thank you for visiting Wisdom’s Quill.

Keep Learning ♦ Keep Loving ♦ Keep Living

Photo Credits: Image The Most Famous Reindeer of All Celebrates His 50th Anniversary on Television… — GLENDALE, Calif., Sept. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ —

 

Autumn: Acrostic Poem

Autumn breeze and Autumn leaves

Unite in august harmonies

Towering trees in tailored suits

Uniquely clothed in Heaven’s hues

My favorite time of year is here

New season brings new joy and cheer


BE

As always, thank you for visiting Wisdom’s Quill.

Keep Learning ♦ Keep Loving ♦ Keep Living

Scar Stories: Revised

How many scars do you have? Have you ever taken the time to count them? Maybe you have one on your knee from the time you fell learning how to ride your bike. Maybe you have one on your hand from the time you were burned cooking dinner for that very special occasion. I find it interesting that every scar has a story attached to it. I’ve never talked to a person that had a scar magically appear out of nowhere without them knowing exactly when and how it came to be. In most cases, the stories behind our scars carry a shameful connotation, with a certain level of trauma associated with them. That’s why we can always recant our scar stories as if the event had just happened, although years may have since gone by.

Flesh wounds usually tend to heal pretty quickly, and in some cases, once the wound heals, it barely leaves a scar. On the other hand, emotional wounds tend to cut deeper, hurt longer, and bleed heavier than the wounds that mar our flesh. Some people even reach an emotional impasse when it comes to the traumatic events that caused the wound in the first place. Growth and progression can even be halted as a result of emotional pain, fear, and anger (among other issues). Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a “scar” as a mark left (as in the skin) by the healing of injured tissue. I’m willing to say that this is how we most commonly think of scars. However, there is another definition:

“A lasting moral or emotional injury”

Our hearts are designed to be the seat of our emotions. From our hearts, come our life “issues” and how we perceive our world; this, in turn, determines the truth that we live in. In essence, our emotions tend to color our perceptions about life, about others, and about ourselves. Part of maturing in Christ involves knowing how to separate our emotions from the vital decisions that we must make on a daily basis. Whether it’s responding to a family crisis, or responding to a co-worker, we must constantly work to keep the emotional skies of our hearts pristine and clear. That’s why the Bible states in Proverbs 4:23:

“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life”

Even in this, however, things can sometimes blindside us emotionally. Unlike our physical bodies, that begin the healing/immune response immediately upon injury (i.e.-clotting), sometimes our hearts don’t even realize when we’ve been injured emotionally. Often, it’s not until we’ve had time to process a particular series of events do we begin to feel “some kinda way.”

Beloved, I feel an urgency to encourage you right here…right now. Lift your head up. You are NOT what happened to you…you are who you choose to become. As you’re reading these words, I speak healing into your life today. As people of faith, we believe and receive by speaking…so what are you saying?
Yes…your wounds will heal. Yes, they may leave a scar, but not all scars are bad.

A few weeks ago, as I was checking in at the front desk of my gym for a workout session, a conversation ensued between myself and one of the trainers on staff. She was a tall, athletic woman with a jovial personality. After our initial introduction, she told me that she would probably ask for my name a few more times because she didn’t have any short-term memory. Initially, I thought she was being mildly facetious, so I chuckled at her remark. That’s when she repeated what she had said initially, and proceeded to inform me that she was a brain cancer survivor. “Some years ago,” she said, “I underwent surgery to remove a tumor from my brain, which obliterated my short-term memory.”

As she was telling me her story, she proudly turned her back to me, and parted her hair to reveal a scar that traveled from the top of her head down to the base of her neck. That’s when she told me that her scar is a reminder that she survived what should have killed her.

I was taken aback a little bit, because I wasn’t expecting that to be her story. Just looking at her, I would have never imagined that she had experienced that. This set off all kinds of bells and whistles in my mind, and gave me a whole new perspective on the things that we suffer. So, I say to you, your scars are a sign of healing. What once was a gaping, gushing wound, is now proof positive that you’re a survivor. Our scars tell a story of past pain and trauma, but they also testify to the fact that the pain no longer has power over us. Never allow the shame of what happened to you offset the glory that shall be. Your story innately contains a healing salve for others.

It may be true that some scars carry a shameful story, but some scars are salvific, because they bring salvation and healing to others. Where would we be if Jesus had never been scarred? Think about the scars in His hands and His feet….the wound in His side.  Not every scar is a mark of shame; some are considered a badge of honor. They tell a story of survival, salvation, and grace…of what could have happened, but didn’t. It matters not the story behind your scars, just be encouraged and know that you survived what tried to kill you, and now you have a story to tell…

So, what will your story be?


 

BE

As always, thank you for visiting Wisdom’s Quill. See you soon.

Keep Learning ♦ Keep Loving ♦ Keep Living

Scar Stories

How many scars do you have? Have you ever taken the time to count them? Maybe you have one on your knee from the time you fell learning how to ride your bike. Maybe you have one on your hand from the time you were burned cooking dinner for that very special occasion. I find it interesting that every scar has a story attached to it. I’ve never talked to a person that had a scar magically appear out of nowhere without them knowing exactly when and how it came to be. In most cases, the stories behind our scars carry a shameful connotation, with a certain level of trauma associated with them. That’s why we can always recant our scar stories as if the event had just happened, although years may have since gone by.

Flesh wounds usually tend to heal pretty quickly, and in some cases, once the wound heals, it barely leaves a scar. On the other hand, emotional wounds tend to cut deeper, hurt longer, and bleed heavier than the wounds that mar our flesh. Some people even reach an emotional impasse when it comes to the traumatic events that caused the wound in the first place. Growth and progression can even be halted as a result of emotional pain, fear, and anger (among other issues). Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a “scar” as a mark left (as in the skin) by the healing of injured tissue. I’m willing to say that this is how we most commonly think of scars. However, there is another definition:

“A lasting moral or emotional injury”

Our hearts are designed to be the seat of our emotions. From our hearts, come our life “issues” and how we perceive our world; this, in turn, determines the truth that we live in. In essence, our emotions tend to color our perceptions about life, about others, and about ourselves. Part of maturing in Christ involves knowing how to separate our emotions from the vital decisions that we must make on a daily basis. Whether it’s responding to a family crisis, or responding to a co-worker, we must constantly work to keep the emotional skies of our hearts pristine and clear. That’s why the Bible states in Proverbs 4:23:

“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life”

Even in this, however, things can sometimes blindside us emotionally. Unlike our physical bodies, that begin the healing/immune response immediately upon injury (i.e.-clotting), sometimes our hearts don’t even realize when we’ve been injured emotionally. Often, it’s not until we’ve had time to process a particular series of events do we begin to feel “some kinda way.”

Beloved, I feel an urgency to encourage you right here…right now. Lift your head up. You are NOT what happened to you…you are who you choose to become. As you’re reading these words, I speak healing into your life today. As people of faith, we believe and receive by speaking…so what are you saying?
Yes…your wounds will heal. Yes, they may leave a scar, but not all scars are bad.

A few weeks ago, as I was checking in at the front desk of my gym for a workout session, a conversation ensued between myself and one of the trainers on staff. She was a tall, athletic woman with a jovial personality. After our initial introduction, she told me that she would probably ask for my name a few more times because she didn’t have any short-term memory. Initially, I thought she was being mildly facetious, so I chuckled at her remark. That’s when she repeated what she had said initially, and proceeded to inform me that she was a brain cancer survivor. “Some years ago,” she said, “I underwent surgery to remove a tumor from my brain, which obliterated my short-term memory.”

As she was telling me her story, she proudly turned her back to me, and parted her hair to reveal a scar that traveled from the top of her head down to the base of her neck. That’s when she told me that her scar is a reminder that she survived what should have killed her.

I was taken aback a little bit, because I wasn’t expecting that to be her story. Just looking at her, I would have never imagined that she had experienced that. This set off all kinds of bells and whistles in my mind, and gave me a whole new perspective on the things that we suffer. So, I say to you, your scars are a sign of healing. What once was a gaping, gushing wound, is now proof positive that you’re a survivor. Our scars tell a story of past pain and trauma, but they also testify to the fact that the pain no longer has power over us. Never allow the shame of what happened to you offset the glory that shall be. Your story innately contains a healing salve for others.

It may be true that some scars carry a shameful story, but some scars are salvific, because they bring salvation and healing to others. Where would we be if Jesus had never been scarred? Think about the scars in His hands and His feet….the wound in His side. Not every scar is a mark of shame; some are considered a badge of honor. They tell a story of survival, salvation, and grace…of what could have happened, but didn’t. It matters not the story behind your scars, just be encouraged and know that you survived what tried to kill you, and now you have a story to tell…

So, what will your story be?


 

BE

As always, thank you for visiting Wisdom’s Quill. See you soon.

Keep Learning ♦ Keep Loving ♦ Keep Living

A Piece of God–Mother’s Day 2015

This poem is dedicated to my mother, Gale Evans.  Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!!!

 

When life is dark and there’s no sign of day

I feel for God in hopes He’ll light my way

It’s difficult to see how far I’ve trod

But in you I always see the light of God

 

When happy thoughts and memories flood my heart

I think about the things you did impart

You sacrificed so I could have a chance

To make my mark and boldly take my stance

 

Your love has been a rock that’s tried and true

As for holding things together, you’re the glue

I’d never be the man I am today

If not but for your love and God’s great grace

 

I often think about the times I’ve failed

The moments where it seemed my hopes had sailed

I suddenly saw before I lost all faith

In you God placed Himself upon display

 

Mother, you are my  gift from God alone

More valuable than any precious stone

Whenever I can’t see what’s pure or true

I’ll always have a piece of God in you

 

© 2015 Brian Evans. All rights reserved


 

BE

As always, thank you for visiting Wisdom’s Quill. See you soon.

Keep Learning ♦ Keep Loving ♦ Keep Living

 

My American Dream

Tip toeing on tight ropes

taut from the tension

between weathered hopes

and tattered dreams

I teeter

 

inches above Hell

and miles from Heaven.

My own screams

from the prisons

of past decisions

awaken me from

My American Dream.

 

Horizons of happiness

always within sight

taunting my reach

rise and fall

as streams of thought

become tributaries of consciousness.

Will I ever be free to dream

My American Dream?

 

I Guess I’ll brew my own brand of joy.

On liquid wings I soar

to my crystal blue palace

on a mountain top horizon

far from brutality

and Homeland INsecurity

I fly high.

 

But…

evaporating wings

cause flight to fail

as my fall goes unnoticed

I accelerate

to 9.8

meters per second squared.

 

Spiraling from height to depth

from life to death

the ground reaches up to break my fall.

I brace myself

for the impact

of my back upon my bed

GASP!!!

 

“Am I dead?”

 

My heart slows its beat

as brief relief

turns to ennui and grief

when I awake to

My American Dream

 

© 2014 Brian Evans.  All rights reserved

 

This poem was inspired by the events surrounding Jonathan Ferrell; who was shot and killed on September 14, 2013, by Randall Kerrick, a North Carolina police officer.  He was unarmed.

 


 BE

 As always, thank you for visiting Wisdom’s Quill. See you soon.

Keep Learning ♦ Keep Loving ♦ Keep Living

Editor: Jaime Evans

 

The Riddle

Who am I?

  • I am the giver and the taker of life
  • I cause good and make evil possible
  • Until you actually meet me, you may think you already know me
  • I’m not a virus, but I can cause sickness
  • Many people have died because of me
  • I’ve been received more than I’ve been given
  • I have no parents, but Faith and Hope are my siblings
  • Although I am blind myself, I’ve been known to show up at first sight

© Brian Evans for Wisdom’s Quill Blog, January, 2015

Figured it out?  If so, in the comments section below, explain how it has changed your life.  Looking forward to hearing from you.


As always, thank you for visiting Wisdom’s Quill. See you soon.

Keep Learning ♦ Keep Loving ♦ Keep Living

BE

 

Passion: The Currency of Happiness

Sitting here ruminating on my Blogging 101 journey thus far, I’m elated as my blog takes on a fresh and exciting new tone.  I couldn’t be happier.  I decided to go exploring, per our 101 assignment, to find a blog that really spoke to me in such a way as to inspire a blog post.  Seeing that there is no shortage of awesome talent on WordPress, I knew this task would not pose a challenge.

I came across a poem called The Everyday Under His Collar,” on Nicole Riget’s Blog.  The poem was about the everyday struggles that salesmen encounter when faced with quotas and rejection; while simultaneously attempting to maintain hopes that somehow seem to elusively retreat into the cave of tomorrows.  Having spent six years in sales, I immediately identified with the misery of fleeting hopes.  Although sales was a lucrative career for me, in many cases, the anticipation and preparation for the sales call exceeded customer buy-in.  I found myself always chasing the big one (the big account, the big bonus, the customer commitment, etc.)  It was exhausting.  One section of Nicole’s poem caused me to poignantly ponder the emptiness I experienced, when all of my preparation for a big sales call ended with the heartbreak that accompanied the “NO.”

“The failed,

the miserable,

the promises;

always of tomorrow.

The tomorrows’ building

into becoming nothing,

not-a-thing,

no thing at all.”

                                                           ~Nicole Rigets

As I read these lines, I thought about the feelings of dread that would grip me some days, just thinking about work.  Even though I was experiencing a measure of success, I was dead inside.  When I compare that career, to the one I’m working now, it’s like night and day.  What’s even funnier is, my current career doesn’t even pay as much as the previous one did; but for some reason, I feel much wealthier and fulfilled now.

Life has a tendency to abuse us in many ways by taking from us more than it gives.  We live in a state of deprivation; sleep deprivation, food deprivation, and social deprivation.  In essence, it’s all in the name of struggling to survive and thrive.  We’re chasing after tomorrows that never come.  We’ve all either been there, we’re there now, or we will be there soon. It’s time for a serious self-evaluation.

What is our life’s ROI?  What are we demanding in return for the time, energy, and money that we’re spending trying to thrive?  There is one thing, and one thing only, that life requires from us before it will give anything back; and that one thing is passion.  I’m not a multi-millionaire (yet), but I possess something now that I didn’t have back then…PASSION!

After reading Nicole’s post, I realized that there is another form of currency that exists beyond money.  It’s far more precious than gold; in fact, if used properly, it attracts money.  We may not be able to put passion in our wallets, but it does hide perfectly in our hearts.  Passion buys more than material possessions, it also buys spiritual treasures.  Passion fills every tick-tock of the clock with meaning, and not just minutes.  Passion is the only thing known to man, that allows us to walk boldly into the storehouse of life, and buy happiness.

Thank you, Nicole for indulging me.  You’re a great inspiration.


As always, thank you for visiting Wisdom’s Quill. See you soon.

Keep Learning ♦ Keep Loving ♦ Keep Living

BE

 

 20140516_105240

“What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. 

These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life’s pathway,

the good they do is inconceivable.”

 

                                                      ~Joseph Addison

 


 

As always, thank you for visiting Wisdom’s Quill. See you soon.

Keep Learning ♦ Keep Loving ♦ Keep Living

BE