“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it must go through to achieve that beauty.” —Maya Angelou
Butterflies. They are beautiful little creatures that we often admire as they flutter through our backyards or settle into flowers beds. But how often do we think about what the butterfly must have gone through to be what it is now?
The Catalyst staff recently held a fall retreat, where we had the opportunity to observe the very process that all butterflies undergo: metamorphosis. Our volunteer Lis brought in a chrysalis, which is a sac that protects the caterpillar from harm as it transforms into a butterfly. Not long after Lis graciously explained this transformative process, everyone gathered around to watch the butterfly break out of its chrysalis. What we saw was a small but mighty creature that was ready to emerge from a time of protection and shelter.
As the butterfly burst forth from its chrysalis, our staff and volunteers gasped in awe and wonder, for we were witnessing a complete transformation. What had started out as a caterpillar that could barely crawl now had wings and could fly.
It was at this moment that we could not help but draw a remarkable analogy that God placed in our hearts. This butterfly was the perfect representation of some of our residents at Catalyst Farms. While not every resident’s story is the same, many residents often come to us in caterpillar form, needing security, protection, and refuge from the abuse and oppression they have faced. These women in particular are far from their full form, but nevertheless we see their potential.
The encompassing love of the Lord through Catalyst Farms serves as their chrysalis, providing them with shelter, safety, support, and love like they have never known. During their time at the Farms, we proclaim to them their worth, adequacy, and capability in Christ. They are protected from further suffering and traumatization, while being provided with the resources they need to heal and become more of who Christ created them to be. Just as the butterfly waits for its wings within the chrysalis, our residents at the Farms have the opportunity to sit in the presence of the Lord as He heals their wounds.
Read the previous blog post here: State Governments Take Action To Protect Trafficking Victims, Prosecute Traffickers
It is during this time that we begin to see transformation that only Jesus can do. Women that were once treated as a commodity, a price tag, or a body part are coming to life as they learn the true value that Christ has given to them. Chains break, shame falls to the ground, and healing is found.
Knowing the Truth of who they are in Him, seeing the evidence of its reality, and being transformed in light of it, these residents are ready to emerge from the program. Metamorphosis has taken place. A beautiful butterfly breaks free. Love like this brings more than just healing, it also brings freedom. She can now touch the sky. Nothing is too high for her to reach with the wings that God has gifted her.
Second Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) embodies this transformation perfectly, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
It is said that the butterfly represents hope, and here at Catalyst Ministries we could not agree more. We are grateful that the Lord has provided such a beautiful illustration of what metamorphosis looks like in many of our residents. Though there may be survivors of trafficking still in caterpillar form, there is hope for those who put their trust in Jesus. For He is the Catalyst who has the power to transform lives and hearts, giving wings to those who call on His name.
“Just when the caterpillar thought its life was over, it became a butterfly” —Unknown