Everyone gathered in the living room minutes before the New Year ball dropped. Strangers, new friends, and those considered like family milled around as we waited for the countdown to commence. It had been a night full of laughter, drinks, games, and conversation. We reflected on the fading of 2018 as many echoed that it had been pretty tough for them. The consensus in the room is that we were all looking for a better 2019.
Our hostess stood to gain our attention and asked if we wanted to share our expectations for the upcoming new year. “What is your word for 2019?” Each answered something unique to them until it came to me. I hadn’t fully realized it yet but God placed the word metamorphosis on my lips. Metamorphosis is defined as “a change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one, by natural or supernatural means”. (Thanks, Dictionary.com!) Synonymous with the idea transformation, and reminding people of a butterfly, it dug itself deeply into my heart.
What does it mean to be seen by God? It is to be known fully as your current self and the fully realized potential, plan and purpose in you as well. With a word like metamorphosis all about permanent change happening for an entire year it would be easy to fall into a lot of fear. It seems to be my default emotion: fear of not being able to survive the process. Fear of failing God with all this humanness. Then I remember Isaiah 43. The whole chapter is amazing but the beginning of it really stays with me.
But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
To be known by God is to be called “mine”, to be claimed by Him in front of all nations. That’s the beauty of a God with His eye in all phases of time. He sees my struggle at the same time He sees me overcome. He has His eye on the entire process and walks me through it with a patience that can only be supernatural.
As always in this walk with God, I wasn’t completely aware of what I was signing up for when I co-signed His promise of metamorphosis. I just thought of the butterfly and but didn’t stop to consider the struggle of the cocoon. Did you know that the caterpillar literally dies in the cocoon? IT DIES! It is digested and broken down to the cellular level in which a completely new cells are produced so that a butterfly can be made. It’s not sleeping then waking up reimagined -- IT DIES, GETS BROKEN DOWN, AND THEN COMES BACK A NEW CREATION!
It’s only been the first quarter of the year and yet God has already made good on His promise. It has been a banner year of inspiration, faith, and growth. My fear of change, fear of failure, fear of success, fear of loneliness, fear of lack, and general fear of people have been tested. I am reminded on a weekly basis through prayer, study, and therapy that the way that I used to move in life no longer benefits me. I can already tell I am not the same.
Outside of my emotional cocoon, though, things look the same. My circumstances fail to show the transformation occurring. It frustrates me to look around and see so little movement in my day to day when I feel like there is supposed to be MORE. Then I remember my word. I remember the butterfly and how you can’t rush the transformation. I remember that God sees my valley and my mountaintop. I am a work in progress and ultimately, I am His.