Standing on the edge of a field of flowers, their was a young girl who stood holding in each hand a glass cage that was filled to the brim with colorful butterflies.
They are heavy, yet her grip remains tight for she is overwhelmed with excitement and love for them.
Yet eventually she grows weary, dropping the two glass cages onto the grass surrounding her bare feet. Surprisingly the glass does not break, but the door opens and the butterflies are set free. They flutter off into the sky enjoying their new found freedom.
At first the girl is sad, and she sits down and begins to weep, wanting to put the butterflies back into her cages. Wanting them to be next to her and feeling disappointed in herself for being unable to carry their weight.
As she is weeping over what she thinks she lost, a man comes and sits next to her And grabs her hand and pulls her up. She looks up and is in complete awe at what she sees. The sun is setting, magnificent colors reflecting off of the flowers that are in full bloom. The butterflies are flying around embracing their freedom, and the glass cages at her feet have began to shimmer and glow. And she realizes that all along they were lanterns, but the butterflies had been hiding the light within.
The girl raises her hand in worship, and as she does so several of the butterflies return to her and land gently on her and the lanterns that had once held them captive.
Recently I’ve realized in my life how quick I am to hold onto things in my life.
I hold onto friendships that are valuable to me and often times without meaning to I place expectations on people that lead to disappointment.
I hold onto people’s affirmation. Caring a little too deeply about disappointing people or letting them down.
I care about how I’m perceived. Often times in the way I open up to people or even in my writing I am very vague; giving people a glimpse into my heart but still maintaining distance.
This last week I had a moment at a prayer night at my church when I realized just how much I hold onto control of things and people. I’ve had a few friendships that I’ve struggled to let go of and to let them be what they need to be in this season. I’ve struggled with transitioning into my new job, feeing inadequate and unsure of myself. I’ve struggled with the weight of decisions, unsure of what I want to do with my life in this next season. I’ve struggled with how to let go of my past so I can move forward.
And I’m realizing that is okay. It’s okay to sit in those moments where I recognize what needs to be let go even when I don’t quite yet have the courage
Yet it’s a matter of what I do to start letting those things go in order to let my light shine.
For me, one thing that’s helped tremendously is going to counseling. My counselor helps me and equips me to recognize what I’m holding onto that’s dimming my light. She challenges me and teaches me how to let go so that I can shine a little brighter.
Another thing that I’m learning is vulnerability and how to allow people into the process. It’s a lot easier to let go of things and to find my passions when I allow people to hold me accountable and to pray with me and walk along side me.
In order to live fully alive and to thrive in your purpose you must let go of and release the things in your life that are weighing you down and dimming your light.
To release them isn’t to say you don’t care about them, but it is giving them to God. Knowing that his love and compassion is greater. Even when it is scary, it only ever brings growth and freedom.
Perhaps your butterflies in your life are people you hold to closely, wanting to call out the beauty within them but rather inhibiting their growth by not setting them free.
Perhaps it is a job or purpose you are holding tightly, but by letting it go God will bring something new that holds more beauty then you can imagine.
Is it a dream you are fighting for, or even the fear of the unknown? Whatever your butterflies are, dive whole heartedly into the process of letting them go and see how freedom takes root and your heart begins to thrive.
” ““You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
— Matthew 5:14-16