A wounded butterfly fell to the ground on a winter’s afternoon. One of her brilliant wings had been clipped and she struggled to maintain her course. Moments before her tumble, she had become entangled in a little boy’s net. While she had managed to break free, her injuries remained and she wondered if she would ever recover. Tired, rattled, and confused by how she had gone from traveling her normal, carefree path to such trauma and turmoil, she rest her head on a patch of burned out grass, trying to make sense of the events that had overcome her life.
For several months, the sweet butterfly had endured and narrowly escaped the grips of the little boy and his net as he ran towards her using twists, turns, leaps, bounds, and mind games in an effort to capture his prey.
As the months, weeks, days and hours passed, the defenseless butterfly became more and more tired of the constant threats to her well-being and—yet, at the time—she did not realize the toll these run-ins had taken. It was only as she lay broken and battered, pondering the past and what the future held in store that she began to understand the hardship she had suffered.
As she lay on the chilly ground with pain in her wing, the butterfly wondered what she had ever done to deserve the boy’s attack. Had she been too kind, fluttering around his head as if to say “Hello” and he had merely taken her advances incorrectly? Had she—in her travels—bothered him, leaving him angry and eager for revenge? Unable to rationalize such evil, the poor butterfly—beaten by life and circumstances—could not accept that she had done nothing wrong; in her battered and broken heart and through every fiber of her fractured wing, she knew she had to be guilty and the reason for her own plight.
For the next three weeks, the butterfly sauntered along, becoming more and more exhausted as she made her way along the ground, unable to fly and worrying that she would never again be whole, thanks in part to the atrocity she had known. Soon, the color began to fade from her wings, malnourishment began to set in and the little butterfly—once so full of life—began to see her very existence as hopeless, useless, and a complete waste of space. The blame she placed upon herself for not taking the little boy’s attempts at harm seriously; the guilt she took to heart, feeling that in some way she had caused her situation, and her inability to understand how such evil can exist in the world began to impact her emotional well-being to the point that the butterfly once pondered crawling into a muddy riverbed and allowing the mud and muck to smother her. Her faith depleted, her strength gone, the butterfly crawled towards the river before she collapsed. Soon thereafter, she heard a voice:
“Come here, my child; rest here with me and I will ease your sorrows.”
“Who’s there?” the butterfly asked. “I don’t see you.”
“Follow the sound and come to me.” the voice explained.
“But, I’m too weak to move. You see, I’ve been beaten, bruised and injured; I feel like I have no strength left. I can barely see where I’m going.”
Suddenly, a rainbow appeared; it was the brightest rainbow the butterfly had ever witnessed.
“Can you see now?”
The butterfly nodded, making her way to the end of the rainbow as the voice became stronger and stronger. With each step she took, she found her once-nearly lifeless body becoming stronger and stronger too.
At the end of the rainbow, the voice was the loudest she had heard.
“Feeling better?” the voice asked.
“Yes. What happened?” the empowered butterfly replied.
“Your strength has always been there; your beauty has too and you are much wiser than you ever knew.”
“How do you know this?” she inquired of the wise voice.
“Because I sent you to earth to do great things. You are my Creation. Now, go, spread your wings, keep your head held high and live in my light.”
“But, wait…. What do I do about little boys with nets and people who strive to hurt me?” she asked.
“Don’t worry about them. Their faith is not as strong as yours. Your heart can burn a hole through any pain they cause this world. Now, go and be beautiful.”
And the little butterfly did. With her faith restored and her wing healed, she flew across the countryside, spreading a beautiful message of hope. With each flight, she shared her story of survival, faith, peace and resilience. High and low, far and wide, she spoke of her pain, her loss, and how she was not alone as God showed her the way to health and healing.
Many times, she told herself that it did not matter if sharing her story with the masses saved the world, but if her story touched one life, then her effort was worth it. Time passed, but one day, the sweet butterfly flew past a baby bird that had been pushed from its nest.
“Come with me, child,” she said, “I’ll show you the way to the rainbow.”
Earlier this year, I was that butterfly – broken, lost, confused, and wondering how on earth I could ever recover from the atrocities I had known at the hand of emotional abuse. Because of my faith, I found my way to the rainbow and as a result, my strength has been restored. I have found the courage to fight for what is right, even if I discovered that what is right isn’t always popular. What is right and what is just: the truth is never wrong and a clear conscience is a beautiful thing, in and of itself. If I can dig deep and find a part of myself I never knew existed (courage I never knew I had), I know you can as well.
Reach down deep, remind yourself of your brilliance, and then spread your wings and fly. Your life is beautiful and you are so worth it! Don’t ever let anyone convince you otherwise and don’t ever let anyone steal your soul. The warmth in your heart can melt away any challenge you face, as long as you believe in yourself. At the end of the day, nothing else matters.
© 2012 - Jill Eisnaugle. All rights Reserved.