I read the other night that the caterpillar changes its skin about four times before it moves on to encasing itself in a chrysalis.  Each time the caterpillar sheds its skin, its skin becomes more interesting. (1) Then eventually the caterpillar finds a safe, protected place, sheds its skin one more time, and that skin becomes a harder and harder casing that we know as the chrysalis. (2) It is in this hard, protective casing that the caterpillar becomes a butterfly.

This is where I have been the last year.  About a year ago, God began tying many pieces of my life together to point out some core false beliefs and broken patterns that He wanted to free me of…things I’ve lived from all of my life and to a varying degree in most of my relationships. 

So, I asked Jesus to break apart these broken patterns and make me new. 

I had no idea the year He would walk me into so that I would become new. 

This breaking off of that old “skin” came through my own health struggles, new parenting challenges, personal limitations, rejection, facing false beliefs and fears, and seeing myself honestly.

This breaking off of the old “skin” continued this way for about six months until I attended an incredibly powerful emotional healing training (click here).  Attending this training was the moment I identify as my chrysalis becoming complete…God using that experience to create a safe, protected space for me to go forward into the massive changing He was about to do in me.    

And that’s where I’ve been since.  In my chrysalis. 

God is doing some incredible things deep in my heart, in my little family, in how I live my everyday life, in how I care for myself, in how I interact with others, and in how I step into my place and call in His Kingdom.  But all of these changes have been protected and hidden in a safe place.  They haven’t been out in the open this time. 

Six months ago, I knew it was time to pause the blog.  I’ve written here some about a few things I wanted to share with you over these past few months, but honestly there is so much being overhauled inside me that it’s just too much to share out in the open.  I’ve written so openly in the past about all that God was doing in me and my life, much like the caterpillar shedding its skin over and over again out in the open for all to see…with small yet amazing changes happening each time…giving glory to an amazing Creator.  But now…this chrysalis season is something different.

What I know, though, is that Jesus is overhauling me.  He is breaking off the things that are not of Him so that I can ultimately live reflecting more and more of His original design.  It is in this place of deep transformation that I am currently living…quietly, safely, hidden, protected…so that when it is time, I will be able to break out ready to fly. 

Thanks for hanging in there with me as I live this chrysalis season!

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(1) Turnbull, Stephanie, Caterpillars and Butterflies, p. 13.
(2) Ibid., p.14-15.


A Freed Soul

This is the day to begin.  You’ve felt the prodding in your heart. There’s that habit that you just can’t shake…no matter how hard you try.  That secret you’ve never told anyone…but are beginning to wonder if it’s affecting you more than you thought it could.  Those patterns that you learned in childhood as “normal” but are becoming destructive in your life and relationships now.  These things that subtly haunt you, trap you, and weigh you down.  This is the day to acknowledge that they are there…and that you want to dismantle them.

Don’t worry.  You don’t have to completely dismantle them today.  But do decide today to take the steps toward dismantling them.

Every single one of us is impacted by patterns we learned in childhood, wounds we received along life’s journey, and our own propensities to veer away from God’s best for our lives (i.e. sin).   These three things affect us more than we realize.  Unattended to, these are the things that dismantle the very hopes and dreams we have…the very health and wholeness we long for within ourselves, in our relationships, and in our connection with God.  All too often, we just keep functioning within failing frameworks because it’s familiar.  It may not be healthy, it may not be whole, it may not even be remotely hopeful…but we trudge on because it’s familiar. 

But what if we stopped.

We if we said we were done with the familiar flawed functioning?  What if we said we wanted more?  What if we stepped out, took a risk, and pursued wholeness of soul? 

Sure.  It might be entirely destabilizing.  We might even feel like the rug is being pulled out from under us. 

But what if in the end, we found our footing on a ground more solid than anything we had previously known.  What if our whole lives could be different?  What if God could change you? What if you could feel hope?  What if you could feel whole inside yourself?  What if you could pursue health in your relationships, connecting meaningfully with those you love most, dismantling your destructive patterns and replacing them with life-giving ways of relating?  What if Jesus could actually transform you?

These “what if’s” are worth doing the hard work of the soul.  And today is a great day to deicide to engage this work.  Making the conscious decision to deal with your soul is always the first step.  Take it. 

See a therapist, go to counseling, join Celebrate Recovery, attend The Journey Training, schedule a SoZo session, talk to a trusted friend, read a book, tell the truth…tell the truth…tell the truth…say what’s inside that you’re too afraid to admit but desperately need to say if you’re ever going to be whole. 

Surrender yourself to Jesus’ overhaul of you.  Tell Him what’s not working, what’s hurting, what’s broken.  Because He is the only one who can truly and fully heal, change, free, and make whole.  You will never be able to do it on your own.

Believe and embrace that He does give:

Beauty for ashes.
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair*

Believe and live out the truth that:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.**

Do it for your marriage, for your kids, for the Kingdom…do it for yourself. 

Take a step toward wholeness of soul. 

Take the risk. 

It could change the rest of your life. 

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.  Galatians 5:1 (ESV)

But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:16-18 (ESV)

* Paraphrase of Isaiah 61:3 found in the song, “He Gives Beauty for Ashes” by Crystal Lewis.
** 1 John 1:9 (ESV)

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