On Wednesdays we are thrilled to fling open the doors to all of YOU! We love hearing your dreaming stories…the lessons you’ve learned, the roads you’ve walked, the dreams He’s planted in your hearts! Today we are excited to welcome Kimberly Rae to God-sized Dreams. She shares how God used a butterfly as a reminder that it is ok to soar. Thanks for being here today, Kimberly!
Have you ever seen a framed butterfly? You can buy them in specialty stores. They are beautiful. Bright colors. Fancy frames.
The butterfly in the frame looks safe. Secure. Protected forever from wind, from disease, from decay.
But the butterfly is dead. Her wings are forever pinned to a board.
Once she flew free and beautiful and radiant. In doing so, each day she risked damage, hurt, and abuse from the world all around her.
But she lived. She flew. And sometimes she caught a gust of wind, and she soared.
I want to soar, but I find myself thinking backwards about what soaring means. I tend to think it means being active, busy, involved in some great way that makes me feel significant. Yet, however much those things fill me with temporary good feelings, in the end I find them actually becoming things that hold me down, keep me from true soaring—the freedom and flight that is true peace.
I fear what others think of me. I fear them looking at my life and assuming I am lazy because I am not involved in every possible activity at church, or I fear they will think I am incompetent if I say no to certain activities that might be expected of me. Perversely, one of the reasons I do not fly is actually myself—my own expectations of what a good woman of God should be, should look like, should do. I end up weighing myself down with anxiety and stress—things too heavy to carry into the clouds on my thin, weak wings.
I’m afraid to let go of the things that on the surface give me a sense of significance. I’m afraid to give up my clinging hold to what feels stable and secure. So I remain somewhere in between the butterfly that is free and the butterfly forever pinned down. I am not free, but the things that keep me on the ground are pins of my own choosing. Pins I myself placed to keep my wings from catching the unpredictable, uncertain winds of change and risk.
And yet, sometimes I look up and long for the wonder that could be mine if I would only take the chance.
I am not the only one. I see women all around me who are afraid. We see the fragility within our nurturing nature. We see the wind in the harsh world around us and fear the vulnerability in our small, thin wings. We want to protect ourselves. So we hide inside our schedules. We stay safe under a blanket of stress-producing expectations.
But to do so is to die to what God created us to be.
God created us to be beautiful, radiant, at peace. Not needing to prove anything.
God’s intention for us is beauty. He gave us the deep down desire to be feminine, to be beautiful, to put others’ souls at rest by our peace.
Like a butterfly, you have so much to offer the world—not in a multitude of impressive achievements, in just being you. In soaring unafraid, which is a song of praise to your Maker. In having a gentle and quiet spirit that is so precious to God, and so peace-giving to others around you.
The butterfly is beautiful, something that brings joy to its Maker, and joy to any who see it. If people stop and watch a butterfly, their hearts respond to its fragile beauty and its serenity.
Wouldn’t you want to be around someone like that? A woman who wasn’t competing with her looks or her talent or her accomplishments?
Wouldn’t you enjoy the soul-filling refreshment of being around a woman truly at peace?
God enjoys it, too. And He wants you to be that woman.
Stop hiding, dear butterfly. Stop trying to be so strong. In your quest for freedom you find yourself enchained.
Let go of everyone else’s expectations for you, and even your own expectations for yourself.
Award-winning author of over 20 books, Kimberly Rae lived in Bangladesh, Uganda, Kosovo and Indonesia before Addison’s disease brought her permanently back to the U.S. She now lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children, where she writes and trains on fighting human trafficking and preventing childhood sexual abuse. Her series of novels on international trafficking and missions (Stolen Woman, Stolen Child, and Stolen Future) are all Amazon bestsellers. Find out more at www.kimberlyrae.com.
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