“Eventually, we all have to learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable in order to become something greater.”
A few weeks ago, I stumbled across this picture:
I was searching the net for something completely unrelated so this picture stuck out like a sour thumb. A cocoon. Smack dab in the middle of an unrelated image search. Hmmm…
Most of us learned about cocoons (or chrysalis) in elementary school and understand that caterpillars go in one as a caterpillar and come out as a butterfly. It’s common for us to skip right past the reality of the process and focus on the outcome. And that day was no different. I saw the picture and immediately tied it to its end result. End of story…keep scrolling. Right? Wrong! For some reason throughout the day I couldn’t shake the image of the cocoon. But why? I prayed and asked God what that was all about and He led me to explore and write down what a cocoon actually is. What it looks like on the outside. What it may look like on the inside. And even the thoughts & feelings of the caterpillar chilling inside.
On the outside, it looks:
4) Closed off
On the inside, I’d imagine it’s:
But when I got to how the caterpillar feels inside is where the revelation came.
I imagined it could feel:
9) Lonely, because it’s alone. Secluded from everything it used to see & know.
10) Uncomfortable, because who likes to be cooped up, especially in tight spaces?
11) Scared, because it’s just doing what it’s supposed to do (by making and going inside the cocoon) but is unsure of the end result.
Or maybe it’s…
12) Excited, because it knows the next stage in its life.
13) Out of control, because there’s no way to speed up, slow down, or stop this process.
Numbers 11 and 12 were loaded! I couldn’t help but wonder if caterpillars ever look at butterflies and know that is who they could eventually become. Something to think about….
As I was listing all of these things, God showed me how parallel the cocoon is to some hard, uninviting, unattractive, closed off, and [seemingly] unstable situations I’ve been facing lately. Like the cocoon, this season seems dark, tight, and uncomfortable. And honestly, I feel lonely, scared and completely out of control.
But with this comparison, He led me to look even deeper. To explore what else is inside the cocoon that makes all the discomfort worth it.
It didn’t take long for the answers to flood my mind:
and of course,
– God! – The only one capable of making something that seems so miserable work for good.
So, we can’t run from our cocoons.
Points when everything seems to fall apart and you’re stripped of everything that used to bring you comfort. Periods when nothing and no one settles you like it used to. Times when you feel alone even when there are people around. These are clear indications of your cocooning season. But too often, we avoid them and wind up picking up new habits or people just to try to fill the emptiness not knowing that we’re sabotaging a vital piece of our own growth.
Yes, those periods are hard but the purpose outweighs it all. And like the caterpillar, you’ll be confined to ‘ground level’ if you choose not to endure what’s necessary to get what’s already been predestined for you to have – your wings!
Today, my prayer is that you not only get the courage to accept/go into the cocoon season but to be #13 on the list above! Get Jeremiah 29:11 deeeeeeeeeep in your spirit and be excited about your end result! There will be times when the discomfort will seem harsher than staying at ‘ground level’ but I pray you’ll focus on WHO is in there with you more than what isn’t.
As my Bishop says… “You’ll win if you don’t give up!”