Monday, October 15, 2018

One More Butterfly Story

Hello Ferree, 

I've had multiple butterfly encounters since Joe's passing but this is the one that tugs at my heart the most. 

My husband Joe suddenly passed on March 29, 2008. The good Lord never blessed us with human children, instead he blessed us with a golden retriever daughter we named Rommie. She was 5 1/2 at the time of Joe's passing...and just as ornery as any human kid. 

This is my story, my butterfly story, and my song. 

It was Friday, July 31, 2015. Rommie took a turn for the worse that morning after having been sick the night before. I made an appointment with her vet. My friend and a neighbor came over to help me get Rommie in the car as she could not walk anymore. She apparently had a stroke in the wee hours of the morning. 

About 6 months earlier I discovered the road that goes by my church is the most direct route to the vet's office. (Rommie was 12 and I finally figured out the best route to her doctors. Geez.) Once we got there, her doctor examined her and said prognosis was grim. After informing and consulting with my Mom and Joe's brother, I made the decision to let Rommie go live with Joe. 

I took the same route home and after I drove by my church, I had to stop at the next intersection. I immediately thought of the line "My chains are gone, I've been set free." from the Chris Tomlin song Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone). Rommie had hip dysplasia for years so her chain was gone and she was running freer than she had here. The light changed and I started through the intersection. All of a sudden, a little yellow butterfly edged in black flew across my windshield from the bottom to the top. I gasped and figured it was Rommie telling me goodbye and confirming she was running like the wind with Daddy. 

Rommie did not let her hip dysplasia slow her down. From the moment she woke up until Mr. Sandman put her to sleep at night, she lived out this verse: 

This is the day the Lord has made.
    We will rejoice and be glad in it. 

Psalm 118:24

~ Michele

P.S. She was cremated on August 5th, 2015 - her 13th birthday. 

Michele Kearns

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

A Widow's Story--Lucy

I have another butterfly story for you, but my friend Lucy in Chicago area just passed a milestone yesterday. Here is a glimpse of her testimony as she's followed Jesus through some tough times. Thank you for sharing Lucy. ❤ferree

Image may contain: Lucy Reyes Rodriguez, smiling, standing and indoorTen years ago today (Oct. 9) I was diagnosed with a rare cancer. I passed the 5 year marker for remission. God gave me life again when all looked hopeless. I live with a disability, which made it difficult to be a teacher or a paraprofessional in a normal school setting.
But now I volunteer and co-lead a 3-day-a-week after-school program ministry through my church for CPS kids, grades 2-4.
I also volunteer at the food pantry. I lead a women's grief support class and I work with volunteers to support my pastor. When God says He is not done with me, He helps me to do His work. I thank God for all He has allowed me to do.
Losing my husband and mom and my health are tragic for me, but joy has come back to me. Like I told a friend yesterday, severe illnesses do not make us throwaway people. That's when God can do great things through us.

Image may contain: Lucy Reyes Rodriguez, smiling, sitting, shoes and outdoor
Lucy's first mission trip-- to Puerto Rico this past July. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Butterfly Story from Colorado

This comes from Joy in Colorado. It's such a beautiful story, and she's only told it to 2 or 3 people over the years so I hope you will count this a real privilege. It reminds me of Romans 8:18,19 in which Paul says (parenthesis are mine)...
"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (Isn't that amazing? Do you ever think about that "glory?" I wonder about it all the time!) The creation (including butterflies) waits in eager expectation..."
Joy's Butterfly Story

When my husband, Arthur, passed away on November, 4, 2009 his body was cremated.  My daughter and I picked up his ashes and I just kept them for over a year.  At the time my daughter, Laura, was living in Pagosa Springs, CO, which is a very beautiful area very close to the Rocky Mountains.  In the summer of 2011, my other daughter, Gayle, drove up from TX with her two children, to where I live near Denver.  We went down to spend some time with Laura and her family in Pagosa.  On a Saturday, Laura, Gayle and I took Arthur's ashes and drove out to the West Fork of the San Juan River.  Arthur loved the mountains so we thought this would be a fitting place to scatter his ashes. 

We tried to find a quiet and rather private spot along the river to have a little ceremony and scatter the ashes.  We pulled off in one place where we could easily access the river by stepping out onto some large rocks.  Almost immediately a huge monarch butterfly came soaring down the river to where we were.  We were so amazed to see a butterfly in that area and immediately felt uplifted by its presence.  It hovered near us for a bit and then flew away.  Gayle, Laura and sang a few songs and choruses.  I can't remember what they all were, except I think we sang "Because He Lives".  Then we prayed together.  We hugged each other as we sang and prayed.  When we were finished, again the beautiful butterfly appeared near us.  We felt so heartened by seeing this and felt as though, in some way it was sent to encourage us in the loss of our husband and father. It was a lovely ending to our little ceremony.

Thank you for sharing, Joy! May the Lord continue His goodness and comfort, and may He shine through you.  💛 ferree

Monday, October 8, 2018

Butterflies and Beyond

Do you have a butterfly story to tell? Please comment or email me and I'll post it here.

This one still has me amazed:

While I was telling you about my mom's love for butterflies last week I got a letter from a man who's wife passed away in July. He started out, "...Just a few lines in Jesus name..." and it was a warm and loving little note about how God "called her home to a better Home," and that he missed her so much but was so grateful she had no more pain. We all know that feeling right?

They'd been married 50 years and God was so precious to them. And then he told me about a comfort from God when he's feeling especially lonely. Can you guess what it is? Butterflies!

At his wife's funeral he wrote a butterfly was fluttering through the sermon---I don't know if this was inside or outside, but isn't that beautiful? So now whenever he sees a butterfly he's reminded of that and it brings him comfort like a gift from God and his dear wife.

Since that day he's had three butterflies land on his left side, over his heart and shoulder.

I'm going to write back to him on this note card.

A widow friend gave me this card because it's a print of a painting that hung in her husband's room at the hospice center and she cherishes it. I've been saving it for something special and I think I know who to send it to now.

Do you have a butterfly story?

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Butterflies 2

The article about butterflies is here. It's called

Metamorphosis—A Symphony of Miracles
by Dr. Gordon Wilson on April 1, 2014. Answers In Genesis magazine.

There's also a video about Metamorphosis on the page. A picture is worth 1000 words, right? It got a bit technical for me but it was only ten or twelve minutes long.
I was struck with the similarities to widowhood in the following quotes from the video.

Speaking of the chrysalis of a Monarch butterfly, a scientist said,
"...transformation to an entirely new way of living is nearly complete...
Widows also transform to an entirely new and strange way of living. They didn't volunteer for it either.

Another scientist said that the caterpillar needed to 
"switch gears and form a new body plan." 
I'd say that describes what a widow does too. How do you function when it's like half you body is missing?

Widows are often secluded and very lonely... It seems that caterpillars are too:
"This timeless drama of death and renewal is performed in the seclusion of the chrysalis without audience or applause." 
I'll bet you haven't heard any applause either.

So much goes on in a widow's grieving heart.
"...transitions have to take place in the heart...You've got a great big orchestra going on in there and you've got a conductor...that's responsible for it all." 
This isn't only talking about changing into a butterfly, is it? It sounds like what a widow goes through too. Except that the conductor of her orchestra loves her personally and so deeply that He once sent His only begotten Son to rescue and redeem her. He won't abandon her during the dark days one spends in the cocoon of grief, wrapped up in herself like the wings of a butterfly.

One day God will help her break free from the cocoon and spread her wings. We can't rush the process though. ❤ferree

Tuesday, October 2, 2018


My mom loved butterflies and also loved to send me newspaper and magazine articles. Put those two facts together and I end up with a whole folder of photos from her butterfly gardens and, of course, some articles she clipped. I happened to take a look at it on Sunday afternoon. Unfortunate how little we acknowledge or pay much attention to someone until they're gone...

Mom did her fair share of driving me crazy, but she's left me a lot of clues and breadcrumbs to follow so I can get over the regrets and get to know what she was like deep down. She passed away in May and I'm finding that the grief is much different from when my first husband died. It's not as traumatic and tragic, but there are shades of similarity and those unexpected moments of emotion that surge up and recycle all losses.

This might be the grief talking, but as I read the butterfly article, I couldn't help but think how much butterflies and widows are alike. Here is the first phrase that hit me---

The creation of the butterfly
starts with the partial
destruction of the caterpillar.
Just like the caterpillar, a widow's life is broken down and partially destroyed. I remember those days. "When will the butterfly emerge," I wondered?

I will tell you about the rest of the article later this week. I don't want to drop it on you all at once. But butterflies are becoming pretty special to me, and especially since they were special to her. I think God even had them in mind when He inspired this verse:
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 
2 Corinthians 5:17

So don't give up yet. Caterpillars never give up. ❤ferree