The caterpillar had chosen a very conspicuous spot to weave it’s cocoon; right under the deck railing. Perfect! From this vantage point, the elderly man could sit at his breakfast table and watch while it worked away.
Then the work stopped. For days, it seemed as though nothing was happening. Had the caterpillar died? The man kept his eye on the cocoon, watching.
One morning, he noticed a wiggle. There was life in the cocoon! In fact, it quickly moved from a wiggle to a battle. The old man watched as the life within flung itself back and forth, trying to emerge.
He began to feel compassion for the beautiful butterfly working so hard to come forth. His heartache got the best of him. He quickly grabbed a knife, slitting the cocoon, releasing the butterfly. The battle was over! Yet, something was wrong. The beautiful creature creeped along the deck railing only to die.
The man failed to realize the struggle was part of the cycle the butterfly needed to make itself strong for it’s life ahead.
I heard this story at my daughter’s college orientation last Friday. It reminded me of how many times I have “slit the cocoon” in her life. Watching her struggle, I have too many times stepped in to try to make it better, only to stunt her growth.
Here is another opportunity as she heads to college; another chance to watch her emerge and not try to “help”.
As moms, when our child is struggling with an issue we fail to see the necessity of the process.
With the butterfly, from the outside, the 10 days of the chrysalis phase seems to be a time when nothing is happening, it is really a time of rapid change. Within the chrysalis the old body parts of the caterpillar are undergoing a remarkable transformation, called metamorphosis, to become the beautiful parts that make up the butterfly that will emerge.
Friend, what cocoon is your child trying to get out of to make their impact on this world? Veteran moms, what advice can you share with those of us who needs God’s strength to “let go and let God.” I’m looking forward to hearing from you in the comments below.