Back in the early spring, Stacey, Lesley, Daddy and I visited the cemetery as Jeffrey and his assistant placed the tombstone at Les’s grave. While we were there, Lesley noticed this beautiful dark blue, maybe purplish, butterfly that kept hovering around. We were both quite taken with it and couldn’t help but wonder about its presence at that particular time. Yesterday, my dad and I loaded up the lawn mower, weed eater, rake, shovel, grubbing hoe, etc. and headed back down to Duplin County to clean up the cemetery. Once there, I walked over to Les’s tombstone and laid one of my tools on the top so I could put on my work gloves. When I looked up, a beautiful dark blue, maybe purplish, butterfly had alit right there beside me. I was once again filled with wonder. I found myself talking to this butterfly who just stayed right there and even allowed me to touch him.
Ever since Les moved in with Jesus, I have hoped he would be in one of my dreams so I could see him and just know he is good. (Of course, I know he is because God promises that for those who put their trust in Him.) That hasn’t happened for me, but Stacey did actually experience that not too many weeks after the funeral. The only thing that’s happened to me was I heard him call my name one night right after I laid down. It was just like when he would come in from a meeting or from working late. He would always call my name as he turned the corner from the kitchen toward the bedroom so I wouldn’t be surprised when he entered the room. That night, it was so real it took a few moments before I realized he wasn’t really there.
Now don’t read a bunch of stuff into this that’s simply not there, but that butterfly gave me peace. No, I haven’t seen Les in a dream, but I believe God used that butterfly to let me know that all is well. Think about it. This butterfly used to be a caterpillar but is now experiencing a new life. Les is experiencing new life also. The “new life” he found in Jesus has now culminated to eternity. Hey, it could have just been a butterfly, but isn’t it the least bit interesting that what seemed to be the same butterfly was there in March and again yesterday?!?!?
Becoming a widow has brought with it some very unexpected consequences. Unless you’ve walked in a widow’s shoes you won’t understand this. I’ve probably said this before, but everything changes. It is hard to find where you “fit” anymore. Because of this, I am finding it easier to begin anew in almost every area of my life. It is easy to think you are just plain crazy. Fortunately, I have a counselor with whom I e-mail my thoughts and questions and frustrations. He has helped me so much as I make difficult decisions, some of which may seem wrong from the outside looking in. This is part of what he said to me about some of the changes I am making.
“I don’t think that what you’re doing is “wrong”. It may feel that way, because
as Christians we want to work through and work out everything with our brothers
and sisters, but sometimes it takes stepping away just like you are planning to
do in order to heal and gain a perspective that is healthy. Of course some will
not understand, others will, and some will remain clueless. The point is that
you have to take care of your spirit and find a safe space to heal.”
Last night, I believe I may have found a safe space in which to allow myself to truly heal. The love of God was poured out on me through some sweet folks who just love the Lord with all their hearts and who allow that love to flow out onto others. To most of the world, nine months seems like plenty of time to be “over it.” I used to think that , too. But I’m not “over it.” There is still a lot of healing that needs to take place. I am giving myself permission to take care of my spirit and find a safe space to heal!! I hope you will be among those who understand.
The love of God was manifested to me yesterday through His creation: a beautiful butterfly and a small gathering of His people. It was good!
Lots of love, Sharon