week 6: cocooning, part 2 (metamorphosis: embracing a life of becoming)


Welcome! We’re over halfway through our series on embracing a life of becoming. If you’ve new to this series, I invite you to read the previous weeks if you want to catch up!

Week 1 – Birthing, Part 1
Week 2 – Birthing, Part 2
Week 3 – Crawling, Part 1
Week 4 – Crawling, Part 2
Week 5 – Cocooning, Part 1

If you’re anything like me, the majority of your 20s were spent crawling. Mine was a running/crawl — running far, far away from things that were hard toward anything (anything) that felt remotely not hard.

But running is still running. And running away also meant I was running toward, and eventually I smacked face-first into the wall and when I came to, God graciously met me, and it was time to cocoon.

My cocooning started with tip-toeing into the only church I felt remotely comfortable in. I slid into a pew in the back row, under the balcony, always 5-10 minutes late.

On purpose.

And I would cry my eyes out.

Every single week I would convince myself I didn’t need to pack Kleenex and every single week for six months I sat on the back row, under that balcony and almost literally cry my eyes out.

The sweet usher would always look at me with compassion and grace in his eyes but never say a word, for which I was eternally grateful. I knew his prayers covered me, and that was all I needed, because I wasn’t sure words existed that could explain what I was going through. So instead, I just sat and allowed God to wash over me with His presence and His word and His healing.

It was painful, but that good kind of painful. That fixing-up-a-skinned-knee kind of painful…it stings but you know it’s for your good, so you’re able to inhale sharply when needed but you don’t faint. A stitching-together kind of painful. That kind.

I never went on Sunday mornings during this time, or Wednesday nights. And certainly not to the singles group. What I was experiencing was so personal and so isolating that I wasn’t ready to talk about it, or try to figure it out and explain it. I just wanted to sit very, very still in it and just be in it.

And so every Sunday afternoon, I would decide I was okay and didn’t need to go to church, and then at 6:30 I’d realize how desperate I was to get there and I’d climb into my car and get to church late. And I’d slip out early as quietly as I slipped in, so as to avoid any conversation, and just sat very, very still in my cocoon for six months.

I could sense when the cocooning season was coming to a close. There was something different about me — in my soul — although I couldn’t identify it. I simply began to feel restless and bored, yet frightened and uncertain. But the overwhelming feeling was that where I was and what I was doing just wasn’t enough.

And one thing remained — I wasn’t the same anymore and was determined not to crawl back to where I came from.

And then it was time.

And one sunny Sunday morning, I used my new and foreign claws to dig myself out of the cocoon. And I walked up the steps to church and the singles group and used my new straw-like tongue to sip the sweet nectar of community.

I hadn’t expected to find others who were in varying stages of metamorphosis. There were eaters and crawlers and cocooners and flyers — but they were all walking their phases together in one big, beautiful, butterfly garden. They were cheering on the eaters and encouraging the crawlers. Praying and loving on the cocooners and celebrating with the flyers.

It was a heavenly vision — a demonstration to me that the next time I crawled, I didn’t have to do it alone. Others would be there to help me.

The Butterfly Keeper was there, in the middle of it all, welcoming me to the fold with his compassionate eyes and unwavering strength, hand extended and palm up.

And He smiled down on me and whispered,

It’s time for you, little one, to fly.

I’m so excited for next week’s post on Flying. God has given me some beautiful imagery, and I pray you’ll come back next Monday to hear what He has to say. Be blessed this week!


week 5: cocooning, part 1 (metamorphosis: embracing a life of becoming)


Thank you for coming back! We’re halfway through our series on embracing a life of becoming. If you’ve new to this series, here are the previous weeks if you want to catch up!


Week 1 – Birthing, Part 1

Week 2 – Birthing, Part 2

Week 3 – Crawling, Part 1

Week 4 – Crawling, Part 2

After all that crawling, the cocoon can be a welcome relief, can it not? The place we can hole up and stop fighting so hard. Where we can regenerate and replenish and let go and be.

And sometimes it is. Sometimes it is a place of safety, of quiet, of introspection and protection and guidance. A time when God lets you have a breather and you exhale and decompress for a spell.

And those cocoons are sweet. They are a respite for a weary soul and precious times to cherish.

There is a challenge in this particular cocoon, though, and that is to fight complacency. Because it’s sure cushy in there and it seems good enough, right? The welcome relief of the crawling being over can be misleading and convince you that you’ve been transformed and are flying.

When really, you’re not flying at all. You’re just stopping.

Absence of pain doesn’t equal freedom. Flying equals freedom. (tweet)

I believe Abram would agree with this. From my perspective, his crawling time was fathering Ishmael with his servant, instead of waiting on God to provide an heir His way. But Abram’s cocooning time was when God changed his name. God said,

To symbolize your foundational role in this covenant, I hereby change your name.” (Genesis 17:5)

And Abram became Abraham and he cocooned for a time, wrapping up in his new name and his wife’s new name. During that time he stopped focusing on the word promised to him and instead interceded for Sodom and Gomorrah. He sheds the skin of fear by pretending for a time that Sarah is his sister, and yet God protects him.

He’s close to God, spoke to by God, protected by God. Flying, right?

But then Isaac is born. At his and Sarah’s old, old age, their son is given to them and then Abraham truly knows what it is to fly, God’s way.

* * *

But the cocooning phase can also be misleading. Sometimes it’s a place of waiting and sheltering and dying to self…and it is easy to think you’re not really cocooning — that instead somehow, you’ve just moved right into Crawling 2.0.

It can be a season of everything being tested — our desires, character and integrity. Where we have to answer the question,

Are you willing to let the caterpillar die, so that the butterfly will live? (tweet)

Like the Israelites. I’m sure when they left Egypt only to wander in the desert they felt as if they entered Crawling 2.0. They grumbled and complained because they couldn’t see the Promised Land they were told they would enter.

But if you look closely, it’s evident they were in a time of cocooning:

  • God led them the entire way, a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
  • He provided everything for them — food and commandments and clothes that wouldn’t wear out.
  • He tested their will and desires and character and integrity, asking them if they were willing to let their dusty and enslaved caterpillars die so the butterflies might live.

God wants butterflies who know how precious the freedom to fly is…who will not take it for granted.

And while God is helping us shed some of our sinful self when we crawl, it’s in the cocooning that he polishes us.

Cocooning might not feel like a safe place sometimes, but it truly is. Because even in the wrestling with God we do in that chrysalis, it’s where the physical and spiritual transformation happens.

It’s where we get our wings.

And isn’t that the most breathtaking, majestic and awe-inspiring part of the whole transformation? That we go through an actual metamorphosis — the transformation from old to new. That we absolutely and completely change is better than the flying itself.

Many people get stuck in the cocoon and they never emerge and fly. Sometimes it’s because they are too comfortable with the ground and crawling and using their feet — and are too afraid of the sky and using wings, to fly.

Others wait and wait for God to free them from the cocoon, when in reality, the butterfly has to get itself out of the cocoon. It has to use its new claws that are foreign and unfamiliar and dig itself out into a world that is brand new to them, because they are brand new. They can’t even eat the same anymore — their mouths go from having teeth that chew to a long tongue used for sipping.

All that newness is intimidating, sometimes. And so we sit in the cocoon, praying and praying for the day God breaks it open, when He’s watching and saying,

“Get up, get going and move on.” (Deuteronomy 2:24, The Voice)

The cocooning is not a place to fear or to forever hide in. It’s a place God designed for the divine purpose of bringing transformation to your life.

Because it’s only through this transformation that you can do what He designed for you to do.