week 8: wrap-up (metamorphosis: embracing a life of becoming)

METAMORPHOSIS-01

Welcome! We’re wrapping up 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!

Introduction
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
Week 6 – Cocooning, Part 2
Week 7 – Flying

Transformation is a wholly biblical concept. Not only do we see it played out chapter by chapter, as God’s people experience metamorphosis, but God has also hidden the concept of metamorphosis in multiple places throughout the Bible.

Romans 12:2 says,

“Be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind.”

The Greek word for transformed is metamorphoo, which means, “change into another form, to transform, to transfigure.

It’s the same word used to describe the transfiguration of Jesus in Matthew 17:2 and Mark 9:2,

“There he was transfigured before them.”

And it’s also the same word used in 2 Corinthians 3:18 when Paul says to the people of Corinth,

“Now all of us, with our faces unveiled, reflect the glory of the Lord as if we are mirrors; and so we are being transformed, metamorphosed, into His same image from one radiance of glory to another, just as the Spirit of the Lord accomplishes it.” (The Voice)

This life we live here on earth — it is divinely designed to transform. To transfigure…change form. As we discussed before, a true and complete metamorphosis happens when all four stages of a butterfly’s life come to pass — birthing, crawling, cocooning, flying.

And the same goes for us.

So what does it mean to change into one with wings…one who is free and can fly?

In 2 Corinthians 3:18 above, the Greek word for image is eikon, which means “an image, a likeness. The image of the Son of God, into which true Christians are transformed, is likeness not only to the heavenly body, but also to the most holy and blessed state of mind, which Christ possesses.” (Emphasis mine)

When we metamorphose, we reflect Jesus. True Christians are transformed into the image of God. But we aren’t just made into His image and don’t just reflect His image — we are transformed into it. And not just into an image of Jesus’ heavenly body, but also to the most holy and blessed state of mind of Christ.

It all ties together? Do you see?

We are transformed by the renewing of our mind; we are transfigured into the likeness of Christ’s most holy and blessed state of mind.

And like 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, it’s a process. It’s from one radiance of glory to another — or as other translations say, “from glory to glory.”

1 Thessalonians 5:23 tells us, “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.”

From one phase into another phase — from one time of metamorphosis into another time. And each time, our wings get bigger and more beautiful until one day we truly fly the freest of all in heaven.

From glory to glory. Through and through. Over and over. Again and again. Rinse and repeat.

Paul tells the Galatians in 4:19, “My dear children, I feel the pains of birth upon me again, and I will continue to labor for you until the Anointed One is formed completely in you.”

The word formed here is morphoo.

Any guesses as to what it’s a synonym of?

Yep — metamorphoo. Metamorphosis. Thayer’s lexicon says that morphoo is: “To form, literally, until a mind and life in complete harmony with the mind and life of Christ shall have been formed in you.”

Our metamorphosis’ — our transformations, again and again, over and over, rinse and repeat — are to bring us to a place of complete harmony with the mind and life of Christ.

And since that harmony cannot be complete until we are in heaven, of course we have to continue to go through times of birthing, crawling, cocooning and flying. Again and again and again. Because to metamorphose is to completely and utterly change form, from one thing to a wholly other thing. And for us — sinful and earthly creatures, transfiguring into the image of Christ requires endless cycles of transformation.

Listen close, friend. You are not alone in experiencing this. It happens to churches and to families and to individuals and to friends. To corporations and schools. It happens everywhere and it’s happening all around you and in you all the time.

The key is to change your perspective — renew your mind — and realize it has to happen.

My friend, when you’re experiencing a season of crawling because a loss of a loved one, stand firm — because cocooning is coming. When you’re crawling through a season of lack of provision, stand firm — because flying is right around the corner. When you’re soaking in a season of birthing, gird yourself — because the crawling and testing will come. And when you’re flying freely on the wind of the spirit, nod knowingly, understanding with the mind of Christ that another cycle of metamorphosis is just around the corner.

Because it has to be.

But do not lose heart and do not give up and do not give in! God is transforming you into the most beautiful image He could ever transform you into — into the likeness of His son’s heavenly body and most holy and blessed mind.

So embrace your life of becoming. Rest and be still and trust The One who has designed this life to be one of transformation.

You’ll soon fly away, freer than ever.

Thank you so much for sticking with me through this long series. My earnest prayer is that somehow God has been able to speak through it to your specific situation to bring you hope and peace. I pray He has been able to give you a sense of anticipation for tomorrow. You are such a blessing to me.

Much love,

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week 7: flying, part 1 (metamorphosis: embracing a life of becoming)

METAMORPHOSIS-01

Welcome! We’re wrapping up 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!

Introduction
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
Week 6 – Cocooning, Part 2

We are all too eager to fly, are we not?

We stare at those who are flying with jealousy — wishing we too, could soar freely, letting the wind carry us. And as we watch — jealous and amazed and yearning — we don’t think about the process that brought them to freedom. We don’t think about their birthing and crawling and cocooning phases.

We just assume they’ve always flown — always only known flying — and that we’ll never be as free as them.

And really, we are thisclose to being as free as them. The only difference between us and them is that they chose to fly.

Choosing to emerge from the cocoon is hard. The cocoon felt safe and secure and cozy and warm…and even if it was a cocoon of testing and purifying, there was a sense of safety.

But the cocoon is designed to make us fly. Because that’s when butterflies undergo such a growth that if you surgically remove one wing, the other three will grow larger and it will still. be. able. to. fly.

It’s echoes what Job said — “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him.” (Job 13:15)

And coming out of that cocoon — transformed completely — requires everything different from us. It requires standing when we never stood. It requires stretching with limbs we’ve never known. It requires using all things new that were born out of our process…and that feels foreign and unfamiliar and lunky and awkward, to be honest.

And because it’s different from what we’re used to, we avoid it completely.

And we just. never. fly.

While flying is freedom and anticipation, it’s mostly uncomfortable and daunting. It’s an excitement and renewed hope — but it also requires action.

God cannot make us fly. We have to choose to fly all on our own, and trust that we will. (tweet)

And to fly, we have to be the ones to break out of the cocoon. And then we have flap those new wings back and forth and up and down to stretch them out and strengthen them and pump blood to the new bones.

And then, we fly.

The outcome of flying could be very different from what you expect because The One orchestrating our flight has ways that are higher.

And it’s scary and fun and uncomfortable and exhilarating, because we have not been this way before. 

When we allow God to bring us through a metamorphosis, we are free to fly. And that frees us to be and do everything God has planned in advance for us to do. As ones who now fly, we, like birds, are free to:

  • soar high above the earth in the broad expanse of sky (Genesis 1:20)
  • find our footing after the storm (Genesis 8:12)
  • bring food to those in a valley (I Kings 17:6)
  • be known by God (Psalm 50:11)
  • be freed from the net and the trap (Psalm 124:7)
  • be kept safe by the Lord, like Jerusalem (Isaiah 31:5)
  • soar like eagles (Isaiah 40:31)
  • nest in the beautiful cedars (Ezekiel 17:23)
  • not worry about food and drink for ourselves (Matthew 6:26)
  • fly to our place in the desert (cocoon), and are cared for and kept safe from the devil (Rev 12:14)

So we fly in freedom and in purpose, and more — because we more important than the birds (Matthew 10:31). So we fly assuredly and confidently, knowing The One who painted our wings has also painted the skies we fly in. (tweet)

Embracing a life of becoming is to embrace the ebbs and flows of being in process. It’s to recognize what phase of transformation God you’re in, and to settle into it, allowing God to make you a beautiful, flying creature. It’s to stop striving so hard to move on from phase to phase, and to patiently trust that what God is creating is more important than where you are. It’s to recognize the purpose in your phase, and to realize you are not stuck.

It’s to recognize that while you are flying now, you’ll soon be crawling again, too. And to realize that’s not just okay, it’s normal.

Embracing a life of becoming is to flap your wings and take off into the unending sky — and fly.

MDS-SIG-01

on coming out of hiding

butterfly

I’ve come back here, to this place, many times over the past few weeks. And I’ve sat and stared at a blank screen and felt a complete range of emotions. Exhausted, overwhelmed, frustrated, bored, lonely, fruitless.

I thought my little break was a chance to take a breather from the chaos of the striving and unwind a bit. To cocoon, if you will…give myself place to regenerate.

And then, one fine morning as I savored my coffee, my husband said I needed to get over it.

Get over what?

The feeling that it’s not worth it, not worth doing. Not worth writing.

Oh. That.

His words pierced a place I didn’t even know I was masking.

And the tears that projectile’d forth across the ottoman were proof that what started as a valid little break might have morphed into a foundation upon which I built a wall to hide behind.

Because the truth is, I haven’t felt like it’s been worth the effort. In most areas of my life, it feels like my efforts have brought forth so very little results. And so, like most times in my past, I gave up and ran away. I ran away from my own desires and heart and pathway to God.

Does anyone else do that too?

It’s funny, though, how God doesn’t let you quit though, even when you want to. How His whispers and inklings and nudges and prods interrupt your previously scheduled apathy and stir something inside of you.

– Like when your husband tells you to get over it and expects to see you have written something. Soon.

– Or a friend you haven’t met in person feels prompted to email you and conveys how much your writing has ministered to her and her Bible Study, and to be encouraged.

– Or another friend you haven’t meant in person prays for you and physically mails you a card with, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).

And in three fell swoops, the quietly-erected wall crumbles and into a heap and the truth shines brightly despite tear-stained vision.

How can I not believe He is for me??

I’ve allowed the results to determine my success, not the process. And oh, the lies we believe when we focus only on the results! God doesn’t care about the butterfly flying as much as He cares about the transformation that takes it from a crawler to a flyer. And what charges Him about us is not the end result, but the transformation that takes us from dead to alive.

Because the reality is, results will happen eventually, anyway. Just His way. His timing. And…His definition of success.

It’s taken me the past few months and this process of trying and failing and cocooning to realize that my heart’s true desire is for the process. It’s the continual being in the process of that brings me closer to Him, more connected to Him, dependent on Him. And it’s been necessary for me to go through this quiet process — not so God knows where my heart is, but so that I can know it for myself.

So I’m committed to not quitting. To getting up and dusting myself off and coming out of hiding. To walking through another process with Him.

Oh, and writing again.

What about you? Do you need to get up and come out of hiding, too? I am committed to being the friend you’ve never met who will cheer you on and hold you up when you need it most. And I am believing in your transformation, wholeheartedly.

Here’s to flying freely, my friend.

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