Attitude, Encouragement, Growth/Maturity, Pain, Patience, Stress, Trusting God

The Butterfly’s Pupa

“You, therefore, must be perfect [growing into complete maturity of godliness in mind and character, having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity], as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:48 Amplified Version

Life Cycle of the Butterfly

When a caterpillar’s life cycle approaches its end a pupa (pew-pa) is formed from the belly of the caterpillar. Starting at the belly, a silk anchor is attached to a leaf or tree to affix the next structure, a pupa. In a butterfly, the pupa is called a chrysalis.  The purpose of this stage of life is to transition the caterpillar (the child like phase) to the adult phase. The chrysalis appears to be lifeless and dormant from the outside but on the inside there is a transformation taking place. The old organism is dying while new features of a more mature organism are developing. This pupae stage may last for weeks up to years, before the butterfly emerges. There is only one way the pupa can be opened and that’s by the fore limbs of a mature butterfly. Once the pupa is slit, the butterfly must squeeze out. This is a very tough process for the butterfly because the pupa is very tight; it was formed to the shape of the caterpillar. This is a very important stage; squeezing out of the pupa allows the butterfly’s blood, called haemolymph, to flow through its wings in order for it to fly. It can’t fly without being pressed.

Have you ever wondered why your life seems to be dormant, lifeless, or at a standstill? Ever wondered why it seems as though your friends are progressing and you are remaining stagnant?  You, my friend, may be in a metamorphosis. Do you feel as though God has planted something in your “belly” but yet you are not moving forward with it? Feeling stuck at the belly like a caterpillar in its pupa? I want to encourage you to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12 NIV) It is very important in this stage to wait and be patient. Emerging too early will cause the butterfly to get stuck in the silk wrapping causing it to die.

The caterpillar stage is the immature phase of the butterfly’s life cycle, but in order to become as regal as the butterfly, the caterpillar must go through the dormant phase of the pupa. On the outside, the pupa seems as though it is encasing “nothing;” however, what’s going on in the inside is growth and maturation. God is developing your character and cleaning your heart. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, (Romans 5:3-4 ESV)

Or maybe you are in the process of your breakthrough. God has been working behind the scenes and now the press is really beginning to hurt, it’s squeezing you, just like the emergence out of the pupa. This stage is necessary because without the “squeezing action” your wings will not be equipped to fly. But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31 KJV)

At the end of this complicated life cycle, a beautiful butterfly emerges. The butterfly is an organism made by God that many of us marvel over its beauty and grace but we often forget about the stages that occurred prior to the display of this beautiful creature. Blessed is the man (woman) who remains steadfast under trial, for when he (she) has stood the test he (she) will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12 ESV)

Dear Daddy,

I come to You sincerely and humbly praying to You during my “pupa” phase. Only You know which stage I am in, but God help me to delight in it. Help me to wait cheerfully. As I continue through this phase help me to remember that this dormant phase is not dormant at all, but You are developing me. At the edge of my breakthrough, help me to remember that although it may hurt, the “squeeze” is necessary. Above all things, help me to remember that You will never leave me, nor forsake me. In Jesus’  Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you today to rest in the power and assurance that God is developing you. Be confident in knowing that the trials you face are necessary for your butterfly period. My prayer is just as the butterfly shows no sign of struggle or pain that you emerge in the same way.

Another note: By nature, butterflies typically emerge in the morning, just after the night.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Pain Before Pleasure

As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is College Biology Instructor. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Higher Ed and Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV) She teaches Young Adult Bible Study and Sunday School and also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment.  Khalilah resides in Millbrook, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their energetic three-year old daughter. They attend St. Luke Christian ChurchCheck out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here.

19 thoughts on “The Butterfly’s Pupa”

  1. I’ve been excited all week to read each day’s post. Each day I can see how God has orchestrated the posts to cover different perspectives on the issue of struggles/storms (before, during, and after). Many of the same scriptures or examples have been used either in the post or comments. I’m excited, because I know that is evidence that God is at work and as a result lives will be changed…low key lol @metamorphosis

    1. I was thinking the same thing. I try to make sure I don’t read posts before I write mine to ensure I don’t influence my writing. God is definitely showing himself. These are “God Moments!”

  2. Beautiful, Khalilah, simply beautiful and well put together. What a message!!! God knows exactly what He is doing. I can’t tell you how much I needed this message, this morning. Thank you. But I do have a secret, I have not learned to rejoice in my sufferings…I am quiet about it and know not to complain but rejoicing…not there yet.

    1. The blessed thing about revealing secrets is that it gives God a chance to help you with. Many of us are not there yet, but recognition is the first step.

      I’m glad this blessed you.

  3. Khalilah (yeah I used your govt name)~

    This is absolutely beautiful! I LOVE how you wrote this. And just like I said on Chancee`s post yesterday, God really had His hand on this week’s lineup…

    This write up is so relevant to my life right now, not only because Im wrapped tightly right now with everything going on in my life. But also because my little first grader was just educating me on the chrysalis. Her classroom waited patiently for 35 of their chrysallses (sp?) to open and see the beautiful butterlies emerge. I cant wait to share this EmpowerMoment with her. (Yes, I will read this to my 6 yr old!)

    Since she knows just how long it took some of them to open, this is such a great lesson for the both of us. She even had to wait for “hers” to open so she could hold the butterfly on her finger and release it outside. All of her friends’ seem to be opening before hers and she would come home discouraged wondering when it would be her turn. I had to keep reminding her to be patient because it was coming; hers wasnt quite ready yet….REVELATION: Sometimes everyone around us is coming out yet we are still stuck. But HOLD on ladies….your turn is coming! “For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised.” Hebrews 10: 36

    Thanks Kay for such an awesome word!

    (Sorry for the 2nd EmpowerMoment! I know its loooong but I had alot to say. Im excited!)

    1. That’s awesome!!!!!! Tell Little K, it’s coming. (Surely J isn’t in the 1st grade or I need to buy some Olay rejuve lotion, lol).

      I’m blessed by her lesson in school. Its true, everything we need to know about life is taught in elementary school!

  4. Khalilah V. Burton as I read this my heart warmed and had a praise in my spirit. This scientific explanation of where God has me right now is overwhelming. I absolutely love the way you can use your background to explain God’s marvelous works. Wait wait wait until I am released to stretch my wings…eyes have not seen nor have ears heard ……

  5. Wow, this must be the word for the day, the week, THE YEAR!! I posted something similar on my blog today ( about being in a place, or experiencing a season, and you’re not sure why you’re there, but know that there must be some purpose for you being there and that something better is up ahead. I strongly believe that God is preparing me for a shift, a season of change, and I am looking forward to making the journey with Him. And from the looks of the comments, it doesn’t seem that I am alone!

    I LOVE Empowermoments!! Continue to be obedient in your call, and be encouraged in knowing that you really are helping your readers, like me!!

    Peace and Blessings.

    1. “Winds of Change” very thought provoking blog. I chuckled when you mentioned how the churches were packed due to their glimpse of hell, lol.

      But you are right, we go through seasons and we have to recognize when it begins, when to relish, and when to leave.

      Thanks for reading!

  6. Kay,
    What an amazing post!!!! Spoke to my heart and spirit on so many levels!!!! I tell you Kay that I had to read this TWICE because I was just in it!!!! I feel like God has definitely put something in “my belly” and I just don’t know how to execute what he’s placed in me but I’m holding onto your advice as to not emerge too quickly and not do right by the gift He’s revealing to me. My sincerest prayer is that I’m patient enough and attentive enough to see when He’s showing me my next move/next step. I pray for the patience to see this “vision” through, all in His perfect timing and His perfect will. I loved this post!!!! God bless you Kay!!!!!

    1. Thanks for such kinds words Dee. Hold on, in due time, He will reveal to you when to go forward. My prayer is that He continues to make your ears sensitive to His direction.

      God bless you…

  7. Again,thank you ladies. I was unable to read yesterdays entry because it was my hubby’s birthday and we also went house hunting so that took my time,but I read both(yesterday’s and today’s entries) today and I must give glory to the Father! “Preparation for transformation” this is so like God to make yesterday and today connect. Maya Angelou said,”We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” Ms.Kay and Lundy you both have brought truth to this quote with your God given gifts and open ears to his voice.Again I say,”CONTINIUE EmpowerMoments”!

  8. Hallalujah !!! Times like these are also very valuable when we take a close look. I regroup, plan, cast away old things, ideas etc. It was not always this way but I have learned from the scripture that says in whatever situation i find myself be content !

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