Friday, August 15, 2008

A New Creation

The most amazing thing happened to my little family this evening.

It all started on (or around) Sunday, August 3rd, almost 2 weeks ago. Chris went out to pick tomatoes in our little garden and he noticed these bright green and black caterpillars all over our dill plant. Well, we all had to go out to see these little buggers, especially Ali and Livi who seem to be extra inquisitive about creepy, crawly creatures. We looked and watched and examined and looked some more. There were probably 20-25 caterpillars on our one dill plant! So, I suggested getting a good ol' fashioned mason jar, poke some holes in the lid, and put a couple fat guys in there so we can bring them in the house, research them, and watch them. I got on the internet and discovered that our cats were black swallowtails and that they ate, obviously, dill, parsley, and other plants from that family of herbs. The website said that they made pretty good little pets, despite the fact that they were eating, pooping machines! (Yes, caterpillars poop . . . a lot!) And they did make fun pets! We got rather attached to the little, wormy fellas. We even named them - Johnny and June!

Well, Johnny and June provided us with quite a bit of entertainment for just a few days before we looked and June had already formed her chrysalis! How'd we know it was June? Because June went first. Anyway . . . Johnny was in his cacoon just a day or two later, and then they weren't quite so fun anymore. They weren't doing anything . . . or were they?

Tonight the girls and I got home from school, had supper, and started getting ready for bed. We never even looked in the jar. Then, as we were getting ready for bed, something was mentioned about Johnny and June coming out of the cacoon and little Olivia said, "One is already a butterfly."

"No, honey, not yet," I said dismissing the comment. Olivia is 4-years-old. She comes up with lots of crazy ideas!

"Well, let's go check them," Chris said. He went out with the kids to look at the jar and the next thing I know he's yelling for me to come look.


It was so special. All four of us took her out to the porch and carefully got her out of the jar. We all held her and marveled at this wonderful new creation. I absolutely had to get some pics of this awesome thing we had gotten to experience as a family so here are my two girls with June, our new butterfly friend.

And, of course, I spent some time dwelling on the parallel between our new butterfly friend and Christians. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" What promise and hope we have in Christ! Isn't it wonderful?!

My character Kate experienced the Lord's promise and hope in a very special way when she was at the end of her rope. After distancing herself from the Lord after the tragedy of losing her husband, she knew she was sitting on a fence and she had to choose a side. Well, she chose the right side. Obviously, I can't reveal the hows, whens, and whys of her return to the Lord, but I will share my unedited, emotional scene that took place afterwards:

She quietly opened her front door and stepped out onto the small porch. It was a beautiful early September night. The slightest hint of foliage floated along on the crisp breeze and Kate pulled her flannel house coat tighter around her. The black sky was a sea of stars, and a perfect crescent moon made it look like someone in Heaven was smiling down on her. She fancied the idea that it was Ryan or maybe her grandmother. Maybe it was even God.

She walked out into the yard, her bare feet becoming wet with dew, and she began to twirl and sway and spin just like she used to when she was Madeline’s age and she was a make-believe ballerina. She put her arms out and spun around until she collapsed on the ground laughing. Lying in the wet grass of the same yard she’d played in for years, she could begin to see God’s hand in her life. The way her house, her job, and the support group all came together for her was definitely not a coincidence.

“They say that You can make good come out of the worst circumstances. I still don’t know how You can make anything good come out of Ryan’s death, but . . .” Kate’s voice trembled. “I trust You.” The dam burst and she began to weep. “I trust You . . . I trust You . . . I trust You . . . I trust You . . ."

PRAYER CONCERNS AND UPDATES: I don't have any new prayer requests this evening, but I have several updates: Patty Smith, my dear friend from high school, went home from the hospital after a hard chemo treatment and is feeling much better. Please continue to pray for her and her restored health. My grandma, Angela Dominick, is also home from the hospital and is slowly on the road to recovery. Continue to pray for her as she has had her very independant lifestyle altered considerably. Carson Starks did great during his first week of day care. Laurie, his mom, said that he was happy to be there . . . but even happier to see her come back for him. I know that is a great feeling as a mama. Laurie has to be out of town this coming Monday and will be away from him and her other two kids. Continue to pray for little Carson during these times of transition, and also pray for Laurie for safe travel and a peace that passes all understanding. If you or someone you know is in need of prayer (even unspoken prayer requests) please contact me personally through my profile and I'll be happy to include you or your friend on our list of prayer concerns.

Until next time . . . I'll be here waiting on Johnny! :)


Anonymous said...

Jennifer, I am so amazed at how our Lord is using you. You're not only writing a book, which is a dream come true, but you are spreading his word in a most unique way. Sharing the precious story of June and Jonny and showing pictures of them with the girls and then making the reference to 2 Corinthians. To me that is a beautiful way to share Jesus and his Word with so many people. With all my heart, Jennifer, I say God Bless You.
Love you always, Mom

J. M. Hochstetler said...

Jen, how beautiful! I got goosebumps just reading about Johnny and June and then your little snippet with Kate responding to the Lord in trust!

It reminded me of how God speaks to us in a still, small voice through everyday things, not in the fire or the wind or the earthquake. You portrayed that in such a lovely way!


Carol Collett said...

What a sweet story about June and Johnny! And what a wonderful teaching moment God provided for you to share with your precious girls.