Have you ever watched a caterpillar transform into a butterfly right before your very eyes? Impossible you say? But how cool would it be to see? Well, I have seen it!! The caterpillar is my sister and I almost missed the splendid opportunity.
Standing in the kitchen, proud of the clean and polished surfaces I’ve just labored over. Looking into my bare living room I wondered if I would ever find a budget to furnish it. The house was quiet except for my boys watching tv upstairs in the loft (where all my living room furniture went). The buzz of my phone interrupted my thoughts, a text “hey sister, can I come stay with you?” My mind screamed “no way”, the text I sent read “absolutely”. The following text “can I move in tomorrow?” “WHAT!!???”, the word tumbled out of my mouth, again the text I returned “absolutely!”
You know God is at work when all good and common sense fly out the window. The truth is I’ve been praying for my sister for a couple of years. She has two small children, 1 year apart and I know her struggles, pain and heartbreak run deep in her relationship with her boyfriend. Moving in with me could be an answer to both of our prayers, but…
I don’t know if you know this, but divorce comes with a LOT of baggage. I struggle with issues of control and codependence (that’s code for addiction to control and rescue). My biggest fear was inviting a beautiful woman and her two children from a terribly messed up situation into a more messed up situation and causing even more damage. My sister and I come with our own baggage too, and haven’t had a very healthy relationship. In fact, we hadn’t had a phone conversation in over two years. So baggage piled on top of baggage on top of more baggage in a smallish space was bound to end a big messy disastrous avalanche!
The move in date is set. Today. She’s moving in today. As I’m sitting on the toilet, freaking out with “but’s” and “what if’s” and “what I do when’s”!!!! I prayed, out loud, really loud, “God, tell me what you need me to do”. God answered immediately, “just love her, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.” I kid you not, that’s exactly what he said, while I was sitting on the can, while I was freaking out! Then, calm and peace overwhelmed my entire house.
My sister walked in the house looking tired, broken and frail. Furniture (finally, some couches in the living room), boxes, toys, clothes everywhere. Her kiddos laughing, then screaming running circles around us. My boys were wide eyed and freaking out at the new noise and activity, frantically protecting their space. And yet, the peace of God that surpasses all understanding surrounded my sister and I like a warm comforting blanket. I knew, like I knew, like I knew that God was the great orchestrator of this arrangement and it was absolutely the right thing to do.
In the six months my sweet sister has been here, I have had the privilege of witnessing the most extraordinary transformation that only God could perform. She has embraced Jesus, is pursuing work in ministry for addiction recovery, attends church weekly if I’m there or not. She continues to pursue her degree in Psychology and works full time. She is no longer tired, broken or frail. God has restored her youth, her confidence, her amazing grace and her worth! And to think, I almost missed watching her transformation into a big beautiful yellow monarch butterfly!