Word of the Week: For When You Forget Who You Are


June 16, 2014 by Beth Hess

2-Corinthians-5-17Last week, God was speaking to me about how his mercy is new and fresh and clean over and over and over again every day (every moment, even) … but in the last couple of days He’s been whispering another truth to my spirit. You, too, Beth. YOU ARE NEW, TOO!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come.
(2 Corinthians 5:17)

HAS come. As in, already happened. Not is coming. Not could possibly come. Already here. You’re already new.

Which reminded me of the day I spotted a tree full of “already butterflies”…


There are caterpillars on our tree. Hundreds of them. In clumps up and down the trunk and limbs. We keep seeing more with every turn of the head.

Already many are leaving their group, headed for fresh spring leaves. Other eggs have yet to hatch. We’ve caught them at their very beginning.

And I just want to get close to each and every fuzzy one of them and whisper, “Do you know what you are?!?”

If I were to pull the DNA from one of them, a scientist would not be able to tell if its donor were inching up a tree or flying through the skies. For the caterpillar is, even now, a butterfly.

He just doesn’t know it yet.

He will go through two complete life transformations to get his wings. Caterpillar to Cocoon. Cocoon to Butterfly. It will be strange. It will be dark. It will feel like an awfully strange way of being. But he couldn’t stop the process even if he wanted to.

It’s in his DNA.

What about you? Do you know what you are?

A child of the king. A sinner saved by grace. A new creation in Christ. Your very best you just waiting to emerge.

You HAVE been transformed. You WILL be transformed again. Maybe even twice. Maybe more.

And even when it’s dark, uncomfortable, confusing, awkward, and just plain weird & yucky, EMBRACE IT.

No matter how this moment feels, the outcome is secure.

You can only and ever be a butterfly.

You already are.

“How does one become a butterfly? You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”
-Trina Paulus, Hope for the Flowers


I return each Sabbath for a fresh Word of the Week. For the God-breathed pages to come alive in a phrase or two on which to spend a 7-day feast. To meditate upon. To use as a jumping off point for whatever other words God would have me hear during the week. I would love for you to join the Word of the Week (WOW) discussion by adding your selected verse to the comments … or reflections on any scripture reading. 

Linking with Unforced Rhythms — a wonderful community of writers who gather each Monday to share with you HERE.


13 thoughts on “Word of the Week: For When You Forget Who You Are

  1. I take pleasure in, result in I discovered just
    what I used to be looking for. You’ve ended my four day long hunt!

    God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye


  2. Excellent post. I’m dealing with many of these issues as well..


  3. Hi Beth! How nice to meet you today!
    I love the encouragement in this post. We are all so beautiful and meant for love…but when I look at myself I don’t always see that. I may see ‘yucky’ stuff. But that’s not me. I’m way more than presents to the world.
    I like Beth’s “renewal of the mind” Scripture too. It’s so true! And like you said, it’s a constant process.


  4. viviene says:

    Beautiful reminder of God’s mercy and grace. I am a princess. I’m the daughter of the king of kings!


  5. Beth,
    This is a great reminder…we’ve watched a caterpillar slowly become a butterfly and it’s true…it may seem dark but the light is coming…love how you paired it with 2 Cor. 5:17 🙂


  6. kchripczuk says:

    I’m hoping, hoping to find a chrysalis or two on our property this summer, just to watch the glory unfold. Have you ever read “When the Heart Waits” by Sue Monk Kidd? She uses the metaphor of metamorphosis to reflect on the often dark and difficult journey of spiritual transformation. I love the clarity of your writing, Beth.


    • Beth Hess says:

      Thank you, Kelly. That sounds like a book right up my alley. I’ll have to check it out. How grateful I am God doesn’t leave us unchanged, even when it’s dark and difficult.


  7. Amber C. says:

    I honestly have never stopped to consider the dna of a butterfly – that it is indistinguishable from a caterpillar, because it is both. What a lovely and profound metaphor from right outside your doors, that mysterious coexistence of what we already are with what we will become. Thank you for passing this along.


  8. Cheryl Smith says:

    Wow, Beth! I am so blessed by what I just read here. I needed this today. Sometimes, it is very easy to forget who we are in Christ, and the enemy tries to make us feel that the best is behind us, and we are washed up and jaded and will never again be useful in the hands of our Creator. But, you have made me see that maybe I am now in a cocoon stage…metamorphosing into something new and beautiful in God’s eyes. The process is not always pretty, but the outcome is beautiful. This is a very deep and meaningful post…and one I surely needed today. I am so glad you stopped by my blog, so I could find and meet you. God bless you. 🙂


    • Beth Hess says:

      Cheryl: I just love it when God brings people together for the right words at the right moments. I am blessed that you were blessed. We are always changing to become more of what we already are in Christ. I promise you are not finished. Even better, God promised. I look forward to getting to know you more.


  9. Simply Beth says:

    Oh sweet, friend, I love this. I love that verse. It makes me think of the verse from Romans 12:2 also. “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” It was a study on Romans 12 that led me to giving my life to Christ. Such an encouraging message you’ve shared. Thank you!! Blessings.


    • Beth Hess says:

      Renewing of your mind. New again. And again. And again. How ugly and cluttered it would get otherwise. You’ve inspired me to read Romans 12 again. Love how we get the chance to bless each other back and forth.


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