I was born in the wonderful state of New York, into an even more wonderful family who loves me deeply. I had a great childhood and was always very close to my family. However, I didn’t grow up in a traditional Christian household. I knew God existed, but I didn’t know what Jesus had done for me. At the age of ten, my parents decided to pack up our life in New York and move somewhere quieter, where we could finish our last years of childhood at a calmer pace. Although I grew to love my now home of the bluegrass state, my heart was riddled with anxiety and worry. I went into high school struggling with friendships, insecurity, and eating disorders. I had panic attacks, never slept, and tried to find my personal worth in things like grades and my appearance. This went on into college, when I started my freshman year.
My second semester, I met my boyfriend Trey. One of the first conversations we had was him sharing the Gospel with me. I remember being completely overwhelmed by this news. My entire world was shaken the next few months, as I learned more and more about God’s character. I was introduced to people at my campus ministry, who I now call my best friends. They showed me the love of Christ and taught me so much. Although I was starting to understand the Gospel more, I didn’t think I really needed it in my life as much as everyone told me I did. I was very wrong.
One day, I went to a nearby lake with Trey, where we like to hammock and read. There were a group of little butterflies flying around the lake everywhere. Captivated with these beauties, I couldn’t help but follow them around for a little bit. Later, I went to sit down and realized that these butterflies had disappeared. I couldn’t see a single one in sight. So, I gave God a challenge. I sat there and prayed to Him, “If you want me in a restored relationship with your Son, if you have so perfectly placed me here in this moment, have one of those butterflies land on me.” As soon as I opened my eyes, a little butterfly landed next to my foot and turned to me, looking right in my direction. I was shocked as I watched this butterfly land right on my foot. In this moment is when I realized that my life would never be the same. A week later, in May of 2017, I gave my life to Christ.
I love getting to share this part of my story because I have come to realize that the Lord has given me such a beautiful testament to His character. There were so many butterflies that left me that day at the lake, but when I asked, one came back and met me right where I was. In the Bible, Matthew 18:10-14 tells us a story of a sheep who wanders from its flock. The shepherd leaves the ninety-nine in the flock, to save the one sheep. Jesus knew I was lost and wandering, even when I didn’t see it that way. As soon as I could see it and was asking for help, God sent me that butterfly to show me the pure abundance of love He has for me. He left the ninety-nine butterflies, to meet me where I was, to love me where I was.
Two years later, I am still walking with Christ and every day He continues to meet me where I am. Everything I have fallen short of is always perfectly redeemed by His sacrifice on the cross. He has taught me that true joy comes in the form of a dependent relationship with Him, that all worldly things waver and fail but His love does not. Luke 12:32 says, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” I pray that you are reminded of this verse, as it has continuously reminded me that God is joyous in giving you all of His kingdom if you let Him do so.