From Darkness and Captivity to Light and Freedom to Fly

The caterpillar certainly identifies with the feeling of loss and lack of control as his body slowly scrunches into a pupa or chrysalis. Darkness engulfs him, and he can no longer move.

His old self slowly dies but transforms into a beautiful butterfly that slowly emerges from captivity through a tiny opening. A struggle is necessary to push the fluid out of his body into his wings. If the struggle is hurried, the result will be shriveled wings and no ability to fly. After he stretches and dries his wings in a world of light, he is freed to fly.

“Perhaps the butterfly is proof
that you can go through a great deal of darkness
yet become something beautiful.”
– Beau Taplin –

“Just when the caterpillar
thought the world was over,
it became a butterfly.”
– Chang Tzu –

“And we all, who with unveiled faces
contemplate the Lord’s glory,
are being transformed into His image
with ever-increasing glory,
which comes from the Lord,
who is the Spirit.”
2 Corinthians 3:18
“I am here to bring light in this world,
freeing everyone who believes in Me
from the darkness that blinds him.”
John 12:46 VOICE

Nothing Is Wasted
by Jason Gray

“The hurt that broke your heart
And left you trembling in the dark
Feeling lost and alone
Will tell you hope’s a lie
But what if every tear you cry
Will seed the ground where joy will grow

And nothing is wasted
Nothing is wasted
In the hands of our Redeemer
Nothing is wasted…”

Lessons From a Sea Turtle

Keep Following the True Light

When sea turtles hatch and dig their way out of the sand, they follow the light of the moon over the ocean, their home. Sometimes when clouds cover the light of the moon or there are too many beachfront artificial lights, they get disoriented. Recently in a movie, I saw some sea turtle protectors guide them on a cloudy night. The turtles saw another distant light, so they turned towards it. The protectors formed a line on their knees to block out the false light while one of them got on his boat and shone a bright light several feet from shore. The turtles turned again and finally arrived at their ocean home.

It sounds a lot like our spiritual journey in this life, doesn’t it? We may be following the True Light of love to dip ourselves into the healing waters of His grace, but distractions or temptations in this world can lure us and lead us away from Him. Maybe it’s not always intentional, but we get confused by all the artificial lights. Even Satan can masquerade himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14), and he constantly works to turn us away from the True Light. I’m so glad that He who is the Light of the world shines and prevails over all false lights and draws us to Himself, aren’t you?

“Jesus spoke to the people once more and said,
‘I am the Light of the world.
If you follow Me,
you won’t have to walk in darkness,
because you will have the light that leads to life.'”
John 8:12
Never Give Up When the Going Gets Tough

Green sea turtle babies are only 2 inches long. It’s a looong walk to the ocean. Then there are the obstacles. Can you imagine what a big footprint in the sand or a piece of driftwood would look like to such a tiny turtle? In a video, I saw one flip to its back because of the deepness of the footprint, but he flipped himself back upright and kept on heading to the ocean. They persevere and trudge onward.

Photo by Mark Sullivan, NOAA affiliate.

Our journeys here on earth can be filled with mountains of troubles and pits of difficulties, obstacles that set us back or make us want to sit down in despair and forget about putting one foot in front of the other towards our eternal home with Jesus.

These little turtles persevere in the midst of obstacles and challenges, even in danger from predators. Cannot the same God who created them and gives them strength to move on also give us strength to endure?

No, it’s not easy, but God’s powerful love and mercy are more than enough, and He is always available, regardless of what situation we’re in. Yes, maybe we will feel flipped upside-down and unable to flip ourselves right-side-up again to keep going. But He promises us that His power is made perfect in weakness. He never said there won’t be troubles in this world, but He has promised He has a plan for our good and He’ll get us through.

“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you,
for My power is made perfect in weakness.'”
2 Corinthians 12:9a
“But You, Lord, do not be far from me.
You are my strength; come quickly to help me.”
Psalm 22:19
“I have told you these things,
so that in Me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33


“A Living Prayer”
by Alison Krauss

“In this world I walk alone with no place to call my home
But there’s one who holds my hand
The rugged road through barren lands
The way is dark, the road is steep
But He’s become my eyes to see
The strength to climb, my griefs to bear
The Savior lives inside me there…”

“I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources
He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit.”
Ephesians 3:16

New This Month: Links, Quotes, Books & More

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“God Help Me”
by Plumb


Thank You
to anyone and everyone who recommend
links, books, quotes, etc.
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ABCs of Jesus’ Love

Visit this page anytime and let me know if you’d like to add to the words describing Jesus’ love along with a verse supporting it. Remember, there is also a print-out of the original list.

 This month I have added an “D” Word:

❤︎  Delivering Love ❤︎
“He has delivered us from such a deadly peril,
and He will deliver us again.
On Him we have set our hope
that He will continue to deliver us.

2 Corinthians 1:10 NIV
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Books

I am not always able to keep up with the abundance of books that promote hope, healing, and freedom, so I haven’t always read every one I post here and on the Books Page. Though many are on my long wish list. 🙂  Many will be from recommendations of online friends. If you ever know of a book that is not listed and that supports this website’s mission, please let me know. 🙂

Divine by Karen Kingsbury

This is a novel that brings awareness to the reality of horrific child abuse. It’s hard to read, but the beauty of the story is that God rescued and redeemed Mary. Then He used her to bring love and hope to others suffering abuse.

“Mary Madison was a child of unspeakable horrors, a young woman society wanted to forget. Now a divine power has set Mary free to bring life-changing hope and love to battered and abused women living in the shadow of the nation’s capital. 

Mary is educated and redeemed, a powerful voice in Washington, D.C.—both to the politically elite and to other women like her. But she also has a past that shamed polite society. Her experiences created in her paralyzing fear, faithlessness, addiction, and promiscuity. At the crossroads of her life, only one power set Mary free and gave her a lifetime of love and hope. A power that could only be divine.” (Amazon Review)

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Hope Harbor

💞  Links That Inspire Hope and Healing 💞

💞 A Christian Perspective on Depression – Vaneetha Rendall Risner shares insights and an interview with Terry Powell. “Those who suffer with depression often endure silently, feeling shame and internal condemnation. For Christians, the struggle is often magnified by the assumption people are less spiritual if they can’t seem to ‘count it all joy.'”

💞 Can Christians Truly Have Mental Illness?  by Bev Rihtarchik – Bev brings awareness to mental illness. Christians are not exempt from it. She shares her struggles with it and with the misconception some Christians have that it means a lack of faith.

💞 8 Powerful Promises to Calm Your Soul When the World’s Falling Apart by Bonnie Gray – “With everything that’s happening in the news – combined with all that’s going on in our families, our friends’ lives, with our kids, our jobs, or the heated politics – we can feel despairing or overwhelmed. Yet, in the midst of chaos, we have an anchor to hold onto in the storms of life: Jesus.”

Nature Retreat

“Never lose an opportunity
of seeing anything beautiful,
for beauty is God’s handwriting.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

These photos are from a 2015 vacation in and around Duluth, MN. I believe the falls were called Gooseberry Falls and the lighthouse Split Rock. I love how lighthouses guide ships, tossed about in nature’s storms, to safety. Just like Jesus does in the storms of our lives. (John 8:12) 🙂


🐾 50 Magnificent Natural Landscape Photographs – Stunning landscape photos

🐾 Dave Morrow Photography – Breath-taking views of landscapes and night skies

🐾 Todd Amacker Conservation Visuals  Amazing nature photos from the Appalachia, Gulf Coast, Southern Africa, and more

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Quotes

New quotes this month are about Healing, especially from abuse.

❤︎ “Whether you were threatened, experienced further abuse, or shamed into silence; it is common for survivors to suppress their experiences. You may have perceived that talking about the problem brings danger and more fear. In reality, talking about your abuse in the presence of safe others helps to validate your feelings and release years of pain.” – Dan Hitz

❤︎ In a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive the community of our healing gift. If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others.”Brennan Manning, Abba’s Child

❤︎ “Often feelings of shame, powerlessness, and self-hate are bottled up with the memories, and as the memories come through, these feelings do, too. Yet healing isn’t just about pain. It’s about learning to love yourself.– Laura Davis, The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

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