Stories Have the Power to Change People
I like butterflies, blue hydrangeas, white swans, period costumes, and homemade biscuits (butterflies have a significant place in my own story, but more on that in a jiff). True to my Southern heritage, I’m a realistic optimist who believes in the redeeming power of family, history, and stories. I come from a long line of gifted storytellers.
Vivid stories of Scotch-Irish immigrants, Cherokee Indians, coconut pound cake, Revolutionary and Civil War battles litter my ancestor’s pasts.
My own childhood included funny stories like the time my mom told us we were going to have another baby brother, and my 9 year old sister, Barbara, said she’d rather have a horse.
Tragic stories like the way my Daddy crumpled on the floor when he got the phone call telling him that my Uncle Pete fell under a horse and died while galloping on a Texas beach.
Heroic stories like the time my grandmother Gete was involved in a horrible car accident that sliced open her forehead to the bone, yet she still managed to get out of the wreckage, and with the adrenalin rushing, lifted the car off the unconscious woman on the ground.
Stories reveal what kind of people we come from, and point to what kind of people we can become.
After I lost my first son, Davis, to a fatal genetic disease, I experienced the strangest phenomenon I’ve ever seen, and butterflies played the leading role…
When my son died, I was what you’d call a prodigal daughter. I had grown up in church, but had spent most of my adult life running away from the truth of God’s reality. When Davis died, I wasn’t mad at God…I just wasn’t talking to Him.
Over the next six years, David and I had two more healthy babies, a girl named Meredith and a boy named Connor. My heart was so full of love that I could hardly contain my joy.
During these years, the kids were still taking naps. While they rested, I used to go out on the deck and sit quietly reflecting on how my tragic life had turned into such a happy fairy tale.
In my stillness, I began to remember the stories that I had known a long, long time ago about God’s love. I remembered that God was a Father, and I began to think that if my own mother’s love for my children was so huge, how much more vast must God the Father’s love be for me?
* * *
Six years before in the summer of 1991 when I was mourning my loss, one of the most meaningful sympathy cards I got was about how an infant’s death is like the fleeting visitation of a gorgeous butterfly.
The butterfly lights beside you like a sunbeam,
and for a brief moment, its glory and beauty belong to your world.
But then it flies on again, and though you wish it could’ve stayed,
you feel so lucky to have seen it.
Davis had been my butterfly.
* * *
Fast forward six years to summer 1997 as I sat alone on the deck in Atlanta pondering the possibility that God could be real, and if He is real, He might just love me like a Father…
…a butterfly appeared out of the blue, and landed on my shoulder.
He flitted around my head in the sunlight. He gently glided to my arm. He sat there with me for what seemed like hours as I came to the realization that this little messenger was confirmation that God knew my pain intimately, wanted to heal me, and restore my faith and fellowship in Him.
For the next several months as I moved from a position of not talking to God to falling on my face in complete surrender to His love and forgiveness, masses of butterflies joined me on the deck every day for fellowship. I kid you not. It really happened. And butterflies became a picture of grace to me, wooing me back home to my heavenly Father.
Consequently, I’m a woman of gigantic faith, believing that God heals our brokenness, uses our weaknesses, and makes all things possible through His daily grace.
You have a story to tell, too…
Stories of your past and present provide clues as to what the Lord has done and is doing in your family’s life. Your suffering, your triumphs…there are themes running through your story that point to God’s purpose for your life.
When you tap into these stories, your homeschooling journey will be more meaningful as you see the ways that God has gone before you, equipping you to deal with the issues that you now face…preparing you to minister to the exact kids that He wanted you to have and the one-of-a-kind challenges that they each bring to teaching.
I believe that every single day is a gift from God, and I’m committed to helping you see how your family’s unique stories, interests, talents, and gifts can bless the world. The clues are all there…all you have to do is slow down and search for the treasure.
May the TRUTH set you free today to be faithful to His dear cause, and may all your days end happily ever after!
Thanks for letting me tell my tale!