‘It’s the Struggle That Strengthens Our Wings’: Turning Pain into Blessings

Roma Downey shares another story from "Box of Butterflies," explaining how we gain strength through our pain and struggles, forming our wings and cultivating our ability to fly.

Image courtesy of  pchyburrs/ Getty Images

“The real hope is not in something we think we can do, but in God, who is making something good out of it in some way we cannot see.” —Thomas Merton

Butterflies are not just remarkable for the beauty they bring into the world, but for the transformation they undergo to bless us with their beauty. This isn’t an easy transition: they must crawl into the darkness of the cocoon, with faith that there is something greater for them on the other side. They must shed their old ways and become something new.

The beauty of the butterfly, and of the butterfly’s struggle, has spoken to me throughout my life. Whenever I’ve felt the darkness of sorrow or pain encroaching, and I needed a reminder of God or my mom, I see a butterfly. Always, in moments when I need it, a butterfly is there.

I once heard a story of a little boy who saw a cocoon and was so anxious to help the butterfly emerge that he got a small pair of manicure scissors and decided to cut the butterfly out. What he didn’t know was that it is through the process of struggling and emerging from the cocoon on its own that the butterfly gains the power to fly, that strengthens the butterfly’s wings.

Truly, without that process, the butterfly isn’t ready to take flight. Just like a small butterfly, we as humans need struggle to make us strong enough to fly.

My book, “Box of Butterflies,” is a testament to the goodness of God and the unexpected blessings that surround us when we take the time to look for them. “Box of Butterflies” is a deeply personal book that shares stories from my life, alongside quotes, poems, scripture and artwork that I pray will uplift you as they have me.

Read more about Roma Downey and her how she thrives here.

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