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  • Writer's picturepsbycarrie

My little, white butterfly.

I was 19 when my cousin died. An accident on the metro tracks in Washington D.C. took a bright, fun-loving soul too soon. While we weren’t particularly close, some of my fondest childhood memories involve him constantly teasing me for being short (he was exceptionally tall) and catching up at Christmas.

The initial shock of knowing I wouldn’t see him again subsided as the months passed like it so often does after the loss of a loved one. Absolutely, death leaves a hole that never fully heals, but it wasn’t until April of 2013 that remnants of how he died crashed into my mind again.

During my senior year of college, I was a selected to be part of a leadership group that traveled to Washington D.C. I knew when the team was announced in the fall that we would eventually fly to our nation’s capitol, but the fact I would have to climb down the stairs and get onto the metro did not sink in until February. I vividly remember riding back from a group dinner in the van, discussing our D.C. trip, when it clicked. I went home that night and cleaned until I could settle down enough to sleep.

I wouldn’t say I was scared to get on the metro. No, I was more apprehensive of being there and my overactive imagination playing the scene of him falling over and over.

Time flew as it often does, and I was on a plane to D.C. before I knew it. Our flight was rough, but we reached the city with no incidents. Then we collected our bags and headed to the train station.

I did everything I could to steady my mind, but we had to wait on the train to take us from the airport into town. I just stared at the tracks. Willing my resolve not to slip, I began praying. And God heard my cries, as He always does. He sent me a lone white butterfly. The beautiful bug appeared seemingly out of nowhere and flew along the tracks right in front of me. It lingered for just a minute, then was gone.

Sure, many may say it was a coincidence, but it’s still pretty chilly in Washington D.C. in April. That was the only butterfly I saw during our trip. It was white and floated just where I needed it to be. There is no doubt in my mind God sent me a gentle reminder that He was with me, that everything would be OK. He sent me the butterfly to calm my mind and, frankly, my soul.

If I close my eyes now, I can still see that butterfly flying just over the tracks. That seemingly simple scene has gotten me through many tough times since then. It is a powerful reminder that God hears us and cares about us.

I have told very few people about my butterfly. I kept the story close to my heart for many reasons, one being the fear of others rolling their eyes about one part of the story or another. Nevertheless, God calls us to be bold. This is my first step in telling my stories and first recounting of the many times God has revealed himself to me through small incidences like this.

So, what are the take-a-ways? First, and you will read this many times in my writing, God loves us and cares about even the smallest details of our lives. Second, God speaks to us in countless ways, and we need to keep our eyes open. The Bible tells us clearly that if we seek God with our whole heart, we will find him (Jeremiah 29:13). Third, every time I see a white butterfly, which was an incredible amount this spring, I smile. I am reminded of God’s promise to never leave us nor forsake us. And, friends, that is a great promise.

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