Christine Duncan

Precepts & Life Preservers

Frozen and Beautiful

Image by Christine Duncan

My parents have a 30 yr. old butterfly in their fridge.

Facts from my childhood that shock and awe for a 1,000.00 Alex.

So many people have seen the butterfly in the fridge that’s it’s practically urban legend. If you showed up at the house right now and opened the fridge door, you’d be a believer too.

Maybe I should explain HOW the butterfly wound up in the fridge to begin with? And how in the world this will apply to us?

In our part of Ontario, we have areas that are a distinct part of the migratory journey of the Monarch Butterfly. So they wander through our gardens and parks and trails, carried on the breeze and the ooohhh’s and aaaahhhh’s of anyone who gets a glimpse of their intricate beauty. And they are becoming very rare.

Images by Christine Duncan

Images by Christine Duncan

One day when I was about 10, my little brother came in from outside where he had been exploring the state of our yard after a particularly violent storm. He’d found a Monarch in the yard, perfectly whole but drowned from the storm apparently as there was zero signs of life. He wanted to bring it in the house, it was magical to look at up close, a delicate sort of treasure.

He wanted to keep it perfect, and so my Mom decided to find him a nice clean jar to keep it in. We discovered that if we wanted it to really last we should keep it in the fridge or the freezer.

And so it sits to this day in the door of the fridge.

Beautiful, but frozen.

Over the years it’s been taken out and admired for a moment, and gently put back in the fridge on the shelf for the duration. It’s moved to every new house and outlasted several refrigerators. Kind of our own personal museum piece.

Are you keeping yourself hidden away, or has something kept you hidden away?

I would hope not, but it happens more often than we’d like to think. For an expanse of time, because I had no idea what was really wrong, or what to do about it, I did my best to hide my depression, or when I couldn’t, I myself would hide.

Trust me, that’s no way to live.

Do you have a circumstance in your life that keeps you frozen in time or place?

Instead of it being something you could overcome, it has swept in like a storm, drowning the beautiful parts of life, and so as to keep from ever feeling disappointment and heartache and depression again, you bottle up the special things that make up who you are, build walls, give limited access to your heart and soul, and keep it frozen on a shelf somewhere for safe-keeping?

I’ve done that.

Locked special parts of myself away from friendships, professional connections, family. It hurts to be vulnerable, to show your weaknesses,  to be truthful and authentic. There’d be a limited window of time to allow all the beauty inside to be shared with others, and then it’d be whisked away to freeze and harden and stay protected.

The depression or the stress or the hardship makes you step back from really living, and you stay in the shadows, on the sidelines of life, and people begin to get used to seeing only the occasional glimpse of the real, intricately, beautiful you come to life.

That’s where this metaphor stops, my friends. The butterfly in my parent’s fridge will never come to life again. As beautiful as it is, it’ll never be revived.

But you?! You don’t have to be holed up under glass, doomed to never fly again. You CAN have a fresh determination running through your veins today if you really wanted. Might hurt at first, be uncomfortable, you might be slightly rusty at living up to all of your own beautiful potential, but the alternative is staying in a self-imposed prison, cold, and dark, and it’s not where you were ever meant to thrive. To LIVE.

There are things you can do so that this doesn’t become just another failed attempt to come back to the land of the living.
And you have to be brave enough to see it through.

To seek help, to seek health, to seek support. You know it’s okay to be carried on the wind, right?

You don’t have to fly all on your own at first, if you’re not ready. Catch a current if you must, or let it carry you while you rest. And as it carries you, you live.

Perhaps you’ve allowed yourself to believe you need to live up to impossible standards. Perhaps you’ve allowed yourself to believe that your flaws, or your failure to outrun the storm was so epic you’ll never live it down. Perhaps you’re so drenched by the storms like our resident butterfly, and so frail from all the beatings you took from trying to outrun it all, that you don’t have it in you to try again.

If you desire it, He will carry you through this Click To Tweet

Coincidence that today this was brought to my attention?

Isaiah 46:4  Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

If you desire it, He will carry you through this. This was such a relief for me when I realized I don’t have to find a way to survive this by myself. I didn’t have to prove anything to God by recovering from depression on my own. He would be that life preserver I keep making reference to.  I’m coming at this from a chronic depression angle, but it could be any disorder, any thing that tries to knock you off the rails.

The reason I keep bringing up the Heavenly Father in all this is due to the word “carry” in that scripture. It’s the reason He’s a solution and a life preserver above all others, not that all the other ways to get you back on your feet aren’t valid, but you have to know the meaning of the word “carry” the way it was meant to be, in the context it was written.

It’s why He is the first answer and solution you need, and why He’s been waiting for you to get out of your own way, to give Him room to do what He wants to do for you.

The Hebrew word for carry in this verse is “nasa”… quite simply it means “a taking up” or an incredible “uplift”. Up and over, everyone. Other solutions, and treatments will definitely take you through your crisis, through your struggles, and depending on how you perform, unscathed.

But this verse promises that He is the one capable of an incredible “uplift”… when He carries you, you get a different point of view for the duration. For life. You are suddenly lifted up and out of it, soaring, while life rages on below. He is a current, and a breeze, that changes the whole game.

There will always be tons of ways to resume your life, but this is different.

This is about the quality of the solution.

I don’t know about you, but the butterfly that stays above the storms, has a better chance of survival than the one being carried through it, any day. And there you have no reason not to thrive.

You don’t have to be beautiful but frozen.

You can be beautiful AND alive.

image by Christine Duncan


Linking up with my fellow writers over at these linkups! Click the hashtags to join us!

#TellHisStory with Jennifer Dukes Lee
#TestimonyTuesday with Holly Barrett


  1. I’ll never look at that butterfly the same again!

    • Christine Duncan

      June 30, 2014 at 12:43 PM

      The butterfly just popped randomly into my head the other day… I thought, what a cool metaphor for our struggles to fly above it all…

  2. Beautiful & alive! Wow! I loved this post. And that’s quite interesting about the butterfly. Sometimes as I ponder God’s creation, I’m just so amazed. So amazed. And He loves us & carries us through everything. #grateful

    • Christine Duncan

      November 20, 2014 at 2:25 PM

      His creation IS amazing. isn’t it… and yet so many will tell you it all came together without a Creator. No wonder so many think life is hopeless. They need the good news!
      I’m so glad you stopped by the blog, Julie! Means a lot coming from another blogger. Thank you! #StayGrateful!

  3. Such a great word! It touched me and spoke into my life. Thank you.

    • Christine Duncan

      November 20, 2014 at 6:37 PM

      Oh, you’re so welcome Karlene… you’ve been on my heart and in my prayers after the last comment you left. I’m so glad this post spoke so clearly. God is good, all the time!

  4. Beautiful photos, story and application :). My daughter used to defrost mice for her pet snake in our refrigerator…now you have me thinking about the life application of that shocking gem ;). May God continue to free each and every one of us to live fully in the beauty he designed us to create/be. I’m dropping by from Testimony Tuesday :).

  5. What a great post, Christine. Thanks for your encouragement to get unfrozen and unstuck from the things that would hold us back.

  6. “Might hurt at first…” Yes. Great post. I also blog about my experience of depression to encourage others.

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