Ashlie Miller: Our metamorphosis

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 27, 2023

By Ashlie Miller

Does anyone still wait with anticipation for snail mail to arrive? Though most of us head to the recycling bin after we visit the mailbox, my children always hold out hope for something cheery in the box. Occasionally, there is a special delivery awaiting them. The most recent package was not snailmail but caterpillar mail.

Indeed! For the fifth time in our homeschooling journey, we purchased a cup of live caterpillars from Delighted with the arrival, my 5-year-old and I set up the net, enclosing them during their metamorphosis into butterflies. The tiny caterpillars were not the most impressive things to look upon at first. I had not remembered receiving any that were this tiny in previous years. However, true to Eric Carles story, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” these small creatures munched their way through the caterpillar feed, turning into fat caterpillars in only a few days.

Then, true to nature, they began forming their chrysalises as we continued to wait until, one by one, they each emerged from their temporary, transformative encasements. We watched them slowly develop each day, pumping blood through their wings to unfurl them. However, we noticed a problem with one of the butterflies that could not shake off that thin, old shell from its wing. Because the chrysalis was still attached, we did not aid the butterfly in removing it for fear of destroying the delicate scales of its wings. Eventually, it did all fall off, but not without significant cost, for the wings never fully expanded. In the wild, this would make him an easy meal for a bird or other creature. It was hard to watch him struggle in our observation habitat — wanting to help, wanting to protect it, realizing it would never experience the freedom of fluttering flight.

As believers in Christ, we also go through a transformation. Scripture states that as new believers, we have new life! New joys, new freedoms. The old has passed away, and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Sometimes, however, we may see spiritual struggles, unlike the butterfly we observed. We, as Christians, come to Jesus for salvation but then hold too tightly to old ways, crippling our development and preventing true freedom in Christ. We may look back at our old life with familiarity, perhaps comfort. Yet, so many of those old ways are the very things that prohibit our freedom to soar in our new identity in Christ.

What are we to do?

Remember: our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin(Romans 6:6).

Lay aside and put on: Paul reminds us in both Ephesians 4:22-24 and Colossians 3:9-10 to lay aside our old, corruptible selves and put on our new selves. Although Christ clothes us in his righteousness upon salvation, we also will go through a lifetime of sanctification, being molded into who He wants us to be.

Submit our whole selves: Romans 12:1-2 points out that our hearts need to be formed, our minds transformed and our wills conformed to Christs.

What are you holding onto today that you need to offer the Creator to peel away or help you lay aside so you can put on the freedom He offers you?

Ashlie Miller is wife to one, mom to five, and loves to hear stories of metamorphosis. You can contact her on

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