Happy New Year! More than any other year in my life, 2018 will go down in the record books (my diary) that this was the year that brought everything new in my life. I am newly divorced and moving into a new house in a new city and will be building new friendships with my new church family in Ashland, Oregon.
I feel like a caterpillar undergoing metamorphosis because I’m shedding my old life and taking on a new one. This transformation has been a painful process for me, and it has me crying and grieving and crying some more. However, everything that is happening to me does not feel forced or unnatural. My decision to shed my old life is more instinctual just like the caterpillar must transform or die.
Caterpillar undergoing metamorphosis.
There is a web article called, titled “How Caterpillars Gruesomely turn into butterflies.” I think that title is awesome because it implies that 180-degree transformations are never easy. The article goes on to explain that the transformation of the caterpillar that takes place deep inside the chrysalis is gruesome because for the caterpillar to turn into a butterfly it digests itself using enzymes.
I look forward to that moment in 2018 when I look in the mirror and realize that I have become the butterfly. Right now, I feel more like the caterpillar digesting itself. Yuk!! Meanwhile, I’m working my way out of the chrysalis and realizing that life is way too short to fight this transformation I am going through. God has plans for me.
The afternoon of December 15 when our home sold in Bend, I prepared myself mentally for a 3-week period of being a vagabond until I could claim an address as my own. With my make shift office in tow and still working remotely during the day, I will have stayed in 4 cities and 6 places by the time I move into my new home on January 9th. My homeless status, though, has gifted me with hospitality and fellowship and some special time with my daughter.
My friend and neighbor, Judy, opened her home to me for 4 nights after I moved out of my home in Bend. Then I stayed five nights on a 65-acre ranch in Elmira, Oregon with Stephanie Hackett and family. On the 5th night on the ranch, Stephanie and I realized we had to put my dog down at the local vet. Mei Mei’s cyst on her foot had burst and she was losing a lot of blood. Two days prior to the cyst breaking, she stopped eating and couldn’t hold her bowels. I was so happy to have Stephanie in the vet room with me for support. It broke my heart to say goodbye to Mei Mei, but I knew it was her time.
During the week of Christmas, I was able to spend time with my daughter and her friend, Ayanna, at my daughter’s house in Corvallis, Oregon. On Christmas day her father, now my ex-husband, cooked us breakfast and we all took a walk on the board walk at the Corvallis wetlands. This was incredibly sad to me, but I fought to see the good in the situation and be grateful.
Lian and me on the board walk at the Corvallis wetlands.
The 9 days I spent in Corvallis with my daughter and her friend, Ayanna, were very special to me. We have known Ayanna since she was 4 years old. I can hardly believe these two girls are in college and 21 years old. Where did the time go? When I look at them, I see four-year-old girls holding hands in front of a campsite. Then I blink my eyes and before me are two beautiful women making plans to drive to the coast of Oregon and dip their toes in the ocean (in 40-degree weather).
After spending time with these two lively, always laughing girls, I realize that the time that remains in my life is very short. If these girls can grow up that fast – in the blink of an eye, then how much faster will the rest of my life go? I love the verse below, and it is how I got the title for this blog post:
1 Corinthians 7:29:31 (New Living Translation)
But let me say this, dear brothers and sisters: The time that remains is very short. So from now on, those with wives should not focus only on their marriage. Those who weep or who rejoice or who buy things should not be absorbed by their weeping or their joy or their possessions. Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them. For the world as we know it will soon pass away.
The apostle Paul wrote this verse to warn us that the time that remains in our life is very short. In fact, it is so short that nothing on this earth is worth getting attached to. So if you weep you shouldn’t be all caught up in your weeping because before you know it you’ll be rejoicing and then before you know it again you’ll be back to weeping again.
This verse also is saying that the things of this world are very temporary. Why get so attached to them? Right now, everything I own is in three U-Haul containers that are being stored somewhere in a drafty warehouse. It is weird being separated from all my stuff and not having an address for almost 3 weeks. However, when the containers are delivered to my new home in Medford on January 10th, I won’t be hugging and kissing my stuff as it is unloaded and placed in my house. Stuff is just stuff and doesn’t measure up to relationships, faith and God. But don’t get me wrong, I’ll be grateful to have my bed back.
So as you face a new year, think about the time that remains in your life. Does it feel as short as this verse says it is? Paul, who wrote this verse, knows that if we truly understand that the world as we know it will soon pass away, we will live our lives differently. We will seek God because God is eternal. We will ask God, “How do I live in this world and use the things of this world without getting so caught up in it all?” “How do I prepare for heaven?”
Happy New Year my friends. Hope you get to become a butterfly this year. It is worth the pain.