The Backside of the Branch


A process most of us desire. We yearn for change.  And yet, when it happens, we freak out.  Don’t deny it! I know we share some common ground on this topic: it’s human nature to freak when the ground we stand on starts shifting. In all the “shifting”, we fear we will get knocked off balance and fall.

I recently heard Joyce Meyer talk about transformation as “the middle.”  Our life has a beginning, middle and end (our journey).  And our bigger life’s journey is made up of all sorts of mini-journeys: challenges within challenges to GROW us up: journeys in our relationships, our work, our body, emotions and spirit.   Joyce believes” the middle” needs the cocoon because the process must be so messy, God wants to hide it! Her theory is that everything turns to such a GOOEY mess that the cocoon is necessary to keep it all together.  In other words-the middle is not fun.

I originally started this blog on the very topic of the middle: metamorphosis:   (that’s what I wanted to name my first blog but truthfully, I can’t spell it without spell check. Lol)

The butterfly and caterpillar are ongoing symbols of my life and the thread of my personal writing.  The caterpillar=the beginning. The butterfly=the ending. We love beginnings! And we yearn for happy endings. But it’s the MIDDLE-where change takes root, that we don’t like because it’s HARD.  The “middle” of transforming your body for instance usually means soreness, sweat, pain and hunger until your heart, lungs, muscles and stomach adjust to their new requirements.

The Middle= the BACK SIDE of the BRANCH. The cocoon process.  (OH how I LOVE the metaphors! )

cocoon on branch

I wonder, is the cocoon something to hide you away OR does it exist to protect with nourishment?  It’s painful and messy. In that mess…in that mush…TRUE character is built but oh, how it feels like it will never end!  As a result, we can become impatient.  But if we tried to break out too early…what would emerge would look something like Frankenstein.

But when we let the work happen and cling to the branch: when the work is allowed to run its course in the right TIME, what emerges is nothing short of a miracle.

I could go on and on and write for days on the metaphors and lessons of the butterfly and its transformation process. But today…I’ll focus on just one….

IF you find yourself on the back side of a branch in the messy cocoon process, be patient and keep preserving!  Don’t freak out when the changes get really uncomfortable.  STAY.

I’ve been on the back side of a branch. I’ve been in the middle and in the bigger journey of our life, we are all in the middle (this side of heaven).  We can choose to hate the process and try to rush it.  But it won’t be pretty if we do. OR…we can choose to EMBRACE the hard part of the journey by clinging to God.

Are you in a place where you feel like your life…your insides are MUSH? That you are a sloppy mess and life is too hard?  If so, try to embrace the process with new eyes. See that cocoon as it was meant to be seen: the embrace of God, giving you all the nourishment and protection you need to ENDURE the process.


  1. I had throat surgery 3 weeks ago. I couldn’t talk for the first week. During recovery while healing in bed, I felt like I was in a ‘cocoon’. It was like a forced retreat (not a “run away” retreat, but more like a sabbatical). I learned that I couldn’t rush my recovery. I had to rest – I had to ‘stay in my cocoon’ long enough for healing to take place. Your post reminds me of that process.

    My doctor, just a week after my surgery, said I was healing remarkably fast. He had performed the same surgery on two other people close to mine and he said they were still bruised and swollen. I had many people praying for me during that recovery and I believe the passage through my ‘middle of recovery’ was streamlined because of those prayers, transforming my body through healing. Those prayers and God’s healing hand I believe formed a kind of protective mantel around me ushering me to wholeness again. Maybe kind of like a protective spiritual cocoon? 🙂

    Thanks for the post!

    • Amen! Exactly the point-why are we always in such a rush? When if we slowed down, we’d find that the process of growth speeds up?! Isn’t that one of those paradoxes of God’s principles? STumps me every time. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your personal story. Glad you are recovering! Bless you

  2. Psalm 40:1 “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.”

    God bless YOU for this blog. 🙂 I’m glad I happened to stumble upon it!

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