Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Three Word Wednesday :: The Purple Backpack

While packing for Guatemala, I pulled out my trusty, purple L.L. Bean backpack. There were still beads, a couple washers, and a tiny yellow duck attached to the zippers. And the worn butterfly patch remained where other kids’ had their backpacks embroidered with their initials or name.

I can explain the butterfly.

Butterflies symbolize transformation. Caterpillars begin as one thing and are transformed into a new thing. It’s a beautiful picture of our faith journey and how God makes us new (2 Corinthians 5:17).

(Also, you can read about my own Chrysalis experience and my daughter’s more recent understanding of accepting Christ.)

That purple backpack once packed textbooks, dreams of becoming a writer, and pieces of relationships I didn’t realize were shaping me. As a teenager, I carried it around the hallways of Oldham County High School while I searched for myself. It hung on the back of my desk in freshman English class the same year Kurt Cobain died. It was with me when I chose being the editor "The Clarion Colonel" over enrolling in AP Calculus the year my school switched to block scheduling and my class selection was more limited.

I’m not the same person I was then. Sure, some things are the same, but my perspective and convictions have changed. Like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly, life is a process. Transformation comes in seasons. {Tweet that.}

That purple backpack was with me throughout our week in Guatemala. It carried coloring books and bubble gum for the kids, hand sanitizer and wipes for us, my journal, my camera, a rain jacket, and my diabetes supplies. It sat on dirt floors people called home, got wet the one afternoon rain came, and offered a piece of familiarity in the unknown. But it also helped carry my faith that God grew as I stepped out of my comfort zone and the memories of seeing a world so different from my own.

I’ve spent the last dozen years creating a grown-up life that looks nothing like I imagined but is better than I ever expected. This place I call home is smaller than where I walked the high school hallways I couldn’t wait to leave, yet I’ve traveled and experienced and lived in such a way that I can see a bigger picture of the world. I’ve gotten to know God more intimately through the adventures. 

And the purple backpack has been along for much of the journey.

Want more insights? "Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family" is available on Amazon. Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, peek into my life on Instagram, follow 152 Insights at Bloglovin', or subscribe to receive "Insights in Your Inbox."

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