Tonight we’re heading out for Sophie’s first Daddy/Daughter date! On Thursday, for her 27 week celebration many people from our church family gave us, among several other sweet gifts, a gift card to a really nice restaurant in Epcot specifically for Kevin to take Sophie on their first date together (and I fortunately get to come too!). We’ll share more about that later! But I wanted to share what 2 other friends gave us later that evening. Our neighbors and close friends, Alicia and Nick Keswani made us the coolest mobile for Sophie and wrote the most amazing note to Sophie that really ministered to our hearts. We are so thankful for our church family and other friends that help us celebrate and draw us to Jesus and His perspective. I pray God may use this perspective Alicia and Nick shared with Sophie in your hearts too!
We have a few things that we want to give and share with you as a celebration of your life. Back when we were planning a double-date getaway with your parents, Alicia was praying about what theme would be good to use for the weekend. (She’s convinced that God is a pro event planner. Heaven is kicking off with a wedding – aka He cares about celebrations!) The theme of butterflies emerged as a perfect way to celebrate YOU and the story that God is writing with you and your mom and dad.
First, we are going teach you a little science lesson about how caterpillars turn into butterflies. (Normally you have to wait until you are in 1st or 2nd grade to learn this stuff – but we know you are smart and will learn quick!) God did something really neat with these little creatures. He takes a little worm that crawls around on plants, wraps it in a cocoon, and transforms it into a beautiful butterfly that has wings with elaborate and unique designs.
We learned something really cool about this process when we were brushing up on our elementary-school science. Caterpillars hatch from very tiny eggs. When they are born, they have these itty-bitty cells called imaginal discs. That’s a fancy way of saying they have tiny blueprints inside their bodies that have all the information needed to build a butterfly. Caterpillars carry these cells with them everywhere they go – but the cells are so small, they don’t even know they carry them! When the cocoon forms around them, the blueprints get rolled out and are used to construct the body, wings, legs, and antennae of a butterfly.
We find it absolutely amazing that these little guys are born with microscopic blueprints that have just one function – to transform a chubby little worm into a graceful and intricately designed butterfly. It reminds us of Ecclesiastes 3:11 –
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”
God has set eternity in our hearts – “blueprints” of what we are meant to be, what we were born to be: children of God. Little Sophie, do you know that God has set eternity in your heart? He has designed you as a daughter – for a season you will be a daughter of Kevin and Lindsey and forever you will be a daughter of our Almighty God. You are precious in His sight, you are honored, and He loves you. (Isaiah 43:4)
If you saw a caterpillar in a cocoon and you didn’t know what it was, you would think it would be rather strange. Why did this little guy decide to stop his daily life and wrap himself up in a boring old blanket? He isn’t moving – He might not even look alive! Yet LIFE is happening abundantly inside! You can’t see it, but he is transforming into what he was made it be! But if you didn’t know that, you would wonder why the caterpillar didn’t just go about its caterpillar life, eating, crawling, and basking in the sun. But God knows the rest of the story – and if the caterpillar did in fact go about the rest of his life as a caterpillar, he would never experience life as a butterfly, beautiful and unique!
Sophie, right now we feel a little like we are looking at a cocoon for the very first time. We don’t know why things are the way they are with your development. We don’t know the rest of the story. But Sophie, we know by faith that LIFE is happening inside. We know that God has set eternity in your heart and that your blueprint is an irreversible design of beauty, love, and uniqueness that only our Lord can create.
Someone else lived a similar story long before your parents were even born. His name is Jesus. He also was wrapped in a cocoon but it was in the form of a grave. Everyone who knew Him and loved Him was overcome with sorrow because they didn’t know the whole story: that LIFE was conquering death so that we could live forever with the One who loves us the most out of anyone in this world. He emerged from his cocoon with great glory, (even more glorious than a butterfly!) knowing that the momentary sorrow was worth the everlasting joy of having us emerge from our own deaths by His grace. That’s who your Savior is, Sophie. He creates life where none should exist. While we might not get to meet you on this side of heaven, we know that He loves you and has traded places with you so that you won’t be in a cocoon forever.
And Sophie – your mom and dad love you so much. They are sharing your story with the world and the world is seeing the beauty of your life. They are breath-taken with who you are and are counting the moments of your life as precious ones, worth celebrating. We join them in that celebration because we love you and we know that God is making something beautiful out of you, just like He does with butterflies.
Nick & Alicia