Here’s an article I posted several years ago that reminded me of the beautiful way God redeems. He redeems in the moment with doses of perspective. And then sometimes years later He redeems with second chances.

The same opportunity I’m referring to below has come back full circle. Amazing how that happens sometimes. I don’t know what you’re waiting for… but I’m praying your full circle comes soon.

The other day a friend asked me if I ever get disappointed.

I said yes and threw out a spiritually sound answer.

And then the next day happened.

The day where a really big disappointment whacked me upside the head and sent my heart sinking. I’d been asked to speak at a really big event — one of the biggest of my life — and then things fell apart.

Invited — thrilled — excited — honored-included —

turned into

Uninvited — bummed — sad — disillusioned — left out.

And while I still have solid spiritual perspectives to hold on to, my flesh just needs a minute to say, “stink!”

Because sometimes things do stink.

But right when I wanted say, “stink” a few more times, I spotted a bowl that’s been sitting on my dining room table for weeks now. Brooke found some caterpillars a while back, put them in a bowl, and has been holding them hostage ever since. I mean she’s been lovingly admiring them underneath a layer of cellophane.

Wouldn’t you know that those caterpillars formed cocoons inside that unlikely environment.

And then today, as I was muttering, “stink” I glanced across that bowl and sucked the word back down my throat.

The cocoons were empty.

Expecting glorious butterflies, I had to chuckle when I got right over the bowl and closely examined the product of my little girl’s hopes for new life.


I just had to chuckle. Yet another thing in my day that wasn’t quite right.

Or was it?

When Brooke spotted the moths, she was beyond thrilled. Grabbing my hand, she led me outside, ripped off the plastic barrier, and watched the beauty of tiny wings beating — beating — beating and finally fluttering into flight.


As I watched Brooke’s sheer delight with the rich evidence of life before her, she couldn’t have cared less if it was a moth or butterfly. A creature that once only knew the dirt of the earth had just been given the gift of flight. Reaching — soaring-up — up — and away.

And with that, this simple creature pulled the corners of my mouth up into a smile.

Disappointment only stings as long as I let it.

The winner from last week’s giveaway is Kristi Baugh. Congrats! Email info@lysaterkeurst.com to collect your Mommy encouragement packs.


  1. says

    I did a bible study a couple years ago where you shared this story. I’ve always loved it. It’s a matter of perception. Our kids can teach us so much about what is beautiful!

  2. Sweet Tea Friend says

    Good morning Lysa,
    Thank you once again for sharing this story. I had a bit of disappointment on the scale this AM, but am not going to let it get me down….because as I read in this sweet devotional….I was Made for more. 😉 I hope you have a most wonderful week. Hugs, Linda

  3. pat says

    Hi Lysa, I love your devotionals and have followed them for a few years now. Brooke’s caterpillar story warmed my heart. Happy are we when disappointments melt into happy endings. I have a disappointment with a family member who has been mean to me over the years. I have tried, as well as others in the family, to confront her lovingly with this issue. We are having a family reunion soon and I am praying about whether I should decline the invitation, and “change the course of things”. I know God will answer in the best way!!

  4. Winnie says

    Hi Lysa, i am encouraged by the devotion. After disappointment comes joy. Please pray wih my husband and i regarding the fruits of the womb. I believe GOD will bless us soon as we wait on Him alone.

    Thank you Lysa.

  5. Caron says

    Thank you for posting this again Lysa. I had disappointment for my daughter who is 5 and doesn’t yet understand the boundary I had to set for our family in a situation with a non believing friend. Having the joy and the disappointments in raising children is a challenge. only God can graciously, in HIS love restore, heal and bring comfort and peace to a disappointed heart. He is so faithful!

  6. says

    I think this is one of my favorites from you. I was just thinking about it the other day as a matter of fact. Who am I to complain that I’m just a moth instead of a butterfly? Either way, God has set me free to fly! Thank you for posting it again!

  7. Kim says

    Thanks for the encouragement, even though I had read this a while back, I needed the reminder this morning. Perfect timing for re-sharing this, Thank You! So sorry to hear about your disappointment though. I pray God reveals a much better plan for you, and that He gives you peace.

  8. says

    dear dear Lysa. first off I just discovered your articles if I may call them that and do receive them in my e mail now. love what you say in them. thank you for making things clear and concise for me. as they say I couldn’t say it better not that I’d want to do that. this article is great. I do believe God allows us to have more than just 2 chances. I know this to be true. sometimes we still mess up so to speak even after several chances. the keep trying part is important. God waits patiently. We’ll get it one of these days sooner or later.

  9. Ruth says

    Saw you o
    n Hour of Power!
    Great to put name with a face
    and hear your story.


  10. Sheila Bair says

    Hi Lysa, I’m sharing what I sent to a couple of ladies in my Bible study after reading your entry this morning. The bookmark they gave us has a caterpillar and a butterfly with the “in-Christ-you-are-a-new-creation” verse.

    I started with this intro: I’ve been sort of following Lysa TerKeurst for about a year and a half now. Our women’s group did one of her book studies, so I was curious about the author. I wasn’t able to do the study, but I did start getting her emails. She was launching a new book, “Made to Crave”, that came out of her journey with food-related weight and health issues. She’s a down-to-earth often very humorous, “Jesus girl” who talks about what she learns at the “sticky farm table” as she meets with the Lord and lives life. What she writes often makes me want to ask the cliché, “Are you reading my mail?”

    Last Monday I THOUGHT I was going to be coming to the Bible study, though I was a little apprehensive about what I was going to share, and was even a little relieved when it looked like I wasn’t going to make it, trusting God to be at work. Greg was going to be traveling the whole week and even said that while he was sorry that I had to miss, he was thankful to have the time with me since he was going to be gone all week. Over dinner he just started talking about the week ahead. It was an important week for him, and he was sharing concerns and things he was excited about. This is rare for him. I knew I should be thankful, but I had already let the disappointment “bump my happy” (a Lysa-ism), and he said, “You don’t seem very happy.” It’s fair to say I was making a “stink” (a non-verbal stink, but a stink nonetheless). So sad that I had to put a damper on such a precious opportunity to bless my husband with a listening ear!

    So, I’m asking the Lord to show me IN THE MOMENT how I can keep from turning a sting into a stink!

    Thanks again, Lysa. God bless!

  11. says

    Lysa thank you for sharing and thank you for your messages of love this past weekend at Shine 2012. I so enjoyed listening to what God had placed on your heart. Your messages spoke volumes to me. May God continue to bless you as you go about doing His work.

  12. Carol Ann Matuszewski says

    This story put a smile on my face, too! Brooke didn’t care what kind of life emerged from that bowl; she saw new life soaring away! It only goes to show you how kids can see good things in everything, and not be disappointed by little things, but see the beauty in everything! This story is a lesson in changing perspective for sure, just like faith in God changes everything for us!

  13. says

    Lysa, love this devotion. I had never read it before and when you began talking about “stink” in a bowl on a table…all I could think of was something very stinky that should have been placed in a refrigerator. But as you began to talk about the caterpillars my hope began to rise. Anxiously I read on, butterflies! Yes…no..not in this story. But the ending was so much better than I expected! Freedom to go anywhere and do anything!

    Thank you Lysa for reminding me that God created me to be special. To have the freedom from the stink in my life.

  14. Joni says

    Thanks for the reminder to see the Wonder instead of the “only”! It was very timely.

  15. Peggy Reed says

    I just had to write. Your short story couldn’t have come at a better time, and I thank the Lord for sending it to me through you Lysa. My daughter just experienced the second disappointment in the last 36 hours at high school today, and my heart aches for her. I texted her your phrase “that disappointment pnly stings as long as we let it! I need a good cry now!

  16. says

    Oh Lysa…. today I ‘received a ‘stink’ regarding NOT getting a job I though I really wanted. You, know… they notified me – I applied – next day ‘best interview ever’ – two and half weeks later – email stating although I had more than enough great years in the field – no thank you – we hired someone who fit better – with better back ground – ‘stink’. I let myself cry for about 40 minutes and are in the “shake it off and leave at the cross” stage….(my personal mantra!) God’s got more for me than MY expectations!
    Thank you for the reminder of this.

  17. MaryBeth says

    After a heated discussion with my 19 year old daughter about an unwise choice she wants to make and me telling her most definately NO, this article reminded me that God is changing her little by little into a new creature. She will make unwise decisions sometimes but when God is through with her she will be changed into a beautiful, wise young woman.Thank you Lord for an answer and your peace when I need it most.

  18. Dee says

    This sounds like the perfect book for me right now, raising 2 beautiful girls in their teen and pre-teen years. Thank God for your wisdom and your desire to pass it along!

  19. Nickie Moseley says

    I want this book soooo bad for my crazy headed self and my 2 girls!…. Love you lysa!!!

  20. Nancy says

    The past two days, I have felt like a failure as a mother. Both of my kids are hormonal and lashing out at me for what seems like, everything. Where is my control as a parent? I loved the enrouragement that led me to your book. I need to ask God how to help me raise my daughter into who HE wants her to be not who I want her to be. Tough thing to do for a control freak like me. Your book sounds like it would offer even more information in sending me in the right direction of raising a God loving daughter.

  21. Stacy Stull says

    Hi Lysa,
    Please allow me to tell my story of how I am saying yes to God, despite disappointment and challenges. My women’s Sunday school group is just finishing up the What Happens When Women Say Yes to God bible study. I have to tell you that this book has changed my life. I’m a mother of two boys, ages five and three. I have been praying for the past five years (since my oldest was born) about the decision to quit my job and be a full-time mommy, wife, and “Proverbs 31” woman who manages her household well.
    You see, I’m an elementary school teacher. As much as some people see this as an easy job complete with holidays and a summer break-I must tell them that it is an incredibly challenging career. While I enjoy many things about bringing knowledge and hope to each new generation one year at a time, there are many more things that bring me down. One of those things is the sheer amount of time and energy it takes, year-round, to be a public school teacher.
    This past year has been even more difficult with new leadership and the goal for our district to become “top ten in the state of Kentucky”. I believe in goals and hard work, but not at the sacrifice of my family and my service to the Lord. The demands on my time, energy, and health have become too much of a strain.
    While leading the study of When Women Say Yes to God, the convictions and desires that I have been feeling in my heart have been adressed one at a time. As I read each chapter God was revealing to me step by step what I needed to do for Him to answer my prayers. Each prompt, question, and challenge led me closer to a decision.
    God was asking me to quit my job. He was asking me to release the worldy security of a regular paycheck. He was asking me to sacrifice luxuries such as driving a new vehicle, going out to eat regularly, and going on a big family vacation-at least for a season. He was asking me to invest all of my time and energy into His plan for my boys, my husband, my family, my church and ministries according to His purposes.

    I’ll admit that this has been one of the most difficult decisions in my life. I wasn’t quite sure if I should completely resign or take a leave of absence for a year. After praying about it and seeking the counsel of the ladies in the Sunday school group I went to ask for a leave of absence, which would allow me to stay at home for one year and hold my position for the following year. However, when I went to sign I was asked to sign the wrong forms. Even though leadership admitted it as a mistake I have been denied the option of taking leave.
    After a couple weeks of disappointment, once again, I read the next words in your book at exactly the right time. Through your words God was telling me to swallow my pride. He was telling me no in answer to my question of taking leave. I’m accept His answer and I am thrilled to see what God has in store for my family and me. In trusting Him I have already been made aware of some options to work as an educator online while staying at home as a mommy! God has even inspired me just this week, through a friend, to design a VBS program for my church this year!
    Thanks, Lysa, for saying yes to God and inspiring others to do the same!
    Stacy Stull