Thursday, May 30, 2024
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What Dragonflies Taught Me About God’s Ways

Last summer, a dragonfly came to visit me in my back yard. It landed on one of my grapevines and clung tightly as the breeze blew around its celestial wings. It was one of those times where my spiritual antennae went up, saying: Pay attention; this is important.

Dragonflies have always fascinated me, but I knew very little of their symbolism, so I Googled it. I discovered dragonflies symbolize a harbinger of change, or self-actualization. So I kept my prophetic insights sharp and kept my eyes on the lookout for something new. Unless the dragonfly had exploded and burst into flames, nothing could’ve prepared me for the change that came.

A few weeks after I saw the dragonfly, someone I greatly respected spiritually and verbally attacked me with as much pharisaical power as he could muster. He criticized my character from every angle, spewed his anger toward me, and scoffed at me when I refused to submit my will to his.

The aftermath was unparalleled to anything I’ve ever experienced. Not only was the relationship shattered, but my emotional well-being was broken as well. It was more painful than childbirth. More painful than the aftermath of our house fire. The rejection and condemnation pulled me apart, like ripping the wings off a dragonfly.

Which brings me back to these majestic creatures. They hatch as nymphs and live most of their life underwater. They undergo several nymph stages, but their final stage of growth is when they climb out of the water and affix themselves to a rock or limb. Here is where they complete their final transformation. They emerge from the nymph shell, stretch out their glorious wings, and breathe the free air for the first time. The change is unparalleled to anything experienced during their previous life underwater. The conversion into a dragonfly gives them unparalleled movement and freedom that were previously impossible. Dragonflies are powerful, strong and beautiful to behold.

Living life under the expectations of others is similar to a dragonfly living underwater. What if the other nymphs warned the dragonfly not to climb out of the water? What if they used fear and shame to convince the dragonfly to stay under, where it’s safe? To stay under the safety of the waterline would mean the dragonfly would hinder itself from being fully realized. And what a shame that would be.

Father God has equipped me to see in the spiritual realm and has allowed me to stretch my spiritual wings. He has taught me how to move up, down and sideways in tandem with His Spirit. Nothing on this earth can compete with the sheer joy of breathing life into people — giving them hope, interceding on their behalf through prophetic prayer and insight. Yet rather than rejoicing in God’s work in my life, I endured the final blow that day. I was accused of being demon-possessed.

I can only respond the way Jesus did when the Pharisees accused Him of having a demon: “I do not have a demon, but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me” (John 8:49 NASB).

Even though transformation can be scary as we step out into the unknown, we no longer need to live underwater anymore. We have the ability to move freely with the Spirit of God in the way that He’s created us to be.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. –2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

What greater purpose is God calling you to? What spiritual gift deep inside of you is bursting to break free? Are the expectations of others holding you back? Has fear of the unknown clipped your wings? Is there something in your past that you just can’t get over? Do you need to forgive someone in order to move forward? Be courageous and forgive, and then move on with your life.

Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?  –Isaiah 43:18-19 (MSG)

God has good things in store for you. Be brave. Step out into the unknown. Take a deep breath of freedom. Break out of the restraints that others have placed on you, and stretch out your wings. Raise your spiritual antennae and fly.

You were made for this.

About Tannis Oliveri

Tannis is a paper-loving girl in a digital world. An executive assistant by day and a writer by night, she enjoys copious amounts of coffee, deep discussions, and seeking God with her whole heart.
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