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Easter Butterfly

It was a sign, from an animal angel.
An Easter butterfly brought hope

Easter morning at Bald Eagle Park was breathtaking, but I could barely enjoy it.

My fiancé, Wayne, and I had come out early to relax, but how could I relax? I was finishing up an associate degree program in the next few weeks, graduating in May, and planning my June wedding. I was also looking for a new job. Until then I had my night-shift job at the factory, plus two part-time jobs to make ends meet.

I settled down on a log and poked a stick into the fire pit we’d made. Wayne was getting breakfast ready. I’d found a great guy, and my life felt like it was finally on track. But there was so much to be done. So much could go wrong. Would I really graduate? What if I couldn’t get steady work? Or what if I chose a job that made me miserable to live with? And what about all those decisions I had to make for the wedding? I was doubting everything from the church we’d chosen to the light shade of purple I’d picked for the bridesmaid dresses.

I shut my eyes and breathed, trying to stop the negative thoughts in my head. I don’t know if I have the strength to do all this, I thought. Lord, please guide me.

Wayne tapped my shoulder to make room for him. I felt so overwhelmed and unsure. I put my hand on Wayne’s and closed my eyes one more time. Please send me a sign so I know I’m doing the right thing.

I opened my eyes and gasped. Hovering before me, inches from my face, was a purple butterfly. I’d never seen a butterfly of such hue—certainly not this light shade of purple. It was the exact same color as the bridesmaid dresses!

“Look!” I marveled to Wayne. “It’s a sign. A sign that everything’s under control.”

Wayne chuckled. “It’s just a butterfly,” he said. “There’s plenty of them around in the spring.”

“This one has a message just for me,” I assured him.

Wayne looked at me funny, but he didn’t argue. Anyway, this sign was between me and God. It didn’t matter if Wayne believed me or not. Finally I could enjoy our Easter morning.

Life got hectic again the minute we returned home, an endless to-do list for school, work and the wedding. Plus the bridal shower Wayne’s mother was hosting for me. One afternoon she rang the doorbell, interrupting my homework. Wayne let her in.

“I was out shopping,” she said, “and I found the perfect decorations. I couldn’t wait to show them to you.”  I wished she had. I’d never get my schoolwork done in time for class!

Wayne’s mother pulled out a plastic bag filled to the brim with bright purple butterflies!

“They’re perfect,” I said. She knew nothing about my sign!

“Maybe that Easter butterfly you saw wasn’t such a coincidence after all,” Wayne said after she left.

The shower went beautifully, as did my graduation. I threw myself into the search for a new job, interviewing with a mechanical contractor for a job as a service technician. My degree had prepared me for it, and the supervisor seemed to like me. But was it the right job? Driving home from my final interview, I wished I could know for sure.

I turned the car down a side road lined with houses. The second house on the left had a lovely flower garden. In the center was a big wooden sculpture—a purple butterfly. I had to go around the corner and pass it again just to be sure I wasn’t seeing things. Nope! I laughed. I guessed that settled it. I took the job.

Before I began work officially, I went through a two-week training program. A couple days in I got to talking with the man training me. He’d been with the company for a long while.

“I’m going to like it here,” I said. “Do you live close by?”

“Not far,” he said. “You might have passed my house. It has a big purple butterfly in the garden out front.”

I told him I knew his butterfly very well! I had my terrific job thanks to that butterfly!

My life’s not quite as hectic these days, but it’s no less filled with purple butterflies. Anytime I feel overwhelmed or worn out, I can count on one appearing in some form or another. Each one feels like another tiny Easter miracle. Even Wayne looks out for them now. And that’s a miracle in itself.

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