This is a long testimony, but so amazing. I pray you will take the time to read it, and God will encourage you as you do. I am excited to celebrate this season of resurrection and share the promise He has given to all of us!
In early January, I went to Bethel, a church in Redding, California for the premier of Heidi and Rolland Baker’s documentary “Compelled By Love.” Part of me was afraid to go, because I have a weight problem. Beni Johnson, one of the Senior pastors there is so fit and into health, I imagined everyone there was in shape and I would stick out like a sore thumb. It has been such a source of shame in my life for over 25 years. When I got pregnant and was not married, I gained so much weight, even though that was also when I got saved.
So many things just fell away, drinking, drugs, other sins became unattractive, and I had no problem letting them go, but it seemed I began to use food as a comfort. I tried over the years to get it off of me, and could lose some, but then I would just gain it back again. So I decided, while I was at Bethel, I would go to their healing rooms and ask them to pray for this weight issue. I asked them to pray that God would show me the roots…or heal me…whatever, I just wanted to be free. When they prayed, I knew God had done something, because I was touched in the spirit as they prayed and wept. I also felt something release and leave me.
After I got home, nothing much changed, I was still eating emotionally and compulsively. So one day I was crying in the shower, praying, and I was saying to my body, “I am sorry I have not loved you. I am sorry I have abused you. I am sorry I let men abuse you. Please forgive me for not loving you.” When I got done praying, I heard the Lord say, “Contact Beni Johnson, she has keys for you.” I argued with the Lord and said, “What? I am just some random woman that lives on the east coast, she is a very busy woman, and she doesn’t even know me. I do not want to bother her.” So I just let it go.
Later that day, Beni posted her status on Facebook, and it came across my newsfeed. It was like she had written it just to me. “You need to look in the mirror and say, “Love wins here!” Stop abusing yourself, you are a work of art.” I was undone, and I took that as my confirmation that I had heard God correctly, and I WAS supposed to contact her. So with much fear and with many tears, I wrote to her. I poured out my heart. It was gut wrenching and painful, but, I was telling her my story.
Then, surprisingly, she wrote me back! She said I was “spot on!” and suggested a book for me, encouraged me to just take “baby steps.” She said that my weight was probably trauma weight. I thought, yes, maybe from being pregnant and not married, I could see that. The book elaborated on it and said it is usually rooted in fear.
I couple of days later while I was working, I met a naturopathic Dr. during one of my stops, he had a huge store full of natural health items, and spent some time talking with me about my weight issue, then later that night, I got food poisoning. I suddenly became very aware of my stomach. I was so sick and I could feel the poison all through my body, and God began to show me, in many ways, I had been poisoning myself with food. So, after that, my food choices began to change.
Then about one month later, I went to be with the Lord on a Monday morning, and He said…and this is scary to say, because what if I am wrong? What if I didn’t hear Him and I am just wanting something so badly I am making it up?
…but, I believe He said, it was my “appointed time to be set free” from my weight issues. He said…He had “heard my cries”…and “there is an appointed time in ME for liberty” and “TODAY” was my day. I wish I could say I jumped up down and praised Him, but I did not, I just listened and tried to hope.
So, He kept asking me if I believed Him, and said He could do what no man could do, not even me. He said I had to believe He had set me free. It required faith, and it would take me 6 months. While He was speaking to me, He also showed me a butterfly in a chrysalis. He was saying…that there is an appointed time for the butterfly to come out of the chrysalis, and I too, was about to get my wings.
He has always used the monarch to encourage me that one day I WOULD be free from my weight issues. I used to have a weight loss blog called “Becoming a Butterfly” and when I ran my first 5k, I iron-transferred a pink Monarch onto the back of a t-shirt to encourage myself. He also reminded me how I could not paint until He came and asked me to do it. Even though I already had everything I needed to be able to, I still could not put the pieces together, but once He had painted with me, then there was no stopping me. He said, it will be like that, it will be miraculous. He said when people asked me how I did it, He said, “Just tell them I set you free one morning.”
So, the next day, a spiritual mom wrote me and asked for my address, she said God had told her to send me something. I gave it to her and then I asked her,”I think God did something big for me, can I share it with you?” When I finished, she started laughing, she said, “THAT WAS GOD!!! Wait till you see. He dealt with me so strongly about sending this to you. It will confirm what He said to you.” She was amazed and I was curious. She also asked if the number 6 meant anything, and later I remembered God had said it will take me 6 months to get the weight completely off!
I got the present a couple days later, and in the box were 6 butterflies made of feathers, with glitter on their wings!!! There was no denying what God had said to me then. Maybe I could hope, after all.
A couple of months ago, I was invited to paint at a women’s conference, in Wilmington, NC, so I had been seeking Him about what to paint. Then hit me, I know what I will paint, I have to paint what He has told me He has done for me. To make it official, so, I went to look and see if it will work for the conference, and I discovered the conference was called “LIVE FREE!!!!”
THEN I had another huge revelation!! The conference was to be in the same city where I lived with and was abused by a man sexually, mentally and verbally before I was saved. He cheated on me with everyone, and called me fat all the time, even though I had a beautiful healthy body. He was truly sadistic and cruel towards me, and sadly, because I had no self esteem and was desperate to be loved, I just took it, and stayed with him. It seemed I would put up with anything to be loved.
It was right after I left him when I got pregnant, got saved, and gained all the weight. I realized…THAT was the REAL trauma, not the pregnancy. That man had cursed me, BUT God was telling me HE had just set free from it!!!!
Wow…so then I knew,
THIS TRULY IS AN APPOINTED TIME!
God was sending me back to that VERY same city where I was put under bondage, to paint at a women’s conference…
AND I was going to paint myself getting FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!
These are some of the scriptures He led me to during this time:
For the vision is yet for the appointed time, and it hurries toward the end, and won’t prove false. Though it takes time, wait for it; because it will surely come. It won’t delay.
For everything there is
an appointed time,
and an appropriate time
for every activity on earth…
God has made everything beautiful in its (appointed) time.
He gave me some very simple baby steps, so I am starting. He said it will be different this time. People will be amazed, because the weight will just fall off. Sure enough, the weight has started coming off quickly and I have not even put all the steps into place yet, but I am working towards them!
I am excited, and still almost afraid to hope, but with all that has happened, it surely seems like Him.
How I was at Bethel church, and received prayer for this problem, then how God led me to Beni Johnson, my spiritual mom’s prophetic gifts, being asked to come to the VERY same city where satan had cursed me through that cruel man, and to top it all off…the conference being called LIVE FREE!!!! It just seemed too coincidental not to be God.
Once I got to the church there were more confirmations. The pastor’s wife got up and shared her testimony and she had been through abuse as I had, even more severely than me. I found out from one of her spiritual daughters that she loved butterflies, God uses them to encourage her. I had no idea, but what a joy to find out!
The last speaker, an Evangelist at the conference, came over to me after I shared about the meaning of the painting with the congregation, and she prophesied to me, it was so powerful and encouraging. She said I will be completely free and I WILL look like the woman in the painting!
So much of the conference was about becoming a new woman and even the mention of coming out of the cocoon, before I even painted the wings on the woman!
I hope when people see this painting, they’ll be encouraged to shed the old and become a new Creation in Him! To draw close to Him and seek Him with all their hearts! He hears and He cares!!!
Symbolism: The butterfly has long been a Christian symbol of resurrection, for it disappears into a chrysalis and appears dead, but emerges later far more beautiful and powerful than before.
As a symbol of Christ’s resurrection after three days in the grave, the butterfly is seen especially around Easter. But the butterfly is also a symbol of every Christian’s hope of resurrection from the dead.
Related Bible Verses
So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
1 Corinthians 15:42-44
For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
1 Corinthians 15:52b
Remember the word you gave me.
Through it you gave me hope.
This is my comfort in my misery:
Your promise gave me a new life.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:
old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17
~ Resurrection: Resurrection body separates from the grave, or Earth, and rises into Heaven
~ Sanctification process: Separation from world, consecration to God (Acts 26:18)
~ Separation from the World: Orange is a separation barrier in the tabernacle. It corresponds to the wall of linen around the Tabernacle that symbolized separation from the world. Only the believer who is serious about the Christian Life will pay the price of leaving the world behind to follow the Lord Jesus Christ.
In Marriage: Forsaking all others (1 Cor 7:4)
has a lot of negative meanings…
but the good ones were
~ Health – Leviticus 13:37, Song of Solomon 1:5-6; 5:11