In honor of the commitment I made to my best friend 22 years ago, this one is for him.
You see, all those years ago, I promised two simple words to him that changed my life forever.
He promised those same words back to me.
A year ago, I traveled across the country hoping to find a diagnosis and cure for Derek. We’ve been privileged to witness his miracle unfold—and I now travel for a very different purpose.
I travel to honor him, and our family, by serving others through a mission that offers hope, tools, support, aids, and—above all—LOVE to anyone who is struggling . . . a little or a lot. It has been an honor to be part of an incredible team as we open the doors to the first-ever mental wellness company, Amare Global. This is something our country needs more than ever, and it has been a great honor to humbly serve others.
#flatDerek travels everywhere I go with me as a reminder of why I do what I do.
On one of my recent journeys I realized that who is placed beside you on an airplane can either be a gift or a nightmare. Traveling has made me appreciate that there are truly beautiful souls in this world and I do believe in divine appointments as a result.
I have met people from all walks of life, people with beautiful stories of tragedy or success. Other stories are a bit on the wild (even bizarre) side. One particular woman, Natalie, left two no-longer-strangers walking off the plane with tears streaming down our faces. We had dinner on our layover, and you would have thought we knew each other our whole lives. I have now “adopted” her forever as a daughter.
On my last flight, #flatDerek took over the plane and bonded the women in my row and the flight crew.
As I share #flatDerek’s journey, others feel they can share their own personal journey.
My airplane companion shared with me a beautiful story.
She had been dealing with some challenges in her life. She was trying to be the peacemaker and fix everything, when a butterfly changed that.
Curious what she meant by this, I asked her to share her butterfly story.
Long ago, she had a visit by a yellow butterfly. During a difficult time, a butterfly appeared and never left her side. It sat on her hand, followed her for quite some time, and became a symbol to her. She wasn’t exactly sure why, but somehow it calmed her, as if to let her know that everything was going to be okay.
Curious about the butterfly, she googled its definition and this what she found.
Butterfly symbolism and meaning are deep and powerful representations of life. Many cultures associate the butterfly with our souls. The Christian religion sees the butterfly as a symbol of resurrection.
A great transformation takes place for a butterfly. From a caterpillar to an ugly cocoon, resurrects the most beautiful creature:
But the butterfly story didn’t end here.
Recently, this woman went down to her old basement and randomly came across a live yellow butterfly. Not sure how it got there, she quickly realized the beautiful creature was wounded, missing its lower wing. Curious if anything could be done for this beautiful butterfly, she researched it on good old google. To her surprise, she learned the wing could actually be glued back on. Hopeful, she went back to her dingy basement to look for the missing wing. To her amazement she found the wing by a butterfly bush she had brought in last fall, and had completely forgotten about.
Wanting to fix the butterfly, she studied more about how to glue the wing. She even made a few calls to people that she thought could help. That didn’t work.
In the end, she simply made a safe haven for it.
By doing so, she realized something significant.
She wasn’t meant to fix the problem. Her role was simply to care for the wounded butterfly.
Sometimes you can’t fix what’s wrong. You aren’t meant to be the glue that holds it all together. Your job is to simply care and provide a safe haven.
After we said goodbye, I pulled out a book sent to me by a dear friend several years ago. Draw the Circle. The 40 Day Prayer Challenge, written by Mark Batterson, has become one my favorite books. Ratted, tear stained, highlighted, I have read it—and written all over it—20 times. No kidding.
The chapter in front of me was my least favorite. I remember reading it for the first time over four years ago while we were at Mayo Clinic. A 13-month-fight to get our insurance to approve the visit only led to the most disappointing visit ever. Paperwork was filled out incorrectly and my husband was sent to the wrong doctor. Looking for a source of inspiration during that difficult time, I remembered reading this particular devotion and, honestly, it was the last thing I wanted to read:
A perfectly healthy two-year-old boy had a freak accident, falls from a second story window and is left with brain damage. For over three years the parents prayed for this little boy’s complete miracle. But after years of prayers they one day realized that God had a different plan for their son. Angry and frustrated they questioned, “WHY GOD?”
Only through time and reflecting backwards could they see the blueprint left behind. God had a magnificent, totally different plan for this little boy. Through his disabilities, many lives were touched, even saved.
That’s when it hit me.
Sometimes we are like butterflies with damaged wings. Instead of gluing the wing back on, we have a greater purpose—to love through the brokenness.
Every day, I think of how my husband not only had a rare disease, but also continues to deal with damage from a misdiagnosis. And that plagues him daily. I have found myself many times in the past questioning the same thing. “WHY GOD?”
Today this devotion had a whole new meaning as it clicked with a complete stranger’s butterfly story. Reading this verse, it hit me.
“This happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” John 9:3
Derek is my butterfly.
His “wounded wing” led us on a new journey in life. I couldn’t be his glue. I was just meant to create a safe haven for him and love him no matter what.
God was and is our glue.
Piece-by-piece over the past five years, Derek’s broken wing is being restored. And Derek is beginning to soar again.(If you don’t believe me, just look at how amazing he is doing from a year ago.)
As I travel around the country sharing LOVE to the world and offering hope through holistic means to overcome life’s challenges, I know I wouldn’t be where I am had Derek not been transformed through his struggles.
If you have a broken wing, it doesn’t mean you can’t ever soar again. Maybe it’s time to quit trying to glue the wing yourself.
Start with loving yourself again. Love others. Love through the brokenness and struggles.
Love is greatest gift of all and can lead to your very own transformation as your own miracle unfolds. One day, I have a dream to turn our farm into a holistic safe haven for the chronically ill. I may not always be the glue, but I will love others unconditionally during the toughest times in their life.
Sarah Hein The Pioneer
The missing link to holistic health: Healthy Gut, Happy Mind.
For More information on holistic approaches for gut and brain health contact Sarah at: firstname.lastname@example.org