Dragonflies are near and dear to my heart. We are lucky to live in the country on a piece of property that breeds dragonflies each year. Our home is nestled between two neighboring ponds and is surrounded on the outskirts by swampy terrain; a perfect environment for these beautiful insects. Each year in late summer there are a few days when thousands of these delicate creations swarm the sky around us. I eagerly anticipate this time of year because it feels like an outpouring of God’s love upon me.
These unique insects have profound personal and spiritual meaning to me. In my experience, dragonflies appear around me at times of joy in my life; times when I can feel God affirming His love for me or reminding me of my blessings. Sometimes I will be walking in nature with family or friends and one will fly by; a reminder that I’m surrounded by those I love. Other times I will be sitting on my deck deep in prayer or journaling and a dragonfly will land on my chair; an affirmation that God is listening. Several times I‘ve even been blessed with a dragonfly landing directly on me. For me, these moments are surreal interactions with Christ through nature. Interestingly, a dragonfly spends most of its life in a larvae (nymph) state under water; up to four years. Here it grows, develops wings and blossoms into adulthood. When the larva is ready to metamorphose into an adult, it climbs up a reed or other emergent plant and the exposure to air causes the larva to begin breathing. The adult dragonfly then crawls out of its old larval skin, pumps up its wings, and flies off into the sky. Once the dragonfly has left the water, only one or two months remain in its lifespan. It seems sad, but is also amazing that God gives us a brief glimpse of their beauty just before they die.
God recently revealed to me a connection between these captivating creatures and our marital covenant. The dragonfly’s iridescent wings remind me of how important it is to remain transparent in our sacramental relationship. We promised to love, honor and cherish one another and when we open our hearts in trust and vulnerability, it eliminates the need to guess what lies inside the other person. Instead we can see through and within our spouse with clarity.
The fact that most of a dragonfly’s life is spent underwater growing into the complete creature God intended reminds me of how important it is for us to grow in our relationship each day as we mature individually and as a couple into who God designed us to be. We don’t know how long God has planned for us to be together as husband and wife. How sad it would be to spend the majority of our married years languishing in defeat; never able to find our wings.
What I love most about the dragonfly is that it gives me a sense of hope. Its graceful nature keeps me grounded in the reality that without God’s Grace my marriage will struggle to endure. The dragonfly’s intricate design reminds me that my husband and I are fearfully and wonderfully made…for each other. The dragonfly’s ability to dart about in any direction reminds me of how my husband and I do the same as we take care of the many responsibilities of life and family. But being centered in Christ as a couple reminds us to rest like a dragonfly as we land gently in His presence and allow the Son to sparkle on our wings.
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