This past September I began an internship on the Oncology service at a local hospital, as part of my Master of Social Work program at VCU. Although I enjoyed my work, it was difficult, especially at the beginning, to see patients losing their battles with cancer. As my first month on the job drew to a close, our family was shocked when Mom received a breast cancer diagnosis. I was overcome with worry and had difficulty focusing on much else, but that very day, I began to see yellow butterflies.

I have been helping with the RRCB youth group, and we have been learning more about our own denomination, as well as others, by touring various churches and religious institutions around Richmond. Our first stop was the Virginia Baptist Historical Society at the University of Richmond, with our excellent tour guide being Fred Anderson. He began by showing us a painting with a yellow butterfly in it, and asking, “Does anyone know what yellow butterflies symbolize?” He went on to explain that they symbolize better times to come, which naturally gave me goose bumps!

Throughout the time of Mom’s diagnosis, surgery, and radiation therapy treatments, I saw at least one yellow butterfly each day. They were comforting to me as I attempted to keep my faith strong during this difficult time, with the help of my supportive church family. Now that Mom has finished treatments, and the weather is colder, I have stopped seeing yellow butterflies, but I can’t help thinking that that they were there to show me that better times were ahead, and not to worry.

Prayer: May we all be open to the signs that you send us, and trust in your plan for our lives.