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How to Turn Discouragement Into Encouragement

Updated on June 9, 2018

From humble beginnings to greatness...

The intricacies' of a butterfly are captivating and unique. He starts out as a caterpillar, unpleasing to the eye and weak. He crawls around in the dirt all day, with seemingly, nothing to do. But the future for him, which seems unclear, is deceiving in the eyes of a fool.

He latches himself onto a branch...

To the casual observer he appears to be dead...

Then one day...

After months go by...

He just spreads his wings...

And begins to fly...


Now he's flying high...

Flying free...

His transformation is a complete mystery.

The inner workings of a butterfly could never be seen by the naked eye. Now he's flying free among flowers and trees. He's been transformed- a new creature you see. Now those who see him, stares and smiles...

He's beautiful...

He's colorful...

A new creature...

A butterfly...


The transformation from caterpillar to a butterfly.

Butterflies undergo a complete transformation, in which, they go through four different life stages.

  1. Female lays an egg that was fertilized by the male.
  2. The egg hatches into a tiny larva (caterpillar).
  3. The caterpillar eats and grows.
  4. The caterpillar attaches itself to a twig, and forms a hard outer shell called a pupa. The pupa or ( chrysalis ) is used to hide the caterpillar from predators.

Inside of the pupa a complete metamorphosis is taking place and what emerges is a beautiful, colorful, butterfly.

There is always a transformation period when change occurs.

Our natural eyes are not able to see the inner workings of someone's transformation. But the bible says in Ecclesiastes: "He will make everything beautiful in its time". As in the case of the caterpillar, some people may appear weak with no purpose, but you can't always judge a person by looking at them.

There may be things going on inside of them that you can't understand. Sometimes, it's best if people don't understand. In a world where everyone is trying to be the same, being different is not always popular.

Sometimes it's best to allow people to believe what they want to believe. Allow them to think you are a caterpillar. They can't see what's taking place inside of you. Their eyes cannot conceive your transformation, your wholeness, that will be so complete it will shine brightly for all to see.

People Judge With Their Eyes but God Judges By The Heart.

Like the caterpillar some may look at a person and think "They don't have anything to offer!" Or, judge a person by the things they've seen them do, and think "They won't amount to anything!" But they can't see what's being planted inside them. What's growing inside them and, what's about to be birthed through them. And when the truth materializes what they see is something beautiful, unique, and like no other.

I have learned to be discreet about the things I try to do. Why? It takes away discouragement- the hope for encouragement the fear of not living up to expectations. Allow yourself the time and freedom to embrace the marvelous change that's being worked inside of you. When a seed is planted in the dirt we water it, nurture it, give it nutrients and sunlight; and soon the desired effect materializes in its season but we have no idea what's taking place underground. I live by this quote that was planted in my heart a long time ago.

House under construction.


Discouragement Can Be A Sign That Your House (Life) is Not In Order.

A wise Man came upon a beautiful house; the problem was, the house was full of clutter. So He says. "I'm going to set this house in order and then I'll dwell here." So He gets rid of all the junk and things that were not useful, and begins to set the house in order. The owners of the house weren't happy they wanted to hold on to the memories that were a result of their clutter. But after the initial pain of losing things they felt were precious to them, they realized they had more room to fill their house with valuable things that would bring them a new joy.

Sometimes we feel discouraged when things we hoped for don't work out. Sometimes things don't work out for a reason. New saints will ask the Lord to consecrate their lives, and then, become unhappy when people are removed, and situations are arranged for His satisfaction. However, if we don't allow ourselves to become discouraged we might realize there is something better and more rewarding for us in store.

Don't let discouragement steal your joy. You are way more than what others see you as!

  • Don't be discouraged if you try to tell someone what you're doing and they don't believe you!
  • Don't be discouraged if you tell someone what you plan to be and they can't receive it!

Like the caterpillar, hold onto your branch, allow the seeds that's planted inside of you to grow and be birthed; transforming you from a caterpillar to a butterfly.

Isn't it easier to show people than to try and tell them? For they can deny what they have been told...No one can deny, with their own eyes, they have seen.

Sometimes discouragement from other's doesn't come from meanness but fear. Do you agree?

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    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      Thank you Swalia, for your kind words.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 2 years ago from India

      A very inspirational hub Dana! Loved it :)

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      I'm pleased that you have read and enjoyed. When I wrote this piece I was truly discouraged. But then the poem encouraged me and hopefully others. Take care.

    • profile image

      maribel 2 years ago

      Awesome Dana. Full of motivation and encouragement

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      Thanks for reading this one also Lo, the quote to you can't judge a book by its cover has the same meaning. I have seen many people looked down upon who became successful. And also, seen people who had much potential and didn't. Mothers are good for that, they will put down other people's kids and be surprised when theirs down turn out to be what they thought. Thanks for the comment and read.

    • profile image

      Lorenzo Brackett 2 years ago

      Dana, I really...really enjoyed this! It reminds me of the quote " you can't judge a book, by its cover" So many people assume things about others. You'll look down on people and when the Lord finishes with them, they'll be looking up. Great wisdom in understanding that we are all a work in progress.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      Thanks Sharon. We are all like butterflies, created for greatness. Some never live up to their true potential because they are afraid of change. But, we are created to evolve just like caterpillars. We all will go from caterpillars to butterflies if we continue to always seek our true destiny. Thanks for the thumb up and share!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago from Texas

      Dana, the butterfly is one of my favorite creatures and this is beautiful.

      Thumb-up, UABI and shared.

      Blessings and Hugs.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      Faith, when I read your hubs, I see a woman who is full of wisdom, and a beautiful heart to match. You are truly uplifting and encouraging and this is why you are so adored by many. All blessings to you.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      What a lovely hub full of truths here, Dana! Ah, yes, the power of the tongue to either bring life or death ... I am ever so mindful to carefully choose my words to edify or build up and not tear down, as I do understand how words can harm. As my precious mother, who has gone on to her true home, would tell us ...if you don't have something nice to say then say nothing at all. As a child, I did not understand the full impact of what she was telling us, but I do now!

      I love your wisdom and thank you for sharing.

      God bless you.

      Up and across but funny and sharing everywhere

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      All blessings to you Frank, for visiting and commenting.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      this was a useful hub felt as though I was sitting in a discouragement group trying to find the way to encouragement.. bravo this little hub would have helped, bless you for sharing ...Frank

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      And thank you for your visit and comment whonu. Yes, Mabel definitely brings into perspective what a person cannot always articulate. Spiritual attacks are something that the true believer will go through. I believe Satan personally brings people into your life who will distract you once you realize who you are. He is forever trying to discourage you by making you feel you cannot do what is in your heart to do. This is why understanding the word is so important. Discouragement is a tool the devil use, but God's word says "No weapons formed against us will prosper" Thanks again.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      Jo, thank you for your beautiful comment. Many of us ignore our authentic selves in order to conform to what the world and others think. This is a big mistake because at the end of the day we will be full of regrets. Sometimes it's best not to let others know what your dreams are until you transform into what you are called to be. I am so glad I stumbled upon the quote by Arthur because it complimented the hub perfectly. Thank you for the share and vote up and all the choices I surely appreciate it.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 2 years ago from United States

      Hi Dana. I always love to hear Eric and Mabelhenry in their responses to a thing that is going to be even more enlightening with each comment. Yes, we are forever changing into that which may glorify the Lord. Thank you so much for sharing this nice work my friend. whonu

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

      Jo_Goldsmith11 2 years ago


      Thank you for giving me my new favorite quote!

      I love that quote by William Arthur. :-))

      Yes, this made so much sense and I was glad to read this.

      And how true it is when the times are of being 'ignored'.

      I am not sure what is worse? We ignore ourselves and our desire to be successful or if the time come when others ignore our promise.

      Shared and Up! Interesting, useful, beautiful & Awesome~

      great food for thought. :-)

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      Vesauntha TK, I thought of this concept to encourage myself when I realized I was trying way too hard to get others to understand the changes taking place inside of me. I knew to others it may have appeared I wasn't doing much, but I knew changes were taking place. Then, I wondered why I was trying so hard to explain that to anyone else. Not only was it none of their business, but I knew eventually they would be able to see with their own eyes. Thank you for your kind words.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      Missy Smith, you hit it right on the nail. We try very hard to please everyone else and sometimes lose ourselves in the process. The sad part is some people don't have it in them to encourage you when you need them to. Learning to encourage yourself is the key and, understanding that every growth starts with a process. Thank you so much for your visit, kind words, and vote up!

    • vasantha  T k profile image

      vasantha T k 2 years ago from Bangalore

      Interesting! transformation of caterpillar to butterfly story of encouragement.

    • Missy Smith profile image

      Missy Smith 2 years ago from Florida

      I love the birth of a butterfly, and it is such a great way to tell a story of encouragement. I think in this world today we get lost with trying to please others, and we forget who we are, who we should become for ourselves.

      Discouragement is something I've had to fight off all my life being a bashful child. Now, not as shy, but still much of an introvert. I tend to go against the grain of what others feel is a normal life, and try to do things from what my heart, and my own intuition tell me.

      I enjoyed reading this. I'm glad I found it. Voting UP...:)

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      That was a very inspirational comment you left Mel Carriere: So true that age brings tougher skin and sometimes just knowing someone is petty and jealous is encouragement. Definitely most of the profound pieces will go unnoticed- unappreciated- but the junk will go viral; that is a testament to the sign of the times. Thank you for visiting.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      The older I get, the shorter the half life of the impact people's words has upon me is. Yeah it still burns when someone's petty jealousies are unleashed upon me, but it burns for a shorter period. Unlike blows to the aging physical body, the spiritual recovery time is much quicker now. This writing, for instance, is a humbling game. We think we write something brilliant and it is roundly ignored, then we write a throwaway piece of garbage and it practically goes viral. I'm learning to focus on winning the war even if I lose most of the small battles. Very inspirational words, stay cool in this muggy monsoon weather.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      Well Mrs. Pratt, Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. Yes, everyone has their season. I'm glad you enjoyed my article.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      Dr Pran Rangan; I appreciate your kind words. Thank you for visiting and reading and, for the vote up. All blessings to you.

    • profile image

      Nicole Pratt 2 years ago

      Everyone has their season, nice

    • Dr Pran Rangan profile image

      Dr Pran Rangan 2 years ago from Kanpur (UP), India

      Dana, thanks for another great hub of yours. You have given an apt analogy of butterfly and house under construction to put across your views. Voted up!

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      ChitrangadaSharan: Thank you so much for the lovely comment. I appreciate your visit and generous words. Also thank you for the vote up!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Great insightful hub and I especially liked the idea of how you related the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly to real life--just beautiful! Lovely quotes and words of wisdom--turn discouragement into encouragement, a very timely hub for me today.

      Thank you and voted up!

    • mabelhenry profile image

      mabelhenry 2 years ago from Harrisburlg, Pennsylvania

      All glory to God! We are here to wash each other feet. Every time we share is like coming to a basin filled with water and we wash each others feet through the Word and life of God. Have a great week!

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      Mabel; forgive me for not responding sooner but I just came from church and the Lord put it in my heart to check my comments; and I'm grateful I listened. You are so on time with this comment because I have also noticed the different spirits not only in myself but others. Thank you for the compliment that my hub came off as more inspirational than weariness- it is the goodness of the Lord- who helps me to encourage even when I can't do it for myself. The mind is a battle ground; its funny you say that because not to long ago I wrote a poem about how I felt my mind was in a battle ground and I wrote about how I was armed in the full armor of God going out to battle, but when I make it across the battle field blessings and the promise of God are waiting for me. You have blessed me not only with understanding me so completely but watering the seed that was in me, that weariness are tares and not fruit. You are truly powerful and anointed; and I just want to say today and every time you comment on my hubs you bless my soul.

    • mabelhenry profile image

      mabelhenry 2 years ago from Harrisburlg, Pennsylvania

      I was listening to a teaching the other day on different spirits that attack us and here are several to look out for in these last days. 1. The spirit of bondage, 2. The spirit of division, 3. The spirit of confusion, 4. The spirit of frustration, 5. The spirit to legitimize abominations, 6. The spirit of weariness.

      These are all operative like fiery darts, but the ones that seemed to have attacked me are frustration and weariness. The Spirit of God gave the resolve in the Word, (Luke 21:19) In your patience possess ye your soul. Transformation is all about the soul, and the mind is a battleground and frustration and weariness are tares not fruits. All that is not fruitful is both frustrating and wearisome, yet Jesus is telling us in patience take possession of our souls. You presented your hub in such a positive light that I didn't see any pain therein, just encouragement on how to possess your soul through transformation.

      You are seasoned to the Lord's purpose for you, remember you are the salt of the earth, so you are seasoned just right! This hub is instructional in contrasting the differences in encouragement vs. discouragement. I will confess it is a great conversational piece of work. Not debate though, just discovery. Thanks for sharing via comments too.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      Mabel; Praise God for your beautiful- insightful comment. Yes when the Holy Spirit begins His work in us we start out as a caterpillar but through growth we slowly transform; and as you say total completion comes with redemption. I believe the Lord put this on my heart because I was feeling a little weary and He needed to remind me to not look for validation in man but to keep my eye on Him. The part in the illustration that says; "He crawls around in the dirt all day with seemingly nothing to do. But the future for him, which, seems unclear, is deceiving in the eyes of a fool." I believe the Lord was saying " You know the work that's being done in you; they cannot see your inner workings- but they will when it's birthed." I am not as seasoned as you woman of God and I get weary sometimes. But this is my testimony of how God sees your deepest pain and will meet you there. Oh, what a wonderful God we serve! Thanks for the Vote up and share. You are a true blessing in my life.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      Ericdierker; You- still a caterpillar- never!!! No seriously, I understand for we all still have many things to know and ways to grow. And also watching the transformation of others from caterpillars to butterflies is truly delightful. I love to see it in my young family members it is a true metamorphosis. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • mabelhenry profile image

      mabelhenry 2 years ago from Harrisburlg, Pennsylvania

      Hi Dana:

      Most of the time the discouragement comes when we don't realize that change is a process. Change being the only constant for our lives. We must learn to appreciate the time factor and be patient with ourselves as well as others. Our total transformation will not be complete until final redemption is complete, that is the reason we must be patient. Unlike the caterpillar and its beautiful metamorphosis, we are being conformed into the image of God (The Imago Dei). The butterfly has arrived, but we see where that caterpillar came from we appreciate the process and it is applicable and we are and will be encouraged as we yield to the process we know as transformation.

      The process has to be qualified and personalized. What is the process? Transformation is the process. We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus, we are a work in progress, and this development is constant and ongoing. Process is a series of actions or operations directed toward a result. The result or end product is conformity into the likeness of Christ, (liken to the caterpillar into the beautiful butterfly) so that, when the Father looks upon us He sees His Son in us. Christ in us the hope of glory. It is the only way possible for us to glorify God.

      What is the process yielding? It is yielding change. What should my process yield? It should be yielding change. Transformation and the steps we take towards the fulfillment of change is a continual endeavor. We should be changing with every passing moment. Great work and topic Dana. Voted up! Sharing too.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      This brought to me a very hope filled thought. Even in my ripe old age I have much to look forward to for I am still a caterpillar. And that being so how much more do I have to look forward to in the changes that will take place in those around me? I will look more patiently.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      Word, very though-provoking question. Seeing that I was presented with such a problem I can tell you in my situation I waited for awhile. Unfortunately the person I adored left me. I guess I was more fun as a caterpillar. Though it hurt I healed quickly because I understood that we were no longer evenly yolked. Now I wait patiently for another butterfly and joyfully concern myself with the things of God until then. Thank you so much for the Vote up- knowing that you are a fellow soldier, I appreciate you and all the work you do for Him.

    • word55 profile image

      Word 2 years ago from Chicago

      Hello my friend, This was quite entertaining as well. Change is good for the soul except for when you change and someone you like doesn't then there is a problem. You either have to wait for them to come around or keep on moving. When there are two caterpils and one changes a week before the other one would it wait on the other one or fly away and never return? Anyway, I enjoyed it. Voted up!

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      Perspycacious; Thank you for being the first to read and comment. I have no idea why Arthur used lower case "i" I did notice it and wondered about it also. And thank you for your tips and follow. I will look forward to reading your hubs soon.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Curious as to whether or not Arthur used the lower case letter "i" twice before referring to himself as "I"? And, "....own eyes what they have seen."

      Good thoughts here.


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