Before it becomes a butterfly, a caterpillar goes through a growth stage during which it is called a “chrysalis.” On the surface it may not look like much is happening, but the delicate chrysalis process changes the fuzzy caterpillar into an awesome butterfly with wings of intricate designs and intense colors. The chrysalis process symbolizes how Christ can transform you into something beyond your dreams. It happens when you grow beyond yourself, opening your life to Jesus’ power and love.
“Chrysalis” is the name chosen for the youth and young adult version of The Walk to Emmaus, its parent movement, because it symbolizes the spiritual growth that is essential between adolescence and adulthood. That growth is as crucial for youth as the cocoon is for the caterpillar. It is that precious time of nurturing a person’s faith for discipleship.
Chrysalis “Flights” (for 10th through 12th graders) and “YAC (Young Adult Chrysalis)” (for young adults, ages 18-24) are three-day events. This three-day spiritual renewal time provides an opportunity for you to learn more about faith, to experience Christian love and support, and to make new faith commitments. The point is to inspire, challenge and equip you for a closer friendship with Christ and for Christian action at home, church, school, and community.
Chrysalis lifts up a way for you to enjoy Christ’s friendship and love and to be Christ’s friend and partner in the world. The three days focus on God’s grace, your experience with Christ as friend, what it means to be the body of Christ, and giving love to a needy world.
Q: What have these three days meant to you?
A: From recent boy butterflies (ages 15 to 23):
I learned a lot. It was the most intense retreat ever.
It’s the closest I’ve been to God. EVER! It’s made my faith more real to me.
WOW—I can’t count it all! Very intense fellowship. I’ve gotten so much more from this than I can count.
Unexplainable! I have such heartfelt relationships with so many new brothers, and a deeper connection with God and my community. I want to help others learn how to get closer to God.
AWESOME! I’ve learned so much of what God wants of my life.
I definitely grew closer to God. I intend to make better friends going forward.
I learned more about the questions I had. I learned I really didn’t know anything.
Before this weekend, I had only attended one other retreat. Here, we prayed in small groups. It taught me the importance of being near your Brothers in Christ. I appreciate them so much more!
I learned so much! It’s not what I expected, but boy did I have a lot of fun!
It gave me the relationship with God I’ve been looking for for a long time. I learned to let go of hurts. I learned to forgive those around me.
A: From recent girl butterflies (ages 15 to 21):
- I want nothing more than to serve.
- I found Jesus when I couldn’t even FEEL Him!
- I found the courage to step out of my comfort zone and stand up for who I am.
- My faith has skyrocketed. I feel so much stronger in my faith!
- I’ve grown my relationship with Christ and my courage.
- This weekend meant forgiveness.
- This weekend has been a nudge—no, a SHOVE, back onto the right path. I’m so grateful.
- This weekend has shown me I had put God on the backburner. No more!
- This weekend gave me the chance to be really honest and know that it’s okay to be myself.
- As an exchange student, you need a lot of faith and trust—I already have that. But now, I feel so loved and cared for!
- My eyes have been re-opened to what Christ has done for me–specifically, by the people He has put into my life.
- I learned how to forgive. And how to heal.
- I decided to stop worrying so much!
- This weekend taught me that God can work with my little mustard seed of faith. I’m going to continue growing my relationship with Christ and grow my faith.
- I met a whole lot of new friends!
- I got to see God’s love through everybody here and in very unexpected ways!
- I am more open to God and I now KNOW He loves me!
- OH! More than I expected! I can finally be who God made me to be and not be ashamed of it! I’ve met so many beautiful people who shine the light of Christ.
- I learned how to be myself this weekend.
- I learned love, Christian community, and met some really interesting people.
- I’ve opened myself to Christ more and I want to use what I have learned.
- I was kind of lost in my faith. This weekend I reconnected with God.
- When I first got here I had doubts, was very shy, and didn’t think it would be fun. But these girls are the sisters I’ve never had! I intend to go home and do something to change the world.