I’ve been slowly trying to clean out some of my draft posts. I often start a post and then never get around to finishing it or posting it. Surprise surprise, right? I found this post in my draft. I wrote it for the Total Woman U blog on January 18th, 2011, right after I moved back to Mississippi. Apparently I wanted to repost it here on my personal blog and pasted into a draft who knows how long ago. I don’t know why I never posted it but as I read it just now, over three years later, I feel like I wrote it to myself for this current season of life. Who knew when I wrote this three years ago that God would give me new dreams I didn’t even know I’d dream for myself. As I’m staring the big scary God-sized dream of having a bakery in the face, a dream that continues to be affirmed and developed every passing week and day, I needed to be reminded of these words more than ever.
I don’t know what kind of effect this phrase has on you, but for me, the moment I hear it I smile. It makes me sit up straight in my chair and await being told a happy ending story. It causes me to imagine that I’m wearing a big poofy princess dress. It makes me picture little girls playing dress up. It causes me to scroll through the knowledge of every fairytale story I have permanently (and maybe embarrassingly) stored in my mind. These four little words were read to us over and over as children and made us dream and write love stories for our barbies when we were little girls in those dress up clothes.
I’ve been thinking about these words lately as I’ve found myself surrounded by women on every side! My cousin is getting married, and I have been bestowed the maid of honor title. She and I grew up pretending, sometimes believing, that we were those princesses in the stories we read and movies we watched. I was always Cinderella and she was always Ariel. When we went dress shopping, they told us of a new line the store had called The Fairy Tale Collection. We didn’t give it much thought other than it being a cute idea. The bride suggested some of the things she liked, and the shop ladies brought poof sparkly dresses one after another. The bride to be wasn’t even actually planning to buy a dress that day, but then… she tried on the dress. You know, THE dress. The minute she turned around her mother and I go teary eyed. It was beautiful. Miss bride to be didn’t even want to take it off. The dress just so happened to be one of the aforementioned Fairy Tale Collection ones… Ariel. When we discovered that, of course we cried more. It was one of those moments.
“Once Upon a Time” looks different for everyone. Maybe you weren’t the girly girl playing make believe in pink sparkly dresses. Maybe you had read every Nancy Drew book before the rest of us even discovered Nancy Drew. Maybe your dream was academic, athletic, or inventive. As we grow up, we often put our once upon a time dreams in a dusty corner at the top of the bookshelf. We grow up, life happens, we write it off as a silly childhood dream. Or maybe you got your once upon a time and now what? Dreaming is over? Thinking about the once upon a time concept of myself as a little girl pretending I was Cinderella, my life does not look anything like I thought it would. Picking up my old dusty once upon a time dreams, it appears I’m missing out on somethings at the first glance. As I look beyond the surface, I realize it was never my job to write the end of my story.
God is the author of our lives, of our fairy tales. Life isn’t perfect and it doesn’t always look like a fairy tale. Our hair isn’t always pretty and we don’t always get to wear a sparkly poofy dress. Sometimes our princess attire looks more like a work uniform. We trade in our dress up clothes for that old t-shirt and those lounge pants we use to clean the house. But our moments aren’t over just because we are grown ups. From the time we were old enough to talk and think, God gave us the ability to dream. I know you have those thoughts, maybe sometimes fleeting, where you get a big idea that you just push away or write off because there is no way you could do that. There is no way you can do that in your mind, but that doesn’t make that feeling and thought true.
He gives us dreams, big ideas and the ability to imagine for a reason. Dust off your once upon a time and let it inspire you. You ARE a princess with the ability to accomplish the tasks, dreams, and visions God gives you as long as He is with you. Just as the bride to be had a shining glowing moment when she put on that dress, we shine and glow and reflect the glory of God when we are used by Him. Don’t miss your moments because the once upon a time you dreamed of doesn’t look like you thought it would or because it already happened. Psalm 37: 4 says, “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” If we delight in Him, He promised to give us the desires of our heart, the desires that He puts there and that line up with His.