There is a scene in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty that has always been a favorite of mine. Aurora walks through the woods and sings about a man she met “once upon a dream.” As any fairytale worth telling would have it, her handsome prince, enraptured by her voice, meets her among the trees and they dance together. As a little girl, my love of singing and dance and adventure in the woods made this part of the story most lovely.
Growing up I spent most of my summers in the country with my grandparents. Those memories feel so precious to me. There was something special about their house, their home. It felt like a safe place to dream and play and be. I felt the Lord’s presence there. Often times I would swing from the huge tree in the middle of their backyard. I would stare up into the leaves, wind brushing my cheeks and dream with the enthusiasm you only experience when you are young and untouched by tragedy and disappointment.
There was hope in my heart for a great adventure. “One day…” I would sing with all the air in my lungs and run through the trees, living every story my wild imagination would come up with. I would stop for a moment, listening to the sacred low hum of nature, contemplating what was coming next. I’d get up, running back to the swing, observing how the sun shone differently through the branches. “One day…”
Some of those “one days” are still dreams in my heart. I dream of a country house of my own, with a white picket fence, lots of trees, a swing, a dog and children to fill the rooms with. I want to be like my mother. I want to love like she does. Her strength of character is unshakable. I want to be like my grandmother, working in ministry and teaching Sunday school. I can still remember watching her teach when I was 6, seeing kindness in her face. Even then, I wanted to show others who Jesus is like she does. Jesus is so alive in her heart and if I can have a fraction of her faith, I will be blessed beyond measure.
A friend once asked me, “what kind of woman will your prince find when he meets you?” I am fortunate I have such excellent examples in my life to look up to.
I don’t want to wait for “one day” for a happily ever after to become the woman I know God has called me to be.
That woman I used to dream of for one day, the one unafraid of adventure, can live her life fully in God’s presence today. Sometimes I need to remember to stop spinning and listen for the whisper of His voice.
While I’ve yet to marry my prince or take the plunge into full time ministry again, something about these dreams remains untouched by disappointment and Evil’s relentless assaults on my faith. Perhaps God made me a promise in the tree once upon a dream. I think it’s worth clinging onto to hope.
Anna Hull lives in San Antonio, TX. A graduate of Schreiner University with a B.A. in Religion & Political Science, Anna is passionate about finding Jesus in every day life. She enjoys unexpected adventure, making genuine connections with others, and finding beauty in chaos.