“Dreams are the lanterns by whose lights we pass through the darkest valley.”
“I’ve got a dream
She’s got a dream
I’ve got a dream
She’s got a dream
I just want to see the floating lanterns gleam
And with every passing hour
I’m so glad I left my tower
Like all you lovely folks, I’ve got a dream…”
Rapunzel, Tangled (listen here).
“I had a dream once,” said the Ruffian, before they all broke out in song in the Snuggling Duckling Tavern. Turns out there is a dream in every one, no matter how rough or tough they may seem.
Rapunzel was dreaming about one single day of freedom. A chance to go and see the lanterns that appeared only on her birthday. Curious about the origin and the story behind those mysterious lights, she snuck out of her tower and braved her way through a forest. This was the first time she had ever left her tower and she found herself in unknown territory.
All her life she had dreamt about seeing those lanterns up close, but behind her dream was something much bigger. Her father’s dream: his deepest desire was to embrace his lost daughter. Behind those lanterns, were her true identity. Her family. Her destiny.
Even though Rapunzel had been missing for years, the King never stopped celebrating her. His celebration of her, those lanterns that she was dreaming about, called her home. She followed them and discovered that the dream she had was nothing compared to the dream that would unfold in the days to come.
As a young girl, I had a dream too. In fact, I had several, but the one that seemed the most important, was to be thin and beautiful. I believed that changing the way I looked would be the answer to all my problems. Having failed at dieting since the age of twelve, I did not have much hope of ever seeing my dream come true. Then one day I saw a lantern.
Lisa, a girl from far, far away, wrote her testimony in a book called “Real People. Real Needs. Real Victories.” (A book published by Kenneth Copeland Ministries). From within the pages of her story, shone this beautiful truth: God is interested in your weight loss journey, and you can invite him into any mess. That was the first time I realised that God wasn’t just for Sundays. God wanted to be part of my everyday life.
As I followed that lantern, I discovered another: Marty Copeland. Through her ministry and teachings, I learned amazing tools for transformation in the area of food and exercise. But the biggest revelation she brought to my heart was that I already had been given all things I need for life and godliness. It was in me to get up and walk in victory.
One lantern lead me to the next one, I discovered many awesome teachers of the Word and learned so much. But the knowledge I received, as much as I needed it, only took me so far. Then one day, as I was picking up toys off the living room floor, the telly happened to be on. It was on the Daystar channel, and Joni was interviewing someone whose story resonated with me, loud and clear.
She had me at “food issues!” I grabbed the remote and turned up the volume. Robia shared how she had learned about counterfeit comforts from the Holy Spirit. As soon as the interview finished, I rushed upstairs to Google her. I found her website and downloaded lots of her teachings. Through the tools she taught, I was empowered to start breaking out of my stronghold. She supplied the hammer, that broke the rock (Jeremiah 23:29). Her story, her teachings and mentoring, was like hundreds of lanterns, that offered so much light on my path.
“The entrance and unfolding of Your words give light; their unfolding gives understanding (discernment and comprehension) to the simple.”
Psalm 119:130 AMPC
As I applied what I learned, I started experiencing glimpses of freedom. It was a process. (It still is). And there were many years, that I had to listen and listen, and listen again. Whenever I would feel myself getting dragged back into old thinking patterns, I would get my earphones and my trainers and go for a long walk, with Robia’s voice in my ears.
But the dream was still the same. I want to be thin. I want to be beautiful. It would be a while yet, before I realised that there was a much bigger dream ahead. My Father’s dream.
The lanterns were calling me home. I followed them because I wanted to be thin and beautiful, but I found something much better than physical appearance. I found a Father who wanted to embrace me, love me and heal my heart. I wanted to look differently, but what I really needed was to see differently. To see the bigger picture. To see myself the way my Father sees me.
One foot in front of the other, I followed down the path. Lit up by the testimonies of children who had found their Father. Their righteousness in Jesus, showed me the way to go, to find everything I never knew I needed. They showed me the way to the Father, where I could trade my little dream for his awesome dream for my life.
I have never looked back.
“But the lovers of God walk on the highway of light, and their way shines brighter and brighter until they bring forth the perfect day.”
Proverbs 4:18-20 TPT
If you are feeling stuck, can I encourage you to lift your eyes toward the Light. Look for the lanterns. There is someone who has walked the path and found their way to freedom. Borrow their dreams as you discover your own. Let their stories be lanterns that light the path before you.
Saturate your life with the Word of Truth. Read it. Hear it. Speak it. It may not feel like you are getting any closer to your dream just yet, but I promise you, Beloved, you will get there!
Your Father is celebrating you. There are lanterns all around you. Just look and see.
Today, I hear the Father calling: “Glorious Child, there is so much life I long to give you. I am here, waiting to embrace you. To fill you with my love and to heal every broken piece of your heart. My dreams for you are limitless. As my Words of Truth fill your heart with love and flood your eyes with light, you will be able to see differently. You will be able to see the world like it really is. You will be able to see yourself like you really are. The way that I see you. Perfect. Holy. Loved.” ❤