“A dream fulfilled is a great feeling, but it is also daunting. You’re left asking yourself, ‘What do I do now?’”
All Rapunzel ever wanted for eighteen years was to see the floating lights drift up into the sky on her birthday, but not just from her bedroom window… she wanted to see them up close!
The day had finally arrived. Though the circumstances and company were unlikely, her dream was about to be fulfilled. In that moment of anticipation, she expressed a sudden concern to the man responsible for getting her there:
Rapunzel: I’ve been looking out of a window for eighteen years, dreaming about what I might feel like when those lights rise in the sky. What if it’s not everything I dreamed it would be?
Flynn Rider: It will be.
Rapunzel: And what if it is? What do I do then?
Flynn Rider: Well, that’s the good part I guess. You get to go find a new dream.
For the past five months I have been living in Uganda, which had been a dream of mine for about four years prior. My dream was to work with Watoto Childcare ministries, and help make an impact on the lives of children in Uganda. With that I also desired some adventure. Life was becoming rather tame and predictable, and I wanted to spice things up!
Before I left for Uganda, I found myself asking others, and myself the same question Rapunzel asks in Tangled: “What if it’s not everything I dreamed it would be?” Everyone’s response was almost always, “It will be!”
Yet the more frightening question turned out to be, “What if it is everything I dreamed it would be? What do I do then?”
My time in Uganda was definitely a dream fulfilled. It was actually better than I could have ever imagined. I danced in the rain, I gazed at the stars, I slowed down, I laughed hearty belly laughs (daily), I sang with feeling, I cried unashamedly, I held hands, I danced, I got muddy, I ate food from the side of the road, I attempted a new language, I talked to strangers; I lived! I woke up every morning sensing an aroma of adventure in the air, never knowing what new exploit or mishap was coming my way. And I loved it.
I lived out my word for 2012—New! I lived in a new country, with new people, eating new food, learning a new language, leaping into new adventures as I recognized gifts and abilities I didn’t know I had!
A dream fulfilled is a great feeling, but it is also daunting. You’re left asking yourself, “What do I do now?”
What happens now that my time in Uganda was everything I dreamed it would be?
Well, I guess that’s the good part: I get to go find a new dream!
My One Word
This year my word is dream. A part of me did not want to pick that word, because it felt “flaky”. I associated the word with silliness: daydreams, dreaming your life away, dream-catchers. When I thought about dreaming, I saw my teenage self standing in the middle of the school gymnasium during “Career and Personal Planning” day, optimistically looking for the “Professional Singer” booth. So when “dream” crossed my mind, I quickly began degrading it to a kids’ game–one that I just didn’t have the patience, or the nerve, to play anymore.
Then I started to think about how far the dreams I have acted on have gotten me. I thought about how I saw my “floating lights” in Uganda, after four years of dreaming about them. As I did, I began to realize that the fulfillment of my dreams is not based on their achievability, or even on how realistic they are. The success of my dreams is based on my commitment to them: on how hard I fight for them, and how I follow through with them.
All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.
So now, with eyes wide-open, I have the dangerous task of hunting for a new dream.
So, my SheLoves friends:
- Is there a dangerous dream lurking in your heart?
- Are you willing to act on your dream with open eyes?
My name is Ashley and I am the Children’s Ministry Coordinator at Relate Church in Surrey, B.C. My mission is to develop the God-given potential in every child who crosses my path *Insert Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All” here*. I love all things jazzy, particularly music, and I tend to break into song throughout the day for no apparent reason. I blog here and tweet @AshleyMandanici
Photo credit: Jessica.Tam