The Year of the Lantern

Once there was a girl who had a dream. All she wanted for her birthday was to see the floating lights. She believed that they lit up the night sky just for her. But never did she think she would encounter as many obstacles as she did along her journey. People tried to tell her that her dream was unreal, that she wasn't thinking clearly. Others tried to sabotage her journey by tricking her into believing she wasn't worth such a beautiful thing. She didn't know where she was going, and she found herself lost many times along the way. There were moments she thought she would never be able to see the lights, that her dream would fade away like the sun at the end of the day. It had become too hard to hold on to her dream.

But one night when she had grown too weary to continue, she stopped to rest by a lake. As she laid down on the sand, she looked up at the moon. His face brought light to the peaceful waters, and she longed for her dream once more.

"Mr. Moon, if you can hear me, can you lend me a beam of your light? I am sad, for my dream has become dim. I can't seem to find it... I thought maybe if you lent me some of your light, I could hold it in my hands and it would help me find it again." And with that, she closed her eyes.

Suddenly, she felt a growing warmth surround her, and opened her eyes. There on the other side of the lake, she saw a swarm of twinkling stars. They danced a waltz of brilliant colors, and floated across the water until they were above her. It was more beautiful than she could have ever dreamed it to be. She looked up at the moon, and he was smiling down on her with the kindest face.

"My dear, your dream is alive because you have asked me for it. I have watched you on your journey, and have been waiting for you to notice. I have loved seeing you be brave. Your dream has always been important to me, and I have been preparing this special gift for you. If ever you are to dream, I will always be there to give you the light you need to find your way to it." 

Thinking over this last year, I couldn't think of how to describe the journey in any other way. This story (inspired by Tangled) is what 2016 has meant to me. I have dreamed many things, and have searched for the means to make them come true. I have encountered many hard and surprising challenges, ones that have left me feeling more hopelessness than I have ever experienced. I have longed for the depths of my heart to be known, and to act upon the passion for the things I love. I am still learning, still falling, still searching. But the Love of the Father has become more real to me than anything I could ever dream up on my own. He never changes, and is always with me. It is so good to be truly known by a Father who's love never ever fails, who believes in me more than I could ever believe in myself. He sees all of my many dreams, and longs to adventure with me to find them.

I have also learned the love of a man whom I didn't know I needed. I have fallen so much deeper in love with my husband in our first full year of marriage. I have realized how deeply broken I am, and how much he sees past my failures on countless occasions. He is funner than I thought, braver that I though, more talented and more passionate about the Lord than I knew before. Marriage has been the hardest thing I have ever done, but the reward of doing it with him has been greater than a life without him. I'll never know another year without him, and i can't wait to see the adventure unfold.

Fun story: the picture above is from last night, New Years Eve, when he and I lit our own lanterns. For my birthday this last year, he bought us tickets to see the lantern festival in the Springs, but it was cancelled last minute. It was a tough month for us, and I cried because I was looking forward to it so much. Later, he informed me that he purchased some lanterns so we could have our own festival, because he knew how important to me it would be. They didn't come for a while, so we sent up our wishes with our lanterns last night. That, is how incredible Jon is. He loves my dreams as much as his own. Happy New Year :)