After going through a season of loss, it is hard to allow yourself to dream again. There is something beautiful and freeing about surrender. Lay all my dreams down and cling to God alone? Sure, I can do that.
But what happens when I feel dreams stirring in my heart again? Old dreams. New dreams. Forgotten dreams.
It should thrill me and fill my heart with excitement…but instead, I feel fear. The fear of being disappointed again. The fear of being wrong, of being foolish, of going around that same painful circle again.
God sent me a message that gave me permission to dream again. And he sent it through a famous Disney villain – Maleficent!
If you haven’t seen the new live action movie, Maleficent, you might want to watch it before reading this article (I don’t want to ruin any surprises for you). I never had any interest in seeing this movie. I hate Disney villains! They are so scary! I don’t let my small children watch them. Yet when the movie Maleficent came on the TV, I was drawn in. Maleficent was a young girl with piercing eyes.
She was a powerful fairy. In fact, after the death of her parents, it fell to her to protect the fairy kingdom of the Moors. She didn’t look at all like a fairy with great horns growing out of her head and massive, dark wings. Yet she was wise and good.
I was captivated when I watched her flying with her strong wings, joyous and free, shaping the clouds with the force of her flight. I wished to do the same! My recent obsession with eagles that I wrote about in “God Encounters ~ Part Two”, fueled the desire that I could enjoy that same freedom that Maleficent had.
She trusted a young boy even though humans were usually enemies of her kingdom. She and the human fell in love, and on her 16th birthday, the boy gave her, “true love’s kiss.” Her trust was rewarded by abandonment and an empty heart. Soon the boy forgot about her in his ambition to become King.
Years passed. That boy had become a man and returned to Maleficent with kind words. She forgave him and let him into her heart again, only to be betrayed. The man had intended all along to kill her, for whoever killed Maleficent, the great protector of the Moors, would be given the human kingdom that wanted to conquer it. This man couldn’t bring himself to kill the dark and beautiful creature he had once loved. So instead he drugged her and cut off her wings, thinking that this would be all the proof that was needed.
Normally I am not that deeply impacted by a Disney fairy tale, but this time I truly grieved for Maleficent. To see her painfully crippled by the one that she loved hit close to home. I could feel her pain. What a tragedy for her to be earthbound when she was created to fly! The sorrow and suffering turned into bitterness in Maleficent’s heart, and she cursed the daughter of her betrayer, Aurora.
Aurora was so sweet, so happy, so innocent, and so defenseless that Maleficent began to love the child despite herself. She became Aurora’s sustainer and defender, her “fairy Godmother.” As I watched Maleficent’s heart turn from unforgiveness to love, I still felt so sad. Sad to see her only a shell of what she once was. Yet that happens to many of us in this life. I comforted myself with the thought that even if our physical bodies are broken and our circumstances are prison-like, we can still be free on the inside. Our spirits can still soar above the clouds in God’s presence. Still, we long to see restoration with our physical eyes.
Maleficent tried to renounce the curse she had put on Aurora, but she could not. When Aurora turned 16 and fell into the death sleep, Maleficent showed no concern for her own life when she brought a prince into the castle to give Aurora “true love’s kiss” and break the spell. It didn’t work! Maleficent was heartbroken, coming face to face to with the fear that has always haunted her – there was no such thing as true love. She promised to always protect the sleeping girl. When Maleficent stooped to kiss the one she truly loved with a selfless devotion, the spell was broken! Aurora was awakened!
The king, now a tortured and crazy man, did not even notice that his daughter was well again, so intent was he on killing Maleficent. Aurora ran from the battle and came upon Maleficent’s wings, locked in a glass case. They were still alive and flapping! This was something I never expected! Cut off a body part and it surely dies. In the years that had passed, they would have decayed and been long gone…yet here they were, as strong and true as ever.
Aurora shattered the case and the powerful wings were reunited with their owner, carrying her above the battle. Maleficent’s true identity had been restored, and it was a wonder to behold. This was a miracle! I was rejoicing! This is the type of miracle that only happens in fairy tales…or is it?
Could this just be a message from God to get my attention, to lead me to the real miracle of the restoration of all things found in Is 35 and again in Is 65 all throughout the Bible? This will really happen in all people and to the entire earth…someday.
But what about right now, inside of me?
Could it be that God is restoring my true identity – the parts of me that were stolen or crippled? My true self, my purpose and all of the freedom and thrill and excitement that comes along with it? Could God be storing up all of the dreams I ever had, all the dreams He ever had for me?
-before they got trampled and crushed by life.
-before I experienced betrayal and pain.
-before I hear the words “You can’t,” “You shouldn’t,” “You Never Will!”
-before I morphed into a shell of what I was created to be, a wingless eagle living in the dirt.
Could those wings of mine be alive and viable somewhere?
Perhaps I WILL feel the wind rushing around me!
Perhaps I will rise above the earth again.
Perhaps I will see the miracles I once expected.
Perhaps I will be whole and strong.
Perhaps I really will be a fearless one!
Perhaps I was born to fly!
And perhaps you were too…