As the pages of the new year unfold before us, we continue on this journey of faith, a journey of intentional living. This journey looks different for each one of us. Even so, regardless of the path we are taking through life, through the new year, God is coming along with us.
We continue sharing stories of faith from the perspective of a variety of different people. We hope that you will be able to articulate God’s vision for your life. Our prayer for you, is that you will be able to trust in God's guidance, and to share your faith with others and see your own faith grow.
Blessings to you all, Jenny Seylar, Blog Editor and the Dented Fender Team
Wet tears silently streamed down my face as I sat with my Creator, trying hard to capture all I sensed was being downloaded into the very core of my being. While there are many times I don’t hear anything particularly special from the Lord, this was one of the times I did.
Prior to that moment, God had been working toward deep healing in my heart after a brutal, painful divorce. The ugly kind that you hope never happens to anyone, let alone yourself. During this particular prayer and study time, I could sense him asking me to open myself to his healing love. To begin to craft a new vision for my life after the end of a 20-year marriage. To create something new and beautiful out of the ashes.
Essentially, God was asking me to write down what my future husband would be like. Not necessarily what I wanted in a man, but how the Lord would allow me to recognize him once we met. His heart, his character, what we would be like together. The qualities my husband would possess.
I remember how far-fetched it seemed at the time. How pie-in-the-sky. Some of what I was being led to write down seemed way too good to be true. I couldn’t quite believe God wanted something so amazing and so great for me. Broken and flawed, damaged and hurting as I was. Yet God was looking at who I would be, not who was. Not at the current situation, but what was yet to be. It felt so overwhelming.
Hence the tears. Tears of disbelief, mingled with the slightest tinges of hope. Hope that I could actually love again. Hope that I could be properly loved in return. And the growing realization that God’s love for me was epic and beyond compare.
Daily for a long while, and then periodically, I felt led to read the list out loud to God during my prayer time. And to trust in the words that came from my mouth. It was hard. It was healing. Sometimes I still cried just reading it. But I trusted and I listened.
Vision is a different type of thing when put into the Lord’s hands. His vision provides that which I wouldn’t necessarily dream of or ask for. Yet once received, it feels like the missing puzzle piece I didn’t realize I had been searching for.
Godly vision begins by taking each of the lies I’ve believed about myself, and choosing to replace them with what is actually true. It isn’t based on the external. Things like, “I want to be married,” or “I want money,” or even, “I want to be a good parent.”
Instead, I’ve learned this kind of vision stems from the very core of my being. From believing I deserve to be loved well because the Lord says I do. That my God is an abundant provider so I can be secure, and free from a scarcity mindset. That as I trust his direction on how to love and parent my children well, I will have done the best job I can do, which is all I can do.
I wouldn’t find out until much later that speaking a thing out loud in my own voice actually rewrites the brain at a neurological level. Or that meaningful habits leading to meaningful change and growth start small. To begin from a changed perspective of who I am (change from the inside/center out), is the best way to go, versus an external goal (outside in).
from Atomic Habits by James Clear
I did know that spending time envisioning and meditating on what I wanted my life to be like, and creating a mental landscape of how it would be, would help reshape my perspective. And I did it. With every area of my life that needed an overhaul, God walked with me through the process of crafting a new vision.
Scriptures like, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will,” (Romans 12:2) took on new meaning for me. My mindset had to change, and framing a new vision for who I was and how God wanted me to operate were the foundations of that transformation.
These powerful yet simple first steps led to such profound metamorphosis over the years! A new business, a new calling on my life, new friendships, rich experiences, material blessing—and the list goes on and on. I’ve experienced stuff that can’t be explained outside the realm of faith.
Which leads me back to the very beginning of choosing to believe what God shared with me about a future spouse. Much as I didn’t like hearing it at the time, I knew the timing would not be what I would want. It wouldn’t be for a while. But when it came, it took my breath away.
My hubby is everything on my list, and then some. Even the story about how we met has God stamped all over it. While our journey together hasn’t always been easy, it has always been worthwhile.
And the journey was ignited through vision.
FOR FURTHER THOUGHT
Is there an area in your life that could benefit from fresh vision? Philippians 4:8 says, "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."
Spend some time thinking about what your life might be like if you invited truth, nobleness, right choices, and the rest of those qualities into that area. Most importantly, invite God right into the very center of where you need to experience growth, asking him to lead you through the process.
Never forget that God is faithful even when you and I are faithless (2 Timothy 2:13). Getting to a different space isn't dependent on you; it's dependent on God. Your job is simply to connect with God consistently (not perfectly!), and choose to trust what he says about who you are. If you'd like, click here for a whole list of scriptures about how God views you.
Remember that Jesus died for you to experience more freedom, not less. His heart is not to give you this perfect, easy life, but rather one that grows you to your full potential, one that allows you to experience what the Bible describes as "life to the full." That is your birthright in the life of faith! Let Jesus lead your journey and, in time, the changes and growth in you will be obvious.
Want more direction? Consider attending our Monthly Toolbox on vision and the power of vision casting on January 27th.
Lord, you know when I sit and when I rise. You perceive my thoughts from afar. All that I have faced and endured, you redeem and give purpose. Praise you for loving me that way! I am overwhelmed by your goodness and kindness to me. Help me to see your hand reaching for me, especially in the darker tunnels of my life. Thank you for always being faithful to me even when I feel faithless. I love you Papa. Amen.
To learn more about author & motivational speaker Barb Lownsbury or to invite her to speak at your next event, CLICK HERE.
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