Learn what you have to allow in your life in order to see your vision come to pass!
& there’s also a freebie! 21 Days of Prayer & Vision Journaling Guide
Happy New Year to everyone! I’m so excited for all this year is going to bring for The Rough Draft! I’m sure some of you may not like “New Year Resolutions”, but for me, I really enjoy getting a fresh start at the first of the year! 2017 was honestly the first year in a while where I can say that I was pretty consistent with accomplishing some of my goals. So, I’m confident that in 2018, I will go even further, and so will you! For some of you, 2017 was a tough year, and it may have looked very similar to years in the past. But know that it is never too late to turn things around, and a new year is a perfect time to start!
So to kick off 2018 in the right way, the theme for the month of January will be Prayer & Vision!
Prayer gets taken for granted, but it is one of the most powerful weapons we have to make changes in our lives! Sometimes we make prayer so difficult, but it’s really just having a conversation with our Creator. Not only can we talk to God through our prayer, but He can also talk to us. Often times, we just vent to God, but we don’t take the time to stop and listen to His response after we’ve already said Amen.
The truth is that before you were born God had a vision for your life. He created you with a purpose before you were even in your mother’s womb. That’s hard to digest sometimes especially in seasons of life where we don’t feel like we’re living with purpose, or we feel like we’re just going through the motions. But the truth is that you are important, and your life is valuable. God does have a plan for you, and it’s through prayer and spending time with Him that we get to figure out just what that Vision is.
The Bible says that where there is no vision the people perish. So it’s important to have a clear vision for your life so that your life can have direction. So many times, we set goals based on what we see other people doing.
We see someone starting a blog, so we want to start a blog….
We see someone else going to grad school so we feel we need to get back in school…
We see someone else get married and then we feel we need to hurry up and get married…
And we set all these goals based on someone else’s vision & wonder why we’re uneasy and frustrated about everything. It’s because the goals you are setting have nothing to do with God’s vision for YOUR life. If your goals do not support your specific purpose and vision, then you will always feel like anything you accomplish is never enough.
Now, of course, it always good to have goals, and here at The Rough Draft we are big on intentional goal setting and putting those goals into action.
However, it’s important to understand that your vision and goals are not the same.
Vision is the overall picture. Goals are achievable “things” that work towards the overall vision.
Before writing out all of these resolutions, find your ONE word or motto for the year.
Pray & ask God… What is one central thing you want me to focus on this year?
Because when you have your vision for the year, your goals that go along with it are SMART & relevant to your purpose.
So now that we’ve talked about the importance of having a vision for the year, it’s time to ensure that we put in the necessary work in order to live out our vision successfully! And there are three key things that are required for your vision to be clear and for your year to be productive!
3 Things that Your Vision Requires
1. Vision Requires Clarity
Definition of clarity: The quality of being clear and being easy to see or hear; the sharpness of image and sound.
Clarity is something we all seek.
We want to have clarity on our purpose…
We want to have clarity on our decisions…
Yet, we don’t take the necessary steps to actually receive clarity…
We can’t ask for clarity in our lives if we’re constantly clouding up our lives with filth.
God is not a God of confusion, and He wants to give us direction…
But, we have to be in a constant & consistent posture to hear His voice!
Earlier last year, I was blessed with the opportunity to be up for two promotions within my company. One required me to leave my department and the other required me to stay.
Both had its pros & cons & to be honest, I wasn’t spending as much time with God during those few weeks as I should have.
Yet when it came time to the last minute to make a decision, I was then coming to God…”Lord show me where to go”…. & I didn’t really get a clear answer. Why? Because I hadn’t been spending time with God, so I couldn’t decipher His Voice over my own. I was letting all the stress scream loud in my life, and I didn’t take the time to silence my own thoughts consistently so that I could hear His.
Clarity requires us to be patient and to sometimes be quiet. Whether that be with our mouths or in our hearts, God speaks in a small still Voice, and we have to be sensitive to Him so that we can receive the clarity we so much desire.
2. Vision Requires Sacrifice
Definition of sacrifice: an act of slaughtering an animal or person or surrendering a possession as an offering to God or to a divine or supernatural figure.
In order to gain something, you have to be willing to lose something.
This was my biggest challenge towards the end of 2017. I wanted to push closer to God, but I didn’t want to give up the things in my life that were truly holding me back. I wanted God to speak clearly to me, but I did not want to sacrifice certain lifestyle habits that would push me closer to Him.
And, I know the world tells us that we can have it all. But, that’s just not how it works. The Bible says that in order to gain your life, you must be willing to lay down your life. In order to gain all of what God has for you, you may have to sacrifice relationships, bad habits, and whatever is going against what He has for you. Sacrifice is not easy especially for stubborn people like me.
But sacrifice isn’t always bad.
Self Control & Discipline
Sacrifice is never easy, but it will reward itself with time. Sacrifice is also a process… What am I willing to give up this year to get closer to God? What bad habit am I willing to rid myself of for good this year in order to push closer to my purpose? What are you willing to lose and let go of so that your vision can run wild?
3. Vision Requires Vulnerability
Definition of vulnerability: the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.
As I said earlier, your vision & your purpose is going to cost you something…. & your vision is going to require you to be vulnerable.
Imagine you have people coming to your apartment to make a visit. They knock on the door, and you say come in, but the door is locked! How can they come in unless you get up and unlock the door?
It’s the same way with vulnerability & vision. You can’t ask God for this big vision and then not be willing to let Him come in & make the necessary changes in order to bring forth that vision.
Vision doesn’t just require vulnerability with God but also with other people.
Your purpose is not in what makes you comfortable.
Living out your vision requires you to put yourself out there. For me, I’m not always one to want the spotlight, but I do believe that writing and blogging are apart of my vision. Therefore, I have to step out of my comfort zone and be vulnerable to people’s opinions. I’m not the kind of person to go up to someone and start a conversation, but if I want my blog to reach a lot of people, I have to put myself out there and network and be in community with other bloggers & writers.
Vulnerability is dangerous. Because it can either go great or seem like a mistake. There’s no hurt like being vulnerable to someone, and then they turn around and hurt you. But in the end, we can’t fear being hurt. People’s actions will always waiver, but God is not fickle, and He does not change. So, be thankful that we have a safe haven to run to for protection for our deepest struggles and desires.
CLARITY… SACRIFICE…VULNERABILITY… All work together and are required in order to Hear His vision for your life and see it manifest itself in 2018!
For those who may ask, Melanie, what if I don’t know my vision for this year? What if I can’t figure out my word or motto for the year? What if I’m going into this year completely blind with no true plan in place?
Again, don’t take for granted the power of prayer! I have created a 21-day prayer & vision journaling guidethat will help you with finding your focus for this year!
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to get started… and be sure to click this linkto download your freebie!
Questions to ask yourself in order to figure your 2018 VISION
- Lord, how can I best serve your people this year?
- Lord, what am I doing currently that aids my purpose?
- Lord, what do I need to cut out of my life to hear your vision for me clearly?
That’s all for now! Happy New Year, and thanks so much for reading!