Moving home is a big challenge: moving countries and creating a whole new life is an even BIGGER challenge!
My husband and I faced a reluctant relocation after 19 years of living overseas and the decision making required was immense. Added to that were my big questions for God: where will we live…what type of house shall we buy…which items do we take…will we find a good church…what about jobs, will we be as happy we are now etc. Paralleled with these questions were unproductive conversations with my husband and asking repeatedly “Lord, why are you doing this?”. My vision of a bright future was blurred and making decisions was overwhelming me. There had to be a more productive way to gain clarity.
Although a deeper problem was evident, my lack of trust in God’s sovereignty over my life, what I didn’t know at the time was how the Lord would use this challenge to strengthen my faith and remind me (again) of who really is in control of my life.
I decided to stop procrastinating and to act. Whilst experienced in supporting people facing challenges through discussing their Vision Boards, oddly enough, I hadn’t ever created one for my own challenges. It made sense to create my bespoke: My Life in the UK vision board. Whilst uninspiring in title, it was a start, and a start was what I needed to move forward. Inspiration would come later. It did in an unexpected way.
My husband took part and in a three hour ‘lock in’ we set forth to create our new life. We settled in different rooms and used the time to cover our cork backed boards with images, drawn and printed, favourite Scriptures, quotes, listing characteristics and even highlighting our values. I chose things which resonated, inspired, made me smile, broke my heart, nothing was rejected as an impossibility. The point of the process wasn’t an art competition instead it was all about:
…having Fun, having a Possibility Mindset and staying Curious
Three hours later we compared boards (not the ones in the photos here). Extraordinarily similar! The key part of the process was the positive conversations which followed:
What was the reason for choosing that word, this photo, that image? What does that mean? What do we do next? How does this feel? What are your thoughts on that?
Common values of community, fun, adventure were identified and explored further and ideas, thoughts and wish lists were clarified and discussed in an encouraging, future focused way. This was a new and inspirational experience for us both.
A distinct shift took place, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually, enabling us to make key decisions around where to relocate, types of jobs, hobbies, activities all of which helped us when it came to planning and prioritising our departure. The vision became far clearer and our new life of possibilities came into focus. Finally. It was a massive transition but having the strategic vision in place was key to a successful relocation.
Whilst we see the word ’vision’ being used frequently in both the Old and New Testaments, I’m most struck with the vision in Acts 11 where we read about a white sheet holding unclean animals which Peter saw three times. A powerful, visceral vision demonstrating salvation for all and God’s immense love and grace. Simply stunning.
Bringing vision closer to home, if you’re struggling with making key decisions in your personal or professional life, consider creating your own Vision Board. You can create an electronic one: make it simple listing bullet points: paint a picture or simply use an A4 piece of paper and cover with cut out words and images from magazines. Choose a way that’s ‘do-able’ for you as what comes out from the creating process is where the real gems are to be mined!
Place your board where you’ll see it and ask the Lord to use this tool to illuminate your next step. Your direction will become clearer. And if the words Vision Board don’t make any sense to you, reframe them using words which will support you to move forward, such as:
- Charting a New Path
- Finding a Fresh Perspective
- Exploring my Options
- My New Future
- What Next…?
Regardless, the aim is to make a start! When will YOU start?
So, what are the big questions you’ve been asking God this year? How clear is your vision for the rest of 2017 or in one or two years’ time? Is it in focus or blurred around the edges? What’s your approach to making key strategic decisions and how’s that approach working for you?
This is the truth: God is in control even when it does not look like it. You can trust Him.
May Romans 8:28 encourage you as you face your challenges and grow in trusting to God’s goodness in all areas of your life:
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those
who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”.