How are we about to start 2023?? 2023 is a year that has seemed so far away for so many years because it’s the year I graduate college and real life begins. So for me 2023 has felt like the year in the future that feels like it’s never actually going to get here but here it is!! Sunday is 2023!! I’m so excited for the new year, the things we have planned for FTS, a year of more dreams coming to fruition. Each new year I love to pick a theme for what I want the new year to be. In January of 2022 I chose to believe this year as the “year of possibility.” I didn’t know what that meant or exactly what it would look like but I had a lot of hope as to what I dreamed it would be. For years I had dreams and visions in my heart of how I wanted to live out the desires I had. I prayed that 2022 would be the year that I put those things into action. I wanted to do things I was afraid to do, put my story out there in ways I didn’t think were possible, and tell people about Jesus through a ministry yet created. 2022 became the year where I did just that!!
I have a notebook page where I have written down the answered prayer request of 2022, the page is filled. God is faithful to meet us where we thought we couldn’t go any further. This year has been a year where I got to see visions that were in my head show up right in front of my eyes because of God’s faithfulness. He hears your prayers and hears your dreams. It’s crazy to think that at the beginning of the year FTS was not even an idea in my mind and here we are, eating the fruit of it. So thank you for reading, following, and tagging along this journey.
Over the last year I have been writing down things God has been teaching as they have happened. Today as we close out the end of the year I wanted to focus our last blog of 2022 on 3 of those. These 3 things have a familiar focus on pursuing vision. I wanted to share these tips because God taught me a lot about pursuing vision during my “year of possibility.” There were challenges, late nights, frustration, and bad attitudes but this season also led to joy, opportunity, favor, and gratefulness. As we step into 2023 I hope that they inspire you to follow what the Lord has laid on your heart and get excited to live the life he has dreamed for you.
1. Hard doesn’t mean the absence of favor.
When you go after something good bumps are destined to come up in the road. For a little bit I think I would view these bumps as signs I made the wrong decision. I would say things like “I didn’t see a lot of favor in that area so I don’t think it was for me.” Although God can use hard things for redirection, so can the enemy. I love to remind myself on the bad days that the enemy knows the power of a good day. When you are one step away from walking in what God has prepared for you, go ahead and prepare for stumbling blocks to fall in your way. Hard can look like not getting in to the post grad school you hoped, not getting a yes from a question you asked, or having to rebuild a website when you moved to fast on the first one and it becomes unusable (that would be mine lol) There were a lot of moments during the building of Feel The Smile where it would’ve been WAY easier to say forget and just pray for people instead of blogging for them but God instills a drive in you that was created for what he has called you to do. So although these hard days will try to trick you into thinking there is an absence of favor, remember that God uniquely designed you for that moment and for your vision. He is so excited to walk alongside you as you pursue it.
2. Don’t let a slow process make you think you made the wrong decision.
THIS. now this will getcha and thats why its so easy to fall in to. I heard a saying (in my best words remembering…) that said “vision without action will only ever be a dream” With that being said, actions are a process. God always finds a way to provide and make a way but unfortunately we don’t get a timeline and if you do let me know what prayer you prayed because I would love to start praying it. On a podcast I listened to called “The Handlebar Podcast” one of the girls shared that most of the time we are frustrated with God is because he didn’t meet the timeline we set. I thought that was so and as I looked back on times I have become frustrated with God that has been the exact reason. When we have vision and start pursuing it of course we want the timeline to be right away. We want to have a new innovative idea and it immediately take off, we want to study one day for the test and BOOM make an “A,” we want to start going to the gym and the next day see results. In our generation we get immediate gratification in a lot of areas but for most the process of a vision coming to life is not one of them. It can be so easy to believe the lie that a slow process means that you made the wrong decision. Thoughts that sound like “maybe I wasn’t supposed to do this” “Maybe it was too bold of a dream” “What if i’m embarrassing myself” “why did I ever think I could get into that school.” All of this talk is just noise that the enemy wants to use to cloud the space for a sound mind. So when you begin to think that your dream is taking longer than expected keep going because your fruition is right around the corner.
3. When you give God your vision, he gives people impact.
The first word I think of in this bullet point is surrender. When you surrender your vision, he is the one who does the impacting. When we surrender our vision God is the one that will take you and your dreams to higher heights. This is such a good point to remember because it takes the pressure off of you. You don’t have to worry about being successful, you just have to be obedient. Success will come as a result of obedience. I picture this in my head as my obedience leads to God’s glory and God getting the glory is true success. One of my mentors shared with me the image of living life with open hands. When we do this it’s a sign of “God this dream isn’t mine, it’s yours, so do with it what you want.” Although doing that with something you trust so much can be scary, it’s worth it because what God can do with your dream is better than what you could ever do on your own. That’s the power of giving God your vision, you get to rest because he holds you visions, dreams, and desires. The best part is he is the one that truly does the impacting. When you pray it’s his power that comes upon you, when you wake up in the morning its his joy you are experiencing, when doubts flood your mind it’s his faith you rest on.
So in 2023 as you get to pursue your God given dream, expect the hard days but also expect the burden free joy that comes with them because God is impacting lives through you surrendering to him.