Almost eight years ago my sister, Amy, and brother-in-law, Steve, announced that Steve would be taking a position offered by the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod to head the project of starting an international school in Hanoi, Vietnam. Through education and community, they would be bringing residents to know Christ.
Fast forward to 2016. Last month I spent some time in hot and humid Hanoi where I was able to see the newly constructed campus of Concordia International School Hanoi. As a visitor I was given a gift bag which included a small book entitled, “The Early Years: The History of Concordia Hanoi.”
In this little book is a timeline showing the beginning of Concordia all the way to 2016- the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new campus.
I noticed how God had been working on this vision long before 2009. It started back in 1993 with a feasibility study visit to Vietnam. Twenty-three years ago!!
As I was looking through the other events I could see all the groundwork, and all the pieces God needed in place prior to bringing the idea of an International Lutheran school to fruition. Before Steve was selected to be the Head of School, there were 16 years of relationships, friendships and connections between the Vietnamese government and Lutheran World Missions and support from other LCMS international schools that had to be in place.
It was an example of God’s creative and sovereign hand working to bring a vision to a reality. It’s also an example of how the vision He gives us is ultimately on His timetable.
The first request for a Hanoi school was back in 1999. Seventeen years later their campus was built! I guarantee all the people who shared the vision of Concordia would have preferred it took a lot less time. But God knew the future, and He knew the perfect time for contracts to be signed, for approvals to be received, and requests to be accepted.
This made me reflect on the timeline of my vision, and I’m curious about the timeline to your vision. Now your vision may not be as large and global as starting an international school (or maybe it is), but I want you to take 15 minutes and make a timeline of your vision.
Your timeline is a visual tool for you to see how God is answering your prayers on His timetable.
Yes, I seriously want you to do this! (CCWA would LOVE for you share this with us! Post this on our Facebook page – www.facebook.com/WeAreCCWA)
On your timeline, make sure you include these details for you to step back and see just how God is working in your life.
1. What is your start date? When did the idea for your vision start to take seed in your mind?
2. When have you taken steps of faith as you’ve pursued your vision? Mark those dates.
3. Include the dates of the big triumphs you’ve experienced or pivotal moments that directed the course you are on.
4. Add the dates and events of your failures or mistakes you’ve made along the way. (yep, include them because in those setbacks God ultimately uses them for good)
5. Include the moments when God connected you with people, resources or opportunities that have helped you get to where you are today.
Perhaps as you do this exercise you realize you haven’t moved past opposition or setbacks to your vision? CCWA can help! This is our purpose and calling- to help YOU break through your failures and setbacks and show you how to use your faith to accomplish what God is calling you to do and to become! If you need help moving forward, click here to schedule a free Vision Clarity Call with me!
Now, as you look at your vision timeline know this:
Your timeline is still growing. It’s going to evolve, grow and expand!
Just like I know the last event on the Concordia Hanoi timeline isn’t the opening of the new facility, so too will your vision timeline continue to extend! It will be full of new moments where God in His grace and mercy answers your prayers in ways you thought impossible!
And if you think you’ve run out of time in terms of your vision, you haven’t! Your powerful Father transcends time and knows what’s coming.
So now the question is… Are you willing for your timeline to cover a longer span of time than you planned and hoped it would be? What can you be doing in those empty spaces on your timeline- you know, those moments (days, months or years) when you are waiting for God?
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV)
CCWA is committed to helping Christian visionaries who need support turning their inspired ideas into action. Our services not only help people regain spiritual circulation, but we also work one-on-one with people to give them practical support, tools, and strategies to implement their ideas. We invite you to schedule a complimentary Vision Clarity Session to help you get clear on your vision and your biggest obstacle that is holding you back from living your vision. Click here to schedule your free session today!