Thursday, December 20, 2018

When I've lost my vision


By Jenny Glazebrook


Do you have a personal vision for your writing?

The dictionary definition of vision is ‘the faculty of being able to see.’ 
Or in the way I mean it, ‘the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination and wisdom.’ 

Synonyms are: imagination, creativity, inventiveness, inspiration, intuition, perception, foresight, insight, discernment


Perfect words for us writers.

I believe its worth each of us thinking through what our personal, God-given vision is, so that when the way isn’t clear or we become distracted, we can come back to it.

I met with some board members in a school last week to discuss their official vision. I had been invited in after I questioned a couple of words which made all the difference to the meaning. As a writer, I believe in the power of words and understand that meaning can be changed with just a slight twist or change.

Ironic, that only a few days earlier, I had lost my personal vision for writing in that same building; when I realised that due to his health, my son needed to complete his HSC over two years; that the full fee scholarship he’d received the year before was the only reason we had been able to afford to have him attend as well as have spare money for my writing ventures. My son needs to go to this particular school for many reasons. God made it clear this is where we should send him.

My family with Bindi Irwin last year
When the staff member in charge of finance looked at our budget, I acknowledged I could take the money we set aside for writing ministry and use it to pay fees. But a part of me broke as a dream began to die. Of course my son’s health and well-being come first. I long for him to reach his potential and I always vowed I would not allow any other ministry to come before the ministry of caring for these amazing children God has given me. That is why we named our third child Clarity. We had been in full time ministry at the time and it was costing our family their health. It was at that point God made it clear to us that our priority was the ministry to our children. We realised it with clarity and it became our vision; God’s vision and purpose for us in that season of our lives.

For the first few days after my meeting with the school last week, my writing vision was blurred by tears. It appeared I needed to let go of my dream. I couldn’t see a way ahead. It all looked impossible, even with my active imagination. Road blocks at every point. I was recently released from my contract with a publisher when their circumstances changed. And I couldn’t bring myself to tone down the heart of my stories to fit in with the requirements of other Australian publishers. I also can’t bring myself to Americanise them. Self-publishing looked like the right way to go.

When we had the finances available to do it.

Now I’ve been forced to think about my writing vision. Is it in line with God’s vision?

If I were to put my vision into words, it would be,
‘To use my talents in writing, along with the gift of creativity and discernment God has given me, to produce stories which challenge people into a closer walk with Jesus and give them a taste of the joy and purpose we have when we learn to live for Him in this broken world.’
Or something along those lines, anyway.

But if I look at it, it doesn’t have to be in the form of a printed book. Maybe its time to go back to the basics. Go back to printed out manuscripts. Maybe only produce eBooks.

Or maybe its time to stop trying to presume I know how God will carry out His plan and manipulate things in line with what I think He wants. It’s time instead to let Him take me where He will, one step at a time. Any wisdom, foresight or inspiration we have comes directly from Him. He knows the future, He has the means to bring about miracles, He is the reason I am writing in the first place.

As I sought God, He renewed my hope. An elderly lady who knew nothing of what was going on, whispered to me as I came into church, ‘We don’t need to see God’s whole staircase. We just need to trust him with that next step.’

And so I will. I have some money put aside to self-publish the first book in the series, so unless God directs otherwise, I will continue with that first step. I will let Him be the one to inspire, lead and guide. I will remember that His vision is never clouded, His perspective never lost. Our human dreams are just that; hopes or desires that may be misguided, that can fade or disappear over time.

It’s lovely to have a set of printed books on the shelf, published a few months apart, all lined up, with matching covers for each book in the series. But God doesn’t need that for the words to reach those He intends for them to reach. And it is not needed to fulfil the vision I believe God has given me.

So I tentatively take that first step on the staircase, only able to see that first step, but knowing God’s vision is never flawed and that He will always catch me if I fall.

May each of us follow God’s purpose in our writing. May He be our inspiration, our creativity, our wisdom, our insight, our vision. And when our eyes are blurred with tears because a dream has died, may we lift those eyes to Him and see it all from His perspective. May we wait upon Him, may our strength be renewed as we rise up on wings like eagles, seeing it all from His point of view, no longer limited to our human condition. May our vision be filled with Him.

Do you have a vision? Has it changed over time or as God directed you? I would love you to share it in the comments.



Jenny Glazebrook lives in the country town of Gundagai with her husband, Rob and 4 children along with many pets. She is the published author of 7 novels, 1 traditionally published, and 6 self published. She writes because words burn within her. She is an experienced inspirational speaker and loves to encourage others to walk closer with God and hear His voice each day.  Jenny’s website is: www.jennyglazebrook.com


12 comments:

  1. Thank you so much dear Jenny for a beautiful post. So inspiring. And it's the right time it is to check what our motivations and goals, dreams and our vision is, isn't it, as we step into a brand new year. I felt so sad to hear about the need to adjust your plans and hopes. But bless you my friend for having the right priorities and putting family first.

    Sometimes it is so hard to understand why God permits what He does allow. But one thing I am sure of is that we don't see everything. And sometimes, when our lives seem the least productive - perhaps that's when He is glorified most. I love what that lady whispered into your heart. Wow! That was obviously a God inspired comment. Well done Jenny for obeying God and taking the next step forward. He will honour you for it.

    The truth is that nothing will keep God's will from being fulfilled in our lives. So we can know with certainty that in the large scheme of things our writing His way will be worked out in due course as we trust Him and take that first step up the staircase. :)

    I have a feeling God has a few wonderful surprises in store for you. When I turned 60, my family wanted to gift me with money I could use towards my writing and it was tempting to accept the offer. But God had already told me He wanted me to ask for cash gifts from them which He wanted me to gift some needy people. So I did. A few months later I did get my writing contract. It was God's whisper to me that if I obey Him He will do what's needed in my journey. And God is opening other doors now too. So ... I know He will do the same for you as you walk in obedience to Him although it's costly and not easy.

    I am with you in prayer dear friend. Asking Him to open the doors and windows of heaven and bless your writing journey abundantly in 2019 as you walk faithfully before Him.

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    1. Thank you so much dear Anusha. I love hearing of your obedience in giving to others and how God blessed you with your heart's desires as you followed Him.

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  2. We don't need to see God's whole staircase....I love that!!
    Thank you for sharing so personally, I look forward to seeing your next steps!

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  3. Thank you, Di. It is a good analogy, isn't it! May God lead you in each step you take in the new year.

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  4. I love the staircase analogy, Jenny. I look at writing like that: trusting in the next chapter, the next paragraph, searching for the light. Sometimes that's hard, but not as hard as the decisions you are having to make for your family ministry. Yet your post is so beautiful and I appreciated you sharing it with us. I hope that the way becomes clear for you. I have shared this post.
    God bless. X

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    1. Thanks Deirdre. I love how you've put it; trusting in the next chapter, the next paragraph, searching for the light. I've written it down to remember.

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  5. Hi Jenny, thank you for sharing this. You've made it so clear that you are following God's plan for your use of finances in 2019, and I love your story about how Clarity's name was chosen. It reinforces the ministry so many of us with young families share. And it's so true that God guides one step at a time, so I pray you'll take courage the plans for your writing ministry will also be fulfilled.

    You've also reminded me of the blessings we enjoy living in the 21st century, which is the era of e-books and mags, blogs, websites, and so many other options than traditional hard copies. I'll certainly look forward to seeing what they turn out to be for you.

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  6. Thanks Paula. I prefer hard copies, but maybe God's pushing me to step more out of my comfort zone. I look forward to seeing where God leads you in 2019, too.

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    1. Hi Jenny, I've been there. So true that our family matters, and we have to get our priorities right, but it can cut to the quick when we feel constrained to lay down our vision. Yet, we have a faithful God who brings beauty out of ashes when we honour him.

      I'm glad you can go ahead with Indie publishing one book - and it doesn't mean you have to stick with ebooks either. The biggest expenses are the cover and the editing. PM me if you want to pick my brains.

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    2. Thanks Jeanette! Truly appreciate your offer ... I expect I'll take it up!

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  7. Thank you for sharing, Jenny. God is with you and he does want our words out there. A lady prayed for me at the beginning of my writing and she saw a picture of me holding a rose bowl. She took it to mean that there will be a future in writing for me. I had felt God saying that and Jacqui’s words confirmed it. That vision kept me going when publishers fell or died or rejected, and the scene looked bleak. But it only looks bleak before the dawn. Daylight and more opportunities are given. I am inspired by your honour.

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    1. Oh wow. Thanks for sharing, Rosanne. I love the vision God gave you and am inspired by the way He is using you now. I love that you both write and teach writing, building up and developing the gift in others as well as using what God has given you. May He continue to use your words to bless many!

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