The year was 2010. I had just come through a major life transition in that I changed the organization I was working with, I changed my address by moving to a different country, our family was in transition with kids going to college and starting new schools, my wife returned to graduate school full-time, and I felt lost.
I don’t know how long I felt that way, but there was definitely a cloud hanging over my head. I’m sure there was some depression, some grieving, some uncertainty, and some fatigue. All of these things connected together to create the perfect storm, and I was in it!
Remember… I don’t get lost (my wife might argue that). I’m a leader. I have vision. I know where I’m going. In fact, a part of my job is to help other leaders to grow the vision God has given them and help to make a reality. Yet here I was , in new territory, completely dumbfounded as to what to do.
I don’t know if you’ve ever felt this way before. Maybe you feel this way today.
Here are some things that I did to help navigate through this time. Some might work for you, they might not. However, I don’t want to be the one encouraging you to grow your vision without sharing one of the toughest seasons of my life in an effort to give you some hope.
#1) It Takes Time
When we entered this transition, I knew it was coming, and I planned for it. The problem was that I miscalculated. It took a long time to get through this transition. I had figured 3 – 6 months, when in reality it took about 3 years. Some things you can’t run through, you have to walk through (or crawl at times).
Don’t expect vision, energy, passion and determination to just all come back immediately. Be patient.
#2) It Takes Intentionality
It took me a while to figure out what was going on. I was in denial on most fronts. Once I figured it out, I began to attack certain areas of my life by being intentional.
I slept more. I exercised more. I forced myself out of my isolation. I created some space to think and dream as I walked at the beach more. I just found some things that were “life-giving” to me, and I tried to do more of it. Sleep was a huge one. I was exhausted.
#3) It Takes Getting Help
At some point in the process, I realized that I needed to get some help. I identified 3 – 4 people who I could talk honestly with and I opened up and took some risk. This led to great conversations, some support and a lot of encouragement and hope. I realized I didn’t have to do this completely alone.
#4) It Takes Being Willing to Take Baby Steps
While time is critical, it also took taking some small steps and beginning the long process of regaining momentum and figuring out where I was supposed to be going. It didn’t happen overnight, but as I began to take small steps my vision began to get clearer, and I began to get excited again about where I was heading and what God had called me to do and created me to do.
As I look back on this season of my life it’s a blur.
Some great things happened in my life during these days. I don’t regret this time, but I sure don’t want to go through it again, at least not right now.
Many of us lose our vision from time to time, and it’s OK. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Pay attention to what’s going on, and maybe by working through the 4 things above, this might bring you some hope and resolve, as it did me.
Take a step forward. You’re not the only one who’s feeling like this.
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