When I was younger, I turned to God to get what I wanted out of life.
I was educated and had always been a caring, hard working and relatively well behaved person, but I noticed in the adult world, those weren’t necessarily the characteristics required to achieve happiness. Things just seemed to mysteriously work out better for some people than others.
I wanted to be surrounded by inspiring people with freedom to work on projects I loved and to have a sense of adventure in my life, but I found myself surrounded by crabby co-workers in a cubical just to pay the bills, with barely any time to enjoy life. No matter how hard I tried to get out of these situations, I felt stuck.
Since my efforts to make change on my own weren’t working, I turned to spirituality and tried something new: praying with a vision board. The idea behind vision boarding is that we want to engage our entire imagination and all of our senses in our prayer to get into a feeling state of trusting that our prayers will be answered. Vision boarding is based on the idea that if we really dare to dream and believe things will get better, God will find a way to make that happen for us because He loves us and wants great things for us.
In Matthew 7:7, Jesus said “Ask and you will receive. Knock and the door will be opened to you.”
To vision board, we simply make a poster or scrap book with images of things we want or are dreaming of. Magazine clippings work great for this. Vision boarding is not about being practical or setting logical goals with a time line – it is about dreaming big and opening up to possibilities of what God can do in our lives that we can’t do for ourselves. At the time, mine was filled with beach vacation pictures, cozy little boys snuggled up by camp fires, beautiful homes especially with nice kitchens, experiences in nature and happy people, along with inspiring words of encouragement and affirmation.
It has been 15 years since I started vision boarding, and my prayer life has come a long way. Where I used to pray for what I wanted, I’ve learned to pray for God’s will to be done. While I used to pray for my success in helping others, now I pray for God to be glorified with my life because I know He’s the only true healer. While I used to dream of beautiful homes and vacations, now I dream of creating a community that unites a diverse group in prayer and service to the Lord. While I used to be confused about the role of suffering in a life of faith, now I understand how God takes us through the dark night, so we can experience the sunrise on the other side.
It’s been many years since I took the time to vision board, but as far as I’ve come spiritually, I have to admit that there is something to the simple act of focusing on images of our dreams coming true. In fact, I’ve made plans to create a vision board again sometime soon.
Literally, the essence everything in my vision boarding scrapbooks from years ago has came true. Now, I am surrounded by inspiring community, I have the financial freedom to do what I love, I’ve experienced wonderful family vacations and trips with my husband. I have three happy, healthy little boys with a precious daughter on the way. I’m literally living so many of my dreams already that I need to start thinking of new ones.
St Augustine said “Our hearts are restless until they rest in thee.” While my spiritual journey has also taken me beyond my own superficial desires into the realization that the deepest desire of our hearts is to love God for who He is, I still think vision boarding is a helpful reminder that He truly wants good things for us here on earth. Vision boarding can help heal the common misperception that a life of following God is a life of suffering and lack.
Christianity is all about joy, so especially if we already have a heart full of love for others, vision boarding is a great tool to energize our prayer life and open up to what St. Teresa of Avila called “the infinite possibilities born of faith.”!
Lord, open our hearts and minds to the fullness of the dreams and plans You have for our lives. Whether through vision boarding or another form of prayer, help us realize that You love us, want great things for us and have amazing plans for our lives, which will be joyful and inspiring to others. Help us realize your greatest desires are the same as our own. Give us the gift of faith to the greatest degree possible. In Jesus name, we pray.
What experiences have you had with vision boarding? I’d love to hear all about them in the comments below. Thanks and God bless!