Written By: Clarissa Mangaran

For years, Matthew and I have started each year with a Family Vision for the year, one that we would revisit quarterly to ensure we are living intentionally. We begin by discussing the previous year, reviewing what worked and what didn’t. We look ahead and talk about where we see our family and decide on action steps that we can take now to get us there. Then we map out the year accordingly, obviously with the understanding that God is ultimately in control.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” (Proverbs 29:18)

We strongly believe that without having a vision for your life and your family, it’s all too easy to get wrapped up in the everyday grind and waste precious time. I want to make sure that I emphasize that we hold up our vision against God’s Word to make sure they line up….and we always keep in mind that His will may mean having to switch gears. We can make all the plans we want, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but we want to make sure we’re remaining in tune with the Holy Spirit so that He is guiding our steps along the way.

With all that said, having a vision gives you and your family direction and helps filter out decisions that do not line up with your goals. We want to be intentional with our time, our money, and our energy. Discussing the family vision as husband and wife ensures that we’re on the same page, or at least in agreement with what is best for the family as a whole. After all, our family is a team, and we need to work together to fulfill God’s unique calling!

When we map out our vision for the year, we take into consideration our immediate circle of influence – myself, my husband, and our children- then we work our way outward to family and friends and whoever else God has in our lives.

That was before 2020 unfolded.

My vision for 2021 is admittedly cloudy. Despite 11 years of military life, this is the first time I have no idea what lies ahead in the immediate future for my family and our country. The last year has brought so much uncertainty and unpredictability our heads are spinning. Our family vision for 2020, in a lot of ways, turned upside-down. Up until 2020, when we made plans, we were fairly sure they would work out, at least in part.

Last year was a huge awakening for almost every American. What was so amazing was that God shook many of us awake from our slumber and apathy, especially the Church. So much truth was brought into the light and exposed, both good and bad. In the church, we’re beginning to see the difference between real Christ-followers and those who just wear the label of “Christian” but whose words and actions show otherwise. We’re watching in real-time why God never meant for us to have kings and/or rulers outside of Himself. God is showing us the corruption going on in our government and the clear hypocrisy of our country’s leadership. He is making it abundantly clear why we cannot rely on man to rescue us. Jesus is our only hope. He is our only Savior.

“[Samuel] said, ‘This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots.'” (1 Samuel 8:11)

Although my vision for 2021 is unclear (I don’t know what’s going to happen this year), my eternal vision is crystal clear. God’s promises are all over His Word, so as far as believers are concerned, we have so much to look forward to because we can rest in the hope of our salvation. But even with that said, the Book of Revelation tells us that things are going to get harder and uglier in this world before Jesus returns.

What went on in 2020 and what is still going on now has taught me that my vision for my family must be focused on equipping ourselves and those around us for what’s to come according to God’s Word. We need to set our sights on obeying His commands, following His promptings, boldly proclaiming His Truth, and encouraging other believers to do that same. We need to pray fervently for God to help us use our spiritual gifts and strengths for His will. We must be good stewards of the blessings and responsibilities He has given to us, like the parable of the servants and the talents [Matthew 25:14-30]. When the time comes to stand before the Lord, I long to hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:23)

Written By: Clarissa Mangaran