Restrain: The Mystery of Holding Back to Fulfill Your Destiny


REstrain: The Mystery of Holding Back to Fulfill Your Destiny

Sometimes I see things.

I see them two years (or even more, sometimes even a decade) in advance.

I know that something is going to – or is supposed to – happen. I know it with a confidence that is alarming. A confidence that wants to pull the trigger NOW.

I’ve learned the hard (and expensive and frustrating) way that immediately acting on what we see is not always wise.

It took me a few years to discover that these amazing ideas and visions are not all for now. Many times, I’m just getting a “heads up” that something is coming.

And although foreknowledge is incredible, it can be painful – and even agonizing – to live with knowledge that we have to learn to steward.

And so I’ve made some mistakes with my visions….some pretty acute mistakes…..

I began to see the potential and destiny of Restoring Order back around 2006-2007. (By that time we had been in business 7 years, established in 1999) At the time I had a thriving business, nearly 10 employees, 2 books out, a new baby, a product line, and a national television show. I could feel the greatness expanding. Yet, I could sense an invisible ceiling over my head – like I was more than all this, and was being limited or contained. I began to experience a palpable agony; a longing, a desire, to fulfill the greatness I just KNEW I was sent to bring to the world. Even with all the amazing, providential opportunities I had, I still felt like I was built for the Olympics but stuck in gym class.

Can you relate? Do you sense greatness inside? Like you’re doing ok – or even doing well – but like there is SO MUCH MORE you were made for???? I understand the pain you are in!!

So, I felt I just had to do something to “seize the moment.”  I hired a strategic planning company. I hired an agent. I hired a public relations firm. I went on another media tour. I figured that I needed more advisers and experts to help me “break through” and accomplish more than I was able to on my own. (How much “more” and for what purpose I did not really consider at the time.)

But, tragically, my efforts fell flat. Money was wasted. Resources were expended – all for nill. I had pushed the “launch” button too soon. At the end of that season, I was burnt out and angry – I felt so confused. I had spent good money on people who were supposed to be the “best” in their field. They were supposed to help me figure this thing out! I was mad at God – after all, these enormous ideas were heaven sent, yet seemed under-supported!

You see, I did not  know how to contain a vision while holding back until the appointed time. I did not understand the mysterious power of REstraint.

And then I learned about “kairos” timing….something the ancient world understood.

Kairos in the Greek literally means “opportunity”; a propitious moment for decision or action. It’s the “fullness of time” – the moment that has been prepared in advance.

Learning this simple definition has helped me so much. I was stuck in the western approach to time: chronos time (chronological time) – the marching of time, the ticking of the clock, the seemingly immutable, diminishing commodity of time.

Because of this race against the clock, I was running on the “hamster wheel of life” and running out of time (or so I thought). So I had a deep-seated urgency to DO IT NOW.

Looking back, I wasn’t doing things out of selfish ambition or greed or wrong motives. And I had genuinely seen the greatness that lay ahead. My mistake was in trying to force it, attempting to apprehend what I saw RIGHT NOW, instead of focusing on preparing to be ready for that moment.

I was straining ahead, something I thought I was built to do as pioneer who keeps stretching into tomorrow. I was just being me. But I was being me ahead-of-preparedness. (I am now thankful that I did NOT make stuff happen that I could not have sustained.)

Now I understand a mystery I want to share with you:
when we treasure up the visions we’ve received and steward them until the appointed moment, we qualify to carry them.

I always disliked the word “restraint.” Just saying it gave me the creeps. If there’s one thing that grinds me, it’s being held back, boxed in, and limited.

But I have realized that this thinking about “restraint” was overwrought. I reasoned that only the timid, the unsure, the confused, or the oppressed were restrained. Not me.

But what if REstrain means more than just holding back? Now that I’ve begun to live in the kindness and wisdom which I was made to experience I understand that REstraint has a purpose. Its purpose is to fulfill – not rob me of – my destiny!

  • If I will remove myself from what “could” or even “should” be according to chronos
  • If I will live tuned in to heaven, observant, expectant,
  • If I willfully wait for the opportune kairos timing,
  • If I will focus on the preparing of my soul rather than my circumstance,

….then I will actually soar ahead effortlessly in the right way at the right time.

Along with kairos timing comes an effortless execution and the perception that I’m not even doing it…but it is being done for me!

All my life, I thought I was built to strain on, to press ahead. And I am, in a way. Pioneers go on ahead and bring back the fruits from the Promised Land. But straining in my way and in my time took so much effort, and gave me a few wrinkles along the way!

So how does the “strain” get taken out of “restraint”?

One – straining is replaced with soaring when the timing is prepared

Two – Another definition of “strain” is to pour through a separating device in order to take out solid matter. We can bring the future to ourselves when we allow ourselves to be prepared – by shedding what we don’t need.

By 2009 I had tired of trying to pull the trigger on what felt like a broken gun. I was ready to understand WHY what I was doing wasn’t working. And in that season I began to shed:

  • I shed selfishness of heart
  • I shed my limited definition of success
  • I shed my agenda and ambition
  • I shed limiting structures

And for every single thing I shed I got a massive trade UP. I don’t have room here to share the galactic upgrades I got as I left behind garbage in heaven’s strainer.

Trevor and I are now much better listeners and observers than five years ago. Now, when those visions and ideas come – and for me they come A LOT – I take them in and make a place for them inside. I listen to understand whether these are for today or tomorrow or an undefined time. I also speak them out. Sometimes just to myself and sometimes to others I trust. I create a path for them to travel upon. We create with our words, and so I speak out what I’ve seen.

And now…the fruit of REstraint….

For over two years, I’ve been treasuring something up and holding it close. I’ve been stewarding a vision. I knew back in 2012 that I would be helping people find their purpose through Restoring Order in the future. For 15 years we’ve been helping people reclaim their lives and now we would be helping people find their place.

One of the biggest questions in life is: Why am I here? What am I meant to do?

In 2009 I began the journey toward that very question for myself. After a two year treasure hunt filled with lots of white-boarding and post-it notes, I began to understand why I am here and what I’m supposed to do.

I picked up some tools that I have been sharing one-on-one with a few individuals for the last 3 years. And for two WHOLE years since 2012 I have known that I would be sharing this teaching and tools with those hungry to discover the answers to the same questions I had.

So, next month I will be rolling out my new series: PurposeScape: A Treasure Hunt to Discover the Landscape of Your Purpose. In this series, I will help you follow the breadcrumb trail of your life and uncover the brilliance of your design and what you were meant to do! We launched the series last week to our employees and are rolling out regionally first. So, watch for your opportunity to take PurposeScape as we open up registration to the public.

And even if you aren’t ready or interested in this series, I hope you can perceive from this example the harvest ahead for those who will hold back to prepare for the opportunity that’s coming!

Here’s to soaring together!

~Vicki Norris



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