We Asked For Adventure | Two Years Later

I'm sitting here with a bowl of chocolate chips, a big mug of herbal tea and an anxious and desperate heart. Here's why:

Two years ago we got this idea. We wanted adventure with God. It sounded and felt so dreamy. At least, that's what I vaguely remember it feeling like when I am reminded of my own words two years ago.

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"I'm itching for adventure. And not the kind that I can come up with on my own. I'm praying for big, beautiful, only-God-could've-done-this adventure. I believe that if we ask Him to write a beautiful adventurous story with our lives He will deliver. He's so creative, and I'm desperate for Him to showcase His skills with my life and my family... We live one life. I want to live it the best way He allows."

Words straight from the heart of a woman just beginning her adventure towards understanding.

I'm two years in (maybe even more) and on the outside life looks a lot like it did when I typed those words, just with one additional little person. Still waiting. Still hoping. Still white-knuckling my way towards the promise and the secure future that I know is mine.

I think I believed that if I just gave God permission to move me to the beautiful mountains and give me this dreamy life that He would do it--like I was the one keeping Him from getting that ball rolling.

Apparently He wasn't waiting for my permission.

Do you have a dream for your life? A thing that, if you close your eyes tight you can see it play out before you? I do. And it's that adventurous life that I "gave God permission" to write for me. It's frolicking through His highest mountains and twirling with my eyes raised towards the sky in His grassy valleys. But as I sit here and write this I'm realizing that He's never told me I can't frolic on the mountain tops and twirl in the valleys.

It might just take place in my heart and not in my body.

To the one who craves adventure with God--who is ready to throw caution to the wind and let God take them wherever He wants: don't do it unless you're ready to let go of the reigns and really go wherever He wants. Because where He wants just might be where you already are.

At least it is for us. For now.

Jesus informed me in John 14 a few weeks back that He doesn't give gifts the way the world does and that I should not lose heart. I'm a sign-reader by nature, a trait that I try desperately to squelch because I know who my God is and He is not confusing or mystical. He is clear and firm. Loving and generous. Sovereign and Holy. So when I read this in John I had to fight hard against my tendency to read all the signs in my life and see how this gift-giving strategy of God's holds up against all the things I've received.

I can't help but think of Malachi.

Kids have a way of trying to make a gift out of anything. And they usually end up enjoying the thing that wasn't intended to be the awesome, expensive, super-thought-out gift in the first place. 

Jesus also tells me to be more like the little ones, and if the world gives the awesome, expensive, super-thought-out gifts then I guess I'm finding joy in the box it comes in. 

I'm still drinking my herbal tea (in desperation that it will bring the peace and calm it is widely acclaimed for.. pshh), I'm on my second bowl of chocolate chips, and my heart is still processing this place we are in.

This place we are in is an entirely new place, a new and promised land, where we believe with little hesitation in the character, love, provision, goodness, mercy, sovereignty, might, holiness, and love of God. We want adventure, even now knowing that it isn't going to look like what we first imagined. We are even more desperate for and sure of the provision and promise of God.

We are in new land, and it's spacious and beautiful just as He promised it would be; I need only take heart and receive.

If you're craving adventure, keep on keeping on. If you are afraid of adventure, don't just dip a toe in--cannonball. This life of adventure with God is raw and real and vulnerable and hard, but it's also vibrant and full of real life and love and joy and commitment. It's the beautiful, adventurous story I asked Him to write for me.

I will not wait around--push pause on living vibrantly and with a receptive heart-- until He brings me to the place I thought we were setting out for two years ago. I will live this adventure wherever I am and with whomever I'm with, because He is the One who makes my heart skip a beat with excitement and my eyes gaze with wonder at His glory. I will explore His beauty, dive deep into the souls of His beloveds around me, and fall even deeper in love with Him because this is the adventure and I've been living it all along.

We've Got The Bread

Based on my usually vague and yet broadly informative social media posts, I would say most people have a general knowledge of the "road to career-dom" we've been on these last three years; by "we" I mean Thomas, but the reality is it's a journey for each person in our family when it is the journey of the main-man of the crew.

 

We thought we were on our way, that we had finally "arrived", at least for a little while. We still held onto hope that eventually we would see our biggest dream fulfilled and have the mountains in our "backyard", but to have a "real job" seemed a lot like arriving, and we were thankful. 

 

Then came the most random tearing of an ACL in the history of young, handsome Canadian men, and we were left wondering what God was up to--again.

 

This week T had to, for the second time, withdraw from promotion into law enforcement due to aforementioned injury. So here we sit... again... wondering what's happening.

 

Last night was one of those ugly, finger-shaking-at-God kind of nights and in my tizzy I picked up an old study guide from church that Hazel had taken out of my journal. Of course, in typical all-knowing and Sovereign God fashion, the lesson from months ago contained just the words my heart and head needed last night.

"Focus on what I do understand--about God, about who I am, about my circumstances."

This is what I had written along the top of the paper and the very thing I needed to do in light of our once-again questionable circumstances. 

"Let His faithfulness in the past propel me into my future."

I had also written that.

So it turns out I actually had processed all the things I needed to face yet another round of uncertainty, and in pretty typical human-fashion I had forgotten all of it.

Then I read Mark 8 and remembered that Jesus had a name for those who forget so easily:

hard-hearted.

Well dang.

"...Jesus asked them, 'Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not understand? Are you hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don't you remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?" -Mark 8:17-19 | NIV

Allow me to show you the conviction with which I received from these few words, in chronological order:

1) I'm talking like I've got no bread. When has He ever left us with no bread? Never.

2) My heart is harder than I'd ever care to admit--for the sake of my ego it's a good thing I didn't realize it. In my pride, I credit myself as one who has a good handle on common sense, but apparently my common sense of the character of God escapes me regularly. So yep... I don't understand.

3) There's a link to my eyes and ears and the memory of the miles behind me. I'll proclaim all I want of the faithfulness of God, but an immediate bout of blindness and Alzheimers has the tendency to come upon me when everything seems uncertain and God seems confusing.

4) Remember that time, just recently, when I did that thing you were so desperate for? Sigh... man, Pops... how could I forget so quickly?

 

It's a crazy ride, living a life of expectant faith. Choosing to believe what your eyes cannot see is hard work. It sounds enchanting but in reality its ugly and tough and full of a lot of pacing and flailing arms. I think what I'm the most thankful for though is that none of that surprises or deters God from doing what He set out to do a long time ago when He invited us into this. He's consistent, and His faithfulness doesn't depend on mine. So with that, I'll stand up, grab a slice of sprouted Ezekiel bread and give a loud, "we've got bread!"  

 

And I'm also leaving out my breadbasket, for whenever He plans on stopping by and giving it a good fill.