Aloha Friday! Fridays around here are super awesome, not just because they mark the beginning of the weekend, but also because here on This Darling Adventure we have the unique opportunity to turn the floor over to a fellow adventurer and give them a chance to shine. As you may recall, yesterday we talked about Lithuania. Hence, I thought for our first Feature Friday it was only appropriate to feature our lovely tour guide there who studied abroad there for a couple years and has traveled to… well… countless countries. So, without further adieu, please welcome one of the most adventurous gals out there, my dear friend and sister, Amanda.
Hey, Happy Friday! I’m Amanda, and my dear sister Laura has gifted me with sharing about adventure today. I have to admit that I’m excited, because there are two major facets to my personality: food and adventure. In a snapshot, I am a lover of tacos (10 per sitting is my preference) and a lover of adventure. In fact, it has always felt as if my body and mind were designed for adventure, constantly envisioning the next big exploration, the next big adrenaline rush. I can remember that as a young girl, I didn’t arrive home from school and dress up barbies or dream about fairytales. Rather, I would run around pretending to be Batman’s sidekick. My dreams revolved around fighting crime, scaling skyscrapers, and being a superhero that helped others. As I look back I can see that my heart, even during its early years inside a little girl, yearned for adventure. It ached for the fullness of this life.
When I entered college, I had already begun filtering through various ideas of what a true adventure is. By the time I finished university, I had tested many different types of them: Was adventure going on a big hike? Was it staying out all night dancing and partying? Was it a spontaneous camping trip? Was adventure jumping out of an airplane with a parachute? Was it roadtripping through Europe? Was adventure living abroad for a year or two? The world holds a lot of different ideas afterall, and can make it difficult to determine what true adventure is. I began to see that returning from certain adventures left me feeling empty and drained, while returning from others filled me with a fire of hope, joy, and peace.
After many tests and tries, and after much travel abroad, I believed I had discovered the meaning of true adventure, and I believed it had to do with stepping outside of comfort zones, pushing through fears and limitations, and chasing the beauty of Creation. In a sense, I still do. But now I believe there’s even more to it. This is because one day, as I was scrolling on Facebook and half-heartedly trying to “be productive,” I stumbled upon a quote that captivated my attention, and challenged me to recontemplate my idea of adventure. The quote was this:
“God gave the wise men a direction, not a bunch of instructions; it wasn’t a business trip, it was an adventure.”
Wow. Think about it. When Jesus was born and God called the wise men to find Him, there wasn’t a step-by-step map on MapQuest, or Siri’s voice to route and reroute them, or even Google to tell them what to expect when they arrived. There was God’s command to “Go.” There was an adventure. As I read this, my mind flipped through all of the times that I haven’t been content with God’s direction, His simple yet clear challenge to just “Go.” Certain times this has been because I believed I should be going somewhere more exciting and wild, and I was discontent being told to simply go into my local community. Other times it’s been because I fear God’s “Go” is too hard, and that He can’t possibly think I can handle what He’s called me to.
On this note, my brain firmly highlighted an experience I had just a few short weeks ago, when I was given the opportunity as a Media Advocacy student to go out in a team and raise awareness about worldwide injustices. Immediately, I knew I wanted to go to Europe and document the Refugee Crisis. I had already formed the adventure in my head, when out of nowhere, I felt God say I would go to Papua New Guinea instead. A country I couldn’t even place on a map, a country I had no passion for. It didn’t make sense to me! Especially in light of the intestinal and auto-immune diseases I’ve struggled with for over a decade. My discontent and fear made it clear to me that over the years, my mind has been conditioned to process through things logically and with careful contemplation. This doesn’t leave much room for stepping into God’s sense of adventure, or His frequent commands to just “Go” and trust in Him to do impossible things.
From my early dreams of fighting with Batman, to my later times scaling mountains and camping in wild places, I have discovered this: Adventure is at the core of who God created us to be. And while appreciating His beautiful Creation can be an incredible part of it, the best part of adventure comes through appreciating the beauty of our Creator and of His marvelous plans. When we listen to God’s still, small voice as it says to just “Go,” we engage in the best adventure of all – one that He purposely hand-crafted for us as a loved and cherished son or daughter. There are days that He may say to go and strike up a conversation with the woman in front of you at the supermarket, and that will be your adventure for the day. And there are days He may say to go halfway around the world to serve on a missions field. His adventures are never the same, but His heart for you to experience the fullness of a life with Him is! So if you ever look around and find yourself yearning for adventure, remember this: you’re on one. It doesn’t always have to be experienced on the top of a mountain, or on a jungle safari. It’s the unique, hand-crafted life that you live. It will require you to say “yes” to God’s plan, and sometimes it may feel crazy. But if you want true adventure, you have to chase it right down to the Source, the Creator of adventure and the Creator of you. He doesn’t disappoint.
Thank you so much for joining This Darling Adventure today! It is so good for you to be here. If you are interested in what Amanda and her team will be doing in Papa New Guinea, please click here for more information. And, of course, feel free to comment below! It is always a delight to hear from you.
Have a beautiful weekend! 🙂