A year or so ago, I was talking to my mom about something (as one does), and she responded to something I had said with these words: "Yes. You've always been a dreamer." And with those little words, she reconfigured my entire understanding of myself.
She's not wrong. In fact, she is 110% right. I had just never allowed myself to believe it was true.
I grew up reading. Basically, I could talk, then I could sing, then I could read. Reading inspired a love of story, and I soon started to make up stories in my head. Shortly after we moved to the house I call home when I was nearly six, I was walking around our large backyard -- an entire world to a little blonde six-year-old -- making up stories. I soon commandeered a corner of the year and made it my own: I walked in circles and talked out the stories that were in my head. The same ones, over and over and over. Neighbors would ask my parents if I was alright. It never got old for me. This was my whole world.
I've always had big dreams, too. My aunt lives in Germany, and she's done so for about as long as I've been alive. She used to bring me little souvenirs from her travels and read to me out of picture books from art museums. I can't tell you the moment I knew I first wanted to live in Europe -- it's been a part of me ever since those early childhood days.
So Mom was right when she said I was a dreamer.
There's something about my heart that makes me see something else -- something other than what's in front of my face. I see what is, but I also see what could be. And I have an indelible longing for what could be. I have a yearning to see physically what I already see in my head. I think that's why I keep feeling the tug at my heartstrings for adventure: I am feeling the tension between what is and what could be.
It's what makes me love practicing. It's why I have a ridiculous desire to improve as a singer, and I will not stop until I do. Because I see where I am, and I also see where I could be -- and I want the latter so bad I can practically feel myself reaching for it.
It's why Tolkien's trilogy makes my heart physically ache. It's why every time I've been abroad, I have said, with greater force each time, "I have to live here. I cannot not live here." The want and the dream is so great that I can hardly contain myself. I cannot keep the smile from my lips. I cannot keep the sparkle from my eyes. I want it -- I want it so badly I could laugh and cry and sing and dance all at the same time.
I see what is, and while it's lovely, and often a dream come true, I am aching for what could be.
Some of these things I want are things I may have in this lifetime. I may see my dreams come true -- and I am not being the least bit blasphemous when I say I hope to God that I do. I can live in Europe. I could become the opera singer I've dreamed for years of becoming.
But there are some things that I know I'm never going to see realized in this lifetime. Not fully, anyway. And to be honest, adventure is one of those things.
In one of his books, C.S. Lewis writes, "If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world." I know for a fact that nothing in this universe can satiate my adventure-longing. But I also know what can.
You know, I don't always plan to write essays about Jesus. But every single time I write, I come to the end of myself and my experience, and I am left with questions that have no answers except Him. If the adventure-longing cannot be satisfied here, and I know it, then what does satisfy it?
That's the entire premise of this blog. I feel the adventure-yearning and I know I cannot feed it myself. Most of life only makes me crave it more. So where do I find adventure?
Jesus. Always Jesus.
He created the longing, y'all. He knows how to fill it: with Himself.
I have come that they may have life, and have it more abundantly.
Eternal life begins at the moment of salvation. The very second. And it continues until the end of time and beyond into eternity, where the believers shall be with Him forever. That means from the moment I trusted the blood of Christ when I was seven -- from that very moment -- even in the time of childhood when I was beginning to dream -- I had adventure.
Right then. As I am in the habit of saying: that hot second.
I am possessed of adventure and abundant living in the person of God Himself. He created me to know Him, and knowing and following Him is hands-down the greatest adventure of all time. It's got all the elements: loss, pain, darkness, fear -- and beauty, light, joy, and singing. Always singing. It's the greatest Quest of all time.
I cannot describe to you the way that He is like the mountains -- or, really, the way the mountains are like Him. I cannot express how the stars are the stars because He is Who He is. I do not have the words or the mental capacity to tell you that the cold, free wind flies in my face and wakes me up, physically and spiritually, because of the character of God Himself and the way He wants to fill my adventure-longing right where I am.
I can only proclaim to you that it is so.
It's Him. Everywhere. In every way. It's only ever been Him.
I feel that I have no more words left for this essay. I can only repeat myself. But I want to enter this day and continue this life with the knowledge that I've got Adventure right now, with a capital A.
And He's just the best thing that's ever happened to me.