Ok, this one is special. [The post and the person.] Elisabeth…what is there to say? She’s been my roommate for several years now, put up with me through half of college and now graduate school too. She is a worshipper, a celebrator of the beautiful, a chaser of dreams, and – as you will see – an amazing adventurer. She lives out her middle name Hope, and inspires me daily.
She’s a soccer coach, youth leader, grad student, and an amazing person all around. Lis Cheesman, everyone:
I’ve studied, explored, and most importantly, experienced adventure in my life and I’ve come to the conclusion that adventure is simply engaging the unknown. Daunting, exciting, and everything in between– adventure keeps us on our toes while revealing who we are as we face that which we do not know.
I like to fancy myself as somewhat of an adventurer. And I’m hoping that’s all. Now before you try to tell me I’m so much more than that, and life is so much bigger and deeper and more dynamic than to be defined by just one word, let me explain.
This summer I have discovered that I have NO IDEA who I am. Now I’ve thought this for a while, but the newness in my summer of discovery is that I am entirely content with not knowing. This is because I’m finally an adventurer. I’m stepping into the unknown face first and full speed ahead knowing less than I knew when I started and feeling more confident than I ever could have imagined.
Now that may sound like sort of a foolish discovery to have at nearly 25, already midway into a graduate degree heading down a pretty specific track toward something. Oh well. I truly believe I am on this path for no other reason than God has placed me here, but that was not always what I believed.
Before I was an adventurer I had a different perspective on who I was. I thought that I had to know who I was and I thought I found that out by what I did.
I miss assignments in school; I am a failure.
I struggle to do my job; I am ill-equipped.
I don’t have a boyfriend/fiancé/husband; I am worthless.
I can’t pay my bills without asking my parents for help; I am poor.
And those are just things you can see from the outside…
I fall into the same old patterns of sin I thought I had grown out of; I am broken.
I can’t love people who I find irritating and inferior; I am mean.
I don’t know what in the world I’m doing with my life; I am clueless.
Failure, ill-equipped, worthless, poor, broken, mean, clueless. Wow. I sound awesome. Why wouldn’t you want to be me?
Chances are you could come up with a list of similar self-degradation without too much effort. That’s how I felt before I became an adventurer. When I thought I had to be certain I wanted an identity that had a cause and an effect for every aspect of it.
Let me tell you though, those are
LIES. Straight out of hell.
So please, friend, stop believing the lies.
Recently I heard someone say “the opposite of faith is not doubt, the opposite of faith is certainty.”
Certainty. Isn’t that what I’m searching for in my identity? A job title. A degree. A relationship status. A tax bracket. Something that is certain; official; on paper. But what if that has NOTHING to do with my identity?
There are so many things I thought I knew about myself and this summer I’ve discovered they are all wrong.
The essence of faith is not knowing. Faith is my adventure.
Here is the truth: as we engage the adventure God has for us we need only to be certain of Jesus.
Oswald Chambers once said said that “to be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways.” So I choose to be an adventurer. I choose to engage the unknown. I choose faith in the person of Christ, not the title, the degree, the status, the bracket, or anything else this world tells me I need to be certain of to know who I am.
The most freeing thing I have ever done in my life is to release the need for certainty. Slowly. Inch by inch. One area at a time. Now I have no idea who I am, but as my focus shifts from jobs and degrees to Jesus I become more certain than I could have ever imagined. I’m not done and I don’t know that I ever will be, but for now I am headed into the unknown with reckless confidence that can only be found in Christ.
I am taking on the adventure with all I have in me and that, my friends, is the good life.