Why “adventure”?

June 26, 2021

If you’ve been around me, or even seen some of my videos, you may have noticed the word tattooed on my arm. This word and this tattoo has been subject to many questions and I welcome all of them. For some it has been an issue of Biblical legitimacy – does the Bible allow tattoos? And for others it just seemed like an arb word to have tattooed on your arm.

I have always loved tattoos. As an artist I can’t help but admire the skill involved. Firstly, most tattoo artists are amazing illustrators, so fantastic artists in their own right. They just take it a massive step further and create their works using needles AND managing the high stress of doing it on someone else’s skin! I love the skill, the art and the idea of decorating your temple with works of art (1 Cor. 6:19).

Now in terms of the Biblical legitimacy, this is something that I have prayed about and studied up on and I honestly have much peace about it. That doesn’t mean that you have to have it too, or that you have to change your convictions at all. This is a conversation you would need to have with God yourself. I also looked up a bunch of resources and I’d recommend you check out Louie Giglio’s sermon series (DVD) called “Tattoo”, he gives a beautiful context for the scriptures in Leviticus against it. If you’re younger than 21 and not sure what a DVD is, check out this video from Joyce Meyer, weighing in on the subject. It also makes me chuckle, so that’s a bonus.

So now that you understand where I stand on my convictions on tattoos, let me share with you my “why”.

I went through a season a while ago where I became aware of the massive amounts of fear I had in my life. Particularly the fear of man. I think one often associates “fear of man” as a direct connotation to our expressions of faith. So, for example, if I’m afraid of lifting my hands during worship, then that can be because I fear what people will think. Or if I am afraid to pray out loud, I fear that people might deem me less eloquent than others. I don’t often hear the phrase, fear of man, used in context of anything else.

During my 28th year on this earth, this became a massive thing that the Lord had to unpack in my heart. I had several moments where I panicked, because I didn’t feel like I was where I wanted to be in my life. I had dreams, I had ambitions, but none of them were even on the pathway of getting realized.

At the beginning of that year, when I asked God for a word… for something to keep in the back of my mind at all times throughout the year, I really felt He gave me the words, “dream big”. It seemed all fun and games until I realized that I didn’t even know what it looks like to truly dream big. I felt challenged.

I found it impossibly hard to dream with God.

I kept adjusting my dreams so they felt possible. So if I worked really hard, I could actually achieve them. During that year I learned that dreaming big… TRULY dreaming big, means dreaming beyond what’s possible. Venturing into the realm of impossibility, knowing that God can do any and all things. I started to become aware of just how full of fear I was living. I wanted to make YouTube videos and really invest in it, but I was afraid that people would consider me a fraud. That I was trying to be ‘special’ when there was nothing special about me. I wanted to change my career, work from home and for myself, but I was afraid I’d fail. Afraid that the impossibility of the thought would be consuming. I wanted to become an artist. I wanted to spend time on it, sell artworks and help others create their own, but I was afraid that it wasn’t a legitimate idea, because that’s what I had heard my whole life. Art isn’t a career. You need backups and contingency plans if you even consider a creative career. My dreams felt selfish and not holy or spiritual enough. Every fear I had revolved around other people. Notice how what God said about me, about my life, didn’t come up once in these thought patterns?

I had another dream. This one wasn’t important at all, and honestly, it really was so insignificant. I really wanted to get a tattoo before I turned 30. This one seemed reachable, but whenever I wanted to take a leap over the cliff of adventure and fun, the overwhelming fear of what people would think or say took hold of me and pulled me under water.

It was on this journey that I realized what a skewed view I have of Father God.

I made so many terrible decisions in my life, that I lived under the fear of making them again. Life with God, for me, was no adventure, no no… it was one where I walked on egg shells. Not in a religious way, but in a way where I was so afraid that I would mess up and hurt people around me, it felt paralyzing. I overthought everything, struggled to make decisions and often felt like I couldn’t even move under the sheer burden of it all.

The more I became aware of all these fears, the more things made sense, and the more I started to recognize that this is not how God wants me to live. He is not some slave-master, waiting for me to make a mistake so he can punish me. He also isn’t a dictator who takes away all choice and trust.

For we are God’s coworkers. You are God’s field, God’s building.

1 CORINTHIANS 3:9 (CSB)

It doesn’t say that God works and we are just there to watch. It says COWORKERS. We work WITH God, not just FOR Him. There is a freedom in the Christian life where we are actually supposed to be ourselves. God doesn’t say that we are his employees or his staff, but that we are coworkers, working together. This changed everything for me. I had to learn anew that I don’t have to live in constant fear of messing up, that I don’t have to be afraid of making decisions or dreaming really big, even if those dreams aren’t becoming a full time missionary or starting a soup kitchen. Those are amazing and if that’s your dream, I commend you for it. But if your dream is to be an artist or to become a pilot or a stay-at-home mom, those are just as amazing! God was calling me to dare to say yes to adventure with Him, and I kept saying no.

I started to realize that life isn’t as scary as I thought. When God stirs my heart to dream, I don’t have to cautiously lean in… no no, I can throw my arms out and dive in wholly and completely knowing that He is a God of adventure! A God of yes and amen (2 Cor. 1:20), one that doesn’t set us up to fail. I don’t need to fear failure – God isn’t like a boss, sitting in his office across the passage waiting to call you in for the mistakes you’ve made. No, He is working and walking alongside you, nudging you on saying, “hey, I trust you with this one, you can do this”.

My first step in battling fear was getting that tattoo. I wanted something tangible I could hold on to. This wasn’t just a seasonal word, this was a word that I’d have to remember every step of the way. When the unknown is there, and the fear comes knocking, this tattoo reminds me to say yes to adventure, and not to give in to the fear that wants to paralyze me.

Now, please hear my heart, I’m not saying every time you get a revelation or even if this is your revelation too you need to go get a tattoo about it… I’m just saying for me personally, realizing one dream actually led to the breakthrough of all the others. I’m now 31 years old and all those dreams I mentioned have either been realized or are in the process of being realized. I have been dreaming many others dreams since too, all the while remembering to not dream with my own limitations considered, but to dream according to the adventurous One who says:

Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen.

EPHESIANS 3:20-21 (AMP)

I made a short little video back in the day about this tattoo, you can check it out:

Have you ever battled the fear of man? What is your word/scripture you stand on to remind yourself of the truth? Let me know in the comments below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *