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art of adventure feature

Practicing the Art of Adventure Feature: Elina Ubele

What does it look like to practice the art of adventure?

On Fridays we feature a woman who is Practicing the Art of Adventure in her daily life by stepping into the unknown, embracing change, trusting God, leaving fear, and loving extravagantly, and traveling deeper into His heart. It is our desire that through their lives and stories of adventure you will be inspired & challenged to say YES to all God’s invitations for you to follow Him in your everyday life. 

We’d love for you to join us here each week!


 

I’m so excited for you to hear from Elina today! I first met Elina when we moved to Maastricht, Netherlands. We became friends over the two years that we were there and for that I am so thankful! I wanted Elina to share some of her adventures with us on the blog today because I know her story will inspire you to follow God’s leading (even when it seems crazy!) and be expectant for Him to surprise you all along the way.

Sneak away for a minute and pretend you’re sitting in my living room with us. In this interview Elina shares some of her biggest fears and how she’s walked through them, where she hears God’s voice, and about how she’s living in a country she never expected!

First, introduce yourself {tell us where you are from, what you do, your most memorable/scary/beautiful adventure, & anything else you’d like us to know about you!}

Hi! My name is Elīna. I come from Latvia but for the past couple of years I have been living abroad. I love exploring other countries, cultures, and having friends from all over the world. I spent a year in the United States, then four years studying and working in Maastricht, the Netherlands, and now I’m living in Malmö, Sweden. I’m here sharing the love of Christ with students and  helping to pioneer a student ministry. 

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What is your current season of life right now & where are you having difficulties trusting God?

This season of my life is a lot about growth, letting God be in control of my life and learning to completely trust Him. I have stepped out to follow God’s call doing things I had never thought I would be doing. It has been stretching me in various ways and I’m learning more about myself and God.

Thinking about the future and what comes next is when fear creeps in. I know that God has good plans for my life, but sometimes I’m afraid that I will miss them. What if I will mess something up? That happens when I lose my sight on Jesus.

Share with us a specific example of how and when God has met you when you’ve walked into the unknown with Him?

There was a point in my life, when I was not sure what to do next. I prayed a prayer that I would go wherever God leads me. I never imagined that He would call me to serve in Sweden! When it happened, it was quite a scary thought to me!

But as it was clearly from God, I was willing to give it a try. As I made the first step, God opened the doors to the next one, and another, and another. All these steps turned into a beautiful journey hand in hand with God that I wouldn’t trade for anything. And now I’m here – in Sweden! God is truly faithful! When God calls, He not only equips and provides what we need, but also walks with us through every step of the journey. 

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We’d love to hear what step(s) out of your comfort zone you have taken recently or will take soon.

Before starting my internship in Maastricht, I remember telling the student leader that I will only become an intern if I don’t need to do any public speaking as part of my internship. It made me very nervous, awkward, and uncomfortable.

When God directed me to Sweden, the support raising required some sharing about my calling and vision with various churches and individuals. I had to step out of my comfort zone and speak in front of hundreds of people at times. Going through this experience helped me to become more used to public speaking. In fact, recently I decided that I want to grow in this even more!

This year I started a university course in English Theatre, where I learn acting and also public speaking skills. It challenges me a lot, but I can already see how it is making a difference! I am more confident and comfortable than I’ve ever been speaking in public… And it’s fun!

How do you hear God’s voice most clearly? Is it a time of day, a place you go, a thing you do…anything!

I hear God’s voice most clearly, when I take time to listen, quiet my mind, and enter into the awareness of His loving presence. By that I don’t mean always finding a quiet place with no distractions. Of course, we need those quiet, still times with God regularly and I love them, but most of my days are spent being surrounded by other people and things.

God very often uses those conversations and situations to speak to me, but I need to stay sensitive and open to hear His voice. I try to start my days with at least a short prayer, a psalm, or a worship song. When I acknowledge the presence of God in the morning, it helps me to stay in that mindset of prayer throughout the day and be more attentive to the ways He speaks.

So much of walking with God on this adventure is about facing our fears, embracing change, and trusting Him…what is one of your biggest fears that keeps your paralyzed from saying “Yes” to God’s adventure for you?

My biggest fear is failure. I like to please and I am afraid of failing expectations. When I’m afraid to fail, I don’t want to try anything risky.

But great things happen when we face our fear. I’m learning that I can’t and shouldn’t please everyone. More than anything I want to please my Heavenly Father. Besides, I know that I have failed many times and I will fail again in the future. However, I can be confident and trust that God will strengthen me and pick me up again whenever I do fail. His love and grace covers everything and He keeps no record of my failures.

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And how did you overcome that specific fear?

When it comes to facing that specific fear, I like to think about Jesus. People had various expectations of what kind of King and Savior He should be but Jesus did not come in this world to please people but His Heavenly Father. He stayed focused on the purpose of His life. He desired to do the will of His father even in the times when he was about to face death. Jesus has already won the victory over fear and death, and I have the victory because of Him!

I like this quote by Robert Murray McCheyne “If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million of enemies. Yet the distance makes no difference; He is praying for me.”

God says in Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

And lastly, what does a life of adventure with God look like for you?

A life of adventure with God for me looks like living by the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit every day of my life. Life in the Spirit is full of hope, love, joy, peace and adventures. It is definitely not boring! Even mundane days God can turn into beautiful adventures!


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Elina would love to hear from you! Leave a comment on her post today letting her know how God is leading you out of your comfort zone!

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