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art of adventure feature

Practicing the Art of Adventure Feature: Gabrielle Esparraguera

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!


Gaby is a young woman living in faith and inspiring others to do the same. Although we’ve yet to meet in person, Gaby encourages my heart through her timely words of encouragement and her flourishing pursuit of Jesus! Grab a comfy seat and peek inside her life to see how God is nudging her to get uncomfortable and how He’s walked her through the unknown in the past.

Her interview today reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by Henry Blackaby, “If you feel weak, limited, ordinary, you are the best material through which God can work.”

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!}

Hello! My name is Gabrielle Esparraguera (I know, it’s a mouthful!). I live in Harrisonburg, Virginia and in May I graduated with my Masters in Education. I am a 6th grade English teacher in the Shenandoah Valley, living in my college town, about two hours from family, but with the greatest Church family I could imagine.

The best adventure I experienced recently was the ten-day Love Does bike tour down the coast of California. A group of 14 women, one man, and myself rode our bikes 500 miles down the coast of California. The purpose- to provide education, medical care, water, and whimsy to Uganda’s future leaders through helping to raise funds for Restore International. We ended our long journey at author Bob Goff’s house! I started getting into cycling and triathlons about five years ago, in my freshman year of college, but this was the biggest bike trip I have ever done. Those ten days impacted my life forever, and I’m actually still busy documenting all the memories and experiences I had along the way.

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

Currently, I am in the midst of transition. In May, I graduated from my secondary education program and I accepted a job as a 6th grade English teacher.

As it is for every recent graduate, I cannot even picture what my life will be like in the coming year. I will have to learn budgeting, pay loans, learn about health insurance, set up a classroom, and teach 10 and 11 year olds how to read and write!

The summertime has allowed me space to relax and enjoy lazy weekends and fun adventures, but I feel the stress and fear about the coming year creep on me at different moments.

I have difficulties trusting God with the vocation he has placed me in and I picture myself in front of the classroom with nothing to say. Although I have been successful in student teaching, I still am fearful to be unqualified and unprepared for all that it entails.

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

The most life-shifting unknown that God walked me through recently was singleness. During that time I finally allowed Christ to fully enter my life.

My relationship with God had been stagnant for a couple of years. After a breakup, I felt the usual feelings of sadness and confusion but my desires for a deeper relationship with God and a more godly relationship in the future had been growing long before this breakup.

Nights of sadness turned into nights of pouring over Psalms and writing poetry. I spent so much life-giving time with my friends that I may not have had otherwise. My desires as a Christian woman were affirmed through reading books like, Captivating and completing insightful journals like, Practicing the Art of Adventure.

There were many moments in the year that were difficult. I was mad at God for my past, for time lost in a relationship that went nowhere, and for broken expectations.

But, I continued to press into God by telling him my fears and frustrations. I learned to dream and I learned to dispel the lies that my self-worth came from my body. I learned that God keeps his promises.

354 days into the unknown, God gifted me with a man who loves me like Christ does. He is kind, gentle, attentive and thoughtful. He is adventurous and goofy and he loves Christ. I’m thankful for my adventure into the unknown because now I know that my relationship with Jesus is central and influential on all other relationships. He is my qualification and my joy- “for by that one offering, He forever made perfect those who are being made holy” (Hebrews 10:14).

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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.

At the end of August I became a full-time sixth grade English teacher in Virginia. This is a huge step out of my comfort zone because I will be living about two hours from family, I’ll be learning how to budget money, pay my student loans, and teach a pack of sixth grade kids.

Within this massive step from college student to adulthood, I will also be taking smaller steps out of my comfort zone. One is surrendering my need to see or expect how the future will look.

I find great comfort in planning my days and routines ahead of time. My continuous planning does not allow any room for God to show me something new. My prayers recently have centered around surrendering my feelings of anxiety and fear to Christ and receiving a spirit of expectation and joy.

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 usually hear God’s voice best when I am quiet, reading Scripture, and reflecting. I like to do my quiet times early in the morning before I have to leave the house for work. In these quiet moments, I sit on the floor or in my bed, take a deep breath, and pretend I’m talking to Jesus in my journal.  Through this, I am actively thinking about the places I see God or the moments I turn to Him throughout the day.

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?

One of my fears is that I am unqualified for the things God has led me to. This is a relatively new fear that began during my student teaching experience in the spring of 2016. Student teaching is tiring and trying. Student teachers are grad students learning to write lesson plans, follow standards, and differentiate classroom materials, but they are thrown into a school and asked to teach and plan for multiple classes a day. I felt like a failure so many times that I didn’t even understand why God would place me in such a difficult career path.

And how did you overcome that specific fear?

Thankfully, a wise friend gave me words of Truth to lead me out of the darkness that cloaked my thinking. She reminded me of 2 Corinthians 3:5, “it is not that we think that we are unqualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God.” She also reminded me that “I am wonderfully and fearfully made” (Psalm 139:14). No matter how many mistakes I make in the classroom or how many teaching awards I might receive, my qualification and identity comes from the Lord alone.

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

A life of adventure with God looks like inefficiency. The days where I take time to call my parents and friends, to attend my church small group, to have a longer quiet time, and to just rest when I could be productive, are days when I see God more clearly.

Through these inefficient moments, I’m allowing time to slow down and I’m giving priority to the people and promises that God has given me. As I begin stepping into the unknown over the next few weeks, I want to remember that inefficiency and adventure are synonymous. Faith grows when we move from the safety of what is comfortable and known.


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Gaby would love to hear from you! Leave a comment on her post today
or find snippets of her adventures on Instagram.

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