Do You Believe Your Life Can Be Epic?

I read so many fantasy books as a child and teenager I started to think my life wouldn’t be amazing unless dragons attacked my little Wyoming valley. Or unless the fate of the world hinged on my brave choices. How unfair that I was stuck in a Muggle world! Couldn’t God see that lives in fantasy realms had so much more purpose? (You know, like…saving humanity from balrogs and such.)


A few years passed and I realized life was zipping by without me saving the world or traversing time with merely a walking stick (magical, of course.) It wasn’t until I read Jill Williamson’s Blood of Kings Trilogy that I realized…my life can be epic.

Plenty of real-life stories exist of adventures that stretch the mind, power that transcends our concept of reality, and experiences that leave us breathless. Just look at martyrs. Too morbid? How about missionaries? Adventurers? Travelers? Have you seen the 2014 movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty yet?

There are epic things in this world that don’t involve boggarts or white witches or aliens. It’s my job to find them because God didn’t create us to have boring lives. (Tweet this) Really, He didn’t. But it takes a lot of courage to pursue the epic.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9


“But I’m a stay-at-home mom!”

“But I have to work a desk job if I want to eat!”

“But I’m stuck in high school!”

“But I live in the most boring town ever and I’ll never leave.”

This is about the time I’m supposed to say, “Everything can be an adventure, even washing dishes!” and your heart kind of shrinks a little because I’m not inciting any sort of change or providing an answer. Well, I’m not going to say that (because you’re already thinking it.)

Epic adventures require pursuit — not just physical pursuit, but mental pursuit. (Tweet this!) They come from having the right mindset. God understands epic. He wrote the Bible. He invented the word. He put that desire in our hearts — the desire to be part of something great. And then He said, “I’m the answer. Come to me and I’ll take you there.” (Tweet this!)

“Now to him who is able to do far more than we ask or think, according tot he power 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


Now when I pick up a fantasy, adventure, or survival book, instead of bemoaning my boring life I start pushing the boundaries in my own story, in my own thinking. Ever since this giant revelation that I can lead an epic life with God, my husband and I have completely re-worked our concepts of adventure.

It’s your turn. Don’t live vicariously through these beautiful fantasy books lining our shelves. Let them be reminders that God is calling you to be a warrior, an adventurer, a pilgrim. Figuratively and literally. (Tweet this)


What are your thoughts?


Post originally published in 2014 as a guest post on Ashlee Willis's blog.


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About Nadine Brandes

Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She never received her Hogwarts letter, but rest assured she’s no Muggle (and would have been in Ravenclaw House, thank you very much.) This Harry Potter super-nerd has been known to eat an entire package of Oreos (family size) by herself, and watches Fiddler on the Roof at least once a year. She writes about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. Her dystopian trilogy (The Out of Time Series) challenged her to pursue shalom, which is now her favorite word (followed closely by bumbershoot.) When Nadine’s not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, she and her knight-in-shining armor (nickname: “hubby”) are out pursuing adventures.
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  1. Ashley Morris

    How I needed to read this! I fall into the ‘but I’m just a mom category’ the same things day after day make life seem uneventful and boring. I want to truly learn to be content being with my daughters, having lost Ella a few years ago and both my parents this year has made my yearning for adventure much more apparent,

  2. In an interview on his book Epic, John Eldredge addressed just what you are talking about Nadine. He said that the power of story is that it moves us toward discovering the true story of the gospel that is unfolding right now. It is a story that transcends other stories because we have a part to play in it. “You are not like an extra,” he says. “You are very important to God and you won’t be able to figure out the hardships and trials, the yearnings and the desires of your life until you realize that, Wow! Wait a second! I am living a story that is every bit as much like the Lord of the Rings. There are enemies. There are great deeds to be done. Sacrifices to be made. That is what speaks to the human heart.”

  3. Hey Nadine! Finally getting around to re-commenting. ha!

    This is a great article.

    I’m not sure if I’ve ever felt bummed out that my life does not consist of the fantastical elements that I’ve read in books. I am sure I wished for it, because how cool would it be to be able to speak a word or wave a wand and have the dishes wash themselves? Ha! I might get overwhelmed with the mundane, but that’s another story entirely.

    For me, reading fantasy makes me in awe of the God we serve and thankful that dragons and what not aren’t real. ha! I like how Lloyd Alexander put it: Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.

    • I like that quote by Lloyd Alexander Jennette. In his essay “On Fairy Stories,” Tolkien also deals with the charge of “escapism”, the objection that fairy tales, fantasies, and stories like his merely provide escape or send us into a fantasy world. “The assumption”, he said, “is that escaping is always a bad thing. For someone who is imprisoned, the most healthy thing he can do is to escape the walls that shut him in.”

    • I love that quote! And I completely agree that fantasy can make us in awe of God — both for His creation, and for the imagination He has instilled within us!

  4. Pingback: The Power to Wield It

  5. This was an awesome reminder. Its so easy to get bogged down with everyday mundane tasks that we forget we are meant to be living juicy lives (Tweet this) Lolol

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