I don’t know what I think about short term versus long term anymore. I used to absolutely hate anything short term. As a kid, I was ridiculous. Part of me doesn’t want to have kids because I’m scared they will be as ridiculous as I was, but that’s a tangent. I did not know how to accept change as a child, so much so that I had anger fits and emotional breakdowns over my parents buying me a new mattress. Shameful, embarassing and ridiculous.
But I’ve grown and even moved to another country. And with 100% assurance, I can say that that is only because Jesus transformed me. It was terrifying to move to a country I knew so little about. And there were hundreds of moments once I got there that were terrifying.
After a couple of months in Paris, I became convinced that anything short term is wrong. Adjusting to a new culture takes more time than a couple months or even a year and relationships deserve more than that. So you might have been surprised to find that I had only committed to living there short term. Nevertheless, I was absolutely certain that everything must be long term. People deserve some stability. I thought I deserved some stability.
I also saw first hand that by committing long term, it showed love. It said that ‘I won’t leave, even if it’s not fun and shiny everyday.’ And that’s just not natural. It’s something supernatural.
So do two years count as short term? Probably. Which means I fell into the bad category. The one I had been fighting. And then this summer my perspective was rocked. Our ministry had a couple groups of college students come for the summer. My expectations were low and I thought, best case scenario, they love Jesus more and they pray for the people of Paris. And they did, but so much more than that happened. I saw the impossible happen… I kept thinking “But they’re here short term! That’s not supposed to happen!” (If you want to hear more about the wonderful things that happened through the ministry this summer, click the ‘Ministry Updates’ tab.)
I still believe that long term is better in most cases, but now there’s room for short term. I would prefer that nothing ever changes, but since humans are predictably unpredictable, that’s never going to be my life. So I’ve decided that whether it’s long term in one place, with one home and one group of friends, or everything changing every two years, I’m all in. I’m still scared, but I’m all in. You can watch as it happens or you can be a part of it. We’ve just one chance to get this right and I’m not willing to sit on the sidelines for it.