If Your Timeline Is Restricting Your Potential, It's Time To Throw It Out The Door
People ask me all the time how long I”m going to be “brave it” in New York City. Because, if you’re from the West Coast, New York is an unknown city where people only go to Broadway shows, take taxi cabs, and wear high-end clothing.
Every other week, “so how long?” “What’s the plan?” “Gonna come back home soon?”
Y’all, isn’t it a bit silly to assume that I’m fully in charge of my timeline?
A five year plan is all well and good until you realize how Jesus can change that plan like THAT. And His changes are always spot on…even if we push back and whine and try to debate our case.
This is not to say that you shouldn’t plan where you’re heading. Especially my gals who are in grad school — those babes HAD to plan a little farther out than my “and I shall have a croissant for breakfast tomorrow” mentality.
Yet setting limits to our “where” — that seems dangerous.
If you walk into a new place already having decided that you’re only doing “a year” or “six months” or “until school is over,” aren’t you limiting the amazing future that may be following that timeframe? With each new place of residency, isn’t it so much better (and less stressful!!!!) to just take it as it comes?
A mindset of “temporary home” for any place — college, grad school, a new city — makes it hard to plant roots in that new place. I get it. I spent the better part of a year in New York being VERY alone before I realized that this nomadic, lone wolf tendency would only last me so long. Especially if Jesus had me here for longer than what most people consider my “post grad adventure” — I love wandering the city, but I don’t want to do it by myself for an undecided length of time!
We need roots and community and a home, but it’s easy to opt out of the work that goes into those things when you may be packing a suitcase at any minute.
Take a deep breath, and trust that your new location’s timeframe will come naturally. Even if it’s only five months, if you’ve spent those five months forming community, not stressing about what’s next, and taking it each day at a time, you’ll have spent them well. If you’ve spent those five months not growing “too attached,” it’s merely a place. It’s not a home.
All of this is easier said than done. I know. It takes time and work and a extra trips with the MTA to find your tribe. To make a place a home, it takes trial and error. It takes investing in people. It takes being rejected from some people, only to find your community a little further down the road. Homes are messy — ask any woman who has raised children. But houses that are empty, or nervous, or uncommitted — that’s where the real harm lies.
Transitions are a part of life. But each part of life is sweet — take it one day at a time. Breathe, laugh, love, and don’t limit that joy because “well it’s temporary.” Isn’t everything? That doesn’t mean we can’t fully give of ourselves for a shorter while.
Strict time limits are for how long cookies stay in the oven, not for new homes.