this was a phrase that i heard constantly while in my college ministry. whenever you met a freshman, a new member, an old member, or wanted to pursue a romantic relationship…be. intentional.
even though this phrase was thrown around a lot, it was exactly that. thrown around. i don’t think we ever really knew what it meant to be intentional with one another nor do i think we had the opportunity to do so either. like what does being intentional even entail?
some would say its’s stating your intentions of the friendship/relationship from the get go, others would say it’s reaching out to people and investing in them, but mostly everyone probably had no idea even though they had a seemingly good answer.
and there’s nothing wrong with that, no, i was definitely in the “mostly everyone” category. i just didn’t know what it meant and being surrounded by the same people and being so accessible to one another living on campus, we didn’t really have to try all that hard to be intentional when we saw each other ALL THE TIME. there was no need to be intentional really, it was just…we were there.
so i guess what i’m getting at is that i think i understand what it really means to be intentional now that i’m in the adulting world.
post college, everyone is everywhere. all my close friends either moved to a different city or to a new state altogether, and i moved back home so i was away from all my college friends. basically, we didn’t have that easy and convenient access we once had in college making things a lot harder in terms of keeping up with one another.
>> insert intentionality <<
i think intentionality is two fold. first, it’s wanting to maintain a friendship with the other person. second, it’s taking action to work on maintaining said friendship.
i’ve found it difficult to do that a lot of the time because everyone is working and free time is limited. but it’s definitely not impossible. i’m finding myself messaging people more and being more effortful in staying in touch and up-to-date on my friends’ lives which also includes being present with where i’m at as well in deepening relationships i’m making in my present place.
so whether that’s messaging people more, setting up video chats, or meeting up with people no matter how tired i may be – it’s worth it. and the best part is when you see your friend trying as well and that’s when you know you’ve got a solid friend right there. that even though you may not be in close proximity anymore, they still want to be involved and invested in your life and in order to do that we’re striving towards being intentional and effortful in our friendship.
though there are a few times where i’ve tried to be intentional in meeting up and setting aside time for people that was not reciprocated back, oh well. they were just part of your life for a season and that’s okay and so when it is a two way street, it’s really nice.
being intentional requires heart and effort from both sides and with everyone working so hard and jaded from work and life, you really have to make a point to say you value the relationship and want to deepen it through being intentional.
i’m still working out the details myself, but for now, i’m going to try to