Intentionality Knows No Border
By: Amanda Clark
I recently packed everything I own into three suitcases and moved from the comfort of Oklahoma sunsets to the infamous concrete jungle that is New York City. I quickly came to the realization that starting over is a lot harder to live than it was for the words to just roll off my tongue. The warmth of strong biblical community and even stronger friendships had taken on a new form from 1,472 miles away.
I discovered that being intentional came naturally when all of my friends lived within 5 minutes of one another, and when some even lived in the room down the hall. On the flip side, intentionality didn’t come as easy when I felt alone in a city of 8.5 million people. So here is what I learned about being intentional in the one month that I’ve attempted to be adult (which is walking around a busy city aimlessly in Ann Taylor dress pants).
1) You can be someone’s constant without being consistent
If you’re like me, then authentic conversations come candidly when you’re face to face. However, when you have to sit on the other side of an iPhone screen it becomes a whole other game. Text messages come in like snail mail and most of them don’t get responded to because you’re too lazy to type. Not being intentional with the people isn’t justifiable because conversations are inconsistent. Writing a hand written letter, picking up the phone for a quick call every four or five months, or if you have the capability, just chanting encouraging things as you creepily drive by them on campus can go a long way without having out having to check in on a daily basis. It’s not as hard as you might think. It’s like salt, just a little bit can be enough.
2) Date your friends
What?? I just made things weird. Think about it for a second though; friendships are long term investments, not a quick fix. It takes time and tears and effort and prayer and perseverance and forgivenessand coffee dates and laughter and even being there when sometimes you don’t feel like it. Love is a choice- choose to love your friends.
3) Quality > Quantity
You can’t have a blog post about intentionality without throwing in a few honest and gnarly cliché’s in the mix. You and I both know that you are the company you keep. Tattoo it on your forehead and bind a ribbon around your finger, because it’s something we often forget. Being surrounded by a few radical world changers can have much more of an imprint on your heart than a million people who don’t care to know you for who you really are. I’ve learned that if your people don’t let you be real, then find new people. In other words, if they don’t let you flail your arms and sing One Direction at the top of your lungs then get new friends.
4) There’s power in just showing up
Sometimes (okay, let’s be honest like 9/10 times) words fail us. I often think really dreamy thoughts and then when I attempt to hurl them onto a blank piece of paper it comes out as exactly that, vomit. If there is one thing that I know to be true it’s that someone just being there, not even saying a word, holds power. Sometimes friends just need an ear to listen and a shoulder to drown in tears. Be that person for someone else, be the person who shows up.
5) Intentionality knows no borders
Ah there it is, the bullet point that was coined as the title. This is the golden goose egg of lessons that my mere experience as "woman with her big girl panties on" has taught me. Intentionality knows no borders, has no boundaries, and sees no color. Intentionality is a decision to love those near and far and to do so with purpose behind it. Working full-time means working full time (who knew?) and making it easier to fall in the trap of fueling the American dream. Through many recent nights spent alone in tears, journaling, and reading in between the lines of the Word, Jesus dropped little reminders that he too is being intentional with me, even when I didn’t know it. There are no borders with intentionality because even the Creator and the heavenly realms are accessible.