So here’s the deal: lasting friendships don’t just happen out of the blue. You need one key ingredient in the journey of building your tribe: INTENTION.
Caring community doesn’t magically spring up all by itself. I don’t have kids, but I imagine that building and nurturing friendships kinda like giving birth and then raising the baby: a whole lot of time, effort, care, pain – and joy.
I think the effort and the time factor is why it has been easy for me to push building community to the back burner over the past couple of years.
- As a married woman I’m emotionally invested in building and maintaining that relationship.
- My job claims 8 precious hours of my daily mental and emotional energy.
- I lead a ministry at my church and that takes what’s left of my emotional and mental energy.
At the end of the day, I just feel tired. I’m not interested in investing in friendships. I want to invest in my couch watching house flips on HGTV. I want friendship and community to be there for me, but I want it to be easy and stress-free. I’ve done enough work.
But that’s not how it works. We need to build friendships and community. We must maintain them. Work and pray to repair if they are broken. Grieve them if they are lost. Friendships and community require our time, our effort and emotional and spiritual investment.
We need to make that investment. Why? Because God created us to live in community. He designed us to do life together, not in isolation. We become better individuals when we are part of a vital, vibrant community of people who care about us and allow us to care about them.
I’ve allowed my community to shrink to me, my husband and those ever-repeating HGTV house flips. And my soul has been shriveling up.
Here’s my step one: I’m learning to become intentional about building friendships and community.
I keep reminding myself that lasting relationships don’t happen by accident or wishful thinking. I have to actually step out build them, one encounter at a time.
What does that Intention look like for me?
- I have to make relationships a priority. Building community has to become interwoven in my outlook, my goals, my calendar.
- I have to risk sharing what’s on my heart and ask people to come alongside me and support me on my journey. Which means that people will be there to cheer me on AND hold me accountable. Scary! But here’s one reason it’s worth it: as I share my journey with other women, I’m pretty much hearing a chorus of ‘Me too!’
So here’s what I want you to hear:
Intention becomes intention when it is lived out loud.
And when you live Intention out loud, it helps attract the other travelers who will be with you on the journey you’re taking.
Questions for You and Your GirlFriend Tribe
- Are you intentional about building and maintaining your friendships and community?
- How can you set your intention and live it out loud?
- Have you asked the Lord to give you the courage to become intentional about building your tribe?