Rachel Jenae

Intentionality (Annual JBU Girls Trip)

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Once a year I get together with some incredible women that I met a short 10 years ago and it’s in those short times together I’m reminded a little more of who I want to be. For the last five years we have planned one weekend out of the year together. Just us. Away from jobs, families, duties, schedules… life, and we plunge back into what seemed like more care free days, where we don’t do much more than sit around and talk, talk, talk, like all girls are very good at. This trip was no different, though we did most of it on the sandy beaches of Pensacola, Florida where one of the girls now resides-the perfect landscape to bask in while our hearts basked in beautiful friendship. As the tides rolled in and out again, our concerns, weighted hearts and worried minds rolled out with it. Amidst the laughter were tears of joy and amidst the tears were laughs of letting go.

We sat in a circle on the beach, rotating every so often to get a good even tan, but it was there that I remembered why I had invested and prioritized this trip every year. Not just for “fun” or a vacation to get away from the busyness of life, but it was to be reminded of true life. Abundant life. Genuine, honest, struggling, miraculous, healing, adventurous, LIFE! We started talking about how we all met. How we connected to the group. And as each one shared we realized how little time we’d actually all spent together. I was only at the same college with these girls two years, but actually only knew most of them one of those years. Many of the others moved to different living areas on campus while they were there and I was amazed at how this group actually formed and has continued to grow together.

As I thought about it more one word has continually come to mind. It’s what I consider the “art of caring”. It’s what makes friendships like this group of girls last and grow deeper. It’s what we all long for in deep relationships. Intentionality. It’s actually taking the time to care for people. Putting your money where your mouth is. It’s caring for their concerns as if they were your own. It’s praying for them often, even if you only see them once a year. It’s asking questions, even if you’re in completely different seasons of life. It’s listening without judgement and knowing your heart is safe in their hands. It’s the art of caring and caring deeply. It’s a rare gem to be utterly treasured. It’s a God-gift sent to remind you in a million different ways of how completely and utterly intentional God is with us…and often He’s using those same friends to show us another view of Himself.

But it doesn’t happen easily or casually. It doesn’t happen just because we want it.  We must choose it and choose it again and again.