First of all, yes… I know that the title of this blog could be misleading, and may be making a few people feel awkward right now, but that’s okay! For today, however, let’s focus on “awkwardness” in everyday life because it’s something that we all face all the time…
You Don’t Grow Out of Being Awkward
Remember walking up to a group of people standing in a circle, hoping that you can be ‘a part of the crowd?’ You hope that they will notice you, but as time goes on you realize that they don’t. You stand there awkwardly for a few minutes, just long enough for your palms to start sweating and begin to plan escape maneuvers that will allow you to inch away from the group, without drawing attention to yourself. Talk about a painfully awkward experience! I can tell you that this happens to adults all of the time. You don’t grow out of being awkward.
As we grow older we try our darnedest to avoid awkward situations, whether it be with a crush, a family member or a colleague. When I finally created a Facebook account in high school, I would instantly be filled with dread whenever I received a notification that I had been tagged in a photo. I would open up Facebook and analyze every image, commenting on how awkward I looked and making a mental note never to pose that way for a picture, ever again. Sounds like a lot of hard work and worry, eh?
There is Freedom in Being Awkward
For too many years I was afraid that these awkward moments would show a chink in the armour with which I had surrounded myself. I found myself believing the lie that if people saw my awkwardness and my vulnerability, they would realize that I was not perfect, and would, therefore, judge me to my core. Now, years later, I finally understand the freedom and joy that comes with being awkward and allowing people to begin to see the real you. What if we realized that God is okay with us being awkward, as well?!
Awkward Situations in the Bible
The Bible is incredible as it shows us the unbelievable grace and mercy of God. The Bible is also filled with awkward situations that are relevant to the times in which it was written, but I like to think of how some of these stories would play out in 2018.
I’m sure Moses did not throw down his staff with such great force and confidence when he approached Pharaoh the first time, especially since he questioned God on his ability to do what God asked of him. Can you imagine Jonah sitting in a whale, twiddling his thumbs and saying, “God, this is a cool plan and everything, but… really? A whale? Or what about when Joseph finally faced his brothers, years after they sold him into slavery, and was in the position to determine whether or not they would survive the famine taking place in Egypt?
No matter how awkward these circumstances may have been, they showed vulnerability as each person was required to trust in God and put Him before themselves. Yes, they didn’t understand the situation, and yes they had to stand before people and muster up all of the confidence they had to do God’s will, but the reward was even greater than they could have imagined.
Awkwardness in Ministry
For those who share prophetic words and engage in street ministry, awkwardness is a part of the experience. It can be uncomfortable walking up to a stranger, asking to pray for them or choosing to deliver a prophetic word over their lives, especially if they have no understanding of who God is. It can be uncomfortable to allow ourselves to be used by God because it means we have to give up our pride, check our ego’s and let God work through us. What would happen if we didn’t, though? We would never grow as Christians and people would miss out on the chance to experience God in that moment. Those are pretty big prices to pay, for the sake of avoiding an awkward situation.
When we allow ourselves to ‘get awkward,’ whether it’s with a group of friends, a spouse, or in ministering to others, we leave room for the chance to connect with people on a greater level and allow for God’s presence and goodness to move. Amazing things can happen when we allow ourselves to be ‘human’ and embrace awkward situations, as they open up our lives for greater connection, relationship, and community.