Do you find the word “awkward” as hilarious as I do? Go ahead, say it about 5 times to yourself and see if it doesn’t make you laugh! It’s a word I’m hearing frequently these days from my 9 year old. I’m not sure where she picked it up, but she often refers to situations by saying, “well, that was awkward!”. Sometimes it fits, sometimes I think she just likes to say it!
Let’s face it– none of us really like to find ourselves in awkward situations or conversations. We’d much rather have things flow smoothly, be thought well of, exude poise and confidence. (Side story that will probably not be funny to very many people, but I will include anyway because this is my blog and I want to put it in here. 🙂 When you become a Sales Director in Mary Kay, there is an oath you take. Every time a group of new directors is recognized on stage at an event, they take the oath and all the current Sales Directors say it with them. It’s very cool and meaningful, but there is one phrase that always makes me and my best friend, Jill, laugh: “I will conduct myself with dignity”. She and I are not really known for dignity. Our oath should probably read, “I will conduct myself with goofiness”. Okay, you can go back to the regular post now, after shaking your head at me.)
This has been the biggest learning curve for me. Most often my opportunities for obedience to the Lord these days come in the form of awkward situations. Mark Batterson says, “Awkwardness is a catalyst for spiritual growth. Are you willing to do things that feel awkward, like kneel at an altar or obey a crazy prompting of the Holy Spirit or have a tough conversation with a good friend? If you are, then God can use you!”
My most recent example: I’ve been dealing with chronic sleep issues for about 3 1/2 years now. On Monday, before my Bible study, I really felt like God was telling me to ask the women in my group to lay hands on me and pray for this issue. I did not want to do it. It felt like I was making a big deal out of it and I knew there were several in the group who are dealing with much more difficult circumstances. I didn’t want to be overly dramatic, but I could not shake this impression, so I obeyed and asked my friends to pray right then and there. Before I did, though, I also realized an emotional issue was surfacing again (maybe I’ll write about that in another post sometime) and God asked me to be vulnerable enough to share that as well. Yikes! What followed was the most beautiful prayer time I may have ever experienced. I haven’t received the healing we asked for yet, but I felt incredibly loved and God was definitely there with us.
To wrap up, there was another benefit of my obedience. Another friend who is dealing with some scary heart problems was able to admit how scared she was and we laid hands on her and prayed for her as well! She wouldn’t have received that blessing (and honestly it was just as much a blessing for the rest of us praying for her) had I not awkwardly spoken up to ask first. God is really good!
I hope you made it to the end of this very long post! I’ll leave you with the exhortation to “go out and be awkward today” and then come back to share your stories here!