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Embrace Awkwardness

By, Lizz Barker

I may be a month behind, but last night I nailed it. I found my word (or words) for the year. It wasn’t intentional, as I am not one to normally pick a yearly word, but more so impressed on me that if I want to grow as a human this year, then awkwardness is going to be the tool to get me there.

Around Christmastime, I found myself wandering around a store picking out stocking stuffers. I saw a woman laughing with children. I immediately assumed she was an “aunt” taking her nieces out Christmas shopping. This was good to see. It brought me joy. I continued shopping but kept running into them. More laughter. So much joy. But then I heard it. They called her “Mom”.

Oh, she wasn’t an “Aunt”? She was “Mom”? Why was I so caught off guard? To see a mom in public enjoying her children? Well, that is a whole other post I guess. But immediately I wanted to walk up to her and tell her how I perceived her, how watching her with her kids brought me joy, how I had assumed she was the Aunt.

But fear of being more awkward kept me from saying words that could have really encouraged and blessed her.

I do this all the time. Talk myself out of blessing, encouraging, even saying hello and making a new friend because “what if it is awkward? What if it’s weird?! What if it doesn’t “land”?!

But then, God, as he worked on this in my heart, allowed me to hear it from another. “Jesus was possibly the most awkward of all.”

He asked hard questions people couldn’t respond to. Others were always whispering behind his back saying, “What does he mean? What did he say?” He probably had a lot of long pauses where people didn’t know how to respond to him.

But yet, people were attracted to him. He had crowds following him. He was love. He was encouragement. He was truth. And people were hungry for all those things.

And they still are today. More than ever.

So from this point henceforth and forever more, my goal is to look for opportunities to be awkward. It will be a good awkwardness for those of you that are reading this and slowly backing away.

And for me social media is a good place to start. Because this post feels a little...well, awkward.

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