Tonight, I met with a group of 4 women in preparation for a women’s conference taking place in Phoenix next month. We come from 4 different churches in the area & in preparing for this panel, we shared our stories. The idea is afterwards, women will break into smaller groups and share their own stories with each other. I was incredibly moved by the personal depth that was shared by each woman. We talked about real life, real pain, real tragedies. There was no masking, no covering up, no hiding behind shiny smiles. Each person brought her darkest and worst into the light. Timidly and carefully though. These were not badges of honor or stories of valor being shared. These were stories filled with deep pain, much shame and the kind of despair that changes the course of life. Then how God has restored, redeemed and renewed our lives. That part is super easy for me to talk about.
I drove away completely humbled. Is there another word that bypasses humbled because that is how I felt. I was asked the question “How is God using your story today?” My honest answer was “I see that it serves a purpose with the Mending the Soul groups at my church but I really don’t know, I don’t have any idea, mainly because I feel totally awkward when I’m sharing my story.” Then she told me to go first and she was going to video tape it. Cue Awkward Self.
I don’t even know how I was sitting in that room sharing my story with these women. I didn’t seek this out. What I do know & what has become crystal clear to me, is that it keeps happening. Sharing my story. And every single time, I feel totally and completely awkward. Afterwards, I mentally grade myself and try to measure “was I off the chart awkward? Or was I just minimally awkward?” Greg says I have to stop doing this and just let God use whatever words come from me and leave it to God. I think Greg is right. So I think the right thing to do is to just tell everyone I know about my social-story-telling-awkwardness as a means to bringing it all out in the light. If everyone knows, then there is no secret about my Awkward Self and I can be free to be awkward.