“She is with me, and they go together, and oh, he belongs to her, and uh, this is Katie, and she…. Pause….ah…”
I quickly stepped forward and interjected: “Hi!” I’m with me! That is, I’m Katie. Nice to meet you!”
We were at a friend reunion and it had been over a year an a half since we had all gotten together to hang out. In that time we all went from being single, to everyone married or engaged. That is everyone but me. When someone stopped by the party and the introductions began, it got awkward.
It got awkward as everyone took turns swapping first date, engagement and wedding stories. I listened to the banter back and forth, and interjected some questions to try to join the conversation. They didn’t want to leave me out, and I didn’t want to be left out. But it was blatantly obvious to me, and everyone in the room that I was single. Awkward for them, awkward for me.
Let’s face it, singleness can be straight up awkward at times. The number one is even called an ODD number, and sometimes you are just straight up the odd ball out, or the third wheel. In my case with this group it’s the 7th or 9th wheel out. At each progressive wedding we take a friend shot with the next one in the group to get married. One of the guys mentioned after the last wedding, “you will be next Katie”
Thoughts raced through my head laced with sarcasm: ‘Yes thank you. I kind of have to be next, I’m the only one left!’
I did not however, say that. 1. Because it would have been snarky and he was trying to be encouraging. And 2. Singleness is as awkward as you make it.To reply with what went through my head would have been to call attention to the fact that I was single, making it more awkward for both of us.
Singleness is what you make of it (can I say that enough?). Yes it can be awkward at times, but we have a choice each time it’s awkward:
- To make it more awkward
- To embrace the awkwardness
Have you ever had a pimple on your forehead or nose that you were really self-conscious about? Like one of those horribly embarrassing ones that make you feel like you have a target on your head or like Rudolph the red nose rain deer?
Funny thing – most people don’t notice it. That is until you point it out to them. ‘Gah, this thing is driving me crazy’ (points to nose). Well now everyone notices it and is looking at your nose. Awkward.
Singleness can kind of be like that.Some people might notice that you are single, but it doesn’t bother them until you bother them with it. Other people won’t notice it at all until you show it to them and then it glares at both of you.
Know what? You aren’t a pimple. You are a whole complete person. Just you. Yep that’s right. The Lord’s love and purpose for you isn’t different than the couple’s next to you.And get this – ya know what both married and single people will both do? Stand before God alone with the blood of Jesus. And so He loves us completely alone. You. Are. Valued For. You.
So don’t live like a pimple everyone is pointing too. God’s love is like a concealer. When we walk with it the awkwardness doesn’t need to bother us. Situations may be awkward, but we don’t have to be.
Is there ever a time for us to embrace awkwardness? Yes there is! It’s time to embrace awkwardness, when not doing so will make it more awkward. This means laughing at situations and yourself to help others find the humor in it. Being ok with, and embracing the awkwardness is giving a gift of grace to the others in the situation.
For example when it came time to take our annual friend picture and all the couples put their arms around each other they turned and looked at me as we lined up. I had the choice to make it awkward and try to hide in the background, or I could laugh and jump in the front and striking a “here I am” pose. This gave everyone the grace to laugh and take our picture.
Being Single and Living Fully Alive means we can live life with Grace. It means that life will have awkward situations, but we always get the choice whether or not we are awkward too. All is grace, and when it’s not, His love conceals.
“Uh….Awkward” is a part of the “Today’s The Day: Being Single and Fully Alive” a 31 Days Series. To read more from this series please click here.