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Pushing Through the Awkwardness

Written by Lindsay King

We are more connected than ever, yet we feel more alone than ever. Social media promises connection if we will share our lives, so we do. We share, comment, and keep scrolling. We have hundreds of “friends,” but no one to call in an emergency. The COVID-19 Pandemic has made our disconnection even worse. We can have our groceries delivered, attend church, put in a full day’s work, and complete a workout without actually talking to someone.

The human condition is that we desire to be fully known, truly loved, and living in purpose, as Pastor Lawrence often reminds us. We are made for connection, for relationships. This connection, this friendship that we so desire, is hard, especially as adults. I look around and see people interacting like they have been friends for years, and I’m jealous. I don’t find it easy to make friends. I want to jump to the part where I’ve known someone for like five years, when the awkwardness is long gone and there is an ease to the relationship.

After graduate school, my husband received a job offer in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We moved, leaving family and friends. God led us to Foothills Fellowship where we felt welcomed from day one. We joined a community group. While they were welcoming, I felt I like I was invading their group. It was awkward and uncomfortable. Becky, a lady at Foothills, told me that she was once the new person and that it takes about three years for the awkwardness to fade away and the relationships to feel like friendship. She was right. About three years later, the awkwardness had disappeared, and the group felt like my friends. This was about the same time that my husband accepted a job that brought us to North Carolina and closer to family and old friends. It took us a while to find Waypoint; but when we did, we knew this is where God was leading us. Once again, we joined a community group. It felt harder this time. Maybe because I didn’t want to join a new group and start all over again. I had finally gotten past the awkward stage with our group at Foothills. I often had to remind myself of Becky’s advice. Once again, she was right. And in time, we moved from awkwardness to friendship with our new group as well.

Ecclesiastes 4:10 says “For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” Making friends and being a friend is hard, but friendship and true connection is worth it and necessary. There were nights when Becky’s advice was the only reason that I went to community group and continued pushing through the awkwardness and uncomfortableness I felt. There is no short cut to friendship. It takes action, work, and intentionality.

Whether you have just started attending Waypoint or have been coming for years, I would challenge you. If you are feeling lonely, disconnected, and in need of friendship, join a community group! On the nights when it is awkward and hard, remember Becky’s advice. It will not be that way forever. And…if you have lots of friends, please join a community group! Some of us struggle to make friends, and we are in need of your friendship skills.

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