Let's just throw this out there, I've never been good with small talk. You know, the kind where you meet someone new and leisurely carry on a conversation laughing and learning about each other. There may be an aha moment and you instantly click, or you chit chat about holiday plans and go on with your night but leave thinking that person is pretty cool. Then, you see me. I'm the one roaming the halls at social gatherings awkwardly carrying my punch with two hands too high above my chest leaving a puddle of sweat from both the glass and my hands. Both awkward hands go UP...and they stay there, and they stay there. See, awkward.
I never know what to say. “Hi.” That's about all I've got people. “Soooooo, what do you do with your life?” “Oh, really that's great! I'm a Project Specialist at The University of Texas.” “Oh, what is that all about? Um, well, it's a hodge podge of things. I’m also a writer for Created Woman Magazine.” “Oh, thank you, I write about all sorts of stuff.” Stuff. Really, Natalya? “Yea, yea, the weather is getting to me too.” And que in the silence. Awkward, awkward silence killing me softly. There is that transitional pause that sends an uncomfortable shiver down my spine before the next words slip out of my mouth. Are they coming out the way I hear them in my head? Am I making sense? Do I even sound interesting or is this person creating a grocery list in their head passing the time until they can get away? Insecurities begin to build a tower of bricks sending me to a corner blocking my face, my voice, my stories – blocking who I am.
I'm not good enough.
My words won't make a difference so there is no point.
What if I'm misunderstood?
Bravery takes guts in all the crevices of our lives – mama, wife, career, church, friendships, self-worth, insecurities, our stories. Fears tucked in the corners of our hearts are never addressed when we continue to retreat and convince ourselves to stay silent.
Use your voice.
Use your words.
What is life if it’s not lived to who we truly are – the beautiful individual created for a purpose, for a dream, for a community, for Jesus.
It takes guts to be brave, to put down the excuses and insecurities and stomp on the lies we've believed for so long. But you know what, we have to suck it up buttercup. You don't think it took Jesus some major guts to get up on that cross. And he couldn't have done it without his loving and faithful father. Jesus knew his purpose. He didn't question whether he had the courage or not, he walked alongside his dad, his buddy, his dearest friend God having some serious conversations and just did what was hard but necessary.
So let’s quit nursing our fears and insecurities and take down the big red sign over our head that we think reads “Big Loser” and instead root ourselves in the Word and solid relationships gathering strength and wisdom to first, conquer our fears and stand brave, and then, use our God-given dreams, purpose and stories to build community.
God is asking, “Do you want to work with me?”
“Because I want to work with you. Let’s build something, create something, teach something, learn something, play something, go somewhere – let’s be brave together and live authentically. I need you. They need you.”
If the fact stands true that bravery equals showing a piece of Jesus, then what are we afraid of? We love Jesus. We want others to know and love Him like we do. So, we fight within ourselves, we commit to breaking the barriers, we be intentional and show up. We show up so we can show Him. A little bit of awkward doesn’t hurt anyone. We give Jesus away while we pursue our purpose because without bravery, we’ll never know and love the world and the people in it as richly and uniquely as it longs to be known. Let God be God and just show up, there are stories to be told!
Today is the perfect day to practice small talk. Created Woman and Raven + Lily are teaming up to celebrate you and your friends with a Holiday Shopping Mixer. Shop, enjoy light bites and drinks, be brave and meet some new faces (maybe your palms won’t be as sweaty as mine get!)