Awkward- A situation which is uncomfortable, causing embarrassment.
Imagine you go into the company that you’ve been working at for over a decade and your new, younger coworker arrives late in the afternoon. You exchange small-talk and find out that your coworker is 10 years younger than you with a very bubbly personality. You show your coworker around and then get ready to leave work.
You get in your car and head towards home, looking forward to a relaxing evening. (One of the many benefits of your single life is enjoying quiet evenings on your porch, reading a book as you watch the sun set over the cow pasture next door. Or, if you are in the mood for company, you hang out with one or all of your nine friends-like-family that also have apartments on your shared beautiful, Southern Florida property).
Only, tonight is different. Your new coworker follows you home to your clean and orderly apartment. (Clean, orderly apartments are another benefit of being single, since you only have yourself to clean up after).
Oh, did I forget to mention that your brand-new coworker was going to be living with you indefinitely? You help her move her stuff in, secretly hoping that she is going to turn out to be a neat and organized roommate. You fear the worst when you see her small pets. The two of you awkwardly eat dinner together working some more on your small-talk skills. (You realize that listening to that podcast on small-talk is sure paying off today!)
After dinner you both clean up and you show your new coworker/new roommate where all of your dishes go and you awkwardly head to the couch where you sit side-by-side and pick a tv show that interests both of you. Now it’s time for bed, so you get all ready and start walking to your bedroom and notice your new coworker/roommate following you to your bedroom.
Oh, did I forget to mention that your apartment is a one-bedroom/one-bath apartment? So your brand new coworker/brand new roommate is also going to be sharing a bedroom with you. Sounds a little awkward, right?
This is how I was picturing that my life was going to turn out in the next few weeks. Why was I picturing this? Because not only was this a partial re-run of previous episodes of my life, but also because this is planned to happen to me in June. Awkward, right? But let me give you some details about my life that will make this story sound less awkward, not completely free of awkwardness, but a lot less awkward.
When I graduated from college in the mid 2000’s, God led me down to South Florida to teach at a Christian school with one of my best friends from college. Her mom and dad, (who is the Pastor of our church), graciously let me live in their beautiful house on five acres of river-front property with their two daughters (both teachers at our school), their Grandma and another teacher.
Over the next few years, as our living situations changed because of college and marriage, etc. I ended up rooming with different people and moving from the basement to the first floor and back to the basement. Eventually, we added more unmarried teachers to our school, so we built three beautiful apartments in our Pastor’s barn. I had the choice between having the smaller downstairs apartment to myself or sharing the upstairs one bedroom/one bathroom larger apartment with a big, kitchen area and a beautiful porch area.
So, I picked the apartment with the beautiful porch, knowing that this would also bring future roommates. (And boy did this apartment sure bring future roommates my way.) Again, college classes and marriages changed our living situations and this June will bring roommate number three my way. And, as I get older and hopefully more mature over the years, my new roommates always stay around the same age (just out of college/early 20’s).
Back to the awkwardness. The story that I had you imagine at the beginning of this post does sound a little crazy, but I left out the most important part. The part that brings me comfort and peace.
I didn’t plan any of this for my life. God, my wise Father planned this for me.
And, the company that I work for is not a company, it’s our Christian school that is an off-shoot of our local church.
A healthy, local church where different members of society of all different ages, and different interests, and different walks of life, and different occupations and different personalities get together and worship God, their Father, as a unified family because of the one thing that we all do have in common. The bond of Christ.
The realization that we were all formerly walking in darkness, dead in our trespasses and sins, deserving God’s wrath, but God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love and grace, brought us to repentance and saved us through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross (See Ephesians 2). One of the most common things that visitors say after coming to our church is that the people of our church just seem like one big, loving family.
Ephesians 2 goes on to say, “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.”
Because of our bond in Christ, I can meet my future roommate and we can get over some of the awkwardness and we can both help each other to grow in our relationship with Christ. But this will take humility, and grace, and knowledge that we are both Christ’s workmanship and that God is smoothing out the rough edges of each of us.
I will need to be reminded of this often in the next few months, and I’m thankful that I have some good friends that will help me to remember this and who will help me when my attitude and thinking are not right. And, yes, there will be some awkward times ahead, but maybe this future roommate will one day turn into another one of my friends-that-feel-like-family people that live around here.
Oh, and did I forget to mention that my Pastor has made plans to convert part of my porch area into my very, own master bedroom next week!!! So now my beautiful, big apartment with a porch will also have two bedrooms and will pretty much be perfect… but that’s a story for another day!