Awkward Conversations Make the Best Learning Opportunities

Let’s face it, when you go somewhere new, around new people, you sometimes feel like a fool. You try to find some thread of commonality that you can use to introduce yourself to someone so you have more people to talk to than just the person you arrived with. You try to fit in. That makes for some pretty awkward conversations. I don’t necessarily like that part of meeting new people, but I also know that I wouldn’t be who I am today without the lessons I have learned from awkward conversations, situations where I made a fool of myself or times that I have made the most amazing memories.

God places each and every person in your life for a purpose.

God places each and every person you encounter in your life for a purpose. He may not show you that purpose, but He places them in your path to prepare your heart for an upcoming journey. To teach you something He wants and needs you to learn before something else is placed before you.

I recently had a conversation with a stranger, who I have to admit, struck a nerve with me. Ultimately, he was trying to convince me that by marrying young (I met Jim at 21 and was married to him by 22), I missed out on opportunities to fulfill desires I might have had from my “single” life. Interesting conversation for just meeting someone, huh? However awkward that encounter might have been, I learned something and realized so much more from it.

Through my angst and rebuttal of my life decisions, I realized that I did everything I wanted to do when I was single. I lived on my own, I graduated from college, and attended a Doctoral program. I had a good base of relationships and knowledge to form educated opinions on what I really wanted in life AND I knew that when Jim came into my life, I was ready for a serious relationship. A serious relationship with JIM, not just some random guy. (It just so happened that it turned into marriage.)

Halfway through my somewhat uncomfortable conversation with this stranger, I looked over at Jim, who was by my side, chatting with another new friend, and felt a huge smile come over my face and a warmth fill my heart. I did it all! I had accomplished everything I wanted to do on my own and there was so much more I wanted to accomplish WITH him. In that instance, I couldn’t imagine traveling to the places I wanted and still want to go without him. I couldn’t imagine leaving the house without his kiss or the words “I love you” from his mouth as we close our eyes to go to sleep at night. I can’t imagine life without him.

I’m not sure what God was preparing me for with that conversation, but He reminded me to have an appreciation for what I have. I do have that appreciation – it lives within me, but I have to admit I forget to feel it quite often. He showed me that we are MORE perfect for each other now than we were almost 8 years ago when we got married.

As the season of Christmas and New Year’s parties is in full swing, don’t take for granted the sometimes awkward conversations you may have with strangers. God is beside you, teaching you and preparing your heart for a grander lesson He wants you to learn. Don’t shy away from it – embrace it.


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