This weekend I will be the awkward girl. You know, that introverted girl helplessly tossed into a den of extroverted familiars who can pick up on one another’s inside jokes with the wink of an eye. I will be that girl that stands helplessly on the outskirts of the gathering, wanting desperately to enter, but not having the courage to knock. They don’t know me. I don’t know them. They’ll probably just think I’m weird. They will probably just reject me.
And there it is. My deepest fear. The one thing that keeps me from grabbing hold of potentially good friendships so that I won’t do this life alone. It is the fear of rejection.
Rejection is a tricky character. It will cause you to act in ways that will typically get people to reject you. It’s funny, and nauseating at the same time.
I’m going on a retreat this weekend. With a church and a group of people that I am only slightly familiar with. When I went two years ago, I came with the strategic mission to find a group of friends that I could grow closer with. I was determined. I asked around about the retreat, slightly weary of going off into the mountains with a group of people I didn’t know, and they all affirmed that this was the weeked where “connection” happens. I was sold.
I went. I worshipped. I came back the same. No special friends in tow.
The day before we left, I felt myself being overcome with disappointment. I had come here to make friends and I still had not conquered more than polite conversation. I was failing. But when the last night of worship came God began to speak to me. As the room dimmed and the music played, I worshipped, probably thinking of all the ways I had failed in making a friend, and how I really needed God to guide me. As I continued to cast my cares on to Him, the worship leader began to speak.
“Someone in here is worried about who their friends are and what they are wearing, but God just wants you to come to Him.”
That was for me.
Just when I thought that was all the guidance I needed, the pastor of the retreat approached the stage to end the worship with a bible verse.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”
That was for me.
It may not seem to match the exact struggle of my situation at the surface. But it did. In fact, this verse hit the bulls eye. I had just recently ran into that verse weeks, maybe even months, before the retreat. I had been considering it as the name of a minature, makeshift coffee shop that I wanted to begin with the youth at my church, “Taste and See.” I thought I had hit gold when I found that verse because it so perfectly incorporated taste and God. I had even gone out and wrote the verse on a vintage chalk board that I had purchased. I knew that Psalm 34: 8 was the perfect verse to describe our CoCoa shop. I hadn’t planned on God using it against me to get me to turn back to Him, and only Him.
God really spoke to me on that trip. There are times when I try to talk myself out of obvious communications from God, but I can’t seem to shake that one.
So now, on this retreat, I just want Jesus. I still have the desire to make great friends, but that is second in my desire to really focus on my Lord and Savior. I have been trying my best since before the begining of the year to take on a position seated before Him. I no longer want to be the girl that admires the devout faith of other christians. I want it now, too.
I will have it.
So, this weekend, I will be the awkward girl.
And that is okay, for God is my refuge.