For those that know me, I’m sure it will surprise you that this suave and debonair person you know was once awkward and insecure. Ok, maybe it won’t surprise you at all. In a previous lifetime I was a middle school teacher and principal and people would ask, “How can you deal with kids that age?” Probably because I could see part of myself just like them – awkward and insecure and searching.
I was listening to a sermon by Jason Locy and he used the phrase awkward normalcy. It seems to have so many applications. How do you deal with grief? Well, there are difficult stages that later become an awkward normalcy. How do you transition into a new job or new relationship? Well, there’s the evolution from what you’ve known and how that fits into the new and it there’s a time of awkward normalcy. What happens when your family adds a new member through marriage or birth or other events? There’s a period of awkward normalcy.
The church we are currently attending had people fill out cards with what they are struggling with and the pastor read a stack of them out loud. It was sobering. Marriage issues, depression, loss, insecurity, doubt, physical ailments… And I kept thinking, this is just a fraction of the real list. So within our church group or work group or social group – how many of us are in the midst of an awkward normalcy?
I feel blessed that I’ve reached the age that I care less about being awkward. My quirks are part of who I am, but don’t dominate my life. I am fortunate to have a great family and have the security of a good job. But at our root, it seems we all have some level of being in the midst of an awkward normalcy.
What a brave and yet poignant idea to ask people to share their candid issues. I wish we had courage like that to engage people in real discussion rather than just these private conversations or rumors!
Bruce as a pastor I struggled with depression all my ministry and eventually was forced to take disability. The D.S.’s and Board of Ordained Ministry all but ignored me. They ,for instance, put me on disability and removed me from the church but did not tell me how long I could stay in the parsonage. More importantly if it were not for a church member who asked about my income that he found out the conference paid me NOTHING. I received my first check when the Board of Pensions did my paperwork. Yes I am bitter and disallusioned. I hope churches do better to help the hurting. Bert VanEssen
I was visiting with a couple who years ago had a family suicide and were asked to leave the church. It broke my heart to think – when they needed the church the most they were cast aside. My prayer is churches be churches. By the way, thank you for encouraging me to start this blog!