This week has been the week of awkward conversations. It seems like every day this week I have had to have an uncomfortable conversation with someone important in my life. Sometimes about things that I needed their opinion on, other times on things that I had done that I needed to make right. On every occasion I spent the hours of the day prior in mental agony about the conversation that had not yet happened. In some cases I would lie awake the night before thinking about what might happen. I’d try to pre-script the whole conversation, including preparing responses for all the things the other person might say. I tried to think of the absolute worst case scenarios and then imagine what life would be like if those worst case scenarios came to be. If the worst thing possible did happen, I would already be mentally prepared to deal with it. Nonetheless it didn’t change the very real fear I had that I would disappoint people I care about, or that they would react in a way that would leave me disappointed. And for several hours over the past few days, this fear seemed to suck up all my attention.
Have you ever been in a situation like this? Where the anticipation of something that you have to do leaves you anxious with fear? It might be talking to a teacher about a failing grade; or confronting someone who hurt you. Or maybe it’s something more serious, like talking to a friend about a habit they have that is destroying their life. It may be speaking up for someone who is hurting, even though other people have opted to not get involved. Like me, you may try to think of ways out or reasons why it is better not to have those awkward conversations.
But the truth is, we really do not need to fear if we remember that God is with us in everything we do. His words to the Israelites in Isaiah 41, still hold true for those of us who walk with Him today “…I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” And further He doesn’t expect us to just stumble through these situations but to approach them with courage, for as Paul reminds in Timothy 1: 7 “…God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” A spirit in which we can do all and deal with all that He allows to come before us. As you go into your day, may you claim the spirit of power that comes from knowing God and in so doing face boldy, all the very difficult or merely awkward moments ahead. And who knows, that awkward conversation might turn out much better than you expected. It did for me.
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. – 2 Timothy 1:7