Alone and Awkward: Our Struggle with Isolation

4 years ago

I first started attending the MOMS group at our church when my oldest was a baby.  I walked into the room and was overwhelmed by the amount of noise.  When women start talking they make a lot of noise.  And boy could they talk. 

I could tell they all knew each other and I felt extremely out of place.  I was sure if I walked out and never came back, no one would know the difference.  The morning was filled with ice breakers, polite smiles and inside jokes that I was on the outside of.  These women were lovely, but completely intimidating.  And I felt so alone.  And, honestly, eight years later I still feel that way sometimes.  Like no one in the room really needs my presence.

But isn't this the way it works?  We walk in to a new situation and we are instantly insecure.  Will they want to talk to me?  Do I have anything to offer? 

As I sheepishly admitted these thoughts to the rest of my leadership team (for now I coordinate the very ministry I feel awkward in) I was surprised to learn that it isn't just me.  They all have felt that way more often than not as we MOMS gather together.  Maybe it's a MOMS meeting, maybe it's church, maybe it's at a restaurant or small group or soccer game. 

But I dare say you may feel it too. That all to familiar feeling of uneasiness that makes us want to run back to the safety of our home turf.  

Who has stood at the back of the room feeling awkward, wondering where to sit? Who has thought that women involved in a conversation don't "need" them to join in?  Who has watched others talk and felt like an outsider?  Who has left a group and thought, "They must think I'm an idiot!!" or "Why did I say that??"  

Who has stood in a room full of people and felt out of place, alone, unnecessary, annoying, weird? 

I have a feeling that there are heads nodding and hands raising all over the place.

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