Today, I’m talking about keeping your joy on Holley Gerth’s Coffee for Your Heart blog link-up.
One minute ago, I entered a crowd of strangers gathered in a friend’s backyard, and already I’d stepped in it. I looked at my feet wondering what in the world felt as slick as ice. And there it was. Dog poop.
You will not win, I shouted at my invisible adversary.
For a gal who lives on a ranch, stepping in poop of one kind or another is a daily event. But, usually, I’m wearing muck boots and surrounded by hooved friends, rather than wearing strappy sandals and wandering amidst a crowd of strangers.
I’d prepared to meet my adversary at this party.
With a soft voice and subtle glance, I said to my husband, “Let’s find a watering hose.”
I was just about to casually exit the scene when the hostess spied me through the crowd of unfamiliar faces. Her bright smile went dim as she approached. Then all I heard was oh-no-oh-my-God-oh-I’m-so-sorry.
She blew my plan to duck out to safety.
You will NOT win! I reminded my foe.
Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Oh, my God! And on and on she went.
It’s okay, I reassured her. I’ll hose off my shoe over there.
But, it’s on your foot!
It’s okay. You have soap, right?
No one would have noticed.
Even my wet sandal, soaked from hosing it clean, would have gone unnoticed if she hadn’t made a point of asking (loudly) if my shoe dried yet.
What’s Going On?
I refused to be rattled by the situation. The enemy would NOT steal my joy today.
I was calm. Truthfully. But, my hostess apologized again and again. I wondered why. Her dramatic move to scrub the hardscape, swishing through the crowd, waving a wet dish rag, solidified the horror in everyone’s mind, but mine.
Really. I was okay. I’ve done worse. Trust me.
But, I wondered. Why the drama? Why make a big deal? Why not let me off the hook? Then it occurred to me she was more embarrassed than I was. Her over-the-top response deflected her embarrassment toward me.
Meanwhile, the enemy ceased his opportunity to rattle me. He murmured, she doesn’t want you here anyway. She invited you because your sons are friends. She feels obligated. Don’t you feel silly?
No. You won’t steal my joy. I made an honest mistake. It’s not my little dog that’s running around hiding surprise packages in the grass.
Perspective Comes Later
I reflected on the event, of course. How could I not? I was curious why she made such a big deal. The answer I got is she was more embarrassed than I, and in her way, she was seeking to know that she was okay.
But, the enemy wanted to be sure that I knew it was all my fault and see, I told you-you don’t belong here. He tried to steal my joy. (Hers, too, by the way.) No way! Joy is mine (and yours!) to keep. It’s written, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.”
And here’s the lesson for us all:
How to Keep Your Joy in Awkward Social Situations
If you find yourself in an awkward social situation, made more awkward by someone else’s embarrassment, try to see the situation through her eyes. What’s going on in her life? Is she under stress (self-imposed or otherwise), not feeling well? Struggling with something? If you gain a glimpse of understanding, reassure her that no one died from stepping in dog poop. (I hope!) Focus on helping her overcome the awkwardness, if indeed you really are okay.
Then, of course, take responsibility for your side of things, then let it go. (Yes, I stepped in dog poop. Oops. I’m sorry.)
Next, avoid the blame game, which is a tactic the enemy of your soul uses to keep you tangled up in strife. Don’t go there. (It’s not her fault the dog pooped on the grass.)
The Key to Capture Joy
Know who you are in Christ Jesus, Sister. You’re a daughter to the King, an heiress to the throne.
You’re perfect in His eyes. Remind yourself there’s no condemnation in Christ Jesus, and Psalm 23 promises that you do not lack. If were perfect, we wouldn’t lean on His strength. We’d rely on ourselves and “step in it” every time.
So there you have it. If you find yourself in an awkward situation as I did, know that God’s got your back. Trust Him to know what’s best and let Him guide you through.
If you like this post, please share it with someone who needs encouragement today. I’m a one-on-one person, so please leave a comment below so we can get acquainted.