There is one piece of advice I give myself and other women more than any other and it is this: push through the awkward.
We are women who long for community and to live lives of purpose, but as anything that is good and beautiful and worth having, these things don't come just because we want them. They are invited by those who push through the awkward.
When I say to push through the awkward, I'm simply encouraging you to do things that make you uncomfortable: visiting a church's small group by yourself as a single woman when you know you're not going to know anyone, asking an older woman that you admire and want to learn from out for coffee, pursuing a passion that you worry others might find silly or a waste of time, starting something in your neighborhood to reach people even though it's possible no one will show up, agreeing to do something you've never done before that seems beyond your experience and abilities.
Being unwilling to push through the awkward keeps us in tightly controlled, safe places, but it also keeps us feeding on insecurities and frustrations. Of course, it's true that we may push through the awkward and then things will be, well, awkward. The person doesn't respond how we hoped. People don't get why we're doing what we're doing. Expectations and hopes take a little tumble.
But it's also true that we may push through the awkward and experience all sorts of incredible things, like a freeing dependence on the Lord, a deepening friendship, or the joy of doing what we instinctively know we were created by God to do.
We simply can't know unless we push through the awkward.
After living a lot of my life passively, I've discovered that pushing through the awkward is better than retreating almost all of the time. Because it's in pushing through the awkward that life gets a little bit crazy and a lot more complicated but also where God gets to come through.
I'll push through the awkward any day to experience that.