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Tips for the Clumsy, Awkward, Self-Conscious Christian Girl

By: Bethany Baird

It’s happened to the best of us.

That moment when something so horribly embarrassing happens and you just want to sink through the floor. I had one of those “sink-through-the-floor-moments” several years back when I was in high school.

I was in tenth grade and had just finished competing in a huge basketball tournament.

My team had won first place, and we were waiting in line to have our team announced and presented with our big trophy.

Honestly, I was feeling pretty good about myself. That was until I experienced one of the most embarrassing moments of my life.

Here’s what happened …

As we started to make our way down a big flight of stairs toward the stage, I decided it would be fun to slide down the stair railing instead of walk. As I started sliding down the stair railing, I lost my balance, flipped over backward, landed on my head/shoulders. Everything in my hands crashed all over the floor.

The worst part was that a bunch of basketball guys were right behind us and watched the entire thing take place. When I looked up, realizing I had just flipped over on my head, I wanted to disappear.

It was absolutely a “sink-through-the-floor-moment.”

Embarrassing moments are many times completely unpredictable. They can range from getting a bad haircut, which has happened to me, to getting something stuck in your teeth and not realizing it until you get home.

What can we do to prepare for these moments? Is there a way to handle them without feeling like we want to sink through the floor?

Looking back on my embarrassing moment, I realized something amazing about it. Although there were a ton of people who saw me flip on my head, none of them made me feel bad about what happened.

My basketball team immediately helped me up off the floor and picked up everything I had dropped. Some of the guys (who I didn’t even know) ran over to make sure I was okay. What incredible friends for not making me feel worse than I already did.

As I think about that situation, here are some takeaways I’d love to pass on to you.

1. Choose your friends wisely.

How would your friend respond if they watched you have an embarrassing moment? You want to make sure the people you surround yourself with are striving for Colossians 3 character qualities: kindness, love, compassion, humility, patience, and forgiveness.

2. Be a good friend.

It’s important we display those same character qualities that we want in others. When something embarrassing happens to one of your friends, you can be the first to offer them a hand or share a kind word. God’s Word urges us to always treat others like we want them to treat us (Luke 6:31).

3. Give yourself a break.

Remember that embarrassing moments happen to everyone. Even Princess Kate has them. Don’t spend hours at home crying over an embarrassing situation. They will happen to the best of us. We need to give ourselves (and others) a little grace. God is so full of grace for us because He knows we desperately need it. Let’s walk in that grace and choose to live joyfully and freely even when little moments try to sneak in and steal our joy.

4. Your value is found in Christ alone.

God’s love for you will never change, even if you flip off the stair rail onto your head. Remember that your value comes from Christ and what He did for you. Your worth is not dependent on how cool you are but on God’s love for you. I love how Luke 12:6–7 puts it, “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

The next time that you or a friend experience a majorly embarrassing moment, remember what you learned today. Don’t let the situation keep you at home crying. Give yourself and your friends some grace.

Remember to be the kind of friend that you want others to be to you.

I’d love to hear some of your stories of embarrassing moments from the past. It’s always nice to know that I’m not the only one flipping off stair railings.

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  • Allyson Fox

    Thank you so much for this! I’m constantly embarrassing myself, and then spending hours thinking about how humiliating it was…I have got to remember this! You are such an inspiration. I love your book so much!

    • Lillian French

      I do the same thing! I’ll obsess over dumb/embarrassing things that I’ve done or said for days. This was such a good reminder of where our true worth comes from!

  • Emmy

    Oh my goodness, that sounds painful! I’m glad you’re okay! Haha, I’ve had so many embarrassing moments. This past summer I was at a baptism ceremony at our church. There were a group of my girlfriends talking kind of in a circle, so I went up to say hi. I wanted to give them hugs, but you know how it’s hard and awkward to choose who to hug first, and, assuming I knew everyone in the group, I ended up hugging a girl I didn’t even know. XD So that was awkward. She was sweet but surprised and I’m sure weirded out that a stranger had just hugged her. I said something like “Oh, I don’t know you, haha” and made conversation with her for a few seconds. I don’t know why I didn’t explain, though. That was really dumb. I think I was so embarrassed I just wanted to play it cool. Lol, super cringe.

    Thanks for this post, so much truth!

    • Anny F

      Awwww
      That’s not that bad tbh!! Lol I’m surprised you two didn’t become friends! Haha

  • Paige

    Well, actually, I DO have a similar story. I was with a few of my siblings, and a guy friend in front of our town’s community center, and I decided to sit on the railing that went up the sidewalk. (Yes, I was kinda showing off.) I lost my balance and flipped so that I ended upside-down holding onto the rail by my hands! That was embarrassing….

  • Caroline Pennings

    I just had a very embarrassing moment a few weeks ago. I play organ at our church and one service I played the wrong song! Everyone sang joyfully so I didn’t even notice til I sat down and my husband asked me why I played the wrong one. I was so embarrassed and turned bright red for quite awhile!

  • a girl

    I remember trying to do a jump trick. . .and I fell on my back. Right in front of my crush. He asked if I was ok 😀

  • GuessWho

    Honestly I would be more concerned about the fact that most conservative christian women look like the “after” photo in an advert for medically necessary lobotomies. When you start to feel bad about being an idiot, just accept the fact that you probably are an idiot. Christianity is not a place where independent thought is allowed to grow. It’s only coherent if you don’t peek over the wall.

    • Heather Hemsley

      I’m gonna have to disagree with you there. Yeah, we may mess up a lot, but we’re not idiots. We’re valuable and loved by God, so if you’re telling yourself that you’re an idiot, that’s from Satan. Also, yes, it’s probably not safe to flip off stair railings, but God doesn’t say that’s profane… Or are you meaning it the other way? That’s not what she was talking about.

  • GuessWho

    And Bethany, you shouldn’t be flipping off stair railings. It’s profane and God doesn’t like it. I’m surprised at you.

  • Lily

    You know what, this is a really important topic. I used to hang out with very judgmental people and it took a toll on me (and on other friends who grew up this way). It really keeps you from being the person you were designed to be. I pray for everyone to find their true worth and value through God’s love regardless of the harsh world we live in.
    Now I’ve finally found lovely Christian friends and they are remarkably gentle, sweet and welcoming. Not saying all Christians are like this but for me this experience is striking.

  • Rachel

    Some weeks ago I was sitting on a plastic chair at church when suddenly it broke and I fell to the floor. It wasn’t as embarrasing as you falling from the stairs, but it was a bit embarrasing anyway…
    My life is like a comedy, I frequently have those types of embarrasing moments, so I just don’t think much about it. I just forget it and move on.


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