ABOUT THE BOOK
The most difficult subjects in our lives are also the ones that we find most uncomfortable to talk about: divorce, body image, sexuality, pornography, or depression. Our awkward silence reveals the gap that exists between what we are and what we know we should be. But God loves those awkward moments, Sammy Rhodes argues, because they are precisely where we find connection with God and one another.
In This Is Awkward, Rhodes talks directly, honestly, hilariously about the most painfully uncomfortable subjects in our lives. In chapters like “Parents Are a Gift (You Can’t Return Them)” and “The Porn in My Side,” he boldly goes where most of us fear to tread, revealing that we can be liberated by the embrace of a God who knows the most shameful things about us and loves us all the same. Because nothing is too awkward for God.
This Is Awkward
For the longest time I always hated it when someone told me they were “working on a book.” Whenever someone mentioned their book it felt like a not-so-subtle way of saying, “See, I really am better than you. I mean, like, objectively.” It made me want to not just roll my eyes, but tumble them down a steep hill. The question that screamed in my mind was, “WHO are YOU to write a book?”
I feel differently now. Mainly because I wrote a book. And believe me, as the handful of people I told I was writing it can attest to, talking about your book is hard. It’s like opening the dam to let the rivers of awkwardness flow. The question I used to dread most was “So what are your hobbies?” (Does having a bucket list of dream food combinations, like a Chick-fil-A filet but on a Bojangles biscuit, count as a hobby?) It’s now been topped by, “So what is your book about?” The irony of this uncomfortable question is that it’s precisely what the book is about, how awkwardness isn’t a threat but a gift.
One of the saddest realities of life is that the things we need to talk about the most, we tend to talk about the least. From our deepest bouts with depression, to our long struggles with sexual brokenness, to the parent wounds that never quite seem to heal. It’s scary to pull back the curtains on your places of pain because admitting that you’re broken isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s so hard to share those parts of yourself, yet those are actually the parts that connect us, that make us human.
Awkwardness is an invitation. It’s an invitation to be human; to admit that you don’t have it all together, or have it all figured out. It’s an invitation to be vulnerable. Vulnerable about the wounds you carry. Vulnerable about the struggles you face. And vulnerability is where friendship and connection are born. It’s the place where intimacy lives and thrives.
As hard as it will be for me to muster all my introvert strength to talk about my book (still feels weird) until it comes out on March 1st, I’m going to do it. Not because I think I’m super important, but because I think what we’re talking about is. I can’t wait for you to read it (you can preorder it here) so that you can join me in beginning to talk about the parts of your own story that have been too hard, too awkward, to talk about.
Those are the places we need you to share so that the rest of us fellow strugglers can know that grace is true and hope is real. Those are the places that remind us that you are just as human as the rest of us, and that all humans are awkward, and that awkward people are the only people God loves because they’re the only people that there are.
This book is an invitation for you to open up about the gap between what you should be and what you are and find out that is exactly where God meets you and loves you.
I’ll be sharing some more fun things about the book in the coming months. My marketing team at the publishing house even tells me we’re going to give away some cool stuff. Can’t. Wait.
Vulnerability is hard. But grace is true. So let’s make some awkward.