#write31days | October 21

When I was near the end of my MBA a few other commitments were coming to an end as well. I made a conscious decision as those things ended to say “no” to anything else for the rest of 2018. This would allow me some time to soak up some down time, to spend time with those I had not been able to and to see where was best for me to spend my time in serving in the future.  I also felt this was obedient to where God was calling me in this season of my life.

Summer was pretty easy to continue saying “no” because most people are not starting up new things, or looking for commitments in the summer. Then the asks started happening. They were for good things.  With people I really trust, like, want to volunteer/spend time with and seemingly things I would like to be a part of.  But, I had a commitment to myself.  Say “no”. And, #doitagain.

No where in my 2018 “plans”, used loosely because we all know how our plans go, did I have changing jobs as a part of this year.  There’s a couple of other things I also didn’t expect this year that have been good additions to my life from early on in the year.  I did not know how being obedient to saying “no” starting in May would impact unknown months ahead.  If I hadn’t held to my “no” my days right now would be complete chaos, because I had no idea I would have a new job with a very different schedule including a lot of evenings. Instead the free time I do have is a gift and keeps the commitment to myself for being available to do the things I want to and continue discerning what is next.

Learning to say “no” is one of the hardest lessons. I know because I have this conversation often, wrestling with God and amongst my friends. In fact I have talked about it on a podcast (here) and written a little about it (here).  The hard choice is worth it though.  Because saying “no” really ends up being the freedom to say “yes” to the right things.  To weigh options and know what is best for me, my circumstances and the people affected by my choices.

More than the hard of saying “no” I want the freedom to say “yes” to what is good and right for me.  Not for someone else and not even because someone thinks “you’d be perfect for this”, or “I know this is something you care a lot about”, or “you are so wise and others could really benefit from you”, or __________________.  Recently someone overheard one of these conversations, some of those statements being said to me and my response that I would get back to them. She is someone I trust and seek for wisdom, but she didn’t know about my commitment to “no”. However, she came intentionally back and spoke a specific truth to me: to not let someone convince me to do something that wasn’t right for me right now. That I knew what was right for me. And, to stick to it.  Those words really ministered to me and have stuck with me. I appreciate her taking the time to come back to me and speak those words.

So, maybe you need to be reminded that you are great at so many things, your time and your talents can be used for good in lots of really great places. But your best “yes” matters more than someone’s opinion and “no” might be your right answer.  Also, your “no”?  It doesn’t have to include an apology.  It is “Thank you for thinking of me, but that will not work for me right now”. Saying “yes” out of guilt leads to regret later and oftentimes resentment because you didn’t want to do it in the first place.  Set yourself free of these things.

Just say “no”.

If you’re just joining in from #write31days, I’m so glad you’re here!
You can {click here} to find links for all posts in this series.

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