Saying “Yes” Means Saying “No”
This is not a new or novel idea. Right? It is common sense. We can’t do it all. We can’t be everywhere at once. We can’t be all things to all people. We can’t keep up with a million friends. We just can’t.
This truth is very painful for my over achiever, high expectation, I want to be perfect, people pleasing personality. I LOVE to say “yes” and “yes” and “yes.” Honestly, because when I can say “yes”, then I look good, seem helpful, and can be highly esteemed…gross right??? Yep. Sick really. Trying to say yes to everything is toxic to my soul. I suffer. My family suffers. My closest friends suffer. My walk with the Lord suffers. It is not a good place for me.
So I am learning (and will continue to do so, until I am standing on the other side of eternity) when I say “YES” I need to remember it means I am going to have to say “NO” too. Every “yes” in my life will be followed by a string of “nos” either implicit or explicit, but “nos” nonetheless. So I eat my “humble, I am not perfect, I am not super woman, I may disappoint others, I may be misunderstood” pie and say “no.”
This reality has hit the closest to home in my life when it comes to my kids and family.
Let’s face it…we have a larger than average size family (this seems funny considering how many mega families there are in the adoption world)…our kids have medical needs and special learning and emotional needs…we use different parenting strategies to connect with them than many other families…we are loud and a little crazy =)…we look different…we don’t fit mainstream American pace of living (no sports, no public schooling, etc)… In order to say YES to my kids…I have to say NO to A LOT.
I am not hopping on a “I am better or more spiritual than you” pedestal…so please don’t think that… I DON’T WANT/DESERVE to be there…so please don’t hear that in my tone. The honest reality is I have to hold off jealousy and envy. I have to beg God to make me content where I am. I ask for His joy to fill me in the midst of the mundane of being at home all day. I have friends who know my honest heart feelings and pray for and encourage me without condemnation or a string of “I told you so” or “You choose this life” stuff that shuts me down and keeps me from being real.
I am simply saying that I have to say no because I chose to say yes. No to Friday night football games, no to time with my girl friends while their kids are at school, no to some friendships that do not “get it” and judge more than love, no to Bible studies outside the home, no to a perfectly clean house, no to the fit body I would love to have if I could exercise and sleep more, no to some material things in order to pay for therapy and medical bills. You get the idea?
I chose to say YES, so I beg Him to help me be content and joyful in saying NO. God called me to THIS life. He will sustain me. He will provide for me. He will give me hope, joy, peace, and SATISFY my soul…all the while saying “no” to the things He has called me to lay down so that I can say “YES” to the blessings HE has. His ways are NOT our ways. His economy is NOT our economy. He will truly give us life abundantly when we open our hearts and hands to HIM. There are quiet, beautiful, unexpected, unimaginable blessings in “yeses.”
He blesses our socks off when we listen for the Holy Spirit’s leading and say a big ole YES!!!! But if your like me, the hard part is not throwing a pity party and pouting when I hear a “no”!