The Year of No! Dr. Naima Johnston Bush, Founder of The Refreshing Life with Naima
I have a problem with guilt… even when I don’t have anything to feel or be guilty about. I take on the weight of the world, the obligations of others, the responsibility of other people’s stuff. And at the end of 2018 I found myself tired of burdens that I had picked up when no one, not even The Good Lord, asked me to. Or burdens that I picked up not because Jesus directed me to, but because people asked me to and I felt like I couldn’t say no. Because after all, if someone asked for something, what would Jesus do? He’d give them what they needed, wouldn’t He?
I had a revelation. Sometimes when we ask the Lord for something, He tells us, “No!” When Paul asked the Lord to remove that thorn from his side, what did the great I Am that I Am say? He sure didn’t say yes, it was more like… “My grace is sufficient for you!” (2 Corinthians 12:9) In other words, the Lord told Paul, “Um… No, I’m a need you to deal with that one.”
Because sometimes no is what is best for us at that moment in time. And if the Lord sets the example we are suppose to strive to follow, then shouldn’t we be ok with saying no as well? What if our failure to say no when we should, stands in the way of God’s grace? What if someone else is called to do it but can’t cause there we are doing it? What if the Lord wants to get the job done with a miracle? Yikes…
When the Lord says no to a request, He is not saying no to loving us, but rather, no to a specific request we have made of Him for His own personal reasons. I recently heard on a podcast, when you tell someone no to protect yourself or to protect them, you are not saying no to the relationship, you are only saying no to that one commitment. The next time, you may say yes.
I also have a problem believing in myself. I have held onto limiting beliefs, missed opportunities, failed to follow up, fell back into bad behaviors, been inconsistent, silenced my opinions and gone out of the way to accommodate others, even when accommodating them was not what was best for me.
And now, on the cusp of a New Year, a fresh beginning, I am tired.
Each year I select one word that describes my intentions for what I’d like to see happen in my life. The words have varied over the past few years from healed to fruition… and this year when praying about what my guiding word should be, one word resounded clearly in my spirit.
No. No is a complete sentence. No means stop and pause and ask the Lord before doing something you personally feel obligated to do but don’t want to do. No means sometimes putting yourself first and being assured of your own boundaries. No means, that guilt has no place in your life if the answer no comes from a pure heart and a genuine inability to accommodate the request for whatever reason that has been purposed in your heart.
So, this year I am saying no… No to other people’s expectations. No to my own personal guilt, low self esteem and bad habits. No to being afraid to say no! I am saying No to not saying yes when I should and saying no when I shouldn’t. I am especially saying no to doing things without consulting the Lord and finding myself miserable, exhausted and joyless because I’m somewhere doing something I didn’t even have to do!
Sometimes the Lord says no… and I want to be just like Him.
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#personalboundries #learningtosayno #christianlifestyle