A few weeks ago, a friend posed the question for a magazine topic, “What has been your best Yes of 2017?” I read it and passed it off, but the rest of the day, that question kept coming back into my head.
I’m usually the person who says “yes” to everything, even when I don’t really want to. Chuck it up to my people pleasing personality and always feeling like I need to help with everything. ….I can feel like a bit of a door mat at times. I love (sarcastic!) those yeses that even other people make for you! Ugh, those are the WORST! Before you know it you’ve been bamboozled into doing something you didn’t even get a word out edge wise……excuse me, how did that happen!?
When we returned to Botswana the beginning of the year, I was grieving, worn out on all aspects and life just overwhelmed me. I felt like I was standing still and everyone was whizzing by me. I couldn’t even grocery stop and multi tasking was out of the question. It was a horrible feeling.
People around me carried on with life as usual and the requests for me to do all the things that I normally did prior came flooding in.
Can you watch my kids?
Can you One to One this lady?
Can you host a group of 30 people?
Can you manage the tea set up again for church?
After all, we were back and rested from our furlough we should be good to go right?!
Except…..I so wasn’t.
I wanted to crawl under my covers and be left alone.
In a staff meeting, someone asked me to do a very simple task and I burst into tears…..”I can’t even think. I feel like I am losing my mind. ”
It was then that a good friend said, “Sarah, its okay to take time and just rest….you’re world was turned upside down. Take the time you need…..take ALL the time you need.”
That same friend also reminded me of a great quote by Jen Hatmaker….
“If it’s not a HELL YES, then it’s a no. Now, the things that make your heart race, your blood pump, the fire in your belly burn, your gifts to leap to life, and keep your family and home healthy and strong…the hell yeses? ALL IN, BABY.”
I decided then and there that this year would be a bit of a sabbatical year for me to just focus on my grieving heart, resting, and allowing the Lord to show me what He wanted me to do in my own personal ministry.
So I’ve said “No” to a lot of things this year.
I’m sure I have aggravated many friends and maybe disappointed others, but that’s okay. The world still turned and they figured it out without me. And those that make those yeses for me….well I’ve had to cut them off and say, “I’m sorry, the answer is no.”
And guess what……I don’t even have to tell people WHY I’m saying NO!! This same good friend I mentioned above, her husband reminded me that “NO”……it’s a full sentence. Honestly….this freed me more than anything. I always feel the need to explain my no or yes……nope, not anymore.
Andy Stanley says…
Choose your opportunities wisely. Many are worth missing.
I’ve really come to believe this so much this year.
Saying yes to saying no, has actually been a saving grace for me this year. It’s allowed me to be fully in on the things I’ve said “Yes” to. As a result, I’ve enjoyed things so much better. It’s also really helped me understand that saying no is really and truly okay.
I’ve also learned that there are times when we need to say Yes, even when we don’t really want to …..because the Lord is taking us out of our comfort zone when our minds maybe don’t feel like it. But because I’ve been intentional with how I’ve said yes and no, I have the mental and physical energy to push myself even though maybe I want to answer no.
So there you have it friends…..My best Yes of 2017, was actually learning how to say No.
Sarah Witt, mom of 3 who just happens to be raising her family on the mission field serving God with her husband in Botswana. She is a Revelation Wellness instructor in Botswana and seeing God change the lives of women. Learn more about her and Kevin at Wild Acacia.