The Power of No

committmentsI have been working really hard on setting boundaries…or maybe boundaries have been working hard on me.

A few weeks ago I made a list of all the things I have committed to for this next season. It took up half a page in my journal. It was the same routine I plunged myself into last fall- something every night, with the end result of an exhausted, not very pleasant Lindsay.

So I took my first step. I cut out one thing. It was a Bible study that I had been looking forward to all summer. But I knew I couldn’t do it- not just because it would fill another night, but I knew it would require intense study throughout the week as well. Despite the pleas of my friends who were all signed up and wanting me to participate, I called the leader and regretfully withdrew… FREEDOM

Last week I received a text from a friend at 11:15pm. I responded, but quickly realized the conversation would continue for as long as I let it. So I cut it off. If someone really wants to know how I’m doing, they can ask me at a more appropriate time. When I am not trying to sleep…REST

This week was harder. One of the many things on that list I made was leading a small group through our church’s college ministry. My co-leader sent me an email saying she wouldn’t be able to lead after all, and I immediately felt relief. Because as I looked at that long list, I knew that this was one thing I had jumped into without much thought or prayer, and now I was afraid I was spreading myself too thin. Like the Bible study, it wouldn’t be just another night of the week; it would involve preparation throughout the week, finding another co-leader, getting girls interested, and intentionally building those relationships. Those are all things that I love, but with everything else on my plate, I just can’t do it right now. But I denied that for quite awhile. I saw that there was a need, and I wanted to meet it. I had already said “yes,” and I didn’t want to disappoint anyone by changing that to a “no.” But this afternoon God finally got through to me. In the middle of praying for something completely unrelated, I got the “you can’t do everything on your own” message that I had been stifling for weeks- but this time it was loud and clear. I knew exactly what I needed to do, but I was dreading it. So I finally put on my big girl panties and told my pastor that it was a hard decision, but I would not be able to lead a small group during this season… PEACE

Saying no is hard. But the best part about all of this is that it has shown me that I have good people in my life. They respect my “no.” They want me to have healthy boundaries. They actually care about me, not just what I can do for them. They say things like “I just want to make sure you’re getting fed.” And “I know you have a lot to give, so I just want to make sure you’re investing relationally in people.”

To those people, I want to say thank you for supporting my boundaries. Thank you for allowing me to experience freedom, rest, and peace.


How have you experienced the power of No? Click here  and here to read more about my journey into this new world of Boundaries. 



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