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.