The Peace that Comes from, “No” :
Testimonies of Overcoming Series- Part 2
Let Your “Yes” Be “Yes” and Your “No” Be “No.”- Matthew 5:37
At the beginning of December, I watched a video snippet on Instagram that changed my life. It was a clip of an interview with media mogul Oprah Winfrey. In this video, Winfrey talked about why it is okay to disappoint people. Her brief remarks touched me to the bottom of my spirit. At the time I heard the video, I was in a place where I was feeling overwhelmed. I felt like I was drowning under all of my responsibilities. I did not believe that I had the help, or resources, to bring my head above water much less keep it there. My plate was completely full with all of these obligations that were made during a time when my life was a little different. The problem was that I did not make any adjustments to my previous plans, because, after all, I was Super Mom, Super Wife, Super Disciple, Super Whatever You Need Me to Be.
I was also Super Tired.
My body was starting to revolt against this nonsensical, not God-ordered schedule I created. It was at a moment of sheer sleep depraved desperation, that I heard Oprah’s brief statement. It was perspective altering. Though short and sweet, it was profound enough to make its way into my daily affirmation. Before hearing her interview bit, my affirmation for the past 60 plus days only had been about my business. This was the first time that I added a personal element, and I started seeing remarkable changes in less than 10 days.
Lately, as a co-parenting mother, and a homeschooler, I have felt trapped into being all things to all people simply to keep superficial peace while I walk out my purpose with my son. Not only do I want my son to have the best of everything and the opportunities I never had, I want for all of his extended family to see that God is doing a great thing with him. I want this so deeply that I will bend over backwards, sideways, and crossways to make sure I do whatever it takes to show them the fruits of the labor. I will pack his schedule to the brim with outside activities and “socialization” options and put in 80-hour weeks attempting to cover every angle that would expose us to ridicule for the life we were called to live. I will even take him to the activities in which I did not enroll him to make others happy. I will do all of this even to the point of risking my spiritual and physical health… until now.
“You cannot live a brave life without disappointing some people.” Oprah Winfrey
While I am not an Oprah follower, I am a Christ follower and a person who knows that He can use anything, or anyone, to draw you nearer to Him. When I got it into my spirit that I did not have to please everyone, I also admitted that when I chose this road, I never pleased God. After being convicted of my error, a Scripture suddenly came to mind, “Let your “yes” be “yes” and your “no” be “no.” In this moment, I saw the Passage in a new light. I realized that part of my current self-inflicted crisis was that I was saying a lot of “yeses” when I wanted to say, “no.” By doing this, I not only was starting to get very resentful of my time being taken away from me, I also was sinning against God. When my “yes” was not really a “yes,” I was not walking in truth, and I was not seeking out His plan for my day. That changed this weekend after I took out my pack of highlighters, a schedule that I had 20 years ago in college, and fixed it.
I had the pleasure of crafting a schedule, a masterpiece, that not only included quiet time with God, family, and homeschool matters, for the first time in my 40 years on earth, I wrote “Me Time” on a schedule. I also specifically carved out one-on-one time with my husband and with my son. I did not merely label it as “Family Time.” My husband, who initially thought the schedule was a little intense, was pleased to discover that all the dark red and red stripes is our one-on-one time. After completing this project, I felt freedom I had not experienced in years. There was a serenity that replaced the guilt I felt whenever I would even feel like I should take time for myself, because that was not in that day’s plan. Over the past week and a half, however, I have made requests I normally would not have made due to fear of disappointing someone. I said “no” when I usually would have said “yes” with resentment. I opted out of taking my son to activities in which I did not enroll him. I did not try to create an activity to do to say that I could not do something else because of it. I simply have not gone to many events because I wanted to stay home. I have embraced that “doing nothing” is doing something. Thus, if I say I have something to do, and that “something” is lying around my house doing “nothing,” that is something to me. There is a joy that comes from letting go of self-created obligations.
What about you? What can you do to guard your peace and purpose by making your “yes,” yes,” and your “no,” “no?”