Updated: Sep 28, 2020
Do you struggle saying NO?
Have you been led to believe that YES is a better answer than NO?
I use to struggle saying no and thought that saying yes was better than no. But as I reclaimed my relevance, I found out differently.
Now lets get to the nitty-gritty.
It is one thing to know what God wants for you and another to see it in action. I wish I could say my first interaction was with my husband because in my mind I thought it would be easier. He knew first hand what I had been struggling with all summer and he was the person who saw me face to face full of joy when I received God's revelation.
But...God has a sense of humor. He didn't start out easy and let me grow into the new plan of action. Instead, wham, He chose the hardest person to say no to. My mom.
You see usually when somebody was in need I never thought twice about saying yes. I just would do it, mainly because I could. Yet, God was showing me that even though I could, all of my actions are to bring Him glory but if I do it for myself, the only person I’m bringing glory to IS myself.
Let's get to the story...
I still remember it like it was yesterday. My mom calls and asks me for a donation for a lady that had five children who was struggling and homeless on the streets in Nashville, TN.
This lady had come to her church asking for help and people were trying to get some funds together to get her in an apartment and clothing for the kids etc.. Now in the past, when asked if I could help, I would immediately say yes. Not because I had to but because I wanted to. I enjoy helping.
Remember though, everything, and I mean everything from the point of my revelation to reclaim my relevance is about going through God FIRST!
As soon as my mom asked, I felt that thing on my chest. The barest whisper telling me NOT to say yes. So, I told my mom that I needed to pray about it. The next thing I heard from my mom was, "WHAT? Christi, this woman is in need. She’s homeless. She’s got five kids".
One more time I told my mom that I would need to pray about it and let God lead me and I would let her know. You could tell my mom was not too happy about that because I had conditioned her to always believe that she would get a yes out of me. I did not defend or try to convince my reasoning. I just said I would need to pray and would get back to her.
Once we hung up I looked up to God it was like OK that wasn’t fun. So I prayed and I waited, prayed, and waited. Two weeks go by and my mom calls me. She wanted to know if I was going to help? I cleared my throat and said, "the Lord said no". Of course, she questioned it. Remember, I had conditioned her to always get a yes so I explained that in my prayer, at first God was silent. But then I got an emphatic no and I was going to honor that. Then, I encouraged her to go to God about it if she wanted any more clarification.
Can't argue with that.
Fast forward three months and my mom gives me a call. She shares the unbelievable story that this lady with 5 children was scamming churches all over Nashville. Now I will not go into detail about the details of the story but I will say that was the very first time that my yes came directly from God. The peace I felt knowing I was doing what God called me to do was overwhelming in a phenomenal way.
One of the key areas I had to work through first was to reclaim my yes and no's to Reclaim MY Relevance. Slowly but surely was I creating a habit of going to God first before I gave a part of myself to others. Slowly I was reconditioning, even retraining those around me to hear for my Yes & No's instead of expecting them.
For those wondering, since that date I have had MANY no conversations that I would consider HARD CONVERSATIONS -- with my husband, my kids, pastors and even clients. It does get easier when you realize that your NO is the best outcome for yourself. It does get easier when you feel secure that your NO comes from God. It does get easier to say NO when those around you relearn your process - PRAY first, SEEK God's yes or no, follow through and OWN your answer.