No. A complete sentence. Only two letters: N-O. "No" can be hard to say. We live in a needy world where requests for help come by mail, phone, email, advertising, word of mouth, at the red light, at the train station, at the door, and at the church. How can I say "no"? I learned to show kindness and compassion. I heard it pleases God to give.
I think I said "no" when I was very young. Later I think I said "yes," but meant and acted out "no". Then "no" was hard to say. Lately, I am welcoming the possibility and experience of "no". It is not easy. I can pause, pray, seek clarity on what I am able to do and on what is my motivation. I recognize "no" is an option.
I am reading and learning more about trusting God. Trusting God means I am willing to admit I do not have the answers. I do not know how best to help someone. Saying "yes" to their request may not help them. Maybe saying "yes" helps alleviate my own discomfort and guilt. Lately, I have been welcoming the "no". When I say "no" I am letting go of over-responsibility. I can listen and wait for God's provisions. I am not the great provider. God is. "No" is necessary to rest.
A Christian counselor once told me a definition of what "no" means. "I am unable to grant your current request. I love you and care about you and am open to future requests." That is a gentle, yet firm way to say "no".
I wondered how to make an awesome illustration of "no". Thankfully, I did it loosely with some ideas, but I said "no" to my own overthinking. An imperfect, good enough "no" is helping me post this blog entry and also rest.
-Linda T. Hurd
LeTtiNg iT gO BLoG
Linda T. Hurd.