The hardest thing to say

So, since we had almost 20 feet of snow here in the DMV area (depending on whose measurement data you follow) there has been a lot of time for reflection. Almost too much time, along with too many hours of TV, Hulu, Korean dramas, movies and whatever else you can do whilst enduring a blizzard. I even had time to crochet a new scarf for upcoming blizzards and freezes. I digress.
Reflection, that’s where I was going. I learned something about myself when I turned 40. Something that I feel like would have helped me immensely in my 20s. I learned that there are some really hard things that we have to say to people and to ourselves sometimes. Sometimes we need to say goodbye to people, places and things. I know alot about this since it seems that throughout my life I have been saying goodbye to people every few years (such is the military lifestyle). Sometimes we need to say things to friends about their behavior, in love, so that they can see beyond their circumstance or situation. Sometimes we need to say things to ourselves so that we stop repeating patterns that are unhealthy and hold us back from becoming everything we can be. Sometimes we need to say things to ourselves to stop repeating patterns that hold us back.

One of the hardest things for me to say is , “No”  Well, it used to be a lot harder!  I have learned to practice saying this and it has saved me several times from over committing myself, over indulging and even setting some boundaries in my life.  I had a severe case of the FOMS- fear of missing something- for a long time.  I felt like I would miss some sort of excitement, miss being a part of something epic or even missing out on an experience.  I also felt like I would disappoint people or if I said no that nobody else would do it.  The idea that somebody might be able to do something better than me or people would like others better than me always made me feel like I had to say , “Yes”.  I would constantly over commit myself and stress out about how to fit everything into my schedule because I wanted to make sure that I never disappointed anyone.

God showed me that every time I say Yes to something, I am saying No to something else. God showed me that every time I say Yes to something, I am saying No to something else. He showed me that the important things in life were the ones that were ending up on the No list, or more like, the leftovers list.  The leftovers of my time, focus and my heart.  I freely gave so much of myself to others, often at the sake of losing myself.  A lot of my bad decisions resulted in my inability to say No.  I let people, thoughts, and things get the best of me and not what God had for me or who He had for me.

Not knowing who you are and placing your value in what you do or don’t for that matter is a huge distraction from all the Yeses that are out there.  Learning to be intentional about your Yeses and more frequent in your Nos can be enlightening.  The more you practice it, the more you get better at it.  I have learned that there are people that are waiting for you to say no so that they can say yes and step up to new opportunities.  It’s ok if they even do it better than I could, in fact, I hope that they do!  So, don’t take it personally when I say no to you or something that you need me to do.  I prayerfully think about each request and have made sure that I stop giving out leftovers to God, others and to myself.

One Response to “The hardest thing to say”

  • Ashley Says:

    BeLoved Lauren — thank you for sharing these thoughts of wisdom. The Lord really knows how to use you to glorify Him and to pass along a word or three to the rest of us when we need to hear it most. Much love and blessings:)