#throwbackpost: I just couldn’t say “No.”

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[I wrote this 8 years ago, in 2009, and first posted it on Facebook. Judging by the date and the comments, at the time I was a college student who had started doing her undergrad thesis, I was involved in several clubs on campus, I was a youth leader for our city-wide church youth organization, and I also had a part-time job. In other words, I was #stressed.]
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I just couldn’t say “No.”

I’ve been in such a daze these past few weeks. Been so caught up in a wide array of activities such that my mind has shifted to “numb” mode, sort of like a defense mechanism against all the physical ruckus I’ve been caught in. No time for other things. No time for haircuts, or vanity (believe me, make-up was the least of my priorities), nor for other internet joys like blogging (I can’t believe I’ve reached this point when Internet for me meant WORK).

And because I was so physically drained, my emotions have as well been put in a precarious mode. Because added to all the strain I’ve been under was the pressure dumped over me by commitments I’ve made and responsibilities I wasn’t necessarily willing to accept. It was what was making me feel overloaded. When the heart is light, but labor is heavy, I can fly. When my heart is heavy, work becomes a drudgery.

That’s me. No sleep, no strength plus burdened heart equals messy me.

And yet in those rare instances when I was able to catch some moments of peace and quiet (which was always the few minutes before I fall asleep in bed, at dawn), I’ve been reflecting…

What IS the source of all this? What, indeed, is the source of all this misery?
It was, as I’ve mentioned, the pressure loaded by my commitments.
Why did I have to make such commitments?

And the answer dawned on me, slowly and painfully, like a knife being slowly stabbed on my already pained heart.

I couldn’t say “no.” I couldn’t bring myself to disappoint people, nor leave them dissatisfied. It wasn’t just any kind of people, mind you. And yet therein lies the problem. They were still mere people. See, I’ve been so caught up in getting acceptance, so trapped in worldly pursuits. Pathetic. And so priorities were rearranged, decisions compromised….

“NO.” Such a powerful little word that, if uttered at the right moment in the right way, with precision and clarity of mind such that the person convincing you otherwise could see your decisiveness, could set an entirely different path altogether.

As such, I lacked courage to say it. It was in my mind, alright. But I lacked will. The very little will I had was overpowered by something stronger, something I underestimated.

All this happened a few weeks ago, and I am simply grateful for His loving forgiveness. Weaknesses were exposed yet again. Just as an individual with cancer has to have himself incised as soon as possible in order for the cancerous tissues to be taken out, so was it necessary for myself to undergo such an “operation” to expose my fatal motives.

Still, anyone would say that such fatal intentions would surely grow back again, without proper guidance.

What worries and pains me most is how I shall face future scenarios, when decisions by then would be much heavier and of more consequence. These decisions I’ve spoken of are but mere trifles compared to future decisions I would have to make. Could I be trusted to make them? Could I be trusted to stand my ground? Could I be trusted to say “No”, if need be?

I heavily doubt it.

So please, I implore, help me, God.

Have you had trouble saying “No”?

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3 responses »

  1. I can totally relate! I know God gives us the courage and the power to do the right thing and to make wise decisions. In my own struggle, I have learned that not saying no in those moments is actually saying yes to fear, and fear is not of God. In those moments understanding that God is wisdom and when we choose the easy way, we are actually saying no to God. This helps me have my priorities right. Is saying yes what God considers right and wisdom for me or is it just my flesh? I pray God gives you the grace and me as well! Thanks for sharing your heart 😊

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