One of the first words every child learns is “No”. It’s amazing how so much power is packed into one little word. Power that to a young child feels like control. In a world where everything is new and the path to discovery is the norm, the word “No” provides a little sense of reassurance in a world of newness.
God delivers “No’s” into our lives as we are journeying into deepening our relationships with Him. We are His children and every loving parent teaches with “Nos” mixed in with the “Yeses”. God’s discipline is delivered with all the love He feels for each of His children and as our Heavenly Father – He knows best!
Two years ago, I received the Perfect No in my life. It sounds like an oxymoron to think that when a door closes, walking through a new door is going to be perfect. My story illustrates how an upside-down change can become the best thing ever.
To understand my story, you need to know that I have been in the education field for 29 years. Teaching has filled most of those years, but with a nudge and support from one of my principal’s, I ventured into the world of curriculum as a coach for classroom teachers. Several years later, this led to a position that was modeled on half day curriculum support and half day assistant principal. Several more years passed and now the position added teaching on top of the curriculum and assistant principal duties. To say I was overwhelmed doesn’t even begin to describe it. Feelings of inadequacy, insecurity and an overall lack of accomplishment in all areas took me to a new level of low. We all believe that we can handle whatever comes our way, but this was not one of those times.
A decision was made for me which became my perfect “NO”. I was relieved of those responsibilities and told that my only choice was to go back to teaching full time. My world tilted and seemed to stop mid spin. My first thought, besides utter disbelief, was “I can’t do this and I don’t want to do this”! Everything seemed so surreal! I imagined myself in this job until I retired. Inside, as I was screaming “Noooo” with every ounce of fight I could sustain, God’s voice was speaking louder. God’s “No” this isn’t where I want you to be, came with His reassurance that it was going to be okay. In that moment, when I could only think about myself and how this is so not okay, one word stood out among the swirling messages that assailed me- SURRENDER! The choice was clear-surrender all to God and let Him lead the way into an unknown that seemed insurmountable.
God’s “No” became perfect when I surrendered all to Him.
I truly felt peace in the moment of surrender. I learned in that second what it meant to “let go and let God”. His plans for our lives many times don’t match our dreams, but as our Heavenly Father He always knows best.
The lesson in this time of my life is the understanding of how the perfect “no” becomes beautiful when transformed by God’s “yes” for our lives.
God knew without a doubt that my heart and passion was fully realized when in a classroom with twenty something children sitting before me. God knew that my skills were best utilized when I am planning for, creating and interacting with children. God knew that there were children who needed my fierce momma love and care. GOD KNEW and so He provided His “YES” at the same time I was screaming my “NO”!
The perfect “NO” just became transformed by God’s all-knowing “YES”.
In several weeks, I will head back to a classroom full of third graders and know without a doubt that I am exactly where I should be. It will be bittersweet, exciting and the last of many years of hard work. I will be retiring at the end of the school year, but rest in knowing that God has used me mightily to share a little bit of Him everyday I enter that classroom.
I would love for you to share with me a time you received “The Perfect No”.
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