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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I have learned from the Father to love the “nos” as much as the “yeses”, because they both mean something good in His plan is around a corner. The corner might be a bit longer in the “no”, but it just allows me the chance to trust Him more in His timing.
Always love to read your words. 🙂 I hope your last year is the very best one yet’
I am looking to savor each moment during my last year of teaching. I love that when trusting God we are at the mercy of His timing. It takes patience to a whole new level!!! Thank you for your encouragement and joining me here today!
I so much enjoyed our blog…there was a time where God said NO to Stanley and I and turned our obedience into wonderful blessings!! That is the time where Stan lost his job , we were in El Paso Tx in a brand new home and I was suppose to stay home , be a mom for my high school son. I did not want to live in El Paso …so that very weekend that he lost his job , the newspaper job posting for J&J came out.I applied and turned out to be the best 15 year career decision I made… with now a wonderful retirement with a secure financial future …At the time after we move , my cousin was placed in LA Tuna Federal prison, 15 min away from our house; and that was the purpose for us to be there .. to support him and the rest of the family as they came to visit…one big NO and lots of wonderful yesses followed …
Amen, Eglia! I’m so glad you joined in the conversation. So good to see you virtually! Hope everything is going well for you!
I, too, am in a job I’m not sure I meant to say “Yes” to. But God is teaching me that there is purpose in this season. If I will only trust.
Amen to trusting and then believing that God’s plan is oh so good! Even though at the time my “no” was delivered I was hesitant, uncertain and somewhat unwilling, God gave me exactly what I needed and it has been amazing! Blessed you stopped by and joined in the conversation.
My daughter got a discouraging no yesterday. She has worked so very hard to be ready for varsity volleyball tryouts and hurt her shoulder during tryouts. She came home so discouraged that her couch is keeping her on JV. We talked about the importance of trusting God when the no is hard. A timely reminder that His way is best. Thanks friend.
Oh my, I remember those high school tryout days for my son except his was for basketball. Accepting a No” at that age seemed almost impossible for my son, but I love how you are teaching your daughter that God is our anchor and trusting Him will lead to amazing things. Blessed you stopped by and joined in with this community.
God has had me in a 2-week “no” pattern while I wait and listen to Him. The two weeks is almost up, and I have gained some much needed patience and space as I have waited on Him. Thanks for the post!
Our patience hopefully matches God’s patience for us, but I understand what a holding pattern can feel like.In that waiting time, I pray that God has walked by your side and reassured you that His plans are going to be just what you need. Blessed you stopped by today and joined the conversation.
Love, love this post Mary! “No” is not always the answer we want to hear, and He doesn’t always give us the “yes” that we ask for right away. But our patience has to be stretched in order to grow and become stronger, and sometimes He will make us wait in order for us to grow. His ways may not look like our ways, but they are always better than our ways. ♥
Thanks for visiting me over at Refine Me!
Blessings and hugs! ♥
Amen to God’s ways being the best. They rarely look like we planned but it’s not up to us to do the planning. It’s up to us to say “yes” when He calls. So blessed and thankful you stopped by and joined the conversation today.
God’s biggest “no” was the end of my teaching career (can’t talk about why, as my employer settled out of court), and the loss of my health which precluded any attempt to rebuild it.
It wasn’t about me. It was about my wife, who needed a career of her own, not shepherding an increasingly ill husband through a university campus; it was about several dogs who’ve come into our life since the “no”, and who had nowhere else to go.
We may not be the focus of the story, every minute of our lives. We may be the mechanism whereby other stories reach their fulfillment.
Thank you for sharing a piece of your “No”. God’s plan is always perfect even though it rarely looks that way to most of us. Were you a teacher at the college level? I’m praying that in the midst of the “no’s” your story is fulfilled as God ordains. Blessings to you and your wife.
Mary, I’ve learned after several pouting sessions that when God says “no” it is always for my good and His glory. It can still take me a while to get there, but His still quiet voice is always faithful to remind me. So glad you are back in the classroom and that you are loving it! Blessings on the new year!
Deb, I’m so blessed you stopped by today. It is the God-whispers that speak loudest in my life. Sometimes I believe that “No” is God’s favorite word but in reality it is His way of saying “I’ve got this, just trust me”! Blessings to you today!
I have three teachers in my family so I have such a heart for teachers. It’s a job I could never do but I have so much respect for those God has gifted for an important role. And I love how God led you just where you needed to be before retiring. Only He could orchestrate those kind of details. He is awesome. A perfect no? Thinking. But I do know when we follow His “no” or “yes” He blessed us for our obedience.
Always a joy to visit you.
Surrendering all when God comes knocking allows for amazing God moments. Obedience in the good and the bad is where God can step in and take our hands to lead us through to the other side. God is truly awesome and in that moment of changing from one job to another I learned what it meant to trust Him with everything. Blessings today and as you make your way toward the Declare conference.
Oh friend, Yes! God always transforms our No’s with His perfect yes. He is faithful, always faithful. I pray you enjoy this year. Savor every moment.
I will savor the moments. It is bittersweet but the joy comes from knowing that God is not finished with me yet and He will lead me to more exciting things to do for His glory. Praise God that He is faithful. Thanks for stopping by friend!