Can No = Yes?

When Barry and I came to California to interview for the ministry position at our current church, we fell in love with everyone and everything immediately.  We realized within hours of our arrival that we were home.

During that weekend we engaged in a number of conversations with the elders and pastors, church leaders and youth.  It was an amazing time and we felt the spark of excitement about ministry rekindled in our hearts….hearts that at one time were so raw…we thought we would never be fit for ministry again.  It was a time of saying “Yes” to what we felt God was calling us to do.  It was humbling to think that He would trust us and ask us to pastor again.  With thankful hearts…we agreed to follow His direction and will.

At one point during the interview process the senior pastor asked me if I still enjoyed working in the administrative side of ministry.  His question allowed me to recognize an area of my heart that was aching to be free.   As soon as the word administration came out of his mouth I felt my stomach turn…the thought of going back to that familiar side of ministry felt so constricting and depressing.

I spent years behind a desk, organizing events, raising funds, printing calendars and making phone calls…and honestly it drained the life out of me.  Even though I fought for excellence in what I did…it was not fulfilling for me.

With a hesitant voice…I told him No.  I realized in that moment that I honestly didn’t want anything to do with that side of the church ever again.  I wanted to believe for more…I wanted the freedom to allow God to awaken other things within me…I wanted to say “Yes” to new things…new dreams.

Now that I look back on that moment, I realize I had to say “No” to that so I could say “Yes” to something else.  And I’m happy to report…it worked!

The last two years have changed my life and my view of myself.  I’m finding creativity around every corner.  The love to write has been renewed in my heart…I enjoy photography…I enjoy being free to explore so many avenues of ministry.  Avenues that were bottled up inside of me….avenues that were only allowed to flourish when I was brave enough to say “No”.

What about you?  Are you in a place where you need to say ‘No Thanks” to old ways of operating so that you can say “Yes” to the new season God may have waiting for you?

7 thoughts on “Can No = Yes?

  1. I think it is great to go before the Lord and ask His direction and not just to keep doing the same thing because you always have. There are seasons for things.

    My question is…when do we get to see some photography???? 🙂

  2. Brilliant question Jana, thanks for asking! I need to pray about this as I have said yes to too much lately and perhaps need to say no to some things too so I can say yes to other things. Thanks so much for sparking this thought in me. xxx

  3. great post with a catchy title!!

    My big “no” these days is No to rushing which = yes to enjoying the abundant life that God has for me. I thought that once we became empty nesters life would slow down. Just the opposite happened and we became even more involved in ministry. Learning to say no can indeed be saying yes to the leading of God.

  4. Girl, I’m with you! I hate admin stuff. That is a gifting and a calling and i did not receive either. 🙂 Love your insight.

  5. I have walked through some of this too. After spending many years in youth ministry, I thought that was THE call on my life. While I still love youth intensely, it is not where God wants me serving right now and the new doors he has opened have been incredible. I never imagined I could serve in the ways I am, and the more I serve in these areas the more I am assured he has expanded things and is taking me to new places. I had to be willing to let go of what I was holding on with the youth to see that he had more ahead for me.
    ~Sherie

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