We never plan for the “no’s” in life.
We never plan to have our dreams shattered by this small two letter word. It’s a word used so commonly, and yet, there are times when it can be so devastating. We’ve spoken this word since we first learned to talk, saying “no” to anything and anyone. But as we’ve grown up we’ve learned that “no” is much less fun than “yes.” So maybe that’s why we view no as a hindrance, a problem, an interruption, or even a punishment.
But a blessing? Surely not.
We could never view this answer as a blessing or a little piece of grace. Because the truth? We think everything has to go according to our plans to be good. We believe that our dreams must work out or somehow we have failed. We view this answer, this no, as something bad, something harmful.
But what if it isn’t?
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had my whole life planned out since I was in elementary school (it’s a good thing some of those plans didn’t work out…). I’m naturally born a planner, so I strategically plan out my goals, my dreams, my life. Maybe it’s because plans make me feel a little bit more in control. Maybe it’s because plans make me forget that I don’t really know what comes next. I always thought by now, by this age, things would be different. I’d be there with my dreams. I’d have gone on this adventure. Whatever it is, I surely thought all those dreams or plans that I’d been waiting for so long
would’ve happened by now. Maybe you feel a bit like this too? Like all your dreaming and planning crashed around you when God said, “no.” Yes, “wait,” is always a different answer than, “no.” Waiting means your good thing, your dream, is still coming. But no? That means never. It means you must let go. And letting go is hard.
You see, God told me, “no,” too. It was my dream. It was an adventure I ached to live and it was all I ever thought about. I planned, and I planned some more. But in the end? God still said, “no.” And as I watched others experience the same dream that had now unraveled in my life, I felt deeply abandoned, hurt, and even angry. Losing a dream is never easy. Hearing no, is never easy. Right? I mean, maybe you too have lost that dream. Maybe it stings every time you remember it and how you will never get it back. Maybe you have lost a relationship because God closed the door. Maybe you lost the job or the promotion you prayed for and you don’t know where to go from here.
It’s times like these when we despise that answer. We angrily wipe our tears as we ask God, “Why? Why would you say no to something so good? Why would you take away what I love?” But maybe? Just maybe…there is a little bit of grace hidden inside every no.
Perhaps inside of the no God gave you there was a greater yes just waiting to come.
A yes that will totally blow your mind. But to get to the yes? You must hold on through the no.
Nope, I’m certainly not saying it’s easy to lose something that means a lot to you. I’m not saying it’s easy to watch a dream die. Yet in the midst of the pain, I do ask you to look up. Because I think looking up is where you’ll find that Jesus is aching to hold you. He’s aching to hold you until His next yes comes. He knows. He knows that His no might hurt, but He also knows that the yes will finally make sense when it comes. Maybe it won’t come for awhile. And maybe? Maybe it won’t come until you see Him face to face. Yet when it does come, it’ll be so worth it. I only ask you along the journey, when the answer is “no,” to push towards Jesus and not away.
You might just find that He is the only answer your heart ever needed all along.
Bella Morganthal is a contributing author for The Modern Abolitionist. To read more from her, check out her personal blog: http://jesusisworthitall.weebly.com/