The Power of No!

I have learned how to accept the word “No!” There are books written about how to never accept no. People have created movements to never accept the word no, but what happens to a generation of people who can’t accept the word no even if it’s in their best interest? I saw it for myself this past year when people were simply asked to wear a mask, and they said, “No!” In other news there were people that wanted to recognize that Black lives mattered, and they were told, “No!” and the hatred was doubled down and many black men, women and children lost their lives. 

The word no will always create responses that are polar opposites. What will you stand for? Will it be helpful or hurtful? Is your pain less important than other people’s comfort level? Are their feelings more important than yours? What’s worth fighting for? 

I was recently told that I would not be able to utilize Facebook and Instagram to promote my new business, because I have apparel that says, “Black Girl Healing.” It doesn’t matter to them that I am a Black girl healing and that my collection is inspired by my book, Picking Up the Pieces to 100 Broken Promises. I am happy, no I am actually ecstatic, to be alive and well after what I have endured. I came through on the other side and although it may take more time, effort and money than I can spare right now, what I do know is that, what is for me is for me and no one, entity or otherwise, can take that from me.

I was told that I would never graduate from high school. The odds were against me, I can admit that, being a single teenage mom, living on my own at age 17, I dropped out of school so that I could work. I could see how the naysayers would come up with that conclusion. It’s just one thing they weren’t counting on, God said “Yes!” God said that I would graduate from high school and that I would go to college and earn three degrees in fields that I love and thrive in. They didn’t factor in the God variable. 

There were times that God told me no and I couldn’t understand why, until much later. I wrote about a few of these experiences in my book. I received a job offer of a lifetime, but it would require a move to Florida, long story short, I was offered the job and my husband chose not to go at the last minute. I was livid. I was hurt. I was confused. It was a horrible time for us both, because I wasn’t going to be the only one mad, he was going to feel this pain. Anyway, COVID hit hard, and no one was able to travel and guess what, my job required traveling by plane at least once a week. When flights opened back up, I would have been forced to be exposed to the possibility of contracting the virus. Now I get to work from home if I can’t go into the office, or I have a space that is excluded enough to minimize my exposure.

There were other times God told me no when it came to my first marriage and I didn’t listen to Him, I’ll just say that was the worst ten years of my life. Moving on…I disagree with the notion that it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission. That has not been my experience at all. In fact the opposite is true. I have found that I am much happier when I ask for permission and wait for the answer, but the key is to be obedient. 

So as I come into this new year, I’m looking forward to the word “No!” When I see the challenge I know that God is about to do a new thing! I’m excited to see what He has in store for me. My prayer for you is that you learn to accept the no’s and yeses with equal value and joy. They both have a benefit and a power meant for your own peace and blessings.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

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