No could mean GO!
When I first launched my online ministry I was so excited. I wrote down the names of all the women in my life that I knew would be a great addition the ministry. I went out and bought some expensive glossy paper, created some letters and mailed them as a proposal inviting these women to become a part of the launch of the ministry. Of course everyone was supposed to respond with a simple yes and that would be the end of it, right?
The very first response that I received was a no. I was so disappointed and, to be honest, I was ready to quit. I just knew that was the sign for me to give up and do something else. However, the drive inside of me and the assurance that what I was doing was what I was called to do was enough to keep going beyond that no. I am so thankful I did because everyone else responded with a yes.
If we are not careful we can allow a no to stop us in our tracks. Oftentimes that no is a simple test of your endurance. It may be a test of your desire to do what God is calling you to do. If everyone is not cheering for you and telling you yes, that’s OK. You just cannot let that stop you. You have to know that the desire within you, the purpose in your heart, far surpass any obstacle standing in the way.
Simply put, God’s yes is far more powerful than man’s no. I now get excited when I start a project and the initial response is a no. In the grand scheme of things, you will realize that obstacles weed out pretenders. If you are not serious about what you hope to accomplish then any trial can knock you out. But when your desire to keep going is stronger than your opposition, you will see the fruit in the end.
If you have ever struggled with moving beyond a no, these six steps can keep you going.
1. Stop people pleasing. This might sound easier said than done, but as long as you are living your life waiting on the approval of others you will remain stuck or moving at a snail like rate. I can’t tell you how many times I have put someone else’s opinion on a pedestal only to find that they have changed their opinion down the line.
2. Do it afraid. You might never find the perfect time to step out if you are waiting to not feel like you have to step out of your comfort zone. One of my favorite heroes is Gideon who did some tremendous work while feeling as if he was not ready or qualified.
3. Keep going – no matter what. If some people aren’t cheering you on as you begin, remember that doesn’t limit the amount of success available to you. What I had to learn from my own example of receiving a no is that if you can keep going, plenty of people are willing to say yes down the line.
4. Your dream is not a coincidence. You might think quitting is no big deal because a door closed in your face. What you might not realize is there are people who will be tremendously blessed by your boldness to step into your calling.
5. Closed doors give you better direction. Every time a door closes it is actually leading you to something meant for you. For each opportunity you might feel you are missing out on, trust that it is leading you closer to the opportunity meant for you.
6. Live out loud! Hope for Women’s theme this year is the final point I want to leave with you. It is not enough to have a goal or a someday dream. You have to be willing to do it in BOLDNESS. Unapologetically, you have to be willing to not shrink back and to step out as if you know you were meant to let your light shine. Because you were!
I discovered something else with my first no. At that time, I felt weak. I wanted to quit, but I experienced firsthand that God’s strength is truly made perfect in our weakness. You don’t have to become some emotionally absent bulldozer to overcome opposition. Simply put your trust in God to know that if He is calling you to do something you can’t just stop because someone told you no.