Sunday, April 14, 2013

Weekend Worship—I Can Do It All

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

This was one of the first Bible verses I ever memorized. It’s a heady verse for someone like me. Someone who loves to say yes for two reason— the sheer joy of being involved and the fear others wouldn’t like me if I couldn’t perform. It was a dangerous combination. But I truly believed this verse gave me the ability to say yes to everything, and God would provide a way.

Fast forward several years, and the price of saying yes began to take it’s toll on my mind and body. I no longer lived a life of joy and victory. Instead I was a slave of over commitment. And I finally broke. It wasn’t pretty. Diagnosed with severe depression and several other mental health challenges it took me months to recover.

It was a painful lesson, and one I had to learn to ever be able to move forward. When forced to give up everything, I thought I’d never get to do anything fun again and that everyone would dislike me. (Stupid I know, but it’s really what I believed.) Slowly I began to realize God’s plan didn’t involve me saying yes to every good activity or need within my community.

I also discovered that when I said yes to something that wasn’t intended for me, I was in the way. I’d taken a task from someone else and denied them the joy of obedience. I'd become a roadblock in the journey God had for them.

I’ve also learned not to equate a need with a call from God. By that I mean just because I see a hole that needs filling it’s not my job to jump in. God has proven perfectly capable of providing for the needs of those around me.

Now I’m living a much more balanced and joyful life. I’m still not perfect, there are days I just can’t say no. But He’s shown me that the things He's given me weigh no more than a feather, no matter how labor intensive. But when I pick up a job or a burden on my own, no matter how small the time commitment, it weighs on me like a ton of bricks. That in itself makes me wary about saying yes without hearing from God.

To sum it all up: 
I’ve learned that I really can do it long as I'm not trying to do everything.

Today I encourage you to look at the balance in your life. Do you need to lay something down that’s intended for someone else? Are you crying out for rest because you’re carrying a load not meant for you? There is rest and peace, all you have to do is let go.


  1. From one yes-girl to another. Thanks for the reminder. :-)

  2. Thanks for the reminder, Edie. Saying "no" has always been difficult for me. I have to remember that the Lord chose me first and knows my strengths and weakness.

  3. Thanks for the reminder and your honesty. I have to remember that the Lord chose me and know all of my strengths and weakness. If I can just set my sights on Him.

  4. This is a good reminder. It can be all too easy to say yes to many good things. But then I have no time for God's best!

  5. Great post...I do wellness coaching and just last week I shared with someone "At times a person has to say "NO" to others, so we can say "YES" to ourselves." Thanks for the awesome reminder!!

  6. Need this TODAY - actually, needed it about two hours ago, but now works ;).

  7. That saying "yes to something that isn't intended for me" is an easy pit to fall into. As a leader of a ministry that requires committed volunteers, I sometimes have to convince folks that I seriously want them to tell me "no" if they don't feel a passion for the project. It's hard to use that word, but so important when we strive to follow the path our Lord has for us

  8. I couldn't agree with you more. I would add that saying yes to something God has intended for someone else robs them of the opportunity to serve.

  9. I too was once a member of the say-yes-to-all club but like you, my mind and body paid a hefty price. I now have a true peace in saying no to the things I don't sense God is calling me to fulfill. Not everyone understands (many who are exhausted because THEY don't know how to say "no") but I have to find my rest in truth. And the truth is, I can't do it all nor was I ever designed to do so. Your points to back this up are spot on, my friend.

    Great post, Edie!

  10. What a great post, Edie. In the book I'm working on right now, a character is near the breaking point because her life is hectic and overwhelming. I'm writing from painful experience. It took me a long time to learn to say "no" and to listen to God. My life's much more balanced now but I'm still learning.

  11. Thanks, Edie. Like a friend told me, "You have to put on your 'NO' button." Still learning.

  12. Just last week, I politely turned down a writing opportunity. That has never happened before in my three years of freelancing. At first, I typed I would do it, but then I deleted it because I knew even as I was typing the words it was not meant for me to do. Instantly, I had a peace about saying no. No one was more surprised than me!
    Furthermore, God provided the RIGHT person to do the job. Quite often we think no one else will do the job, or do it the way we think it should be done, and we jump in and commit without first seeking God's will.
    I know where God wants me to focus my writing right now. I stand amazed at the peace he sends when I say no to other things. I recently read we all have enough time in our days to complete everything God has assigned us to do. The stress comes when WE add to that list.