I read my friend Alison’s blog posting about when God says no (you can find it at http://womenbydesign.wordpress.com) and I can so relate to the times when God has not just said no, but He has chosen to drill home the point about it by shutting every door, window and gate to the possibility. And in looking back at the times it happened to me, I can see that the truth is that by saying no to this – He was saying YES to something else. Some other bit of goodness that He had planned for me and no one else. Some other blessing just around the bend.
Like the time I was in a job that was clearly not right for me but I so WANTED it to be…and all the signs were pointing at me making an exit…and all of the voices in my head were screaming “GO!”…and each day of work was painful. I fought it and ultimately God had to say “Yes it is time for you to go!” So I went. And my current job is a much better fit, much better match to my skills, much better environment for me. God wasn’t saying NO to my desire to stay, He was honoring me by saying YES to His next phase for me.
My favorite story of this however, is actually about my service to His church. As most of you know, I sing a little. And it has been a passion of mine all of my life. And to tell the story I have to go back a little ways…so bear with me for those who have seen this before.
I sang all the way through high school and it was a large part of my self-identity in those years. But it was quickly overshadowed by 2 things: a choral department that was not kind to me and a drama department that was. I had found a new home with people who encouraged my talent and, at least emotionally, left one that tried to convince me that my talent was not enough. And so after graduation I quit singing. For over 7 years.
The sudden death of my father brought me back to music – I think I needed the release that music had afforded me when I was younger. And within a year and half I was singing in church – Choir, Praise Team, solos. I did it all. And God so blessed me in that time. He showed me that HE gave me that gift and HE expected me to use it. And I did.
A change in the music ministry however led to me slowly pulling out of most of my duties – leaving me a little lost. I felt, “This is who I am. If I am not that person who am I?” And God answered. He shut doors. And windows. And gates. He made sure I couldn’t fall back into my comfort zone. And then He did the very thing God always does do – He opened another door, another window and another gate. This time in Women’s Ministry. And He took the time to show me all the other things that He had gifted me with.
I was so hurt by the things that led me out of music ministry. And I tried to ignore the YES God threw out at me. But I am so glad that I gave in. And now, He is slowly opening the doors to music again – in a different way.
He is so faithful and as long as I remember that He is always there for me…always working for my good…always opening a door somewhere…I will be ok.