As I was driving to my next appointment, I found myself fantasizing about being in the hospital. Yup. As the patient. In a bed. With no responsibilities. “Then I could take some time off of work,” I thought.
Whoa. Did I actually reach the point of thinking being in a hospital was the only way out from under this work load? That was sick. I was sick. Sick with burnout. How had I let it get this bad?
As a women’s ministry leader, the answers are actually obvious to me. I let it get out of hand because:
1) I love my job and want to do it well
2) I am doing this all for God and can’t let Him down, and
3) As a general personality flaw, I can’t say no.
I know intuitively this burnout isn’t healthy. I can recognize it in others almost immediately and show them love and grace as I teach them to say, “No.” But I can’t seem to do it myself. The result is a watered-down, halfway ministry that doesn’t fully bless anyone.
So I need to take some of my own advice:
It’s okay to say NO. In fact, by saying no, you may open the door for someone else to say yes. And even if no one else says yes, the world will still turn the next day.
Taking care of yourself is NOT selfish. Getting a manicure, reading a book, enjoying a movie, time with friends – those can be valuable, important times of refreshing your soul. You will be better at everything if you are refreshed.
God does NOT want you exhausted. We are under the impression that God will say no for us. God promises to love us, not to manage our schedules.
Saying no is NOT weak. In fact, as I practice it more and more, I hear, “I love how you can say no and be okay with it. I wish I could do that.” Saying no isn’t a sign of weakness.
A friend of mine has a list she keeps of things she doesn’t do. I am going to start one and the top of my list will be, “I don’t say yes to everything.” I can find much better and more fulfilling ways to rest than being forced into a hospital bed. I’m actually looking forward to saying no.
Question: How have you mastered saying no? Share in the comments below!