No used to be such a hard word for me to say. I have lived a life of being very over extended. Doing a lot of Godly, good things-being the hands and feet of Jesus. It’s what we, as Christians, are supposed to do. Right? So why was I tired all the time, our home went without cleaning for months, laundry piled up, meals thrown together and I was dog gone tired. That was not the way it was supposed to be.
I contracted Lymes Disease in late 2007 and it slowed me down quite a bit but I managed to keep doing good works for Jesus and neglecting everything at home. I didn’t have any kind of regular time in Gods Word or prayer. I was totally running on empty.
In Aug 2013 I started to feel really, really fatigued. I was in charge of the nursery and Nursery Sunday School at church and if a child even looked like their nose was running I would get really sick. By December I had to give up ALL my face to face volunteer work. No nursery, no food pantry, no volunteering at the local free clinic, no cooking meals for CR, among other things. I was able to continue volunteering online with Proverbs 31 Ministries. I spent most of my time in my recliner-resting. I found the biggest ministry I could take part in I was able to do from my recliner-I could pray for others. I became a Prayer Warrior, something I still do today.
Eventually I was diagnosed with an immune deficiency from my bodies constant figh with Chronic Lymes Complex. I had to give myself weekly infusions until I started a homeopathic remedy that jump started my immune system.
During this time I was living a big fat NO from God. No volunteering. It was very difficult at first, I was so used to doing and not being. I’m not able to work a regular job since a motorcycle accident in 2004-being able to do volunteer work gave my life meaning. Gradually, as my immune system mended, I was able to add back some volunteer positions. Lesson learned, I was very careful as to what I added back.
I had to learn to say “No” to a lot of good things in order for me to live my best yes for my husband, home and my health and in all honesty to give God my best.
Saying “no” to good things is now comfortable for me, however, I still find myself saying “I’m sorry, I can’t because……” I still struggle with needing to give an explanation why I need to say “No”. As I sit here writing this I think I will just say, “I’m sorry, I am not able to do that at this point in time.” and leave it at that.
It’s hard!! Those I’m saying “No” to often will say “but it will be fun fellowship-it’s just 2 hours”. Yes, that may be true but it will drain me for what I have scheduled for later in the afternoon, that evening or tomorrow. Some thing I know God has called me to do. Chronic Lyme’s Complex still rears its ugly head when I have 3 or 4 days of constant activity. In fact, I’ve been in my recliner since Sunday night because of activities I did this past weekend. Pain and fatigue certainly make no a necessary word! I need to listen to my body!
It does get easier to say no. When I’m asked to do something, I pray, “Lord, is this what YOU would have me do?” Sometimes it’s clearly yes, sometimes it’s clearly no, and others times I’m not sure, then I wait until I’m sure. I’m a work in progress-my will gets in the way. It is getting better though, one day at a time!