Saturday, February 20, 2016

When God Says No

I had this dream, this desire that I wanted to be an RA next year.  Yes, it would be a lot of work.  Yes, a big responsibility.  Yes, a big chance I wouldn’t even make it.

But I went for it.  I took hours upon hours filling out the application.  I did the interviews.  And then I began to wait.

It was three weeks of waiting, waiting to see if I even made it to the next step in training.  Waiting that happened to be during Christmas break and Passion.

I wrote about Passion in this post, about Christine Caine’s message that the bravest thing we can be is a servant of the Lord.

A servant.

Before we can be servants, we must be willing to do the dirty work, to do what it takes to get that high title from Jesus Christ.

It was then that God began whispering, RA isn’t for you next year, Bailey.  SLC is.  You need another year of preparation, of me shaping you into who I want you to be.

Here at Liberty we have three leadership positions on each hall, a Prayer and Life Group Leader who leads a group of five or six girls in a small group every Wednesday night (that’s me this year), a Spiritual Life Coach who reaches out to the Prayer Group Leaders and the girls on the hall, and then RA’s.

SLC wasn’t something I had really considered…until Passion.  Until God began whispering into my life, Not RA, but SLC.  Not the head leadership spot, but the one where you are serving, where you are continually being shaped by Me.

At first I ignored it, I wanted to be an RA and nothing else. And when I came back to school in January, that’s all I had on my mind: RA, RA, RA.

But the longer I waited to hear if I made it through first cuts…the more God was telling me no, the more He was telling me that’s not what He wanted for me, the more my heart was being put in tune with his desires for me…and maybe that was SLC.

And so I began filling out the application for SLC.  I did the interview.

And when that email came from the office of student leadership saying that I didn’t make it through first cuts for RA, my heart sunk.  But then somehow in the same moment, this feeling of relief washed over me.  This feeling of peace settled down in my heart because God had made it clear that He didn’t want me to be an RA. His desires for me were very different.

God had said no.  But when I looked out at the sunset that night, I knew it was going to be okay.  This no wasn't the end of the world.

You’ll hear from people that God will never say no when you pray for something.  I’d like to tell you just the opposite.  Yes, He will always answer our prayers, but it won’t always be like we want them to be answered.

He’s going to say no sometimes.

I prayed for RA, I prayed for months that this was what He wanted for me.  But God said no.

Here’s the beautiful thing though: when God says no to one dream, He is always saying yes to another one.

He is saying no to what WE have planned and saying yes to what HE has planned for our lives.  It’s beautiful really, because when we think things are falling apart and God has ignored what we want, He is still keeping out best interests in mind.

He just wants to protect us, to give us the very best he has to offer.

Which is why I wait now for SLC.

Which is why He is breathing in me a new, beautiful, incredible dream for what awaits me in my future (which is a whole post in itself).

Which is why I’m trusting in Him, knowing that when He said no to RA, He also said yes to so many other things that I could have never imagined.

So just know the next time God tells you no, even though it doesn’t feel like it, He’s saying yes to something so much greater for you…and for me, too.

Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

And I’m so grateful for His no’s.  Because in turn, He says yes.  And every time He says yes, it’s always been so much greater than what I could have ever asked for.


P.S. Just after I found out I didn’t make it for RA, I found out that I’ll be going to Tanzania this summer. It’s been three years since I went to Uganda and I could not be more excited to be returning to Africa.  Such a great yes from my Father! Please join us in praying as we begin raising funds for our whole family (yes, all six of us!) to go to Tanzania.