Guest Post by Edie Melson:
I met Edie at the Blue Ridge Christian Writer’s Conference last year, and she made a huge impact in my life. She loves the Lord, has a heart for people, and knows how to encourage others. When I asked her to be a guest blogger, she graciously said yes, and I’m thrilled to be able to share her words of wisdom with you.
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 reasons— 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’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 all…as 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.
Edie Melson is the author of four books, and a freelance writer and editor with years of experience in the publishing industry. Her latest book is Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers. She’s a prolific writer, and has a popular writing blog, The Write Conversation. She’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, as well as a popular faculty member at numerous others. She’s also the social media columnist for Southern Writers Magazine and social media mentor for My Book Therapy. Be sure to connect with her through Twitter and Facebook.