In Others’ Words: The Right of Refusal

Refuse No Coleman quote 1.9.15


There’s a lot of power in the word “Yes.”

And then there are times when “No” is the more powerful word — especially when you say No to someone else’s No.

My favorite kind of “I refused to take no for an answer”? When doing so allows you to become who you were meant to be. You defy the odds, ignoring the no-you-can’ts or the no-you-shouldn’ts or the no-you-won’ts because doing that one thing is who you are deep down inside your heart.

You have to do it, say it, be it — or deny yourself.

I’ve heard my share of “No’s” in my lifetime. I’ve had virtual, emotional, and actual doors slammed in my face. Each time, I’ve had to decide if the No was going to set the course of my life — or if I was going to refuse to take No for answer and find the way around it, over it, under it, through it.

Sometimes a No is just that — N-O. A shut door. And I have to trust God with that. But sometimes … sometimes, a No is a challenge forcing me to ask myself: How much do you want this, Beth? It’s not time to quit–not at all. It’s time to refuse that answer and stay the course and do what needs to be done to become the person God made me.

In Your Words: When did you refuse to take no for an answer? 

[Tweet “When did you refuse to take no for an answer? #lifequotes”] [Tweet “Freedom and Refusing To Take No For An Answer #lifequotes”]


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  1. January 9, 2015, 7:08 am   /  Reply

    The biggest no I refused to accept completely changed my life. It’s a long story (Too long for this comment box.), but the end result landed me in a different state where I eventually graduated from college and met the man of my dreams. I don’t remember ever crying. I just put one foot in front of the other and continued on.

    • January 9, 2015, 5:18 pm   /  Reply

      Yes, there’s obviously more to this story — and I bet it’s well worth hearing. 🙂

  2. January 9, 2015, 7:09 am   /  Reply

    This is thought-provoking. On the one hand, it makes for a good moto poster, and an excellent life credo, but there’s more to it than that, I think.

    One can and should work to prevail against the professional and official “no”, and, of course, against the “no” offered by a recalcitrant physical profile. (As an example, an eye doctor told me when I was fourteen that I would never be able to function without thick glasses. I did eye exercise for hours each day, and achieved 20/20 vision two years later. When I went back to his office to show him he cried with joy for my success.)

    But there is also the personal “no” that we may get from a spouse, family, or friends, and I think we must approach these with courtesy-bred caution. They may be easier to overcome through special pleading or negotiation, but we really have to consider first why the No is there in the first place.

    As a marriage blogger (both in writing, and in following and commenting) I see that issue come up quite often in the area of physical intimacy…and the pressure used by some, through certain passages in Corinthians…to overcome it.

    It’s a strategy that often works, through guilt, but it’s a Pyrrhic victory, because the party whose No has been overcome may have lost something.

    The No may have been a bandage on a wounded heart.

    • January 9, 2015, 5:20 pm   /  Reply

      Andrew: I will keep this brief (it’s been a migraine-day here) and say that I agree with you on all counts.
      My daughter, Katie Beth, was told the same thing about glasses — and overcame the diagnosis with eye exercises too.
      And yes to all the rest you wrote.

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