When the Answer is No


WAIT! That’s the annoying little sound that comes from a pedestrian cross walk pole when you push the button and it’s not time to walk.  John, Alex and I spent spring break in New York City. I love NYC. I just absolutely love that place. So many different races and cultures. Anyway, I’ve mastered the cross walks. Even when there isn’t a walk signal, if there aren’t any cars coming I like to go ahead and walk across. I’m mischievous like that. John and Alex are the cute little people that follow the rules. They wait until they get the signal. I’m an impatient person. I don’t like lines and I don’t like to wait. Sometimes, though, it’s necessary. And sometimes it’s more than waiting. Sometimes it’s NO. Don’t go at all. What to do when the answer is No?

What do we do when the answer is “NO!?”

When the answer is no

There’s this conference that I’m literally dying to go to.

Oh.My.Gosh. Thinking about it just makes me giddy. I wanna go so STINKING bad.

It’s called She Speaks. It’s a conference that equips woman who have been called to write, speak, &/or lead. It’s a place to connect with other like-minded women who have the same callings. It’s also a place to connect with agents and book publishers. Lysa TerKeurst, founder of P31 ministries is the founder of the conference as well. So, um- hello!? Yeah- who wouldn’t wanna go?

It’s in July, which is the same month that we are moving to Colorado. Now, doesn’t that just suck stink? Last year I wanted to go so badly, but it just wasn’t the time; and I knew that. I wanted to go….but I really didn’t desire it. Does that make sense? But this year? Oh the desire is strong! This year I had decided I was going to go and I wouldn’t let anything stop me. I knew, that I just knew that I was supposed to go. Then, after we made the decision to move and the time that we would move, I realized that I might not get to go because of the timing.

I prayed about it.

“God. Please let me go this year. You know my heart. You know my desires. Pleeeeaaaassseeeee???? Please say yes?!?!”

I asked Him to show me His will through my husband. I felt that if my husband was not on board with me going that it would not be God’s will. We can’t fulfill God’s will for our life when there is strife or disagreement. God just doesn’t work like that. If John wasn’t on board, and I trust him, than it’s not God’s will. And that’s that. My husband is a very wise man. He speaks truth. He will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. I love that about him. He makes me a better person in so many ways.

So I talked to him about it.

And God said no.

When God says NO


After discussing it, we just decided that it was awful timing. With everything going on in our family right now, it would not be wise. And I knew that. I knew it was poor timing…but I guess I was hoping that I was wrong. I guess I was hoping that we could somehow work it out. As I’m typing this I have tears streaming down my face. I want to go sooooooooo bad because I feel like it will help me so much to fulfill the calling that I believe God has placed on my life. I feel that by not going, I’m putting off another year of learning the tools necessary to help me fulfill my dreams and calling.

It hurt my feelings that God said no.

Doesn’t He know my heart?

Doesn’t He know my desires?

I know He has a plan and I trust Him. Going to this conference is a want. Do I really think that not going is going to halt His call? No. It isn’t. God is bigger than all of that.

And maybe that is what He is trying to show me.

Shannon, I’m bigger than that! I am bigger than that conference!

Fine. Just, fine God.

The last several weeks I’ve felt like I’m on this rollercoaster. One minute I’m sad. Then I’m fine and not thinking about it. Then I’m mad. It’s an array of emotions thinking about how I want to go to this conference so bad. I keep thinking…maybe He’ll change His mind. Maybe it’s a test.

A test! That’s it! Yes it’s a test! Maybe He wants to make sure I will obey Him first, before he allows me to go?

I know what you’re thinking… I’m reaching….

God and I have gone back and forth on this. I argue, and He waits patiently for me to get it all out.

when the answer is no

Here’s the thing. When God says no, it’s okay. And sometimes when He does it hurts. That’s okay too. God isn’t afraid of hurting our feelings just like He isn’t afraid for us to have honest conversations with him. He is God and He can handle it! God values our honesty with Him. #honestconversationswithGod Click To Tweet Although I might be mad and sad, at the end of the day I trust Him. I believe Him. I take Him at His word. I may not be happy about it, but I will take Him at His word.


What about you? Has God told you no to something you so desperately wanted? How did you react? What did you do? Did it hurt your feelings? Do you feel like you can have an honest conversation with Him? If not, why? Share in the comments below!

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  1. Joanne Viola says:

    It is amazing how well our God handles our honesty 🙂 Even more amazing to me is how He grows us, yes, even in the midst of the “No” and in the waiting. I think this is my 1st time here so may I say, “Nice to meet you!” May you & yours have a blessed Easter.

  2. Brenda says:

    Shannon, I’m so sorry you’re unable to attend the conference this year. ((hug)) Perhaps there is another conference, in your new area, you’ll be able to be blessed by? Hope that your move goes smoothly. ((blessings))

    • Shannon says:

      Thank you Brenda! Yes, maybe you are right- I will have to do a search to find some! Thx for your encouragement!

  3. I’ve wanted to go to this conference as well, so I understand. It is hard when God says no when we really want something. Hope your move to Colorado goes smoothly!

  4. Aww, honey! I love your transparency here… it’s beautiful. It took me several years to get to She Speaks. The timing was just never right (though I wanted it so very badly!). When I finally made it, I knew that I knew that it was in His perfect timing, and WOW! What a difference timing makes! I’ve desired to go back each year since, and it hasn’t happened, yet again. I’m confident that it’s in His hands, which I fully trust! Praying for your adventure to Colorado, for your writing endeavors, and for you. God’s got this! #livefreeThursday

    • Shannon says:

      Thank you Crystal! I’ll get there one day, I just have to learn to be patient in the waiting, huh?? Thank you for your prayers, I covet them!! xoxoShannon

  5. Shannon, welcome to Thought Provoking Thursday! I loved visiting your space today and meeting you and your beautiful family. This post so resonated with me (I am not going to She Speaks either! Boo hoo!) — For the last couple of years, I’ve had to turn down a speaking engagement in Denver that I really wanted to do, but both times looking back, I can see why God had me say no. Jesus first. Family second. Ministry is a big #3.

    I look forward to reading more from you in the days ahead. Happy Easter!


  6. Thanks for this post! I laughed in agreement when you wrote, “It hurt my feelings that God said no!” 😀 I feel the same way! I love that you brought it back to trusting in Him, no matter the answer. Thank-you.

  7. Carly says:

    Sorry it’s not working out for you to go to the conference. It is hard when God says no- even though we know he has a plan it’s hard to accept when it’s something we really want. I love that he can take our honesty at times like this. I’m sure he will lead you and equip you for what he’s calling you to do, even if it’s not in the way you hoped.

    • Shannon says:

      Yes Carly! I so agree! I know He has a plan…even though Im slightly annoyed…lol – Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Judy Ashmore says:

    Pastor H A Brummett once said that when he Talked to his wife (Pat) and she had the same confirmation as he did, then he knew God was in it. If she did not Back him he backed off.
    Isn’t it wonderful God gives us wise men in our lives that (if we will listen) our life gets better and better. Where two or three are gathered together? I am thankful for Godly spouses.

    • Shannon says:

      Yes Judy!!! I’ve always used that as a source. And yes- I am so thankful for Godly spouses! Mine is a gem as I know yours is too! xoxoxox

  9. ~ linda says:

    Is it not interesting how easily we are unwilling to accept God’s first and second (& maybe more) nos because we so want a yes? But I love how patient He is with us and is so willing to teach us, to grow us and love us through it all.
    May all things work together for His good because you love Him.
    May your Easter be filled with the power of His resurrection.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

  10. Oh, Shannon! I can so relate! I remember years ago when I had a tiny tiny dream to write. I didn’t even have a blog. I just wanted to write. I had been a long time follower of Proverbs 31 and they announced their very first conference. I wanted to go soooooooo bad! But it was poor timing. I did end up going – in 2013 – and it was a total God thing. The timing was right. I love how honest you are here about hearing “no” from God. Because He truly is a GREAT BIG GOD and can more than handle our little tantrums or frustrations. 🙂
    Love this!

    Blessings and smiles,

    • Shannon says:

      I know He has a plan! I’m also confident that when I do get to finally go God will just rock my world!!!

  11. Cindy says:

    Oh, Shannon, I can just hear your conversations with God because I have the same kind! Thank you for your honest writing, Cindy

  12. Laura Kent says:

    Oh boy – yes. . . just recently. “Please God, let me follow my friends to a new church campus. I feel so unbelievably alone, so abandoned – so. . . forgotten and not needed.” I ache and tear up just writing that out. And a couple of times, I’ve thought “okay, God, I think this conversation here means you are giving us the go ahead.” Then, within minutes I’m reminded that the answer is still “no”. Because He says “you are all but forgotten and I need you here!” It doesn’t mean I don’t ache and that I don’t feel lonely and I’m certainly not thrilled about never seeing my friends, but I can’t wait to see how God uses our little family in the weeks and months to come. 🙂

    • Shannon says:

      Yes Laura- when we obey Him and especially when its really hard to obey- I believe He gives a double blessing! SO thats what I’m praying over you! Love you!!!

  13. Melody says:

    Oh I so relate to this. It is hard when God says No – I was cracking up about the “is God testing me thing” as if the “yes” might be around the corner because sometimes that truly happens but many times not and I find myself wondering the same thing so I lol’d and was glad to know I’m not the only one wondering am I standing in the middle of a bonafide No or a test. Ha! Love your blog!

  14. Harry Ramsey says:

    But most of the time, God says yes, right?

    • Shannon says:

      No, sadly not. But that’s not a negative thing but more of a positive thing…in my opinion. Thanks for your comment Harry!

  15. Leah says:

    So freaking true! I’ve had these “discussions” with God as well. But then, when I’m saying no to my toddler when he wants a third cereal bar or wants to stick his finger in the light socket, I suddenly feel like I can relate to Him really well.

  16. Valerie says:

    Hi Shannon!
    It’s so wonderful to discover your blog at #100HappyDays! I would love to attend She Speaks one day. That is, if I could get over my fear of traveling by myself and finding my way to the conference, lol.
    I just found out that I have bulging disks in my neck causing immense pain in my shoulder and arm (sadly my typing arm). We were supposed to go skiing next week and I even told my husband I was still going to go, lol. I hate to miss out on fun. But the doctor and my husband..and I’m sure God gave me a loud N.O.!! I know it’s for the best though.

    • Shannon says:

      So sorry to hear that Valerie! I will say a prayer for you…maybe you could sit in the hotel room and drink coffee and read a good book?? You should relax for sure!

  17. Dawn says:


    I am so glad you linked this post up at #GraceMoments last week. I know I am a bit behind in the checking in on my friends, but with Easter and all… I am playing catch up. Life, does that, doesn’t it.
    I totally understand your desire, I am right there with you. Always feeling a bit envious of all those lovlies that get to travel and rub arms with one another. I always say, “one day”, but that day has yet to come.

    And the No.. well.. God and I have good conversations on that word often. There are times I know in my heart that it is His best for me and I am so thankful for His discerning love. And there are other times when my heart doesn’t see the Truth as I should and it takes me a little time to come around. 🙂

    I am so grateful that He is patient with me, and that He, in His mercy, loves me enough to redirect me because His perspective is always better than mine.

    Thanks for linking up with me last week. I hope to see you again!

  18. Excellent post! We do well to remember that God is good AND that He is trustworthy!

    Sounds like you’re on the right track, even if you won’t be able to make the conference this year. Bless you!

    Thanks so much for joining Grace at Home. I’m featuring you this week!

  19. Amanda says:

    Hi there, I know this post is old but it popped up in my search. I find that I am having a “God is telling me no” experience right now in my life. My husband and I have very different beliefs on religion and going to church. I strive on my churchands time and my time with my group but he doesn’t seem to understand that it makes me happy. We have moved slightly further away from the church and he thinks that I am wasting my time driving there every Sunday. It’s only 20 minutes away as apposed to 5. I also really respect my husband’s thoughts but could he be wrong on this one? Or maybe is God trying to tell me I need to just have time with God alone and not in church even though I love church so so much

    • Shannon says:

      Hi Amanda- I am so very sorry that you are struggling. This is a tough question for me to answer as I don’t know your situation that well and I don’t know your husband. My best advice for you would be to PRAY. Pray for your husbands heart as well as yours. I do think this is something that you should be unified in! I will pray for you, as well!

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