Saying "Yes" In Transitions

September 09, 2022 • Rev. Dr. Jevon Caldwell-Gross

A few of my favorite shows, Grey's Anatomy, Bridgestone, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder all have something in common. Can you guess it? They were all written by the one and only Shonda Rhymes! (If you can't tell, I'm a huge fan.) For years, I have admired her creativity and ability to create such different stories across genres. In Seminary, I was glued to the screen watching the messy love triangles found on Grey's Anatomy. Then years later, I had to make sure the kids went to bed on time so Nicole and I could watch Scandal for our at-home date nights. Watch any of these shows and thank me (or judge me) later....

However, my admiration for her grew a few years ago when I read her book, "The Year of Yes."

In the book, Shonda Rhymes confessed to her previous unwillingness to try new things and step out of her comfort zone. As a self-professed introvert, she would often turn down invitations and opportunities that stretched her personality. Needless to say, she was not the most agreeable one in the group. It wasn't until a friend made her aware of this tendency that she even took notice. While offended, she knew it was true. After some difficult self-reflection, she agreed that for one year she would make it a year of YES. She would commit to saying YES to those very same invitations and opportunities that she would normally decline. She said YES to the same dinner invitations she normally declined. She said YES to the public appearances she previously passed along to others. Not only did countless opportunities become available, but on the other side of her YES was a new person that she had never met. It was hard, but it was freeing.

As we come to the close of this series, maybe the word YES might be a good place to start. Transitions bring varied levels of decisions, opportunities, and uncertainties. It could be the uncertainties of being an empty nester, the risk of starting over or dealing with the natural anxieties of welcoming a new addition to the family. It's so tempting to decline opportunities for developing new connections, learning new skills, or even trying something for the first time. We've all been guilty of going to our default in times of transition. No, I can't. No, I'm too nervous. No, I'm not used to that. No, it's too soon. The list goes on.

What would happen if you said, YES?! While I highly encourage binge-watching any of these shows and definitely reading the book, I invite you to make this a season of YES. Say YES to one or two of the normal invitations that pull you away from your comfort zone. Say YES to a risk or new experience. There could be some exciting things waiting on the other end of this transition. Who knows, you might even enjoy it........

May the Lord Bless You and Keep You Real Good.

Pastor Jevon

Rev. Dr. Jevon Caldwell-Gross