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Women Need to Say 'No' More
Women Need to Say 'No' More

Women Need to Say 'No' More


Feb 28 2013
My 'no' to fear is my 'yes' to God.

Speaking as one who wasted 20 adult years diddling around in anxiety and fear, I'd love to say that these days my refusal lands confident as a cat. However, I am not a third-degree blackbelt like the author of Smile at Strangers. She likes to throw a brisk punch to the head; I waffle about hurting someone's feelings. How I would love to issue the necessary syllable from the rocking-chair of calm! But until I can, I'll say it vexed. I'll say it afraid. I'll say it to the guy with the gun, the line, the beer. I'll say it to the well-meaning friend. My no is my yes to God.

Rhoda Janzen is the New York Times No. 1 bestselling author of Mennonite in a Little Black Dress (Henry Holt, 2009). Mennonite was a finalist for the 2010 James Thurber Award for Humor, and in 2012 a finalist for the Lily Fellows Arlin G. Meyer Prize for Imaginative Writing. Janzen's new memoir, Does This Church Make Me Look Fat? (Grand Central, 2012) is a finalist for the 2013 Books for a Better Life Award in the category of Spiritual Writing. Janzen teaches English and creative writing at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. To learn more about Rhoda Janzen, please visit rhodajanzen.com.

Related Topics:Anxiety; Fear; Gender; Peace; Violence

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