You know how certain things just pop up in your head and you don’t know why but it just sticks there until you act on it? Well, that happened to me recently, twice.
Celibacy started it all. The idea popped in my head; I wasn’t thinking about it at all. The quietest whisper, “Try celibacy again,” came to me and a feeling of confirmation. I don’t know why I was being told this but a part of me knew I shouldn’t brush it off. It was settled, I would be celibate. I mean sex really hadn’t been fruitful and as a Christian woman it was unbecoming to continually say I want a deeper relationship with God, but my actions spoke otherwise. As I grow in age, I think it’s important not to compromise your relationship with God to please others, it’s not prosperous.
The second act came during evening mountain prayer service and the youth pastor called for everyone to fast and pray the following day. That was it, I would fast. Not because someone told me to, but I felt the pastor’s words were the answers I desperately needed to seek change in my life.
I never fasted in my life. Once in college, the ministry chapter I was a member of asked everyone to in observance of those suffering from poverty and starvation. I tried, it didn’t last long.
Now at 25, it makes more sense with where I am in life: an adult. When I was in college, I was safeguarded by the “college student” title. Today, the least of my (nonexistent) worries are classrooms, textbooks, finals, papers and fitting in.
I started my fast the second my alarm went off–7 a.m.–and to not take it too extreme for the first time, 7 p.m. would be the closeout. I prayed God would see me through and when met with temptation or a stomach pang I would find strength to pray, not eat. Next thing I knew, I was in the third hour, fifth then eighth. As I closed my work day, God got me through 10 hours of fasting. I couldn’t believe it. How? How was I doing this and not feeling as if I was going to pass out? How did I not cave in after hour four? HOW DID I HAVE YET TO GET A HEADACHE!?!?! How, how, how????
Well for one, I asked God to keep my mind off food and busy at work. Every hour or so, I would stop and pray for strength, focus, and forgiveness. I sipped water throughout the day to remain hydrated and took my break at my desk NOT in the break room (where allegedly the juicy chicken and fish were).
I thought about how God would bless me if He saw I kept my promise. How the things I ask of Him would be delivered to me if He knew I could fight temptation. If I could resist one of the things I love–food–I knew I could resist whatever temptation would come my way.
Bible verses I read while fasting.
I did mention to a couple coworkers of my journey but decided to go the rest of the fasting without mention. I wanted to remain humble and focus my attention on praying over what I was doing, not boasting. I also went over Bible verses throughout the day and listened to music from church to take my mind to a peaceful and clean place. But a day spiritual cleanse would not be a day a cleanse without some drama.
Since it was payday, I noticed my check reflected my old pay before my raise. Was this pay on my last check? How could I have missed that?!?! Did my pay drop down to what it was before with former management? See the devil knows I’m trying to get right. I felt the frustration rush in as a little of the habits I’m trying to break appeared. But as I walked down to HR, I prayed for composure. I calmly explained the situation, received help and it actually was a flaw on the company’s part. Win.
I’m not going to lie, I did think about what I was going to make for dinner once the fast was over. However, it would only be rewarded if I did the full 12 hours without the slightest amount of food. Even the peppermint I slid in my pocket that morning was tossed in my purse. The sweetest part of my first fast experience was the little desire I had for food. It was unbelievable and for a moment almost brought me to tears. Was it all working? Was God actually listening to my prayers to keep my mind focused on the purpose of it all? The purpose: Him. Not because I wanted things in return, but to have Good look over me and hear when I call out to Him. That’s it.
We live in a dangerous and evil time and sometimes the mercy and the love of the Lord are all we have to protect us.
I know God was delivering me through my fast because of the previous day. The day before my fast I ate a lot. When I first got to work I was so hungry I ordered an omelet and hash browns with toast. Breakfast still had me full even until lunch. For lunch, I ate pizza, salad, apple pie and grabbed a fruit cup. That still wasn’t enough. I found myself munching on chips as I told my coworker, “I don’t know why I just keep eating.” I left work so full I didn’t even make dinner. I figured when I returned from service I would have an appetite. I left from service a bit late so I came home, ate some cake and went to sleep with fasting on my mind.
God is a mighty God. We never know why things happen the way they do, but eventually, we see the point. God kept me full on faith the ENTIRE 12+ hours. I craved not a single cracker, chip, fry, juice, soda, fruit, or vegetable. I was determined to let God see for Himself I was going to do better. I prayed that God makes me a better sister, niece, aunt, cousin, employee, coworker, friend, roommate, neighbor, overall a better person. I asked Him to not keep me the same person I was 13 hours ago.
I have to learn to put my relationship with God first because when I do my relationships with others will fall into place.
My first fast was everything I thought it would be and more.