Day 5…

Fasting…

I promise I’m not slacking! But brace yourself because this is going to be a LONG entry. I’ve been participating in some fasts over the past few weeks, all of which ended today. I think it’s only appropriate that I conclude this Spiritual discipline by relating my experiences and revelations to you…

 

Daniel Fasting…

No I did not fast from a boy named Daniel. For those of you who are Christians, you’ve probably heard of this fast. To others, it may just seem like a diet. This fast in particular consists of eating only fruits, vegetables and whole grains for three weeks. A better summation provided by daniel-fast.com is- “a powerful spiritual experience to help followers of Jesus Christ develop a more intimate relationship with their Lord, seek answers to prayer, and grow in the love and knowledge of the Savior.” Basically, you are sacrificing the physical to strengthen the spiritual. Here’s another website that shows what you can and cannot eat (http://danielfast.wordpress.com/daniel-fast-food-list/). The point is not to be legalistic and solely focus on the food, but to seek the Lord more fervently. I had three things that I was praying for, and this is how the Lord answered me…

HEALTH- Ok let’s be real. Summer is right around the corner and I’ve packed on a few pounds. I want to look good for my one piece (can’t be tempting my brothers in Christ with a bikini now can I?). But it’s more than just that. I am UNHEALTHY. I eat whatever I want, whenever I want. I’m a little piglet. It dawned on me that I’m not being a very good steward of the body God gave me. 1 Corinthians 6:19 says “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?  You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.  So glorify God in your body.” (ESV). Or how about 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” (ESV). Dang. Scary. Or how about “So whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV).  (Side note: I swear I read more than just 1 Corinthians). Needless to say, my body is important and if I am thankful for it, I’ll take care of it. Another thing, I used to think that wanting to be skinny was sinful because I should appreciate what God had already given me (ha! The things we convince ourselves of…), but a friend of mine assured me that it’s ok to desire the condition God intended us to be in (whoa before you get your panties in a wad, I’m not saying skinniness is next to Godliness, I’m saying it’s ok to want to be in shape). So after three weeks of eating greens, I feel… FREAKING AMAZING! My system has been cleansed of fried chicken, cheesecake and Oscar’s tacos. I have a lot more energy and I hardly feel sluggish. Not to mention I’ve lost eight pounds J I’m even going to the gym regularly (for those of you who know me personally, you can attest that this is a big deal). So what has God revealed to me on this? That His way is the best way (duh). Taking care of my body started as an act of obedience, and resulted in gratefulness to Jesus. Just how things should be.

What really makes the Daniel Fast yummy!

FINANCES- I won’t say much about this because if I’m being truthful, I did not devote as much prayer to this as my two other “fast points”. I will say that I’ve begun diligently saving for when I graduate college in two years, tithing, and I ended up keeping a job that I swore I was done with forever. Side story- I work as a Sales Associate at a golf and tennis equipment store and it is not my cup of tea. Or at least it wasn’t. Plus they had me working 35 hours a week on top of school. I gave my two weeks notice and on my very last day, at the pleading of the entire staff (I’m not saying this to be conceited, people were LITERALLY begging me to stay), I decided there must be a reason why God has me there. My coworkers think I’m an angel? So I rescinded my notice and now I work minimum hours. It’s great. So I guess you could say God did answer my prayers on a finance level, just not the way I expected. Boom!

RYAN- Finally, the reason you all come to my blog- to hear about my boy stories. Before my fast I was growing close to this guy Ryan. I can’t even describe how amazing this man is. Ironically he’s shorter than me by four inches than me (God really? Is this going to be a regular thing?), but he just FITS me. Funny, cute, LOVES the Lord, musical, kind, endearing, encouraging, outgoing, popular (in the sense that he’s well liked), perfect… just kidding about that last one, but you get my point. We became friends as quickly as you can snap your fingers. I didn’t like him right away, but I knew he was special. I was determined to be best friends. Then one night, after we had gone to dinner with the mission non-profit I work for, it hit me like a bag of bricks… I had deeper feelings for him. So I prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed and………. He began pursuing me. So I prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed (I think God was getting annoyed by this point) and prayed and prayed and……. We talked about it and the feelings were mutual. Yay! So I prayed and prayed and prayed (I’m not trying to boast in my righteousness, but I’ve been single for a while and I was freaking out!) and prayed and prayed and… he admitted he still wasn’t over and ex-girlfriend and wasn’t ready to recommit. I appreciate his honesty. But bummer. So I decided to add him to “fast points” to receive clarity from the Lord Himself. Two days into my fast, God placed this little nugget on my heart: “Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, YOUNGER MEN AS BROTHERS, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.” (1 Timothy 5:1-2) (I am going to do an entire entry on this passage, but for now this is all I have time for). I called Ryan and told him that he didn’t need a girlfriend, he needed a sister.  That’s what I was and am willing to offer. Buckets, it’s been hard, but the Spirit led me on this and I am joyful to obey. I honestly thought this fast would end in us dating, but instead it’s ended in something more worthwhile. I will better serve Ryan through friendship and I wish him all the best in his healing process.

Well it seemed like a grueling three weeks, but looking back I realize how faithful God is. He affirmed me that I am His daughter and He will grant me the desires of my heart if I just bring them to Him…

 

Music Fasting…

I won’t say much other than fasting from music is HARD. You don’t realize how much something consumes you until you eradicate it from your life. I spent the week sans radio or iPod and devoted that time to prayer instead. Whenever my ears itched to hear tunes, I remembered that time with God is more satisfying. Glad I joined my church in this fast, but I’ll admit I celebrated its end by joining Spotify and listening to everything from Adele to Hillsong United to Hannah Montana (whatever you know you secretly enjoy “Nobody’s Perfect”)…

 

Boy Talk Fasting?…

You know you have a boy problem when your best friend suggests that you fast from talking about boys… Or you have a blog devoted to talking about them… Hmmm… Anyway, it was nearing midnight and I waited anxiously outside the theatre- Sarah and I had succumbed to the Hunger Games phenomena and decided to catch the premiere early Friday morning. I started to say something about Ryan, but stopped short when I caught the look on her face. The crowd began filing in, and Sarah and I scored plush leather office chairs in the middle of the theatre (it was a dine-in place so they didn’t have conventional seating). After she ordered her food, we sat there in silence for a few minutes while I explored Pinterest for new design ideas in the architecture tab and she twiddled her thumbs. That’s when she dropped this bomb; “I think we should fast from talking about boys”. My jaw dropped a little (Sarah and I have this inside joke that our two conversation topics are God and boys (guess it’s not an inside joke anymore…)). She proceeded to explain that she felt it hindered our relationship in a way because it consumes us more than anything else. We were taking our sights off Christ. In that moment, I realized I’m blessed to have such an amazing sister in Christ- one who is willing to rebuke me when I stray from the narrow path. We made a deal that for three days we wouldn’t talk about boys, or other people for that matter, to each other or anyone else. Fasting from “gossip” (essentially that’s what it is) has helped me realize just how much I give into it. Although it’s important for Sarah and me to share our struggles and triumphs in the boy department, it shouldn’t stand in the way of us growing closer to Christ and to each other. It also made me question how many other relationships I’ve hindered by sharing my obsession with members of the opposite sex?…

Well I know this post was long (told you it would be), but if you’ve read up until this point, I’d say it was a success…