anatomy of a fast

Sunday, i woke in the middle of the night.  wide awake.  couldn’t sleep.  when i asked God what i should do, He told me to fast.  He said it would be for His will to be done in the coming events, and pointed me to Psalm 144.

so, here i am, on the morn of day 3, fasting until tomorrow at dinner time.  in the past, i’ve done strictly juice/tea/water fast, but this time around i’ve had a small snack and piece of fruit in the evening. 

history of my fasting
the first time i fasted was a couple years ago, and i didn’t even know why.  it was a break-through moment at about 4 am on the second day that i realized what those who’ve come before me already knew, i was fasting because the answer i needed, the God i need, was bigger and more important to me even than food.

i didn’t fast again until this year, when it seemed i was fasted every other week.  there were back to back weeks, and a period when i was fasting every Thursday.  finally, mid-spring, i felt a release to stop and just be.  each one has had it’s own purpose, or theme.  one week i felt led to pray over my past and watch as God broke those chains.  the next week i prayed for my future–hope, my husband, my children.

the journey of a fast
each fast takes on a new life for me, and each is it’s own unique journey, one in which i feel i am an active observer.  i journal every moment i can, just to get out what i’m processing.  looking back over these thoughts eventually helps me to put the bigger picture together. 

the first day is usually the hardest, and mine began in a frenzy.  i spent the morning battling my ever-changing emotions–i hate this, i love this, i distrust this person/situation, etc.  i was back and forth, back and forth.  i make it a point to retreat somewhere in my office during mealtime, so i grabbed some juice, read a bit of John, and took a nap.  the afternoon was much better.

the evening brought an interesting batch of challenges, as a beloved friend and i worked through major communication issues, then i invited Kyle to share the journey i was on (very big step for me….).  then i ate a snack, read and prayed some more, and bed.

the second day, yesterday, was much more smooth.  i felt very even keel all day, no major excitement or emotion, just a steady pace.  i was very focused at work, able to move quickly and easily from one project to another.  i again retreated for lunch, and made it a point to take a couple walks.

it would be redundant to say i prayed, because the truth is, during a fast, all i do is talk to God.  sometimes it’s deeply serious and involved, and others it’s simple.  He’ll bring something to mind and i’ll comment on it.  or i’ll tell Him how beautiful the day is, or how much i hate fasting.  big or little, He cares only about my honesty.

and here we are at the 3rd day, and i am definitely feeling the physical ramifications of fasting.  i also woke in the middle of the night for about an hour, to read and pray, so i’m exhausted.  exhausted and hungry.  a couple cool quotes that came out of that time tho, for two different friends who are in stages of taking steps of faith:

“when blind faith becomes habitual practice, and God is proven over and over to be trustworthy, it becomes less scary.”

“the most beautiful thing about a “leap” of faith is the solid  ground God has already prepared for you to walk on.”

i am honestly not sure how i will make it through today.  i am scattered and unfocused, and hungry.  i know i will.  i know He will strengthen me, but still…today is much more of a struggle.

some fav quotes that will help me get through:
“shall i not tell Him my troubles–how He, even He, has troubled me by making me?–how unfit I am to be that which I am?–that my being is not to me a good thing yet?–that I need a law that shall account to me for it in righteousness–reveal to me how I am to make it a good–how i am to be a good and not an evil?”  -George MacDonald

“Prayer needs fasting for its full growth. . . .Prayer is the one hand with which we grasp the invisible; fasting, the other, with which we let loose and cast away the visible.” -Andrew Murray

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One thought on “anatomy of a fast

  1. I have found fasting to be incredibly powerful, which is why I’m surprised we don’t teach on it or encourage people to try it in the Church more often.

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