Updated: Jan 26, 2020
If you're familiar with church at all, you may have heard the terms: fasting aka prayer and fast aka consecration. Well let me tell you, I grew up around it all. When it was prayer and fast season at my church I was guaranteed to spend countless hours in church pews, with ashen knees, and the ever present sound of my parents and those around me speaking in tongues. It was serious warfare!
Over the last two years I have embarked on 21 days of fasting with my #Hillcitypvd church family. (check out their blog https://hillcitypvd.com/thecityblog ). Yes 21 days!! And I know for some of your seasoned fasters you're probably thinking 21 days is a piece of cake, but for me this was and is a challenge.
Last year, 2019, I got ROCKED !
I mean I was in the Spirit. I got so many takeaways from spending quality time before God and denying myself of fleshly things like ice-cream (I love ice-cream) and even social media for a bit.
Let me specify, my fast was not a total fast, as fasts can look different for each individual. I had settled within myself to have no breakfast and lunch and break fast at 5pm, eating just a light dinner. So, because I did that last year and it felt good I thought, hey let's try it again this year.
However, when 2020 started and Pastor Tim Q reminded us of our scheduled fasting season, in all honesty, I WAS NOT FEELING IT.
I had in mind what I wanted to fast for but the desire was simply not there. However, I've got to credit myself for being devoted, dedicated, and sticking to something if I say I'm doing to do it! I am 19 days in and here is what this fast has taught, and is still teaching me:
Define a focus and commit
Invest time in prayer
Silence distracting noises
Clean out the clutter in your life
Invite the Holy Spirit to lead you
Push ahead and stay the course, even through difficulty
Learn your purpose and live it out
Include your trusted circle
Navigate the ebbs and flows that will surely come
Expecting there may not be resolution to every situation and chalk it up to character building.
there were days during this fast where I thought I was going to LOOSE MY MIND!
Which leads me to the practical things I've learned about my physical during this time. Being hungry, tired, and cold while working full time, being a wife, and raising three children is a "try your patience" combination. Wheww I needed a lot of grace and quiet time with my Jesus!
What I cherish from this time of fasting was the way in which I learned and grew with my babies (check out by blog "My Loves" to learn a little about who they are). Before the commencement of this fast we discussed whether they wanted to participate. My oldest decided she would fast cereal. A tidbit about that: I could have a refrigerator stocked with food but if there is no cereal my kiddos will say "Mommy there's no food." My sonny boy decided to fast candy. Side note: he could eat candy all day, everyday. (Daddy is an enabler)
And my middle child, well let's just say it's day 19 and she's still deciding what to fast.
Any who, we all had long and deep conversations about what to fast and why to fast. Isabella decided to fast because she wanted to "know God's voice." They asked questions like: well how will I know if it's really God? What would it sound like? All really great questions! (I'd be happy to share more and my responses if you'd like. Maybe leave a comment with your questions or thoughts).
As we approach the conclusion of this 21 day fast I asked my son "So, what candy would you like to have on Sunday?" (The day we break fast all together.) His response, which almost melted my heart was "you know what mommy? I don't even feel like I need candy."
So, let me stick a pin right here. If you've never fasted before I encourage you to try it. Maybe starting off at 21 days is not for you if you're a beginner. If you haven't fasted in a while, try it again. Fasting, and not just abstaining from food, but with the addition of prayer and the reading of the Bible can break a lot of chains in your life. Trusting God for a breakthrough? Try a time of consecration. You'd be surprised how, like my son, you may no longer have cravings or desires for that thing.
All that to say, I'm glad I grew up in an environment where fasting aka prayer and fast aka consecration was "a thing." I'm glad I am able to share those experiences with my own children, in their own capacity. I'm also grateful that I live in a time where technology has allowed me to share these snippets with you as well.
Until next time.