Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Come Closer- What I Learned From Fasting

"Thou shall have no other gods before Me." Exodus 20:3

My church is going through a series called Fuel. It's basically 40 days of moving through different rhythms to grow closer to God.

The first week was fasting. And if you know me in-real life you know that missing a meal makes a little grumpy :) I wasn't sure how I was going to do this or if I would make it the full week.

The pastor suggested if a full on fast of all meals was too overwhelming, start off small. Like off of your favorite snack, one meal, TV, anything that would pain you a little to give up for the week.

I thought and prayed about it and decided to give up coffee and carbs for the week.

I LOVE bread and carbs, while I eat mainly whole wheat and good for you carbs, they are still a  weakness and I knew it would pain me to give them up for the week.

Coffee, I have to have! It's how I start my day, it wakes me up and puts that little perk in my step. My brain just doesn't function without it, trust me, I know this first hand, tried to quit cold turkey once, and swore I would never do that to myself again.

So, these two I set out to fast from. I told my husband and kids so they would hold me accountable, which they did ;) God love `em.

Day one I woke up and longingly stared and my coffee maker sitting there on the counter all by it's lonesome.  But I didn't do it! I resisted.

And you know what?!

I went to bed that night with a migraine, the size of Mt Everest.

The next morning found me begging God to let me out of that one, I really needed to add the coffee back in, because that headache was a killer. But promised to stay off the carbs, and begged for strength to say "NO" each day.

{Coffee is really more of a gradual thing, I wouldn't suggest anyone going cold turkey on that one. If I ever decide I need to give up my cup then I will gradually decrease each day from now on}

I made it the whole week sans carbs, and not only felt great, but God was answering prayers and coming closer than He has in a long time.

I've never really understood the idea of fasting, until now. Before I always thought it was something you did to get God to answer a prayer or come through with a miracle.

But now I've realized it's so much more. It's about giving up something not to get something from God, but to reconnect with him. Removing whatever it is that is taking priority in your life over God and allowing Him his proper place.

I will never shy away from this practice again. I have learned to embrace it.

If you didn't catch the last post Change, then you don't know we are moving! We are leaving our little farm house in the middle of a cornfield in Iowa and heading to Texas, in about 4 weeks, and man have things been stressful around here. There were so many things leading up to this move that were question marks, but you know what? God answered them all that week!!

What was unclear was made clear.And there was peace about the situation that I hadn't had yet.

I have friends that were doing it too and they said the same thing, they had never felt closer to God. They could really feel him closer and moving in a way they hadn't in years.

Some days were tough, and not because of the food, but because of circumstances surrounding the move. But emails sent at just the right time, something that someone would say that would really touch my heart, and they had no idea that their words were Heaven sent were said, and music on our local faith radio station would play all the right songs that I needed to hear. And it was all God!

It was truly an amazing week.

I haven't felt that close to God or heard him so clear in years. I craved it each day.

I woke up expectantly with bright eyed wonder at what God would reveal that day. I had been reignited.

I have realized how distracted I am, by not only food and what I'm going to eat, but by TV, and Internet. There always seems to be something vying for my time, and honestly it seems easier to veg out in front of the TV, than to be quiet before God and wait.

God persues us, but He won't force us. When we let other things take over, He waits, until we realize we can't do life without Him, and then there He is. He never left, it was us.

Intentionality is key. Choosing the quiet over the distractions has to be an intentional choice each day.

That's what I've learned from this week, that I can be busy, and there's nothing wrong with that, but my heart and soul need to reconnect with Him. I have to make the time to read my bible and pray.

I'm so thankful for this series at my church, it has made me take a good hard look at where my heart has been lately and where the divisions are exactly.

Thank you God!
Is there anything in your life that is taking precedence over God? Maybe taking a fast will help you see more clearly this week too!

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  1. Your farmhouse sounds amazing! I hope you enjoy your move to Texas.
    Your post has inspired me to want to fast for the lord again. I really enjoyed what your experience was and what the lord shared with you.

    1. Thanks Shannon, Iowa has been amazing, far better than I ever dreamed it would be:) But Texas is a little closer to family, so we're ready. I really wasn't sure what would happen during the week, but God Showed Up! It was amazing, I would encourage anyone to give it a try and see..

  2. I really enjoyed this post. I have tried fasting, but get migraines pretty quickly if I don't eat. You suggesting of giving up something rather than complete fasting would make a lot of sense for me.

    1. Thank you Galen. Thinking of going all week with no food was pretty overwhelming to me. But loved the thought of fasting from one thing that I would hate to give up just as much. I hope you try it!

  3. I love your thoughts on fasting. When Texas was ravaged by the drought last year, I fasted from alcohol (my nightly glass of wine) until it rained again. It was amazing how God transformed my perspective during that time.

    Okay -- now -- where in Texas are you moving? I'm in Austin!

    1. Wow, thanks for sharing, it amazes me what we can learn during these "giving up" periods. We draw close to God, and He draws close to us.

      We are moving to the Dallas area, Denton!! Not sure how far Austin is :)

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  5. My experience with fasting has matured through the years. A 30 day TV fast led to the permanent removal of television in our home. A month-long media (including my blog) fast this past February was very refreshing! My most courageous fast began the day after this past Mother's Day: I did a 6- day juice-only fast! Those first few days were ROUGH! Coming off coffee and Diet Coke seemed as though it would be the cause of my demise. By day 4 I was all better and during those 60 days I experience the sweetest fellowship with my Lord and Savior, spending hours each morning in the Word (I used that time to read through the New Testament). This was truly one of the grandest experiences of my life!

    I'm visiting from Encourage One Another. Thanks for sharing!

    1. *That was supposed to say 60 day juice-only fast (not six!).

    2. Thanks for sharing your experience and Praise God!!

  6. Hi Alecia - I really enjoyed this post. i have struggled with "why" to fast because for me it always seems to boil down to "will I lose weight?" so I refuse to do it to prevent it from being about that. I love how you say: "It's about giving up something not to get something from God, but to reconnect with him" Great point. I am going to give serious thought to giving up something I love (and seriously - I love carbs way too much) in an attempt to reconnect! God bless

    1. Yeah I struggled with that too, I had to really pray that my vanity wouldn't overtake the reasons for wanting to do the fast in the first place. And truly giving up carbs, hurt:) but in a good way.


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