My mouth was literally gaping open as my friend Rhonda began to share her recent spiritual journey. “I fasted for 21 days. Trust me, don’t be impressed,” she humbly exclaimed while encouraging a group of us who absolutely adore her. I felt like a spiritual loser.
Why have I never pursued the spiritual discipline of fasting? I’ve heard others speak of it as their “life-line” to spiritual growth. Can I really not give up food for even a couple of hours to be closer to God? I have faced insurmountable crises in my life, yet fasting has not been my method of choice in walking through difficult times. Funny thing is, I actually taught a ladies’ Bible study session on fasting, which demonstrates that I have all the head knowledge, just no practical experience.
Well… completely drenched in conviction after Rhonda shared her fasting story and subsequent victories, I made the decision to start fasting. This is going to sound pitiful, but my first commitment was to not eat until 10:30… a.m. that is. I know, I know… most of you do that without labeling it a fast. For me, it was that initial step of giving God my attention, choosing Him over my favorite breakfast foods. The next week, I set 11:00 (still a.m.) as my goal, followed by noon the next week.
God was nudging me along, ministering to me in my baby steps of faith. My heightened sensitivity of His presence was an amazing thing. On my fasting days (okay… partial days) I would be very teary-eyed with an awareness of God’s deep love for me. Singing my prayers to Him, I knew God was near and probably smiling (possibly trying to stifle a laugh) at my new effort to be closer to Him.
James 4:8 “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” After several weeks, I began thoroughly anticipating the day I would fast, adding the extra half hour. My hunger for God was increasing. I must confess that I am not a “fasting purist” – whatever that means. Coffee, diet coke, chocolate milk – all are “legal” in my new venture. When I shared this with a couple of friends, they reprimanded me, temporarily snatching the joy from my victory. However, one quick call to Rhonda and I was up and running again. She released me, saying, “Hey, if it can fit through a straw, you’re fine. It’s between you and God.”
So… currently I am up to 6:00 (p.m. that is)! My baby steps have been wonderful, hard, awesome, trying… all of it. BUT, they have slowly and steadily brought me closer to Jesus, which is where I long to be. In the words of my profound friend, “Don’t be impressed.” While it’s not 21 days, it’s getting awfully close to 21 hours. Okay… Be Impressed!!
Ahhh I’m a frustrated faster – actually non-faster. Baby steps is a good encouragement. I do so love hearing from you. Did I miss some post? Happy New Year :~D
Hi Carol. I think you have not missed a post. I have been working on writing a book, so the posts have been few and far between. Thanks so much for all your encouragement! By the way… I am interested in receiving your quarterly newsletter. I’d love to be updated on what you guys are doing.
I love your blog posts 🙂
Thanks Brookee!! Love you!!
Who is this Rhonda person? Does she really exist? Just kidding. Great word Lori. You are now officially in the category of the spiritual giants! But for me, you always have been. Look who’s talking!
So Rhonda…. I just have one thing to say to you: “Did you ever know that you’re my hero?!!” (In SO many ways!!)
Haha!? You r too funny!! I’m sooo proud of my friend and like Mike says we all have different gifts! Lol!! Love u!
Thanks Wendy!! Love you and it’s going to be a GREAT year for you in 2012!!!
Lori, I so appreciate you honest commentary about fasting. I love to keep reminding myself with the Word that fasting brings breakthrough!! My family and I are fasting right now… It is a definitely a process, and not an event 🙂 Thank you for your post Lori! With Love and Grace, Jessica
Thanks Jessica. I so appreciate your sweet comments. And yes… definitely a process.
I met you through Pastor Dave and Liz when they were Pastors in Lincoln City, Oregon. I have enjoyed reading your postings as it shows all of us that were are never done seeking god. I just read your current post regarding fasting to my husband and we both love how you are doing it. As we have trouble with the complete fasting process. Please keep writing this posts and lets us know when your book will be published and what your book will be titled. You are definently a women of “God”.
Hi Vicki. I most definitely remember meeting you and your husband, Chuck. Liz has kept me updated on you guys throughout the years. Thank you so much for reading my blog and being so encouraging. My book should be published late spring… hopefully. It is the same title as my blog, “Kids, Cancer, Chaos: Loving My LIfe.” Thanks so much for asking about it! Many blessings to you!!!