There is a reason I’ve been radio silent.
Up until March, I’d never fasted. Not that I was against it, I guess I didn’t fully understand it. That’s not accurate. I understood the idea of fasting and praying, but I didn’t comprehend the power.
I felt a nudge to fast back in October 2011. I even picked prayed and set a date. The date came and went and I ignored it . Then around February of this year, this happened and afterwards I was a bit bombarded with messages on fasting and prayed asking if I should do a fast. A quick, clear, “Yes” answer was given and I prayed about when and how. The answers came.
“A 24-hour Daniel fast.”
Ok. I can do that.
“Wednesday 10am-Thursday 10am”
Ok. Sounds easy enough.
“Once a week for 6 weeks, ending with Wednesday-Friday.”
That was quite the shock. I’d never fasted in my life and I was being led to this? 6 weeks? Granted, it was only once a week, but still. It was daunting. I also felt led to go unplugged during this time of prayer and fasting. No computer, internet, phone, radio, or TV.
I had read A Woman’s Guide to Fasting back in October when I first felt led to fast, so I pulled it out and refreshed my memory, did a little research on a Daniel fast and hesitantly told Phil about it. I felt a little freaked out because the information was so very specific and half of me wanted to believe I was making it up, but the other half knew without a doubt that God was being that specific for a reason. To my surprise, Phil said he’d fast and pray with me.
I took the advice of the book and started with a documented plan. When, how long, what kind of fast, reason for fasting, Scripture to focus on, etc…
That post I linked to above, Spirit Led Prayer, the part I didn’t tell was that was over a ministry position Phil applied for. I emailed his resume while he was at work, he called me to ask if I’d sent the letter of recommendation (I hadn’t) so I sent it, hung up the phone and was then on my knees in prayer. It was so weird. I was still praying and crying when Phil called me back to tell me the founder of the ministry called him and he’d been on the phone the WHOLE time I was praying (and he didn’t know I was praying.) We both felt certain that the job would be his.
Then nothing. Not an email or a call back. Nothing. We were pretty devastated.
Then we started to get the feeling we were being called to Montana. And this is when I was supposed to start my fast. March 28-May 4.
These were my reasons for the fast:
- Obedience. Because I clearly was not obedient the first time.
- Trust. Did I trust that what God was telling me was from Him? Or was I making it up in my head?
- Direction for our lives
- Direction for Phil’s “ministry” (whatever that may be) How would Phil serve God?
Most of those weeks were quite painful for me. Phil wanted to GO. I wanted to go with him. We were searching opportunities and job and sending resumes and trying to work out what God was asking of us.
The fasting once a week felt weird at first. Then I found myself looking forward to being completely unplugged, a day to spend with God–on HIS terms, not mine. By the end, I didn’t want the fast to end.
During the fast, Phil got a promotion and we realized that maybe it was our own desire to GO and maybe God wanted us here. And here we are. Still feeling like something is going to change, but not jumping at everything, not going down rabbit trails. We’re trying to Be Still. Trying to listen. And it’s very, very difficult.
During these 6 weeks, I learned some pretty huge lessons.
- Fasting and praying is *not* about me. Oh you’d think I’d be less narcissistic by now, but no. Not so much. I wanted to be obedient, I wanted to trust more, I wanted direction for my husband and our lives. Geez. How does God even handle the BS I dole out?
- I was too busy. Too many commitments, too many days away from home, I wasn’t doing anything effectively. I was just living to get by and that is not the life God has for me. By unplugging and ignoring the world and focusing on Him, I learned the best lesson…He doesn’t want the things from me. He doesn’t want my activities, my art, my workshops, my service…He wants me. Just me. And by the end of the fast I was so looking forward to our time together.
- He doesn’t always provide the answers we’re looking for or expecting. I really expected to be packing and moving this month. We were ready to go. But the answer we got (by way of Phil’s promotion) seems to say that we need to Be Still. We need to be content. We need to listen and pray more instead of guess what He’s trying to say.
- I still don’t know what’s next for us. I think that’s maybe the trust part. I have to just Be Still and trust that He is in control. (and man. that is the hardest part.)
So. That’s it in a nutshell. I feel like I’ve still got more to learn from this experience and it feels very unfinished. I don’t even know what that part means yet.