Ah, so much for my intent to post regularly during my fast. My days slipped away in diapers and feedings and an infected big toe and now the fast is over. However, despite my waywardness, God’s faithfulness sustained me during the last three weeks and this is what I learned:
- After weighing myself religiously for the first three mornings of February, I realized that my current weight and desired weight loss had become idols to me. Certainly my heart skipped a beat much more readily when I saw the digital readout decrease than when I picked up my daily Bible reading. So I gave the burden of my weight to Him and told Him I would be happy not losing a single pound (was I sincere?) if it meant drawing closer to Him. And still I lost 8.5 pounds. He is good.
- Not eating meat and dairy was just as difficult this time as it was last year. I was HUNGRY! And even when my belly felt full, I still sensed an emptiness. My husband felt it, too. It reminded me of the analogy that compares God’s Word to real food and every other form of entertainment to junk food. In this case I could see how my soul and spirit feel when I deny them the “meat” of the Bible and choose to force feed myself the “junk” of magazines and TV shows.
- I began reading Ann Voskamp’s incredible book One Thousand Gifts. To say it is life-changing is minimizing the incredible treasure of this book/poem/memoir. I have decided to follow Ann’s example and begin chronicling the thousand gifts God puts in my life. I’m very excited to begin and to be able to share my list with you.
- Fasting is better done with a partner. I can’t tell you how much support I received by just knowing that my husband was also deprived, also craving, also counting days. Many times his determination to finish strong helped me avoid temptation. And I know I encouraged him at least once to stay the course.
9 Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
All in all, I would say this fast was a success, despite the one time I ate outside the fast guidelines due to poor planning. Next time I will put more effort into planning my meals and snacks.
I would encourage anyone to attempt a Daniel Fast and reap the rewards of a closer walk with God, renewed commitment to self-control and the blessing of increased physical health. It has certainly strengthened me as I begin 2011.