A few months ago I began my first fasting journey. Well that is fasting for a purpose other than a medical procedure. I would like to say my fast went according to plan for the set amount of time, but it didn’t. Failure? No I believe I was a bit over zealous and perhaps a bit over confident and a little ignorant. Lessons learned? Absolutely – I learned of a weakness that I counted as a strength.
I began my fast determined. What was I exactly going without? Well a few things. Food,Money, thoughts & words.(My little vices)
I gave up what seemed to be my biggest issues. 1st – food. No I wasn’t foregoing food. I ate breakfast, lunch & dinner. No snacks, no big meals. Simple meals and of course coffee. 2nd – money. Since I didn’t have much money anyway – limiting myself to purchase need only things was simple. 3rd – Thoughts I am really good at putting myself down. Each time I put myself down, or have doubts, or worry – I would toss it aside, think of something positive or remind myself there is a bigger picture. This one was a bit more challenging. I am a worrier, a doubter and love to belittle my own self. 4th – Words Lately it seems my filter has been lifted, which at times can be good, but most times not so much. So working on the think before you speak was a bit tough as well. Not sure if its the age, the life experience, hormones, but truly words escape me before I have a chance to keep them tucked nicely away!!
I lasted for 20 days. Which is a good amount of time for your first fast. I made it half way through my 40 day fast. So depending on the view…half full, half empty…Personally I think it was perfect. I learned….I had focus!
I learned I can have control over food & money. With food I eat simply because…because I am tired, because I am bored, because I crave but…if I am upset, worried I will not eat…..There are moments when I wonder if I should have continued smoking….Then I remember, breathing is wonderful! I learned I spend money for me…me…me …me. I can rationalize any purchase, yet, when the money was tight, I learned I can feed my family on a budget. Perhaps not the budget I am comfortable with, but a good one none the less. Sometimes God steps in…..
I learned that I can control my negative thoughts. This one was tricky given that I am a worrier and a doubter. But God helped me in this area. I am still a worrier and a doubter, but, I am getting better. A few months ago I was so worried about being let go when I was working with an accountant. After one reprieve, and weeks later, I was let go. My fear, my worry….no steady income, that’s what I worried about weeks prior. Then when it happened, I knew God was working and I had nothing to worry about…All that time wasted worrying! All it did was give me aggravation and toss turning nights. It is so like they say…worrying is a down payment for a problem you dont or wont have. So True!!
One of the biggest lessons I learned, was simply about myself. Speed & accuracy was always considered my strength. Add on wanting to be the one who got the job done, quick, accurate and without a single word….I have been my own walking disaster for years!! My speed took away my accuracy, my quietness, no communication, took away my accuracy. Mistakes left, mistakes right…..Yes, God once again had to boldly say…Slow Down its not a race and you do not have to please anyone. God reminded me of the conversations I have had with my kids…slow down talking, slow down writing, slow down doing classwork, its not a race…..
Fasting is not easy, lessons learned can be difficult, and even though I didn’t last 40 days, I can say for the first time in years during that fast I reached a peace I have never reached before. I felt a comfort and a nearness, I never knew I had missed until it was there.
Lessons about fasting still need to be learned…books about fasting that I need to finish. The next go around, a better plan will be in place…