Monday, November 09, 2009

I was hungry...

So, after blogging and talking and researching it for quite awhile - I finally started my fast. Before you read further, realize that I know that there are people who have done this before, and for MUCH longer, but this was my first time and frankly - God blew my socks off!!

I'd never fasted (on purpose) before, and I was certain I'd cave before afternoon break time. However, being the overachiever that I sometimes am - I decided to do 24 days, ending on Thanksgiving Day - how perfect!

But after 5 days, I started feeling led to stop. I questioned whether it was me subconsciously thinking that I wanted to stop, or God telling me to stop... so I kept going for 2 more days.

Sunday at church, I got this overwhelming sense of peace and felt.... "ok, I'm done." And the crazy part of it all is - after 7 days without so much as a nibble of a crumb of food, I didn't even want any. It wasn't like I was starving and thinking I needed an 'excuse' to stop fasting. I haven't felt better in ...well, ever. Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually - never better. Just typing this makes me want to do it again! My husband was pleasantly surprised at how NICE I was during this, as well. The night before I started he said "Please don't get all cranky and take it out on me." I don't know where he got that crazy idea! o:) Instead of being cranky, I was happier last week than I can ever remember being. Peaceful, content, at times bouncy and energetic (yeah, people were looking at me kinda funny at those times) - but mostly just so at peace. Amazing.

You know how we always say "I'm starving!" or even just "I'm hungry!"? One thing I did while I was going through this fast was to think about and pray for all of those who don't have the choice of whether or not they will eat each day: in my neighborhood, my county, my state, country, world...there are people who die every day because they have no food. It really puts things into perspective. And I'm amazed now at just how little food we really need to survive - and how truly gluttonous we can be, even just eating a "normal meal". Seriously, a regular dinner for one person at say - Olive Garden - could feed a starving family somewhere to the point of them all being stuffed. And yet, we just take it for granted and say "More breadsticks, please!"

Sorry, now I'm babbling's hard to put all of this into words that make any sense. :)

This is definitely something that I will do regularly. I never would have imagined I would/could go without eating for a WEEK, but I did and I'm now walking closer to God than I ever have before. I was hungry - but not for food. I craved worship, I prayed constantly, I didn't want to even watch tv or listen to anything but praise music on the radio... it was incredible and all seemingly out of my control.

It is hard for me to put into words what this has meant to me. Bill Bright of Campus Crusade expresses exactly what I've felt, though:

As I began my fast, I was not sure I could continue for forty days. But my confidence was in the Lord to help me. Each day His presence encouraged me to continue. The longer I fasted, the more I sensed the presence of the Lord. The Holy Spirit refreshed my soul and spirit, and I experienced the joy of the Lord as seldom before. Biblical truths leaped at me from the pages of God's Word. My faith soared as I humbled myself and cried out to
God and rejoiced in His presence.

I am posting this so that anyone else who is afraid or wondering about fasting will know that "with God, ALL things are possible". Don't be afraid. You can do it.

If you're feeling led to fast - do it! You will never regret it.

Here are some great links on fasting and prayer:
7 Basic Steps to Successful Fasting & Prayer
Fasting for Dummies
There are tons more... just Google "prayer and fasting"

And this is a great book - not just about fasting, but it's what got me thinking about it: Starving Jesus: Off the Pew, Into the World


Joan said...

Awesome! I'd comment more but am too tired right now.

Michelle said...

wow! that's great melinda!!
off to check out those links ;)

Melinda Lancaster said...

Hi Melinda:

I stumbled upon your blog. Can't imagine why since I am only 12 days away from starting a fast. Unlike the fasting I've done in the past it is part of a commitment to another member of the "body of Christ" who has committed to fasting for the entire year. This person is obviously not doing it alone--or else they wouldn't last long. Various people are helping to spread things out.
I'm thankful that you have shared your experience here along with some of your focal points during the fast. I'm not a total newbie to fasting but was in desperate need for a new approach--especially since my bedroom NOW leads directly too the kitchen.
Blessings to you!
Thanks for the great testimony.