Friday, March 21, 2014

On Entering and Breaking a Fast

I confess I've been overwhelmed, lately, in my spirit: so overwhelmed that I haven't known how to separate--in my mind or heart or writing--the wheat from the chaff. Truth is, a person can write in a line or a circle, but there should be a vision. I like my writing tight. I believe every word matters, and if I can't write in a way that makes sense, to me, of me, I'll wait. I'm more patient than you think, too, especially with myself.

Also, I know: in the end, this business of separating wheat from chaff is the Lord's. He's not the author of confusion. When I'm not hearing Him well--when His voice is just one of so many others in my head, when all the words (His, other people's, mine) whirl around in my nog like debris in a dust cloud--I need to let something(s) go: to simplify in order to discern.

I quit facebook almost two months ago. My thinking improved but not enough, so I entered a Daniel Fast on the 3rd. In case you're not familiar, this is a twenty-one-day, partial fast based out of scripture (see Daniel 1 and 10). It's like a vegan diet with extra limitations.

I feel stronger when I'm fasting. I don't mean to downplay the spiritual implications of this statement but know: for me, the increase in strength is tied to my avoiding sugar in all its forms (including carbs). Sugar makes me sick, but it calls to me from the cupboard, and I'm weak.

Jim spent just over a week of my fast with his mom, and I put my extra strength to good use: taking care of the children, yes, but also shampooing the living-room carpet, getting the minivan inspected, helping Cade with his science-fair project, taking two children for well visits, taking two children for haircuts, putting away the piles of clean clothes in my bedroom (which almost never happens), hosting small group. I felt empowered, and loved ones came alongside.

I prayed while fasting. A lot. I asked the Lord to enter four different situations, and I know He entered all of them. I experienced most profoundly His entering my marriage; I'm sure I'll write more about that, later. God showed up, too, in smaller, quieter ways; one Sunday morning, I stepped into the choir room and a warm-up of the same hymn I'd sung over my crying baby the night before.

I vomited four times in the wee hours of the eighteenth day. A virus. (Clementine had done the same twenty-four hours before.) When I got up to take Cade to the bus, I felt released from the fast.


"I don't need your sacrifices," He says. 

"I know," I tell Him. "I needed my sacrifices."

He nods. "Yes," He says, and pushes the cup of flat ginger ale in my direction.


  1. Thank you for this insight. I think anything that concentrates our thinking, and points it in the right direction is beneficial. While I might not fast as far as eating goes, I do turn the computer and TV off, put away the phone, and meditate, pray, and get things done that are more important than whiling away the hours.

    So sorry you got sick. That isn't fun no matter the circumstance. Hope you're feeling better now!

    And yes, He does come in when your mind is right.

    Peace <3

  2. My mind was focused and clear when I did the fast last year. I should do it again. Sugar is ruling me as of late.

  3. nice...i am well over 3 years facebook was def a very negative influence on me...
    i hope on the other side of your fast you find peace...

  4. i am glad to hear he answered your prayers of entering your marriage...that is def the foundation.

  5. Oh Brandee, I can feel everything you are saying here. Fasting is a powerful thing. It brings break thru. I miss you, we are about due for a phone conversation.

  6. Congratulations on having the fortitude of spirit it took to do this. Of late I've been endeavoring, after a long separation, to let God back into my life, and already I can feel the weight of His strength behind me. It's a wonderful thing.