As the fast progressed, I recognized that I had resisted discipline to the detriment of my health - my body reflected the lack of discipline and unhealthy choices - and my entire life was affected. My struggles ranged from lack of sleep, and energy, to dwindling motivation, and confidence. I felt ashamed to the point of not even wanting to leave the house - none of my clothing fit properly.
The pandemic hadn't helped things, but truthfully, I had been on this slope, sliding towards the bottom for a long time. I had tried various remedies throughout the years but none of them had stuck.
I began to see that I had been missing two symbiotic ingredients: discipline, fueled by God's grace.
As it turned out, the fasting was such a blessing! As each week passed, and success born in grace built on success, I could feel my energy returning and my confidence blossom. I began to lose weight, my stomach began to shrink, and even with the cut in my calories, I didn't feel hungry. My food choices reflected the need for nutrition and fuel, rather than sugar and fat, my water consumption increased, and my sleep was deeper.
Towards the end of my fasting, I began to ask, "What next, God?"
I began to receive bible verses directing me towards a life of intention and deliberate healthy choices: discipline. I knew I couldn't live that life without grace - discipline had always been a nemesis of mine. But those 48 days had started me on a journey towards the life I wanted and I wasn't ready to lose the momentum!
From my prayers of "What next?" a map began to take shape, a map with destination intervals that would eventually bring me to my ultimate goal of health and wellness, and a life of discipline and direction - all with the goal of living my purpose and serving others.
The 3 for 30 challenge group was born - a goal setting challenge of accountability and growth. I'm now getting ready to begin my third 30-day challenge and each one is more rewarding and fulfilling than the one before!
(You can join us on MeWe for this free challenge by clicking this link)
February's challenge is very exciting for me personally - I am going to be writing a daily practical devotional centered around the freedom of grace as outlined in Romans 4 and 5, and how it relates to our journey in setting goals, healthy living, and disciplined choices. I'm calling it Grace & Goals, and each week day there will be a new thought to accompany you through your journey towards wellness.
I hope you'll join me on our page Grace & Goals each week day, beginning February 5, and let's go on this adventure together!
This was the theme I was reading. I hate fasting. Seriously. There are lots of dysfunctional associations to fasting related to my time in the cult. Mostly though, I struggled with discipline, telling myself 'no'.
But wow, I was so desperate.
So I decided to go for it. Still afraid of failing (again), I only told my sister about my new discipline. I asked for prayer at church, anonymously. 48 days of fasting - eating only lunch and dinner, and only my whole food plant based diet.
I was so afraid of being hungry. Of feeling empty.
So I prayed. I begged for grace and began. Halfway through the discipline, I realized that I had been given grace beyond measure. I was terrified of failing, and yet each day my resolve deepened. I had tried 'dieting' enough to know that what I was experiencing could only come from outside of me. I was experiencing grace in a way I had never experienced before - I felt like a completely different person.
God had called me to fast. He provided me with the grace to stay with it. He filled me with resolve and purpose and determination. My feelings of helplessness faded as I accepted that it was God's grace fueling this fast. All He asked of me was my willingness to be obedient.
As the days went on, a truth developed in my heart. I knew it with my head, had read it all my life, but now it took root and I could sense that I was changing. I wasn't developing will-power or determination, I was allowing God to set His Truth in my heart - that in myself I could do nothing, but His grace would accomplish what I could not. I held on with both hands to this new truth that if God called me to fast He would give me the ability to do it.
As my fast came to a close, I began to wonder:
What else could grace accomplish in me? What larger purpose was God working out in my life?
Read Part 3 on Wednesday, Feb 3.
Did you miss Part 1? Read it here.