God has been calling me to fast for a couple years now. Most of the time I just ignore Him, but when I do listen I’m never able to do it. It always turns into me hoping to get skinny. I’m not even really sure what the point of fasting is, which is probably why it always turns into being about me. But God has continued to call me to it and when I asked him, “Why? What’s the point? What does it do?” He said, “I’ll show you.”
Great, this is one of those “trust-me-and-I’ll-show-you moments”. Don’t get me wrong, these moments are great for telling people about God’s glory, but when it comes to my life they kind of scare the bejesus out of me. (Am I allowed to say bejesus?)
This past week or so I’ve been chatting with God about fasting, well honestly I have just been throwing countless questions at Him and not waiting for an answer. (I really don’t want to do this fast, maybe if I spew a million questions at Him, He will get confused and leave me alone.)
“As a new mother is it wise to fast? Won’t I just be an angry person?”
“What type of fast? Can I just give up sweets or something? Does it have to be all food?”
“How long does this have to go on?”
“Should I start right now? Should I wait until Jan 1st?”
“Is blogging about my fast counterproductive to a fast since I’m not supposed to grumble and groan about it?”
I’m the type of person who wants to go all out, get it done and over with, and then get a pat on the back and huge round of applause; but God has been telling me that my way is not always the best way. Apparently a fast is not fast, oh boy, this is confusing…a fast is not quick. There is preparation time involved. I’m not even supposed to start until I have finished reading The Daniel Fast by Susan Gregory. And I’m not allowed to start reading that book until I finish If by Mark Batterson. Who knew God was such a stickler for homework?
The other thing God told me was something I knew, but I was a little scared to voice to Him. Hah, as if He didn’t know already.
“Yes Father, I’m here. What is it?”
“When you fast, I want you to focus on me.”
“Of course I will! Fasting is for You isn’t it?”
“I don’t want you to get caught up in how you look. I don’t want you to let your body become an idol.”
“God? I’m not sure if I know how to even do that. “
“I know, but that’s what I’m going to teach you. The very first thing I want you to do is fast from any mirror bigger than your hand. This includes checking your reflection in a window.”
“But what about the shopping spree that Dean gave me for Christmas? How will I know if the clothes look good on me?”
“How do you they look on the rack? Do you like them? How do they feel? My dear, your eyes are deceiving you. Your eyes are telling you lies and then you repeat these lies over and over again in your mind. Each time you repeat a lie it deepens a trench in your brain and it becomes easier and easier to believe that lie. When you live by these lies it causes your entire body to sin. You have made your body an idol. I want you to be able to fully enjoy the gift Dean gave you- fully, purely, and without sin. But most of all I want you to fully enjoy the gift that I gave you: your body. Just as you need to prepare for a food fast, you need to prepare for your mirror fast; trust Me in this. Remember, I do not give as the world gives.”
So, in order for me to properly prepare for my Daniel fast, I need to first prepare for a fast from mirrors. Oh boy. I’m not sure how long he wants me to fast from mirrors, but I know it is at least until I finish my Daniel fast. The Daniel fast is 21 days, and I still need to read the book, so at least a month; let’s be honest, I am a snail of a reader, so it will definitely be more like two months. But I’m getting ahead of myself already. I can’t just jump into this mirror fast without preparation.
I don’t know exactly how this is going to work, but I do know I DON’T have to figure that out. God will reveal everything I need in time, I fully trust that. He has done it so many times before. For now, God has given me a little challenge in preparation. If you want to join me this challenge, I’ll be posting weekly “Dares” that we can do together. These dares are designed to stretch ME and are by no means a standard by which YOU need to live. These are simply things God is calling ME to do FOR NOW and I just wanted to invite others to join me. If you can’t do them all: cool, do what you can; if you only want to try one: awesome, I’ll be supporting you; if you think the dares don’t apply to you and you are in no way compelled to do them: great, consider yourself lucky. But as for me, I will be doing these dares, messing up these dares, failing at these dares, succeeding at the these dares, and learning from these dares.
If you decide to join me in one, two, or all of the dares; I would love to hear how it’s going for you. Comment below; shoot me an email using my contact page; or use #2fat2loveDARE with your pictures on Instagram to let me know what you discover: the good, the bad, and the beautiful. You can also follow me on Instagram @2fat2love
I dare you to start putting words to the thoughts (good and bad) that pass through your mind as you look in the mirror. Write them down as the week goes by, we will use these later.
These are the identity trenches you are digging in your brain. The more you think these thoughts the deeper the trenches get and the easier it is for your thoughts to continue in that pattern. I hate putting words to the negative thoughts because I can easily get caught in a spiral of repeating them, but I need to put words to my thoughts so I can later fight the lies and fortify the truths with scripture (don’t jump ahead, we will add the scripture later).