Daniel Fast...DONE!

Twenty-one days ago, I started a Daniel Fast. The purpose of this fast, for me, was to enter a time of surrender and to take my relationship with the Lord to a deeper level. Food, especially sugar-based products, have been my comfort, my filler, my go-to in times where God should be. My first goal is to break my sugar addiction. In order to do this, I needed to draw near to Him, to surrender my desires and seek His strength in the midst of my weakness. The second item I was addressing, was my struggles with my job. My career used to be an idol for me. A place where I got the rewards and recognition I “needed”. In 2010, God started to break me of that and in 2011, He brought me to a new job which has left me challenged at many different levels. I was seeking to know if He wants me to stay where I am or to follow a new call. And the last piece is to prepare my heart to love again; to let go of what was--old expectations, hurt, pain, lies, secrets--and ready myself to welcome all God has to offer me as He redeems that area of my life. I can say that God's revelations to me have been more than I asked or imagined.

The fast is based on Daniel 10:2, 3 and consists of water as the only beverage and anything produced from the earth. No sweeteners, no artificial anything, no alcohol, no animal products or by-products, and nothing refined. What I was able to eat were vegetables, fruits, whole grains, tofu, nuts, and legumes as well as oil,  vinegar, and spices. It's basically a vegan diet. If you want more details on the fast, you can get it at a site put together by Susan Gregory. Her emails were invaluable to me in focusing my thoughts and learning about myself and God's desires for me. She used Bible verses as a focal point and then would expound on how we can use those truths each day of the fast. While I struggled at times with wanting coffee--and the 3-day detox as I came off caffeine and sugar starting with day one's headache that felt like my head was going to explode out my forehead and the base of my skull...I still learned, don't just jump in with two feet, wean yourself!--I learned that in the midst of my wanting, I sought God as my supplication instead of food.

I decided to do this fast after attending a symposium at my church about the Holy Spirit called, "Word. Deed. Power". Listening to the speakers really opened me up to wanting to know all God has for me. I began to see things differently and to think about what more I wanted in my relationship with Christ. It started a whole new awakening in me. It enlightened me to the opportunities I have if I seek Him with all my heart for that is where I will find Him (paraphrased, Jer 29:13).

As I weighed myself this morning, 17+ pounds and 9" gone in 21 days of fasting, I drew closer to God in the midst of it all. I also learned some new things:

1. When you seek God, expect Him to meet you in unexpected and magnificent ways!
2. I can live on a vegan diet and not die :)
3. Sugar IS my enemy.
4. Even though I longed for coffee, drinking it again fell short of what I remembered of it.
5. In the midst of the challenges and temptations, seek God and NOT food for comfort, relief, refuge, and release. He NEVER fails!

While the work being accomplished within me and through me will be a forever  journey, I do know that God gave me some very specific insights or revelations. 
1. I need to answer when He calls. To obey. To stop being willfully disobedient. 
2. Someone very special to me once told me that I should think about a job in counseling. Over the weekend, I got an email from a dear friend and spiritual partner who told me the same thing. Is that the answer to my question on my calling? Maybe. For now, I will continue to seek that answer prayerfully and purposefully. Answering when called to be that shoulder, that ear, someone with wisdom or experience for sharing. 
[I should state here that God has equipped me with spiritual gifts that lend themselves to this: Mercy, Exhortation, Wisdom and Faith. Additionally, twice a pastor at a church we go to worship on Friday evenings revealed to me that I will 'stand firmly in the bow of the boat in the midst of the storm as others around me struggle and fall'.] 
3. I have a strong addiction toward sugar and junk. The only dream I had in the 21 days during the fast was a crazy one where I was going all over the place seeking something or someone, but ended up having a taste of ice cream which lead me to heading toward a binge; as I pulled open a door where Ho-Ho's (which I don't care for--I much prefer Swiss Cake Rolls, hehe) and tons of cough drops (I have at thing for Ricola, Sugar-free Mountain Herb drops), I realized in my dream I had an issue and was still on my fast and stopped. 
Lastly, I have found peace with regard to my past. I am loved; I love because He first loved me (1 John 4:19). Acknowledging His love for me and knowing that He has always pursued me, reminds me that a man who wants to be with me will also do those things first. Love is born out of kindness and patience which are also gifts of the Spirit. God's got this!

I want to leave you with this verse which has become my life verse over the last couple of years from 2 Corinthians 12:9But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. Apart from Him, I can do nothing, but if I remain in Him and He in me, I will bear much fruit (paraphrased, John 15:5). His promises ARE for yesterday, today and tomorrow.


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