Why I Decided To Fast
The Daniel Fast
Warm, golden brown buttermilk biscuits. Caramel colored, thick, brown molasses. Yellow, fluffy scrambled eggs. The rich smell of Maxwell coffee. During the summer in Mississippi, I loved waking up to these aromas. I knew that down the hall my great grandmother, affectionately called Mother, would be waiting for me at the table. We would sop our biscuits in the thick molasses syrup, sip on piping hot coffee, and savor eat bite. I don't recall if we had any monumental conversations on the mornings she took the extra time to make homemade breakfast, but I do remember how warm, loved, and desired I felt.
Over the course of my life, food would come to soothe a variety of emotions; sadness, happiness, guilt, depression, shame, and loneliness. Food was at the heart of every big event in my Southern life. Since my birthday is on the Fourth of July, my birthdays were full of food; barbecues, cakes, soul food, and later in life any restaurant my stomach desired. In my adult life, food became a way to reward myself for a job well done at work, a long week, or an exhausting day.
Food took on a different meaning when I became homeless last year. I often remember the days I had no money for food. How I'd swipe my debit card praying it went through so I could savor a Wendy's 4 for 4 to mask the fact I had no place to call my own.
Now that I am employed, and living in my own place, food has become a source of pride and honor for me. To be able to buy my own food without government assistance, or a food pantry or shelter has felt so empowering. So empowering I have found myself constantly thinking of my next meal. I've accepted every left over plate, every cake, every free coffee because it feels so good to no have to stress over nourishment.
Lately, though I've been longing, hungry for something food can not fill. Freedom from shame. Acceptance of my past. Courage to move forward into my future. In reading the Bible, I've read how a lot of prophets fast when they are faced with a big decision or are uncertain about where God is going to take them. So when my friend Shirley suggested the Daniel Fast, I was curious. The Daniel Fast is fashioned after the what Daniel ate in captivity. He ate food from pulse or seed, and water. Daniel refused to eat the food given to him by the king that was holding him captive because it was blessed by false gods. I am following the Daniel Fast plan by Susan Gregory go to www.daniel-fast.com for more details.
When Shirley first suggested the fast, I thought there was no way I could diet like that for 21 days. The Daniel Fast does not allow for sugar, caffeine or processed foods which are my favorite comfort foods. Something stirred in my spirit the more I thought about fasting. I had researched how so many people felt closer to God, focused, and clear about which direction they should take. Friends even told me the powerful changes that happened to them through prayer and fasting. So I've decided to make the leap. I am now on day 2 of my Daniel Fast.
God has blessed me so much throughout my wilderness, and the more He restores me the more He is able to use me. I am hungry for a closeness of God that I have never experienced before. I am hungry for His direction and calling. That is a thirst that no drink or food can quench.
I'll be charting the journey of my Daniel Fast on my blog every Sunday through the month of January.