I just finished the Daniel Fast for the season of Lent. It was hard some days and easier on other days. As Easter approached and I knew the fast would be ending, the temptation got stronger and stronger. My mouth watered at forbidden foods. Cravings hit me harder than ever. It got harder.
My first “non-fast” meal was at Applebee’s at 9pm on Saturday night. I had a mozzarella stick, chicken breast with veggies and mushrooms, a cup of coffee (with creme and sugar) and water. Oh, and a bite of Racer’s steak. It was all good.
I did feel some guilt about eating it though. I’m still feeling weird about eating “regular food.” I have some fear about what’s going to happen with my weight as I go back to eating normal. I have concern about self-control and over-indulgence. And why does that forbidden food taste sooooooo darn good?
But what did I learn these last six weeks?
“Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” Psalm 34:8
I learned that I don’t need any certain kind of food. Yes, I need a variety of food to remain healthy, but I don’t need my cravings. I learned that I can overcome my cravings and make healthier choices. I learned that eating better/healthier doesn’t mean I don’t get to eat much (I ate a TON during this time, just a bunch of good stuff). I learned that I eat because I’m bored, lonely and sad. I learned that I don’t have to clean up the kids’ plates. I learned that God will sustain me and bless my efforts done in His name.
I also learned that I don’t need to feel jealous of those who get dedicated time with just God every day. I so want to have special Bible reading and prayer time by myself and in quiet each day. Other moms get that – why can’t I? I’ve come to a peace in knowing that this is a season in my life. I have running conversation with God throughout my day. I read a brief daily devotion each day. I have scripture that pops in and out of my head throughout the day. I listen almost exclusively to KLOVE Christian radio. I try to immerse myself in God throughout the whole day and for now, that works for me. Getting up at 5am to read and pray for an hour doesn’t and that’s okay.
I’ve also learned that it’s hard to live against the grain. Society sends so many messages about food. Most aren’t healthy messages. Eat what you want, when you want and who cares? As long as it tastes good. It’s been hard to eat natural, non-additive, non-sugar food unless I prepared it at home. I ate out a few times, but even then, I didn’t know EXACTLY what was in the food.
As someone who has decided to be a Jesus-follower, I’m often living against the grain of society too. I don’t spend my money the way society tells me to. I don’t make decisions the way society tells me too. I don’t parent the way society tells me too. I recently was heckled by a grandmother (not one of mine) for a decision Racer and I made about Blue. Our decision went against what society would say. I’m sure Blue gets flack for some of our decisions too, but ultimately, we are held to a higher Judge than anyone here on earth.
So during my fast, I learned a lot. I hope to continue many of the changes that I made. It will continue to be hard, but I know that growth will continue to come out of it.