If you know anything about you me, or my family, you know that we love food. We spend hours shopping for the right ingredients, more hours laboring over the cooking, sometimes waiting days for things to ferment or soak. Food is kind of our thing. We love making it, eating, and sharing it. Food is kind of our love language. If you want to show me you love me you'll buy sushi grade salmon and pocky sticks. Or maybe you'll buy me a food dehydrator, juicer, and knife sharpener all in the same year.
In a lot of ways food has become a second identity for us. Who we are is partially defined by how we eat. The kids are vocal about the fact that, "We don't eat food coloring. We don't drink pasteurized milk." They ask questions like, "Is this food organic? Is it grass fed?"
All in all, I believe that these are fine things. The children don't judge others for eating differently, they believe that our family loves food, and we're doing the best that we know how to, as others are also. But in my heart I began to sense that I was letting food ... get a little weird. Let me explain...
For the last 6 years I have spent most of that time pregnant or breastfeeding. My husband has always fasted periodically, as he felt lead. Sometimes to just press into Jesus, sometimes to pray for breakthrough in an area, or for direction. During those times I would not join him in fasting. I couldn't. Its not healthy to fast when you're growing a baby, or when you're a milk tanker. I had an out.
Recently, when my husband asked if I wanted to fast with him I said no. "I really just don't like to fast, but I'll pray with you." Or, "other people can fast, that's just not my thing." But the more I made excuses and dug my feet in, the more lust I felt for food. Food is way too important for me to give up for a day, or longer. No way am I gonna do that. I can pray just fine without fasting too.
Wait, I really just said food is too important to give up for a day? And then it hit me, as I was struggling to believe that God would meet the needs of my life in other areas, I was outright denying that He could sustain me for a day with just His Spirit and Word!
I felt kind of ashamed. I spoke with Michael, but he was so filled with grace. The next day was my first fast in over 7 years. It. Was. So. Hard.
As I struggled to serve my children delicious roast chicken with tortillas, and fruit, and cheeses, (kind of funny now) I took each moment to affirm out loud, "Lord, YOU are sufficient for me. You fulfill me. Please, help me now to believe and experience you this way." Giving up food for a day, might not be hard for some, but a work was happening in my heart.
I pressed in, and was humbled and surprised at how terribly weak my flesh was. It gave me opportunity after opportunity to rest in Christ. My flesh is weak, I am not able. In so many areas of my life this is true. I'm not able to do anything (!) apart from Christ. But I made it through that fast day. And several more since then.
Its been a good experience for me. A helpful - in - your- face - reminder that He is all that I need. Jesus is sufficient for me. I am again reminded that He works in me, changes me, makes me new. My job is to trust and yield, ever seeking His face in prayer.
Now, I'm not writing this to say, "look! I'm super holy! I fasted like three times!" But rather to encourage other mommas and friends out there who have day to day struggles just like I do. Sometimes, taking a day to physically affirm, Jesus you are more important than --- food, or whatever, can be freeing, healing, and healthy. I think fasting is just another component to a lifestyle of worship, a life of continually placing Christ first in our hearts and declaring it to Him. He is sufficient for your needs. He promises to meet them. And yeah, Jesus is even better than grass fed beef tacos with raw cheese and home made sour cream. He fulfills us in a way nothing of this world can.