Fasting - Week 2
Well, we are into the second week of Lent now. I usually feel that the first week either goes well, or half-way through that first week I'm still figuring out that Lent started. This year week one was good. Week two has also been good. I have continued my two part fasting.
First I am not eating between meals. I won't say that it's been easy, but it is something that I have done so far. I noticed on Tuesday it was much harder when I had a huge bowl of the most beautiful strawberries sitting in my office for an event that night. I even got up and walked over to the bowl and had to do lots of self-talk to get myself to walk away - without a strawberry! But boy I felt good that I was able to do that. It felt good to know that my heart and mind could be in control of whether or not I chose to eat something. For me it's been a powerful awareness of how strong I am, or can be. I believe that some of that strength comes from the work I've done over the last 18 months with running, but it still surprises me when I see that strength come out. I know that the true strength comes from God and knowing that as I walk away from the strawberries or other tasty looking snacks I am giving this up for someone special that day.
My second stage of fasting is skipping a meal most days. Last week I talked about how I didn't think I was ready for a full day of fasting. That night I went home with the plan to not eat dinner. It wasn't until later that I realized that I had to fast in the morning for some blood work too. My initial plan was to take something along to eat for breakfast after my blood work - but then I decided to go ahead and fast until lunch. I did a 24 hour fast - lunch to lunch. Again, shocking myself that I could do it! Sure I was hungry and wanted to eat, but a little self-talk, prayer and some distraction allowed me to get to lunch without eating. I only do this second part of fasting some days. I am taking into consideration if I am with other people for a meal and so if I know I'm going to meet friends or have plans then I make sure to skip a meal the day before. As my activity level increases I know I need to take into consideration my physical needs as well. The times I have skipped a meal it hasn't been hard, but it's not easy either.
I've done a lot of reflecting on how much I need to let go and surrender to God, trusting that He will take care of me. In my times of hunger I have been offering up my prayer and fast for others. Most days I have someone special in mind and I call their name to mind as I experience any hunger. I'm a little behind on getting cards out to let people know I'm praying and fasting for them.
So, how is your time of fasting going this Lent so far? Are you seeing a change in heart for you as you fast?