After my fifth day of fasting, the following days were easier until they were not. I executed my daily routine in a manner that my body adjusted to the no solid food intake. The most important elements were my prayer time, staying hydrated as much as possible without feeling nauseous, and listening to what my body needed throughout the day. My go-to drink was heated chicken broth. Drinking a full cup became comforting and appeased my appetite. I slept if I was not working or in class. I dreamed a lot and recorded my dreams. (I still do this if I feel it is a message)
You may be wondering why I would intentionally starve myself. And if I was doing it for religious purposes... no food seems a bit extreme. It was extreme in comparison to what everyone else chose to do or the "norm." God called me to go against the norm. Because demonic oppression is real. I did not understand it then. I do now.
"This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.--The words imply degrees in the intensity of the forms of evil ascribed to demons amounting to a generic difference. Some might yield before the energy of a human will, and the power of the divine Name, and the prayers even of a weak faith. Some, like that which comes before us here, required a greater intensity of the spiritual life, to be gained by the "prayer and fasting" of which our Lord speaks. The circumstances of the case render it probable that our Lord himself had vouchsafed to fulfil both the conditions. The disciples, we know, did not as yet fast (Matthew 9:14-15), and the facts imply that they had been weak and remiss in prayer. The words are noticeable as testifying to the real ground and motive for "fasting," and to the gain for the higher life to be obtained, when it was accompanied by true prayer, by this act of conquest over the lower nature. So St. Peter's vision (Acts 10:9-10), and the appointment of Paul and Barnabas by the direct guidance of the Spirit (Acts 13:2), are both connected with fasting. And St. Paul, besides the "hunger and thirst" that came upon him as the incidents of his mission-work, speaks of himself as "in fastings often" (2Corinthians 11:27)."(Ellicott's commentary for English Language)
FASTING AND PRAYER CAPTURES THE HEART OF OUR FATHER.
14 Days. 336 Hours. 20160 Minutes. 1209600 Seconds.
I pushed through hunger pains. Psychological effects. Self-reflection. Barriers. Core beliefs. Negativity. Boundaries. Limitations of the mind. Body image. Self-talk.
It was the most concrete experience I have ever had.
On day fourteen, I had zero intention to stop my fast. I was very mentally driven to complete my twenty-one-day commitment. My body told me otherwise. I was at war within myself. Suddenly, while at work, I felt my body breaking down. I had already been experiencing cold chills, weakness, lightheadedness, and lethargy. I walked across the warehouse to one of my friends and asked for prayer. A couple more girls joined and within minutes I felt so much support and love from the sisterhood there. They knew I was fighting for my freedom and the fast was extremely important to me. Although, some of the closeknit girls did not understand my dedication they wanted me to receive healing. Whatever that meant to me. You know what is beautiful about having genuine women in your corner? You have endless encouragement and a couple of cheerleaders for life.
Sidenote: I was one of the lucky ones and we now have a Warrior Princesses page that reflects our love for God and each other!
Do not get me wrong- there were a lot of bad apples who came through who were not ready.
I am often asked...what makes an addict change?
My answer: Pain and a willingness to surrender your will over to God. It takes what it takes. I had my fair share of failed attempts.
(It is a willingness and a desire for God. This is in relation to all life's challenges not only in relation to alcohol and drugs.)
In the rooms of AA, a daily reprieve is spoken of often:
"A reprieve is defined as a postponement of punishment or delay of execution. For a man or woman in recovery, this means each day, we are allowed to postpone the inevitability of our drinking or drug use. As people suffering from the disease of addiction, we know that, if running on our own self-will and decision-making, we will drink or use again unless we can rely on a power greater than ourselves to help us maintain our sobriety one day at a time."
My power greater than myself is Jesus. My daily reprieve is prayer. I believe growing in your spiritual walk is very important in maintaining sobriety. Get it where you can! Church, meetings, prayer groups, therapy, 12- steps, sponsor/mentor, fasting, and alone on your knees in prayer.
One of the ladies told me, "Hope, it is okay if you stop today. I feel like I need to let you know that."
No one bothered me anymore with snark remarks about my fasting. In regard to the girls who were not 'in my corner'. I went and sat down after asking my friends to pray for my strength. I wrestled with rather it was my fleshly willpower wanting to give-up or was it a sign to stop from God. Not only did I not want to stop prematurely for spiritual purposes; it was also a mental defeat. I had already felt so much defeat within my addiction. I wanted to conquer!
After work I did not attend dinner. I went straight to my shower and prayed. I talked to God and told him my dilemma. I needed a sign. He spoke directly to my spirit, "Hope, you are enough."
Wait. What? I cried. Ugly cried in the shower as it dawned on me. I did not need another day of fasting to prove to God I was faithful and good ENOUGH to acquire his healing. I was already enough. Was my fasting for nothing? I do not think so. I obeyed and sacrificed, and I have received many blessings because of my faithfulness.
I walked my happy hinny downstairs to the kitchen. I announced, " I am eating!" I grabbed a dinner plate that consisted of some of my favorite. I ate mashed potatoes, and meatloaf. I topped it off with ice cream! I was in heaven! Until...I was deathly sick.
If you decide to fast for more than a couple of days...do not eat like ten construction workers your first meal back! I laid in bed miserably full of my stomach going haywire! The following day I stayed at the women's center because I was not feeling well. I slept. I was told that evening I had an appointment with John the following day.
Little did I know...God was at work. It was my time. It was my time for DELIVERANCE.