v. fast·ed , fast·ing , fasts
To abstain from food.
To eat little or abstain from certain foods, especially as a religious discipline.
The act or practice of abstaining from or eating very little food.
A period of such abstention or self-denial.
I began fasting last Tuesday. A dear friend offered to fast with me in prayer regarding my spiritual life. This may seem odd to some. Several friends in Utah knew me as “the girl whose prayers God answers.” One even jokingly asked me NOT to pray for something he didn’t want because he was sure God would answer me.
I have always been one to pray, one of great faith in a great God. Since returning home brokenhearted from SLC, my faith has been little, and I have hardly prayed. I have questioned God. I went through the full range of grief:
I couldn’t bring myself to write anything about it. It was too painful. It’s been 8 1/2 months since we left Salt Lake City. I am not as social as I used to be. It’s been very challenging for me to enter groups of people and attempt to make new relationships. I wanted to be alone, and be left alone. I didn’t want to tell my story because it hurt too much.
I’ve had small breakthroughs as I transition from one stage to the next, though still experiencing others simultaneously. I was angry for a long time. One day I woke up and I wasn’t angry anymore. I’ll write about the reason for that in another post, when I’m ready.
That is the back story to why I began fasting. My lifelong friend told me that she spent a couple of days fasting once, asking God for a breakthrough in her spiritual brokenness. Tears fill my eyes as I consider my own brokenness. So with help, my friend by my side, spiritually holding me up, I began the fast.
It’s a strange journey, fasting. Sometimes it feels easy. Instead of eating, I pray. It feels hard when I face thoughts of doubt, “This feels like nothing more than a hunger strike.” “Am I really accomplishing anything?” “I’m hungry, maybe I should just eat and be done with this.” But I stuck to my goal and continued to pray.
Well, I got through two days. On Day 2, I found out about the war in Venezuela. In case you haven’t heard (since the major media have reported next to nothing on it), Venezuela’s Dictator “President” declared war on his own people, the state of Tachira, where our family live. He sent the National Guard, Cuban mercenaries, and street thugs and criminals, to intimidate the peaceful protestors. These Guards are armed and shooting at unarmed civilians, roaming the streets day and night, breaking into buildings and beating people, men, women, old, and young, shooting at apartment windows, smashing in windows of cars on the street. My family has posted personal videos of all the like happening on their street, which you can see here and here.
So I continue fasting. Today is Day 5, no food, just liquids (i.e. water, coffee, tea, and last night I had some broth-soup with vegetables since we were on a double-date and I didn’t want it to be weird). I am praying more, seeking the face of God more, trusting Him more, but the reason for my fast is now related to my family. They are suffering. Schools are closed. Businesses are closed. They can’t leave their home. A trip to buy groceries means risking your life setting foot into war torn streets, if you can even find a store that is open. They haven’t been out in a week. What began as peaceful protests on February 2nd turned violent civil war. If you disagree with the government, they beat you or kill you. That is no way to run a country. My family is suffering. My country is reporting little to nothing. I want people to know and I want people to help. I will continue fasting as long as I am able. I am not present with my family, but I will suffer with them and for them…and pray.
I share this not to say, “Look at me, I’m fasting.” Rather to say, “Join me if you can.” You don’t have to fast the same way I do. You could choose to fast your favorite online game, television show, eating out or whatever you choose. I invite you, as someone with a comfortable life, to make yourself uncomfortable for those who dream not of a comfortable life, simply a free one.