My dear, sweet friend Lisa stopped by tonight for a little church work and catching up. She didn’t stay long but her visit fed my heart. We talked about what our fasting experience is stirring in me, and the ripple effect that it seems to be having on other people as well. We talked about how I need to continually remind myself that this is not about me or for me. This is for Jesus. This is about His kingdom coming, on earth as it is in heaven.
We have been phenomenally blessed by the encouraging words, written and spoken, that we have received from people about Fasting from Excess. It is particularly fun to hear how God is using our telling of our experience to move people’s hearts, to cause them to pause and reflect, to challenge them, and so on. This is not my doing, but I love being a part of His work.
I asked Lisa to continue to pray for me that FFE not be about me and that this blog not be an achievement thing for me. I find writing my little posts to be a lovely and therapeutic way to end most days. It is a way to process how the Lord is working on my spirit, and it always causes me to end the day on a grateful note. I often don’t even know what I will write when I sit down at my computer. Or, I start thinking I’ll say one thing and my writing takes a left turn in another direction. I am blessed by the encouragement to continue sharing through our little blog, and I am humbled (and a little amused) that I have “followers.” Really, that’s just weird.
What I do not want this blog to become is some sort of internal competition where each post should be “better” than the last. I am a classic achiever: “Did you like that thing I just did? Okay, I’ll do more.” What I really want to do is to strive to work for Him, not for me. Any achievement is His, not mine. I love the now-classic opening line of Rick Warren’s A Purpose Driven Life: “It’s not about you.” That stopped me in my tracks the first time I read it because it’s true. It is not a self-defeating statement, it is a path to freedom.
I spent a lot of years living and acting as if it was about me. I was basically nice and kind, and, gosh darnit, people liked me! (I think.) But I was motivated by fundamentally selfish things like achieving, performing, what other people thought of me, blah, blah, blah. It wasn’t until Jesus really got ahold of me in 2002 that my heart turned. There was no one salvation moment like some people have but it was a clear shift, a yearning toward Him and away from myself.
Fasting now feels like a natural extension in my faith journey. It is part self-denial, part contemplation, and part service. It is deeply humbling, revealing, and motivating. It isn’t easy but it is surprisingly energizing.
My most humble thanks for sharing in this journey with us. It is a joy to “report” from the frontlines, and your encouragement is deeply appreciated. In those moments when I feel more like a kook than a faithful follower, I remind myself that it is in the authentic telling of our story that God touches others.