Friday, July 18, 2008

Follow-up: 40 Day Fast

I've not seen many people from the 40 Day Fast giving follow-ups on how their day went, but I think I will. As we fast together, as a community, I think it good to share in the joys and trials of that fast - not in a way to brag or to say woe-is-me, but to build each other up. Feel free to share some of your experiences from fasting in the comments.

So, how did my day of fasting and praying go? I must say that yesterday was by far the hardest fast I've ever undertaken. I have fasted for longer periods and had an easier, more spiritually uplifting time. This wasn't an issue of hunger - sure, I felt some rumbles early in the day, but those settled down and I really didn't feel hunger pangs most of the day.

The hard part came from two areas - temptation and physical. Naturally on the day that I am fasting they have bookoos of food around. Temptation is definitely there when you walk by a platter filled with hugondoid muffins all day long. But then, there was also the temptation of a different sort - the feelings of uselessness and aloneness. I have to admit that I struggled heavily with these feelings all day yesterday, and toyed with the notion of ending the fast early more than once.

Then there was the physical. I had a headache, of course. That's only normal when we who are accustomed to regular meals goes without. There was the lightheadedness, too. But then I also started feel extremely weak, no energy by the end of the day. I pretty much collapsed into bed once Lil'er E was finally down for the count (Mrs. E and Lil'E went to a show downtown) and slept fitfully. Waking up this morning I wasn't sure I could make it out of bed - shaky, weak, lightheaded, pounding headache. I ate a granola bar and drank a bunch of water, to try and get something in me. I finally made it out of the house and headed to work. About half a mile from the house I pulled over into the parking lot of a Mormon church and puked my guts up (which was mostly water). Sorry, Mormon neighbors, but it had to happen. After that I started feeling a bit better.

Once I made it in to work, and partook of the Friday omelet bar in the cafe (made to order for only $1.99!) I really started feeling better. At this point, I pretty much fine, physically. I still have those lingering doubts, but I feel strongly that is simply Satan on my case.

I do want to thank everyone who commented and everyone who was praying for me yesterday. It was only through prayers and God's hand that I made it through my commitment. I don't know if anyone else has felt similarly in their fasting, but I can say that I wrestled with this all day. I know that Jehovah came out victorious, even if I feel like a train wreck.


Amy said...

I'll post a debrief of the whole fast when it's over, like I did last year.

My day of fasting was better than I thought it would be. Tuesday is generally a difficult day for me because I have some challenging students. But all in all it was pretty good on that end. I am always reminded of the privilege of voluntary fasting when I fast.

euphrony said...

I am always reminded of the privilege of voluntary fasting when I fast.

Amy, that is so true. I've not talked about it, but I decided to make one meal a day this week be just rice. Brian Seay had talked about this, and I have honestly thought about it for a while. As I was finishing my fast last night I was thinking about that, and truthfully felt like a sham. Here I was choosing to do something I could walk away from at any moment, and for what? To feel solidarity with people I rarely, if ever, will encounter personally? What hypocrisy! And yet, I still believe it to have been a good thing - a humble reminder of what I do take for granted.

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