Fasting + Prayer What are you grabbing hold of? This is usually the thing that nudges us toward fasting. Let's dig in!
Past the Pain Are you managing your expectations?
Going Without Abstaining is the practice of surrender
Jesus, the ultimate "faster" (Week 04) - Are you following the Leader? Why did He fast?
Fasting has changed my life (Week 05) - How? Fasting changes (or reveals) things.
He answers prayers (Week 06) - Will you praise Him no matter the answer? No matter the answer, the King is still worthy of your praise.
Better Without It (Week 03) – Have you released it all yet?
This past weekend at church, we heard a sermon about the god of comfort.
How we can often reach for very good things/gifts from God but turn them into not so good things by making them an idol in our hearts.
We often reach for things that bring us comfort – things we are permitted to enjoy, but we make them “needs” and focus more intently on them than we do on God.
Matthew 11:28-30 invites us to come to Him. To rest in Him. To allow Him to carry our burdens. He wants to remove those things that have enslaved us, those things that went from being gifts to being cuffs.
When I began this 6 week fast (every Wednesday for 6 weeks), I was fasting for my young adult son. Since he’s moved out and is doing life on his own, it’s been difficult for me to know how to help him when he’s struggling. My role as a mother has changed. I am to do something differently, mother differently, love him differently.
It means that what once worked is no longer effective.
It means that being an up close and personal mom is no longer realistic. Nor is it my responsibility.
It means that everything that once worked to parent this young man is no longer right or sometimes welcome.
Since I’ve begun fasting, God has started to showing me that I need to let go of “how it used to be”.
I’m no longer permitted to hold on to and operate as his mother the way that I’ve found to work. Now, I need to adjust, adapt, flex and grow to be the kind of mother he needs right now. The way he needs it.
And for that to happen, I must rely on God to show me what I need to let go of (talking to him everyday, knowing his daily schedule, being the first person he talks to about what’s happening in his life or heart). And it’s hard.
It makes me want to cry.
But as I fast, I keep in mind that God’s comfort is exactly what I need. And what He wants me to grab for.
Not an extra glass of wine that makes me feel a buzz. Or scrolling through my social media feeds for “connection” or posting for follows. And certainly not from seeking out people to please and find approval from to help dull the pain.
Nope. God wants me to put down the way I’ve come to parent and accept that something new needs to happen. Something new in me.
I’m learning to accept that however it comes – like it did in the photos above – to receive it as a gift.
It was a gift that he showed up close to when he said he would and sat with us and talked with us. He asked after us and brought us gifts. He laughed and listened. We chatted. We caught up. It wasn’t everything I’d hoped for and been fasting and praying for, but y’all – I am learning to receive it as a gift.
Receiving it as a gift doesn’t mean I’ve given up on praying for my son’s walk with God, his freedom from the bondage and darkness of depression. But that it does mean releasing the shame and guilt of feeling like I’ve not done enough for him as his mother or that I still need to carry some of the weight of where he is as a mother rather than as a sister in Christ.
What are you needing to let go of friend? I mean, truly let go of? What or who are you running to for comfort instead of to God? What are you holding on to that God is inviting you to let go?
As you fast this week, ask God to show you how much more releasing you may need to do.