It’s hard to believe that the five weeks of fasting are over! As I prepare to write this final blog, I’m thinking back to all that has happened in my heart and in my life. The five weeks have gone quickly, but at the same time it seems like that first week was a lifetime ago. My life can get pretty hectic and sometimes all I do is look to the future – planning for this, preparing for that. It would be a waste if I finished these fasts without looking back and remembering. Lessons are not truly learned if they are quickly forgotten.
The funny thing about this fasting experience is the things that I thought were going to be hard turned out to be easy and the things that I thought would be easy turned out to be hard. I guess I didn’t know myself as well as I thought going into this experiment. This hit me right off the bat with week one. I would have never thought the clothing fast would be so hard. I still vividly remember the moment where I almost broke. I still remember how hard to it was to have one pair of socks and shoes. The clothing fast opened my eyes to see how much my appearance really does matter to me. I get so much of my identity for my clothing. I never realized this before. It was humbling.
The second week of the fast was the biggest surprise of this whole experience. I thought it was going to be hard to give away 49 items. I regularly go through my house and donate items. However, when I took the time to evaluate each item I owned, I realized how materialistic I am. I realized how much stuff I had that I didn’t need and wouldn’t miss. Saying good-bye to 310 items was one of my top highlights of this fast.
The third week was the food fast and we all know I struggled with that fast. A lot. More than I should have. I wanted everything that I couldn’t have. My stomach was not used to being denied. I thought I could eat seven foods over and over again with no problem, but really I struggled with my lack of options. While I never went hungry over the week, I was surprised to find how a limited diet could affect my mood. It was shocking to see how much I thought about food. It was always on my mind. My constant desires for food I couldn’t have was a reminder for me to pray for those who don’t have full bellies and who live on next to nothing.
The media fast was one of my favorite fasts. I loved being able to pull my life away from screens and do tangible things. Read a book, make a cake, clean the house, go to dinner, have a phone date… these were all things that I enjoyed greatly. Not having my laptop and cell phone up and on at all times was freeing. I thought this fast was going to be one of the hardest at the beginning, but it turns out that I was just fine without my media. In fact, I should go without it more often!
The final fast was a personal choice. I decided not to clean my house for a week. This wasn’t really has hard as I thought it was going to be. I wasn’t feeling great for most of the week and the rest of my time was busy preparing for our big Easter weekend. Not cleaning my house freed up my time for more important things. Around Friday I started to wish I could clean my floors, but I wasn’t really home this weekend so it didn’t get to me too bad. I will admit that I swept and vacuumed today. Now I don’t plan on cleaning the whole day, but it was nice to do something. Vacuuming was like reconnecting with an old friend.
In closing, I would like to say that the 5/7 Fast really did shift my priorities. It opened my eyes to see my world in a different way. It’s amazing how clearly I could see God moving in my life as I dedicated myself to change. There were many rollercoaster moments with ups and downs, but God was always faithful. He was able to speak to me in ways I never before imagined. I know that I am different as a result. I’m not sure what’s next for me after this experience, but I hope that big things continue to happen. I pray that this won’t be a passing phase, but the spark of true change.