God’s goodness is running after you!
Finding the Spirit
Have you ever thought about finding the Spirit? What does the Holy Spirit look like and where do we find it? Oftentimes when we think of the Spirit, at least when I think of the Spirit, the bible verse that comes to mind is Galatians. Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV) says:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”
Unfortunately, I’m not talking about that type of fruit today! I want to focus instead on seeking and having the Holy Spirit in our lives. The Bible speaks about seeking the Holy Spirit and being filled with the Holy Spirit or the Holy Ghost. Every follower of Christ ought to seek the Holy Spirit and pray every day for the Holy Spirit to live within you.
But just how important is the Holy Spirit in our lives? The Holy Spirit is the one who gives us the mind of Christ. The Holy Spirit impresses upon us the importance of prayer, faith and trust even in the toughest times.
So let’s just look at one of the ways that the Holy Spirit works…
How many times each day do you feel impressed to pray for someone? What does that feel like? At those points we may be tempted to doubt and think, “Why should I pray for that person at this time? After all, I need prayers myself!” But yet there is a lingering feeling that we should pray.
At those points we ought to stop and whisper a prayer, or depending on where you are, you should pray out loud for the person, or persons, who the Holy Spirit has impressed you to pray for. I know it sounds sort of strange. Not to the devoted christian though.
I have personally met persons (after having prayed for them), and many times, they have expressed gratitude for my prayers that were needed at that precise time! Having the Holy Spirit in your life, allows God to direct your steps and your prayers. It was not you just having random thoughts pop into your head, but instead it was the nudging…the pleading…the prompting of the Holy Spirit that impressed upon your heart the importance of praying at that moment.
Isn’t that wonderful! Like really… isn’t that wonderful! It is truly a great feeling to know that someone else is praying for you. Not just thinking of you, but praying for you! This is exactly what Jesus does for us, right. Like literally, this is what he does! He prays, he intervenes, he constantly seeks to draw us to the heavenly Father. And because he has lived the life that we have lived, he’s totally comfortable and understands our fears, our pains, our joys, our sorrows.
I know that makes me feel really loved and treasured to know that there is someone else who is intervening on my behalf.
Romans 8:26-27 (NKJV) says, “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
What a powerful verse!
Today someone is intervening on your behalf. At this very moment someone is praying for you. Praying that you are safe, praying that you are of a sound mind, praying that you are saved. As you go through the day, remember to seek the Holy Spirit. Ask the Holy Spirit to come into your heart, come into your mind today. Let the Holy Spirit guide your thoughts, your footsteps, your actions.
I know you have your day all planned out. Don’t ignore the Holy Spirit’s promptings. Follow his bidding. Watch God intervene in your life. Watch God intervene in someone else’s life. Answer the call, and let the Spirit move.
Waiting On Purpose
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” Isaiah 40:31.
Why wait? After all, why wait when what see you is right before your very eyes? You just have to reach out and grab it!!! Why wait, when everyone around you, friends, family and colleagues are smiling and seemingly happier, richer, smarter than you are? Waiting is so frustrating!!!
So what is waiting anyway? Merriam Webster dictionary defines waiting as “to stay in a place of expectation of; to serve; to remain stationery in readiness and expectation; to pause for another to catch up; to hold back expectantly; to be ready and available.” Merriam Webster also describes the word wait as “to remain temporarily neglected or unrealized.” Did you notice anything about these definitions?
Almost all these definitions are completely positive! Only the last definition is negative and, even then, it describes temporary state. From these definitions I concluded that, waiting means that something good is about to happen, and even if I feel neglected, it is only for a little while. Interesting….
Then what’s our real problem with waiting? I believe our real problem with waiting is FOMO or Fear of Missing Out. I never heard of this theory till a couple years ago myself!! Dr. Dan Herman, a researcher, coined the phrase since 1996 to describe our fears, when we feel that we are missing out on ALL the (supposedly) exciting things happening in others’ lives, and NOT our own lives. I must admit, I thought that it wasn’t a real thing at first, then I did my research. It’s real! As human beings, we are so afraid of being left behind, of being forgotten, of being neglected or feeling unloved. Could it be that our real problem with waiting is not the waiting itself, but our fear, our insecurities?
Let me back track for a bit…How many times have you succeeded, when you did not wait? How many mistakes have you regretted, decisions made in fear, that became disasters because you didn’t wait. I don’t know about you, but today, today I have decided to WAIT! More specifically I have decided to WAIT ON GOD.
Jesus waited. He waited on God on purpose. He waited for God to manifest Himself in His life. He waited on God to perform his first miracle. He waited. He waited for God to raise him from the dead. He waited. He waited on His Father. If Jesus could wait on God, so can I!! I am choosing to wait on God to guide me in every area of my life including, but not limited to, my career, finances etc
Isaiah sums it up superbly:
“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
God is on your side. You and I have nothing to fear when we wait!
Doing The Impossible!
At the tender age of 40 plus years, (I can hear my friends groaning and laughing out loud here…) I have learnt that life is full of surprises! No surprise there right! But guess what…we are the ones who surprise ourselves the most, as our responses to situations and crises change when we begin to see these situations not just through our earth weary eyes, but through God’s glorious eyes. God’s view is so much grander!
A beloved family friend and counsellor once told me that people cannot make us mad, sad or depressed. We, you and me, yes we daily choose our responses to each of life’s situations. It does not negate the awful experiences or the heart rending moments that we want to erase from our memories. It also does not mean that what happened to us isn’t wrong, or that a great injustice and harm was not done. But what it does mean, is that no matter what has been done to us, we are the only ones who can determine our responses. It was an earth shattering revelation for me then and still is now!
So I am going to recount a real life experience. Almost three years ago, I met a war veteran who had been shot nine times while serving in the United States army. He was originally a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, my native country. His story of how he became a US citizen is beyond extraordinary and actually had nothing to do with the army! But I won’t tell his story today. Instead, let me just say first, that we thank him and all the men and women who have served and who are currently serving in the US armed forces. If you are reading this article and you are also a member of the armed forces in the US and anywhere in the world, I say, thank you for your service. I know I digressed…so let me continue.
While conversing with him, he said something that really intrigued me. He said, and I am paraphrasing here, that when he took those nine bullets on those three different occasions fighting in those wars, that he took those bullets for White Americans, Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans and even non US born persons like myself, to ensure that ALL Americans can be safe. The blood that he shed was the same color, red, for the White Americans, the Black Americans, the Hispanic Americans…you see where I am going! Essentially, the blood that he shed, and lost, was for everyone. Now what does any of this have to do with surprises and with our responses to situations?
Christ’s death on the cross for us, will always remain a surprise, and a wonder! As a human being, we could never understand Jesus’ indescribable love and sacrifice for us. What Jesus did dying on the cross for sins that He never committed, and then of course raising from death to life, was the impossible!!! Jesus Christ did not even know us (at least that’s what we think)! Jesus’ last words on the cross were, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Our response then to persons who have wronged us or who we perceive have wronged us, should be one of forgiveness, and then love. That is a huge, really, truly big surprise! It’s tantamount to doing the impossible! Just like Jesus! Especially if persons have been unkind, abusive, judgmental, cruel, merciless or even tortured us. According to God’s Word, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” Phillippians 4:13.
Not my strength but His strength. Not my will, but God’s will. I must let God work through me to do the impossible and forgive. And not only to forgive but to love.
Lord, please, please help me to do the impossible! Help me to forgive and to love afresh each day!
The Path To Success
Do you realize that each day takes you on a new and never journeyed path? So today I am questioning my mental and emotional states. What do we mean when we say that persons are mentally unstable? I believe, hear me out now…as a human being there are days and times when we feel like we are spinning out of control and that mentally you are unable to cope with the situations that you now face.
So here’s a real life example. I have many, by the way! Years ago, I was taking marital counselling post infidelity in my marriage and my psychologist said something which I have never forgotten to this day. On this particular day of counselling I was lamenting the fact that a person, in this case my (ex) spouse could walk away, seemingly without remorse, from his family and spouse and not look back. My psychologist responded by stating simply that I too had a choice. He stated that I could also walk away, even at that point, from my two year old and begin a new life just as my (ex) husband had done. I insisted I could do no such thing! He reminded me that I could. It was a matter of choice! My choice. I chose to stay. My ex chose to leave.
I was appalled! That thought and action was mentally destabilizing to me! Insanity! Fortunately, it was the beginning of a mind boggling journey to mental freedom and release from imaginary boundaries created within my own mind.
We all have choices. You have a choice. You determine your happiness. It may seem that when you choose every day to support and stay with your family, that it is an unappreciated choice. Please know, it is the right choice always! Let God guide your choices each.
Follow God’s path to family success and mental freedom.
Joshua 24:15 (KJV) says, “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Relentless-The Job Story
One of my favorite stories in the bible is found in the book of Job. He had houses, he had ten children, he had a wife, he had servants, he had wealth, he had good health, he had renown, he had respect, he had faith and hope. Yet in one day Job lost his wealth, he lost his servants, he lost his houses and he lost his ten children. If that was not enough, soon after that he lost his good health, his wife (she told him to curse God and die), and he suffered with a disease that seemingly had no known cure at the time. His friends, other family members and neighbors no longer respected him and sincerely believed that he was being punished by God for some unknown sin or sins. And yet he never lost his faith and hope in God.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word relentless as “showing or promising no abatement of severity, intensity, strength, or pace.” Job’s suffering was without a doubt…relentless…with seemingly no end in sight!
The entire book of Job describes the devil’s attempts to destroy Job’s hope and faith in God by relentlessly attacking and murdering the persons he loved and removing the possessions he owned. The book describes Job’s efforts to try to come to terms with his trials and the comfort his friends tried to give him. However his friends though well-intentioned also believed that he was deserving of his suffering.
In the end God revealed Himself to Job, not by providing explanations but instead by showing Job who He, the Almighty God, was and is. Job’s wealth, fame, servants, respect, and family with ten more children were restored! And Job lived many many many more years. He definitely got his happily ever after! While satan was relentless in his desire to destroy Job, Job was also relenteless in his hope and faith in God.
According to the bible, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” Hebrews 11:1. Faith and hope are linked together, we can’t have one without the other. So really now how can things not seen have substance? After all, if it is not seen, how can it be substantive?
What is the substance that you are not seeing, that will be evident in your future? I believe, if you are reading this blog…I believe that God has already given you that faith and that you are already believing in that substance. God knows the plans for your life and His Words are always true. Your story is not yet finished. Wait on the Lord. Be relentless in your faith and hope in Him. Let Him orchestrate and write the “happily ever after” of your life.
Habbukuk 2:3 – “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry”.
Hagar…A Woman Of Faith?
Hagar the mother of Abraham’s son, Ishmael, is often forgotten and belittled in the Bible. Yet Hagar’s story is intriguing, exciting, sad, happy, emotional, spiritual, filled with drama and sex even from way back then!
Why is Hagar a woman of faith you may ask? And who is Hagar anyway? Here’s what the Bible says:
“Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife” Gen. 16:1-3.
Here’s my take on Hagar’s story. Hagar was Sarai’s Egyptian handmaid. She was young and beautiful too I am sure. When she was given to Abram who was 85 years at the time, she probably did not have a choice! After all she was a maid! Maybe she was humble, quiet at first. I doubt Sarai would have given her to Abram if she was scornful or boastful. After Hagar conceived, Sarai complained to Abram, that Hagar was being disrespectful to her. Sarai treated her so harshly she ran away. An angel came to Hagar and told her to go back and that she would have a son who she would call Ishmael. I’ll say it again!!! An angel came to Hagar!! Has an angel come to you before and prophesi
Much has been said about Hagar and the home wrecker that she was. Here are some things to consider:
- Hagar was invited by her mistress to marry/ sleep with her husband;
- Her specific role was to have a son, which she did;
- She raised her son as Sarai’s child.
- Thinking more of herself than her mistress, as soon as she got pregnant;
- Scorning her mistress for not being able to have a child;
- Being rude to Sarai.
After seeing the angel…Hagar, an Egyptian handmaid, a slave…she acknowledged that God had seen her and heard her!
My point? Hagar was a woman of faith. You can be a woman of faith too. Hagar found God in Abram’s household, not through her relationship with Abram and Sarai but through her own personal encounter with God.
How many persons do you ignore or write off because you do not know or understand their relationship with God? We only see persons’ external facades but God sees them completely, inside and outside. Truly is there anything too hard for God to do? Become a woman of faith today!
Hagar…Woman Of Faith, Really Again?
So as I mentioned before, Hagar had not one, but two encounters with God!
The Bible recounts that: “And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. And the thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight because of his son” Gen. 21:9-11.
Here’s my take on Hagar’s story, again. It’s now 14 years later. Sarah has since had a son called Isaac (Sarai’s name changed to Sarah, Abram’s name changed to Abraham, see Genesis 17). One day Ishmael was mocking Isaac and Sarah demanded that Abraham send her away. Remember, his mother already had a horrible attitude towards Sarah. Sarah wanted Abraham to send her away and declare Isaac his only son and heir. Abraham did not want to do it, but God told him to listen to Sarah and assured him that his son would be great. Abraham got up early one day and gave Hagar bread and water and sent her away with her son, his son. Hagar definitely did not see it coming!
After being evicted, Hagar and her son wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba. When the water and bread were finished, Hagar not wanting to see her son die, put him under a bush and moved away from him crying, depleted, dejected. God heard her cries and the Angel of the Lord spoke from heaven and told her not to fear, and that God would make a great nation from her son. Then God opened her eyes! When she looked up with new God eyesight, she saw a well with water. So she quickly filled up her water bottle and gave Ishmael to drink. Hagar ultimately raised her child as a single mother (the bible does not mention whether she remarried). Ishmael grew up in the wilderness, became a skilled archer and married an Egyptian girl chosen by his mother.
In my estimation, Hagar was indeed a woman of faith. You and I can be women of faith too! Hagar found God in Abraham’s household, not simply through her relationship with Abraham and Sarah (which was flawed at best) but through her own personal encounters with God! After the seeing God for the second time, Hagar knew for certain that God was with her, and with her child, making her in my estimation, an unlikely woman and memorable woman of faith!
Joshua 1:8 says, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
God promises good success when we seek His face and do His will. This verse differentiates between good success and prosperity. Prosperity we usually equate with wealth, riches, increased possessions but what on earth is good success really?
Good success accompanies prosperity. We all know people who are prosperous but who are not successful. How could that be, you may ask? There are persons with wealth and who possess all the earthly possessions that human beings desire but who we still deem “unsuccessful.” For example there are persons who are pathological liars, or who have horrible relationships with their spouses, siblings, children. Some persons have internal struggles that are so overwhelming that they find it impossible to cope with and complete everyday activities. These persons lack good success because they live in fear, regret, anger, pain and are unable to appreciate each day.
Today, God wants us to be prosperous aaannnnd have good success! Having good success means that you enjoy spending time with your spouses and family members, aaaaannnnd they actually enjoy spending time with you! Good success means that you are honest and are respected in your community.
Good success means that each day you wake up with eager anticipation, you are forgiving, you are joyful. Good success also means that you are able to release your pain, live pain free, and full of gratitude for each day.
Beloved of God, I pray that you prosper and have good success! Take God at His Word, seek His face, do His will and good success will be yours!
Forget about it!
What do you remember from growing up? Do you remember the good things only or the bad things? We all have memories. For persons with illnesses that take away those memories, it is a painful process. After all the persons in our lives exist and remain present because of our memories, good and bad.
For the most part, my memories of growing up in the Caribbean are happy ones. Memories of spending time with family at large social gatherings. Memories of spending time with friends at the beach or outdoors playing in the fields. We really had fields back then, more like savannahs today! Eating! We ate a lot and still do in the Caribbean. Food is symbolic of love, friendship and so much more. Think about it, we would never want to eat with an enemy but we always want to eat with a friend!
Our memories or our mental modes propel us forward or keep us stagnant. As we process the information we receive every day, the Bible admonishes us that:
“Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” Philippians 4:8.
Why not dwell on the negative areas in our lives (in our memories) where persons have disappointed us? Simple. It takes us nowhere! We invariable end up in a pity party or go on the rampage. The idea is not to ignore the wrongs done to us but instead to learn from them. The memories then should strengthen our resolve to do better next time, not to be dismissive or rude to people. Especially to persons who hurt us. Here’s a real life example, I remember being betrayed by friends who I thought really loved me and had my back. Now, I think and remind myself that if those persons had not betrayed me, I would not be where I am today. Stronger, ready to forgive and full of positive memories.
This is an everyday conscious decision. So today whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are true, if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things.
Today is Monday November 2nd, my second brother’s birthday! My brother was born almost 10 years after me. I always like to think of him as an afterthought, if you will. I know he wasn’t, but still…When I got older I understood why it took so long for him to get here and that he was indeed a blessing and a gift from God for my parents. That being said, when he was born I did not appreciate him as much as they did.
Before he came along, there were just two of us. My first brother who was a year and a half younger than myself (he always insisted we were practically the same age, I disagreed vehemently)! So when the new baby came and me being just two months away from 10 years old, I was upset! My first brother was happy! I tried to show him the ways the new baby would take way our parents’ attention and time. The baby was loud, he cried a lot, our parents always had to hold him, feed him, change him and more! My first brother, who according to him was practically “my twin,” still remained super excited and would take every opportunity to spend with our new baby brother!
It took some years…many years of having my baby brother “grow” on me. I think the real turning point came when he accidentally fell from my arms one day and literally rolled half way down the stairs! I was mortified and scared, and this time not of my parents’ reactions, but scared that if something happened to my baby brother that I would be forever responsible. I believe when he fell from my arms, he must have been a little over a year old. He cried and screamed, I comforted him as best as I could and he soon stopped crying. Thankfully he did not have any major bruises and seemed okay to this day (I hope)!
From then on I started to take my role as big sister quite seriously. He became my primary concern and I actually started to enjoy his company! Who would have thought??!! Today he is a wonderful christian husband, a father and still my baby brother.
What if God thought like I did? What if God liked some humans and disliked others or favored some humans above others? God has a place in his heart for each one of us. The bible speaks about God loving all is children, “For He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” Matthew 5:45 (KJV). I am grateful that God loves myself and my brother at the same time. What a mighty God we serve whose love is astronomical and boundless to human beings. Happy Birthday baby brother Rey!
Big Daddies, Little Girls
Growing up my father meant the world to me. All other boys (I later understood) were no match for my daddy. He was to me one of the most handsome men I had ever seen. I know he got his looks from my grandfather who I thought was equally handsome as well. Literally tall dark and handsome.
Daddy said (I don’t recall clearly) that I used to comb his hair (when he used to have hair!) and massage his scalp and head and I guess generally spend time with him. I do not think I could ever understand the relationship between daughters and fathers. I knew that I was his favorite (really I was) being the only girl and he was very interested in the way I dressed, the way my hair was combed. I often wondered about that because I thought to myself that he was not a girl, how would he know what girls should do! That was when I was smaller.
As I grew older, I wish I could tell you our relationship improved. It changed… In my teenage years as I sought to discover who I was in church, in school, at home, I quickly realized that my father and I saw things completely differently! No surprise there in retrospect. Being a teenager at the time though I was surprised that my father did not see things the way I did and obviously his way was the old paranoid way of viewing things. In one famous or infamous incident, depending on your interpretation, I told my father quite bluntly “I am not your secretary!” So let me rewind a bit…
Isn’t it funny though how often we probably respond or even relate to God in the same way. Thinking of course that as human beings we know more than God does at any given moment and do not owe God anything at all. We think, we know more than God in our work, relationships, in everything. Because after all we are here and God is somewhere…
I guess my main point is that God knows best! Just like my father knew best about many of the experiences that I faced in my life. Fast forward thirty plus years, my daddy is still alive and I am truly grateful that he is. I am even more grateful to have survived my twenties, thirties and now forties and I am thankful that my father and I are now on the same page! Seemingly impossible in my teen years, twenties and even part of my thirties but now so true! Daddies help young ladies build the confidence that they need to see themselves as beautiful sexual beings who should be respected and loved.
Our heavenly father constantly reminds us of His love for us which for many of us is hard to accept or even comprehend because of the lack of earthly daddies in our lives. Yet God never gives up on us. He constantly and consistently works to ensure that we his beautiful creations have the necessary tools to succeed and to be saved in His heavenly kingdom.
Today I thank God for my earthly father who though proving himself to be flawed in many ways, also provided an example for me to follow allowing me to seek after my Heavenly Father for eternity. Scripture: “Behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us that we should be called the sons (and daughters) of God” 1 John 3:1
Happily Ever After
We all wish for an ending to our story that says we lived “happily ever after.” As a young girl, I dreamed of one day meeting and marrying the man of my dreams and living “happily ever after” one day. Now, fast forward to today, over twenty years later, still waiting on my “happily ever after” during the corona virus pandemic in 2020.
None of us, not even our parents has experienced a pandemic such as this in our lifetime. I think it’s fair to say that the corona public health restrictions are impacting the way the story ends for many us right now.
So I began to think (hopefully I was thinking before)! If I survive this pandemic, what would I have learned from this? What have I accomplished thus far in your life here on earth? Am I proud of my accomplishments? Are you proud of your accomplishments? Can I fix the mistakes I have made?
The pandemic has taught me about the importance of making right decisions in life. Today. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Yes, I have failed miserably in many areas of my life. And yes, I wish I had never made those decisions that seemed so perfect at the time. However I can also say, that I have also made some great choices too. Not me only, but looking back I know it was God guiding me all the way!
We look at things and people and decide usually on outward appearances only, that this is the best person for us or the worst thing for us etc. A lot depends on who’s doing the looking! As human beings, both men and women can be so fickle. We may think by the world’s standards we are doing great and are after all, highly successful, have a healthy financial nest egg, secure family relationships, great friendships, we have our homes or cars, etc. But what do we really have? It can all change in seconds.
For example, sickness can happen to everyone, rich and poor alike. I do not consider myself a pessimist, yet just imagine, one small speck or germ can take away everything that we “have” once it takes over our immune system and for some of us our lives. For christians, however we have hope and faith in God. Hope in a life eternal and faith in an unchanging God! God’s gift of salvation is the greatest happy ending ever!
I Corinthians 2:9 says, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
Let Him orchestrate and write the “happily ever after” of your life.
Living The Fast Life
So I started my fast yesterday.
I decided to begin a fast for several reasons:
– To take a break from food;
– To improve my overall health;
– To be spiritually revived;
– To lose weight;
– To improve my complexion.
Over the years I have done numerous types of fasts, one day fasts, weekly fasts, 3 to 5 day fasts. Each time that I have fasted was different. I wish I could say it was exciting. It wasn’t! When I think about those times I remember the peace and the calm, the prayers and the hunger. I can safely say that the only way I made it was through prayer.
Fasting is just as much of a physical journey as a spiritual journey. Bereft of food and other delicacies you begin to refocus your energies and your thoughts. It becomes imperative that you not be agitated and stressed out. Regular every day issues and bills that would normally bring anxiety, take second place to fasting as you focus on being at peace each day.Fasting is just as much of a physical journey as a spiritual journey. Bereft of food and other delicacies you begin to refocus your energies and your thoughts. It becomes imperative that you not be agitated and stressed out. Regular every day issues and bills that would normally bring anxiety, take second place to fasting as you focus on being at peace each day.
Your mind becomes more centered and attune to your surroundings. Arguing with your spouse, significant others and children take second place. If you are single, speaking with friends and family may not be as much of a priority, as your body begins to adjust to the state of not eating and waiting for food. Expecting food…but alas! There are some unexpected joys too. But you will have to wait to find out!
It has been said, that if you can control your appetite you can control every other area in your life. I have found this to be true. I actually started to fast in my late teens when I converted to a vegetarian lifestyle and maintained that life style for the next 12 years of my life, into my thirties! But that is another story or series of stories that were indeed very exciting, including travelling and meeting other non-meat eaters worldwide.
That being said, let’s begin!
So I must admit, I started a water fast with almost no extra preparation other than cutting my meals down to two meals a day. I purchased distilled water and lemons the day before in preparation for my fast.
The first day was pretty good. I did my usual exercise, walking for about 4 miles in the morning and proceeded to have distilled water throughout the day. I did not inform my family immediately as I was a bit uncertain myself if this was the right move at this time. The entire family went to the beach that day, definitely felt energized. Here I am jumping on the sand with my 5 year old niece!
Fortunately I made it! By the end of the day, I felt great, no major hunger pangs, no headaches!
So day two was really tough! I had a headache through part of the day. I felt as if someone presented the right food I would eat it! It was really really tough! Why am I doing this again??? I have also been keeping a video journal as well. Just to document my suffering! No, I am kidding of course.
Fasting for me always represents a spiritual journey. A journey to reconnect with myself, with God, with my emotions. I have been sitting outside a lot. It helps to keep myself focused on other things besides food and also provides me with the quiet time that I need for myself.
I did do some mental work on the computer. No physical work or exercise. I had been exercising up to 5 days a week prior to my fast and fully intended to do so again. But this fast was different. Day 2 was a definite reminder that every fast is different! I have done a water fast before for 5 days using water and coconut water. However this time I opted for distilled water only and lemon and water as well. I drank the lemon water at the beginning of the day and the end of the day. That’s it for day two!
Ahhh… my journey continues. My daily records thus far are not particularly profound. As a matter of fact they do not seem to convey much information…other than I am tired and hungry. What was day 3 like really? Before I describe day 3, just a caveat at this point about my daily records.
I intentionally kept these daily records short. Besides not wanting to talk too much or over exert myself, again as mentioned before I was also in a more reflective and meditative journey. Hence the brevity of my fasting records! Back to day 3 then….
Day 3 was waaaaay better than day 2 for sure! A bit more exciting. Definitely a great day. My skin looked and felt great. Really soft and supple. I introduced tamarind water in the morning and the evening. Drank distilled water throughout the day. It was also my Sabbath, so that was exciting as well. It was a meditative and prayerful day.
It’s day 4 of my fast. So far so good. Day started off well. I was in good spirits for most of the day until I had to physically leave the house. For the most part, I have been at home. I did not leave the house at all for the first 3 days of my fast. And then, being a mom, of course, I needed to go get something. Ugh!!
It felt different for sure. As far as my actual fast goes, I started the day with lemon water. During the morning period, I drank lemon water and tamarind water. Then in the day I drank distilled water for the major part of the day. Then later on in the evening drank tamarind water again. Quite an exciting diet!!!
Physically I also experienced a reduction aches and pains. The pain that I had begun to feel in my neck was greatly reduced. This pain really began during COVID times when I worked extensively from home. Also I had experienced some pain in my right knee that seemed to be shifting to my left knee as well. I also noticed a reduction in these areas. Interesting!
I did not have any headaches. I was sleeping well. I was not hungry. Let me explain. My stomach was empty. However the desire to eat was not there, even though the smell of food cooking was around me, it definitely did not entice me. This was different.
My stomach though…I did feel like it was burning at times. Never really felt like that before. Not hungry, but a physical burning in my stomach.
I am excited for Day 5.
Day five started off pretty slowly. My stomach and brain thinks that food is coming. Waiting and waiting. But alas no food… Eventually I feel energized and rise from my bed. Ah… a new day begins. My daughter brought me some lemon water. That was soooo sweet of her. I drink some more tamarind water in the morning. Distilled water in the day and tamarind water again in the evening.
Also today I actually broke out, my skin that is. I read that this happens. Also the pain that I was feeling in my neck prior to my fast has greatly reduced. This is great! No neck massages, no pain killers, just no food and water. Oh so weight loss which of course is a natural result of not eating any food. Over the first 3-4 days I did not witness any weight loss. By day five I believe there was some. Did not check though…have to wait until day six or even seven!
Also I am spending more time alone, talking to God. Telling Him the things and people that bring both joy and sorrow to my life. Praying for His guidance and divine intervention. I appreciate that He listens to ALL of my prayers even when they do not even make sense to me.
I woke up feeling much better today. It is after all six days of fasting thus far.
Physically, I lost about seven pounds, (it would later turn out to be water mainly). I also had a diarrhea the night before and early this morning. Feeling pain in my joints. Pain in my neck again. Burning in my stomach. Never experienced that sensation in the many fasts I have taken before. On the other hand, my longest water fast until now had been five days.
Prefer to lay down rather than move around the house. Not sure how much more I can take. If I am lying down I am okay. But once I am moving around definitely more lethargic. Normally I love to talk. Not able to talk as much. Definitely speaking more slowly, not my usual bubbling self! No surprise there really.
On a brighter note, there is a difference in skin texture. My skin tone overall is definitely smoother, clearer. Tamarind water does make a difference.
Spiritually, I have been talking to God more and praying more. Meditating more. Waiting on God more. This is as much a physical journey as it is a spiritual one. Without food, our human comfort, our spiritual source of comfort is the real center of our being. It has been suggested that if we can control our appetites we can control the ideas, thoughts, people and things that torment us each day and live a life of positiveness and expectancy. Let’s see… tomorrow’s another day.
Day Seven…It’s Over!
So this is the final day of my fast. I must admit I really wanted to go even further. My body had other feelings however. I started this fast for several reasons. If you have underlying health conditions and other health issues, please consult your physician or health expert for guidances on pursuing a fast.
Day 7 seemed like a typical fast day. Even before beginning my fasting, I usually “broke my fast” (that is had my breakfast) around 10:30 am or 11 am. This morning I decided to do so, with my usual lemon water. Eventually once this was digested about 30 minutes later, I proceeded to have some fruit. For the next 2 days my entire meals would consist of fruits, interspersed with lemon water and distilled water.
My stomach immediately felt the difference. Still it would take a couple weeks for my body to return to “normal”. I was glad that I began and completed this journey. It was indeed a restful one for my body and my mind while rejuvenating me spiritually. Each day was a reminder of the fragility of life and the need to take care of the bodies that we have been blessed with.
Thus my fast came to an end and I was ready to begin another new phase of my life. Now let’s see…