There comes a time, in every extended fast, when your body and the fast get into harmony with each other and you enter into a certain quiet that only needs be maintained by continued momentum from the earlier hard days, and the conviction that this is exactly what you are called to do. I have come to that time. This is the easy part of the fast.
I am past the hard detox symptoms, and while my ears are still popping and my energy wanes a bit in the afternoons, I’m sleeping like a rock at night, full of energy for most of the day, and my perspective is bright and cheerful.
Because I am not using eating as a source of comfort, value, reassurance or fuel, I am able to be full of gratitude for good sleep, enough steam to continue packing for our move to Florida, and happy scope. God is good in so many ways! I find myself thinking this hourly. Now that I am in the quiet part of the fast, which will be peppered with difficult days here and there – I know this because I’ve been to 11 days – and my physical symptoms have died down, my body is hard at work dispensing the damaged cells that cannot be repaired, and healing those that can. Also, now is the time to be mindful of my emotional, mental, and most importantly, spiritual state.
God outlined fasts for us in the Bible. Isaiah 58 is one of my favorite chapters. It talks about entering into a fast with the right heart, to cast down the works of evil and to open ourselves up to God’s good work in our lives. It speaks to those who are oppressed and in bondage, those who are yoked in slavery, and poor and destitute. It calls us to fast for these people and these things.
“Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;
When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not hide yourself from your own flesh? (Is 58:6-7)
Food is an addiction for me. Especially in the past 10 years, I have gone from eating to live to living to eat. I have attempted to derive comfort and value from something that was only meant to feed my physical body. It hasn’t worked. And over the years, I’ve eaten more and more. And have found myself starving, not just physically, but spiritually and emotionally. I have tried to fill holes that only God fills, with food. This has become slavery. Gluttony has become a yoke. Bad health has become my burden. Insomnia and depression are oppressors, poor circulation and terrible energy have become my normal daily, and the list goes on and on.
I am oppressed and in bondage, yoked in slavery, poor and destitute. And it is all my own doing.
We were not meant to live this way. Good health, across the board, is freedom. Emotional, spiritual, mental, physical. Freedom. Being free to tether ourselves to Life Himself. Being hungry. And being fed.
The first time I ever read about a 30 day juice fast, a small, quiet voice inside my heart said yes. That’s for you. And I’ve known since that day that I needed to do this. I needed to step out in faith and go cold turkey on a drug I’ve been taking since I was a teenager.
It’s time to be free.
It’s time to stop saying I have abundant life, and actually walk it out. It’s time to have God-given energy from God-made foods, deep sleep, and a well mind.
I want to thrive.
The second part of Isaiah 58, the part that tells about what happens when we fast for freedom, for redemption, for rest and repair and contentment, is beautiful. I simply can’t paraphrase it. So I’m going to put the whole passage on here.
“Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call and the Lord will answer;
You shall cry, and He will say, Here I am.
If you take away the yoke from your midst,
The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
10 If you extend your soul to the hungry
And satisfy the afflicted soul,
Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,
And your darkness shall be as the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
12 Those from among you
Shall build the old waste places;
You shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach,
The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In. (Is 58:8-12)
I am fasting for my healing, I am fasting to see God’s hand in my life, I am fasting to silence my ungrateful flesh that always reaches for more of less and tries unsuccessfully to fill eternal holes with temporal food. I am fasting to be fed with the Bread of Life. I don’t expect everyone to understand this. But there are some of you who hear that voice too. The yes. This is for you too.
What I drank:
Eggplant, carrot, grapefruit, orange juice
1/2 gallon purified water, throughout the day
Carrot, apple, celery, lemon juice
3 cups of tea (detox, chocolate/hazelnut, detox)
Tomorrow I’ll talk a little more about drinking the juice, how much and what kind of water to drink, what you can supplement with if you’re having trouble fasting on just juice, and I’ll also give you a few more sources.