It started out of desperation.
After being diagnosed with Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome three years ago, (I know, I'd never heard of it, either) I radically adjusted my life. Pretty high-heel shoes and my dearly loved long walks were no longer in the realm of my reality. I learned to live within the limits of a painful condition for which there is no cure.
Coincidentally, (or not) these foot/ankle symptoms exploded in my life precisely when God began strongly encouraging me to walk, even run, in my calling of writing. But as I've learned, the enemy is not going to roll out the red carpet. Still, as I cried out to God to intervene and bring healing, I sensed Him gently saying, "I will give you back your health and heal your wounds." (See Jeremiah 30:17) So even though I don't understand, I've held on, continued believing, and regularly reminded God of His promise.
Things were going okay; for the most part, my symptoms were manageable...until I attended the She Speaks conference back in July. Then, all hell broke loose against my feet and ankles, and I arrived home unable to walk without severe pain. The pain was so intense I had to cook dinner for my family while sitting on a stool, wear orthotic sandals in the shower (because going barefoot was excruciating), and regularly ice my feet/ankles while virtually living in a recliner.
Like the woman with the issues of blood (see Mark 5:25-34) I became desperate for healing. But what began as desperation transformed into a desire to take a step of faith and embrace a new level of surrender.
And so, as I sat in my ugly yet comfortable prayer chair several weeks ago, I strongly sensed God inviting me to begin a 10-day Daniel fast. (If you're curious, you can read more here: What I Learned on a 21-Day Daniel Fast.) My desire to fast was completely a God thing. Trust me, deprivation is not my idea of a good time. Yet I became convinced of three things:
- I needed answers
- I needed more of God's presence and power at work in my life
- I needed a higher level holy restraint (more on that later)
According to the book of Daniel, we can expect God to give us wisdom when we fast. In the book of Isaiah, chapter 58, we see that fasting can bring healing. I knew I needed both. I longed for answers. I longed for change. I longed for God to move.
Little did I know this 10-day fast would entice me to embark upon yet more unknown territory, leading me to give up (for an undetermined amount of time) the one thing I thought I could never live without...
(Continued next week.)
Tell me where you are right now. Are you longing for answers, change, or for God to move? Could you use some more holy restraint in your life?