The kind of fasting I want is this: Remove the chains of oppression and the yoke of injustice, and let the oppressed go free. Share your food with the hungry and open your homes to the homeless poor. Give clothes to those who have nothing to wear, and do not refuse to help your own relatives. Then my favor will shine on you like the morning sun, and your wounds will be quickly healed. I will always be with you to save you; my presence will protect you on every side. Isaiah 58:6-8
I’ve learned so much as I walk out and get free from ED (eating disorder) 21 days of fasting and prayer have always been one of my favorite times of the year but also a time that caused me great pain and confusion. Over the last year though I’ve learned why.
Fasting can be very triggering for someone who suffers from an eating disorder.
This one word….Fasting….can cause my world to fall apart completely.
We study the life of Christ and his spiritual disciplines and we learn how important fasting and prayer are and how they can break the chains that bind us.
Prayer changes everything.
However, when one has an eating disorder fasting can destroy any and all progress you have made.
Restricting is NEVER GOOD under any circumstances.
Restricting TRIGGERS even done under the best of intentions.
Most people that do 21 days of prayer in January they might do the Daniel Fast, food altogether, sugar, 1- 2 meals a day, etc. But in my brain, that simple suggestion to skip or restrict a meal can flip a switch that cannot be easily turned off and send me spiraling.
I can remember over the years when I started realizing I was struggling in this area I just didn’t know why or how or what to do to help myself. 21 days of prayer and fasting would roll around and I decide to do Daniel fast and fail miserable. Enter shame and guilt.
Then I’d decided to fast sugar, same thing, I’d fail miserably. Enter more shame and guilt. I’d ask myself time and time again “Why can’t I do this?”
I know people mean well but there are some people that will shame you for not fasting what they’re fasting. That happened to me countless times. Let me just say I don’t need someone else heaping more shame and guilt on me I’ve done enough of that myself. You should NEVER shame anyone for doing something differently or not doing something you are doing because you have no idea what they are going through.
I read somewhere, “In many cases, asking a recovering eating disordered individual to fast for a single meal would be like inviting a recovering alcoholic to drink a beer: It is absolutely disastrous.” Let me just say it’s VERY TRUE!
I’m so thankful in so many ways for 2020. I believe I’ve grown more in my eating disorder which is mind blowing because during a pandemic eating disorders as well as other addictions and disorders were skyrocketing. Not to say, I didn’t have my challenges but I praise God He was moving and working in me and through me to gain more freedom instead of losing freedom.
So as we start this season of 21 Days of Fasting and Prayer, FOOD IS NOT AN OPTION FOR ME and even though it’s taken me a really long time to believe this….It’s ok!
I know we are called to Fast and Pray it’s all over the Bible. It was through 21 days of Fasting and Prayer when God finally said “Nicole, now is the time to deal with this secret problem you have.” He told me to throw out my diuretics and laxatives that I had been abusing for sooooo many years and I was set free right there! Haven’t touched another laxative or diuretic since. So I KNOW fasting and prayer work. It’s just mine and maybe yours needs to look differently and ITS OK.
We have to protect our own recovery. I have worked soooo incredibly hard to get to where I’m at and I have such a long way to go but you best believe I’m protective of myself.
Fasting is simply laying aside SELF. Who couldn’t benefit from that, right?
Fasting is clearing out the clutter that we’ve let in and allowing God in those places. I’m sure there are many areas we can come up with to give up or Fast from that don’t involve food.
Fasting is about growing closer to God.
More of Him and less of me.
Fasting is NOT a diet and some people use it to lose weight at the beginning of the year but don’t work on the drawing closer to Him part.
Ideas of things you can FAST:
Online Shopping 😱🙈 my hubby would prolly like me to do this one LOL😜
Negative Self Talk
Don’t Eat Out
There’s so many things you could Fast instead of food. It’s not about what your giving up it’s that you are dying to self so that Christ can be glorified through us.
Maybe, just maybe, me walking in my recovery, following my meal plan for someone with ED….maybe MY FAST. See now I’m learning self care and how to nourish myself….that’s a sacrifice and takes a lot of time and prayer.
So yes, I’m excited about 21 Days of Fasting and Prayer! But I WILL NOT be fasting food in any way. My ED recovery is to precious to me and I’ve come to far for that. I look forward to seeing what our Mighty God will do during this season.
I’m believing and expecting great things for you and for me. God bless you and I hope you have a wonderful week!
I still believe You’re moving. I still believe You’re speaking God, I believe You’re working All things for good. I fix my eyes on Heaven God, I receive Your vision God, I believe You’re working All things for good. We sing come alive in the name of Jesus. Come alive in the name of Jesus. This is a house of miracles. We bring everything to the feet of Jesus. Everything in the name of Jesus. This is a house of miracles💗🙏🙌💯⚓️