It’s over. I drank coffee. I ate a muffin and drank more coffee. To be precise, I drank a peppermint mocha at my new favorite coffee house. I celebrated, sort of. I am glad it’s over. My body did not like the Daniel Fast very much. My family did not like the meals of rice and beans and occasional tofu. But I can’t say it wasn’t worth it. I’m not at all sure it was worth it physically. But spiritually, I’d have to say it was. Not in the way I thought it would be, though.
I was explaining to a friend how I felt in the midst of the fast—sick, stripped of my usual comforts. Raw. Uncertain. Disillusioned. And she remarked that when you fast, it feels like God is stripping you. After the fast is over, He fills you up. You get your breakthroughs. Things start to come together.
Yes. That’s it. At least the first part.
God has been stripping me.
Stripping me of my idols. I lean too heavily on things that aren’t stable. They’re mutable. One week I am on. You know—I can write an amazing post. I’m not being egotistical, it’s just the truth, friends. Then for months the well is dry. My muse is silent. I feel like a sorry excuse for a writer. My worth as a person, my identity, starts sinking. At some point I have to fish it out of the gutter. But my self-worth ought not be based on how well I write. The gift of writing is from God. He fills the well. I am complete in Him—and writing flows out of my wholeness. Not the other way around.
Relationships ebb and flow. Todd and I are in a great place right now. It’s not always like that. There are times when we fight over who has to wash the French press—or worse. I feel on top of the world when the fireworks are exploding all around us. But if they’re not, am I any less a woman? Is my love somehow not worthy?
I don’t always feel as close to my friends as I want to. Sometimes I click with another woman—we just seem to get each other. And other times, these last three weeks for instance, I wonder why I’m so lonely. Where do I belong? The stripping continues and God reminds me that I belong to Him. Friends come and go. Some last a lifetime, but often the friendship waxes and wanes. He remains the same.
So He’s been stripping me, yes. Showing me how little control I actually have and how unstable the things I rely on. But He is ever gentle and knows how much I can bear.
I’m empty now—as empty as I can be at this point. I’m open. Ready to be filled with good things.
For it was I, the LORD your God,
who rescued you from the land of Egypt.
Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things.