I’ve started several posts over the last few weeks and have posted nothing. *sigh* I’ve entered into a period of growth and the growing pains have been…interesting. Do I share them? Do I enter into full vulnerability here where anyone can see? What is the point of blogging if I’m not willing to share my process?
So here I am with a deep breath, my heart beating rapidly in my chest and my palms sweaty as I toss all the posts I’ve started to write away and get down to brass tacks. This blog is about my journey, after all. All the bright and shiny moments along with the all the muck and mire and, well, shit.
God has been asking me to fast for some time. I’ve been blissfully avoiding his prodding until last month when I couldn’t really ignore it anymore. My life was stale and my spiritual journey felt none existent. I was sleepwalking, no longer fully participating in my life. So I prepared for a month-long modified Daniel fast. I wanted to hear the Holy Spirit. I wanted something big and spectacular to be revealed. Mostly, I wanted to move forward and I finally realized that I was getting in my way.
So I fasted. I didn’t have huge epiphanies, didn’t see visions from Heaven. I didn’t hear God’s voice in clear and certain ways. When I started I wanted this to be a time of deep revelation. I wanted to come out the other side different. Changed. Enlightened. I think God laughed at me because my motivation starting out was so very wrong. What I learned instead was to rest. I learned to pray simple prayers. I was given a picture of generational bondage in my family line, though I was not delivered of that bondage during my fast.
God wasn’t going to deliver and change me in one go. I see that now. This fast was a way of clearing the deck of the noise buzzing around in my mind and paving the way for this next leg of our journey together. It wasn’t a way to bypass all the work ahead of me. More a way to accelerate the growth process. Was I disappointed I wasn’t magically changed? Sure, if there is away out of doing the hard work and get the same end result, who wouldn’t choose that? Come on, you know you want to raise your hand along with me.
So no drastic change. In fact, very little work within me through the first three weeks of my fast. I didn’t sense any change, really, until the last week of my fast when I spent time at a conference where Graham Cooke conference. His words are so full, his message so pregnant with revelation and meaning, I left each session feeling like my mind had been through a blender. But something in me shifted. Something Claire and I had been discussing. A cloud I was living under called Acedia.
I’ve been praying for clarity for a couple of years now, but something always seemed to fog my mind. Acedia is a sneaky bitch, whispering little things in one’s ear, zapping energy and focus, eating away at motivation. Lulling a person into complacency. We are not dangerous warriors when we are complacent, when we are suffering deep ennui. This is not a mental disorder such as depression. It is not melancholy. It’s subtle and insidious and breaking away from acedia is very difficult. Especially if you don’t know the ennui and complacency in your life is the result of being preyed upon and agreeing with this lying spirit.
During the conference I prayed for the Holy Spirit to fill me so there would be no room for Acedia. So I would hear only his voice. I prayed I would see the agreements I had made so I could renounce them. I was done. I was tired of never gaining traction. Never moving forward.
My prayers were answered in a subtle but meaningful way. Wouldn’t it have been cool if the light of heaven had shone down around me in that moment? Or the Holy Spirit filled me so completely I collapsed on the floor? Hmm, in retrospect, no, that would not have been a good thing. I would have been mortified! God knows this and in His kind and knowing way he gave me something else. Instead of something dramatic occurring, I heard the ocean. I love the ocean. I am not a complete person if I am not able to be around large bodies of water. The ocean soothes me, the lapping and crashing of waves renews me.
And that night I heard the ocean. And I knew that God had agreed with my prayer. That life will never be the same.
I still have acedia clinging to me like a petulant child, and sometimes I listen to the whispers and I want to agree with them. I’m so tired, too tired to clean the kitchen. I’m too sore to get start my day so it’s best to stay in bed and sleep. My job doesn’t hold meaning. But I don’t. God is with me. God has given me so much, a kitchen I can use to cook healthy and tasty food. A home. A family. Friends. A way to earn money and expand my skill set. Thanksgiving is the enemy of acedia. Rejoicing is the foundation of life in Christ. So I’m learning to rejoice, to look at my life and circumstance with thanksgiving. I’m learning to be the woman God created me to be.