I decided to fast with the church because, for one, I wanted to be on board with whatever the church was doing and I knew it would be good for me. Aside from that, I had no objective or hope for anything.
As a storm system came through on Monday morning, I woke up to a blanket of snow and a school cancellation. This was a perfect day to get through my caffeine withdrawals that I was mentally preparing myself for and to get used to eating rabbit food.
By Tuesday, I was already feeling yucky and even though it was nice to have another snow day, the clouds and being stuck inside was already wearing on me. The phone rang that morning and I knew that it was news that my Grandma had passed on. This wasn’t unexpected.
It wasn’t so much the headache or my grandma’s death that brought the tears on. As I was processing everything, I realized how I had looked to things to provide menial comfort and never expected anything more. In fact, I had very little expectations in life in general, let alone expect anything from God. I’ve been afraid to expect or ask too much of God because I have been afraid of disappointment. I had become reliant on the simple things. This isn’t a bad, in and of itself, but what about when these simple things become your hiding spot? These things were my safety net keeping me from stepping out and allowing God to reveal Himself in a mighty way.
Having this realization and not knowing what to pray for, ask for, or hope for left me feeling desolate. I knew coffee couldn’t be it, driving couldn’t be it, friends couldn’t be it, nor anything else could be used for compensation for what God had for me. I knew that God had to be my all-in-all. However, knowing how to let go in order to let God seemed to evade me. It literally hurt as I prayed for God to have my life completely.
As if things weren’t complicated enough during this fast, I had to prepare myself to go be with family for my Grandmother’s funeral. This meant spending time with a family who I always felt their disapproval, am it my looks or my ways. I never felt like I fit in or belonged. I never felt comfortable nor did I feel wanted. So here I was as I was detoxifying my body and emotions, going straight to the lion’s den of baggage.
There was no “I’m sorry”, no discussion of the past, just a welcome that I had never experienced before. For the first time I had the confidence to step into my grandmother’s home with the boldness and confidence to be myself, in a way I had never been able to do before. They wanted me around. They asked me about my life with interest. I felt like I had the right to step into my family’s home simply because I was a member of the family. I left knowing that I belonged and therefore, I could expect to be treated with goodness and kindness.
I came back with a new-found security. As I came back to my home and to my own personal struggles, I still didn’t know how to come to God in prayer. I still didn’t know how to expect big things from Him. All I do have is the security to approach His throne, just like I felt the boldness to step into my family’s home as an heir. I asked God to not let me end my fast in disappointment to give me the words of what to pray for, to give me the boldness to expect, but mostly to give me all of Him. I asked for my eyes and heart to be opened to Him, and to give me that “aha” moment of clarity.
That Monday, my fast ended. I got up, poured my coffee into my John Wayne mug then began my day on the floor to pray. Only this time, I wrote down expectations. As I wrote, my tongue was loosened and I finally had the words to pray. Most importantly, I had the confidence to expect from God big things and had the belief that He could and would do far more than what I could ever imagine. Far more than what I could ever compensate with my simple pleasures in life that I had used to protect myself.
Have I received these things yet? No. but I know that I won’t be disappointed. And because I can boldly approach Him as a member of the family, a daughter, a princess, I can lay aside all that I hope for, waiting in eager expectation, trusting that my Heavenly Father will do so much more for me and through me than I could ever get by myself. I finally can be still and know.