Saturday, May 26, 2012

Daniel Fast, Day 21: Wrap-Up!

Hey, y'all!  It has been a long day, and Mama is tired!  And a whole lot lighter in the pocket than when the day started.  Am I complaining?  Not at the moment; I'm feeling pretty happy with my purchases at the moment.  But some of that stuff I know full well I could have have done without buying today, although if I hadn't bought it today, I would have bought it some other day, so today was as good a day as any other to get it.

Things I bought today that I could have put on the "buy later" list include a jar of bentonite clay that I plan to try on my hair as a shampoo, a 32-ounce bottle of African black soap by Alaffia that I tried as a hand soap almost as soon as I walked in the door—verdict:  YE-E-E-E-ESSSSSSS!!!—some natural toothpaste for which I misread the price and so will not buy again, a tube of Burt's Bees lip balm that has mango butter in it but which I didn't need right now because I just bought two others last month, two bags of snacks that I could have probably bought elsewhere at equal or lesser cost, and a tube of double-concentrated tomato paste.  Although, to be fair, the things that really drove up my budget are the nuts and the maple syrup.  The nuts I will eat anyway, because they've become a staple in the way of eating that I will be practicing from now on. The maple syrup is one of three, maybe four sweeteners which will all replace sugar as staple sweeteners in my food list, and it's one of those things where it becomes more cost effective the more of it you buy, which means to make it worth the price, you pretty much have to break the bank on it.

This is the last day of the Daniel Fast, y'all.  I'm very happy about that.  I have two pieces of swordfish thawing out in my fridge right now, that I plan to cook tomorrow for lunch to inaugurate my new intended pescetarianism.  With it I will have a tabouleh salad, sliced tomatoes, and fruit.  Maybe I will also brew some green tea.  I have missed my tea!  And it will be nice to have something else to eat with rice besides pinto beans, although I ate that for breakfast and supper (I missed lunch) today and liked it both times, so obviously I'm not hurting that much, just want to shake up the monotony a bit, and now I can. 

So, was this anything like what I expected?  Yes and no.  Yes, I knew that it would be both easier and harder than the typical, more complete, more arduous fast wherein I give up all foods and all liquids except water (at my current size, as much sweat as I produce, and with my bladder's tendency to spasm painfully when I'm critically dehydrated, I stopped trying to fast without water years ago); easier because I still ate, but harder because I still gave up eating things I desired.  And just because the fast is now in its last hours, it doesn't mean that I will go back to business as usual.  Instead, I start a different way of eating, for which this fast was a set-up as much as it was a sacrifice. 

Do I feel that I wasted my time?  Absolutely NOT!!!  This was good for me in a number of ways.  I lost weight; how much I don't know, but lose weight I definitely know I did.  During this week alone, I have now been in two situations wherein I was required to sit in chairs that typically were too small to hold me comfortably, if at all, and in both instances the chairs held me with a greater degree of comfort than they would have a mere three weeks ago.  I've now made a 20-minute walk part of my daily routine for at least two days out of the week, and will certainly do it more than that.  I feel better than I have in YEARS!!!  And that's just the beginning. 

I've become more proactive about avoiding as many unnecessary and artificial preservatives and additives as possible.  I'm eating more plant matter than ever before.  I can now eat plain fruit or vegetables and nothing else and still be satisfied, and I'm more readily satisfied on far less.  I now know that I don't need to eat meat to be satisfied.  As a result of not eating it, my cholesterol is going to go down overall, and my bad cholesterol specifically.  I'm going to continue to see a drop in weight, because I have replaced the volume of meat I ate with a greater volume of legumes, nuts, and seeds as a result of which I will take in fewer calories in exchange for way more fiber, which will help to sweep out the fat I do take in and relieve my liver of having to work as hard.  That energy from there can now go to other things, and I will be healthier overall.  I'm emptying my gut regularly, with less effort in a lot of instances, and more than one time in most days.   

There is no more reason for me to mentally prepare myself for the possibility of being in a wheelchair; rather, I can focus on regaining my legs and strengthening my left hip and knee, so I can stand straighter and walk with better form so as not to throw myself out of gait and off balance.  As I get stronger, I will walk farther and become healthier.  I have so missed walking :-(!  Because my body will be healthier, I will feel better, because I will expend less emotional and mental energy on dealing with pain and  tiredness.  Rather than needing strength for bearing pain constantly and having it as a way of life, I will now have strength to put toward other things.  I can explore options that I thought had slipped beyond me forever. 

And the whole thing started because God's Holy Spirit prompted me to begin to search out ways to protect my liver, prompted me to begin the Daniel Fast, and touched my back and set this healing in motion.  He is so very good!

Since I promised to tell the story of how I was healed, it wouldn't be a complete wrap-up of this fast if I didn't tell that story.  So here it is.

I mentioned my new church, Miracle Life Ministries International, which is in walking distance from my residence.  They had a prophetic conference during the last weekend in April, and when it was announced some weeks well in advance, I made it my business that I would be present.  And so I was.

Of the conference generally, I must say that it was a phenomenal experience, and if you missed it, I'm sorry for you.  I benefited greatly from it in more ways than just the healing itself.  I have known that prophecy was one of my spiritual gifts, and I have used that gift over the years, but I needed more boldness and more assurance in my ability to exercise the gift.  I received this boldness and assurance as a result of my participation in the conference.  The whole conference was divided up into sessions: the Friday evening session, the Saturday morning session, and the final session that evening.  Everything God had for me manifested during that afternoon session. 

First there was the moment during which we were all—at least I was—in the Spirit.  The Spirit moved in a wave of anointing across the room.  I was sitting in my chair, I know I was; but then, in an instant, I became aware of being in a reclining position, being lifted up in that position, and being held.  I could fee myself being rocked very slowly and gently, as if I were a small child being held.  The sensation was amazing!  I felt that I weight next to nothing as I was held and being rocked.  I have no words to write that will do justice to that moment; it was brief but indelible.  I do not think I will ever forget it, how it felt to be held like that.  I knew it was God, my Abba, who and come by His Spirit to love me like that.  It was so sweet!  Gentle, warm, tender,  I've never felt anything quite like it, although there have been other moments that I had forgotten that were also very beautiful and special, when the Holy Spirit had visited me in the past.

Then later, during a time when the chairs were moved back to make room for all the people to stand and receive the laying on of hands, I was in a moment of intensely focused worship, hands up, eyes closed, when someone came, took my hands, pulled me forward until I was bending, then the guiding hands took my shoulders and drew me further forward and down until I was doubled over from the waist.  The hands then touched my back.  Those hands belonged to a person, a woman.  This I know.

I don't know how long I stayed bent over, head, shoulders, torso, and arms hanging down to the floor, but I stayed there until I felt the release to rise.  I straightened, arms upraised, head back, back arched, and as I continued worshiping—all this time I had not stopped—there was suddenly a sensation of flickering heat, in the area of my back from whence had originated so much pain and trouble!  It intensified and moved along my back from that area and around in it, and I began claiming by faith and in the Spirit what I wanted:  Total healing of my back, that I would stand and walk and dance, that there would be no more pain, and only the healthy end-of-the-day weariness of a strong, healthy body that had worked hard and well.  Power and strength and ability to walk, so that I could begin to take care of myself and do those things that would help me become healthy in my body.  I claimed it in the Name of Jesus!  And the pain left, and, what else can I say, it has not been back from that moment to now.  And yes, I have been standing, and walking, and dancing in the Spirit.

That all happened before the Daniel Fast, but as I said earlier, the fast itself was part of something greater that God set into motion for my health, so this was a step in a series of steps.  The actual journey is underway, has been well underway for awhile now.  I'm excited to see where He takes me, and I'm so grateful for His mercy, His love, and His grace in not passing me by but helping me, and loving me, and just showing up so big, as He has done. To God be the glory!  I'm so happy right now!  Thank You, Abba! 

So now I think I'll grab a handful of nuts and maybe some fruit, and then I'm going to get ready for bed.  Thank y'all for coming with me on this journey.  I hope you've enjoyed what I've shared and that some of it was helpful to you.  It's a journey that may not make sense to some who are more legalistic or less sacrificial-minded, but for those who undertake it by faith, with true intent and a sincere heart, I think you will find it well worth the doing.  I wish you well, and all God's best to you in Jesus' Name!  Amen!


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