Sunday, January 20, 2013

immeasurably more

inspiration: daniel fast in review

i know it's not over yet, i still have 3 days to go, but i wanted to share my Daniel Fast experience because it's been incredible. you can read how i was prompted to do the fast but i will definitely proclaim Ephesians 3:20 on this one!

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,

The NIV uses "immeasurably" more...
I just love the idea of something being immeasurable. As humans, we see things in terms of the laws of nature, but to know that God has something that is "immeasurable more" than  our minds can comprehend or understand is mind-blowing.

But i truly believe that God has done just that over these last two-and-a-half weeks.


When I began this fast, i had a specific issue in my mind that i needed to be redeemed from: impurity. in my thought life, in my physical life, i knew that i wasn't living in a way that truly glorified God. i wanted to spend my time reading and studying the Word and praying through what godly living looked like for me. and that is what i was "asking" and "thinking" about.

the first probably four days of the fast were incredibly hard.
i love meat and cheese and yogurt and chocolate. i love sweet tea, the occasional mountain dew, and milkshakes. but i knew that God was calling me to something better, so i intentionally gave it up. and started eating according to the daniel fast.

instead of praying more, i was obsessed with food.
instead of being consumed in the Word, i was consumed with finding recipes i could make.

i finally talked to Holden on day four and he called me out on it.
"You're focusing even less on God because you're worried about food. Do you think Daniel worried this much about what he could and couldn't eat? He was praying and, sweetie, you need to start praying, too."

talk about a kick in the gut.
hearing hard things is hard enough.
hearing hard things from the man you love is even harder.
but i began shifting my focus back on to what it was i originally set out to do. study the Word to see what it said about living in a godly way.

the next day, i sent an e-mail to my huddle, confessing my struggle and asking for them to come behind me in prayer as my sisters in christ and my accountability partners. they gladly accepted. but three nights later, God began his journey of "immeasurably more" ... the REAL reason that He wanted me to fast.

during our huddle meeting, linsey, our leader, was really nailing it hard on prayer, on the importance of prayer, and for me, the importance of sitting still! i have a type-A personality and a mind that runs best on a to-do list and rarely does that to-do list say "sit and do nothing". we had just finished the circle maker and i was talking about how i didn't know what to pray about. i felt as if i didn't have any big or bold dreams.

i also confessed that i have a hard time praying for things in my career because i see it as being selfish. i can easily pray about going to africa because that's actively being a missionary. but linsey called me out and reminded me that my mission field is my job - that it's harder to be a missionary at work because we're completely in the real world. she wanted me to start praying specifically for opportunities in my work because that's where God has placed me right now.

i immediately circled back to prayers that were work-related and realized there are a lot of ways in which my job is one big prayer circle for me. i want to be a good team leader, i want to see our company thrive and for my co-workers' lives to be more efficient at work. if i can save them time, i'm saving the company money! no feature is too big or small if it's going to save the company money. there are a lot of areas in which my team has "vision beyond resources".

coincidentally (or in God's terms - in perfect timing!), this conversation occurred at the same time in which i was writing my goals and accomplishments and improvements for my annual review (I've been at Hawkes for almost 2 years!! Time flies!!) and i immediately began praying circles around every single one of my goals for the next year. i prayed diligently about how to make these immeasurable dreams into measurable goals. i haven't had my review yet, but i'm praying for God's hand in that review, that if these things aren't of His will, that He would make it known. at work, i spent almost two weeks e-mailing and meeting with people about features and designs and planning so that our team can begin making this dream become a reality. it won't be easy, that's for sure, but i'm praying boldly for 2013 to be my year!

God has also blessed me with opportunities to build strong relationships with women again. that wasn't even something i was praying specifically for, but a doors with a 20s ministry called The Mix are opening wide in north charleston. i'm praying in this next year, strong relationships with guys and girls from the mix will be built! a huge stumbling block in my relationship with Holden is our tendency to focus only one one another, ostracizing opportunities to hang out with other people - we see each other rarely during the week any more because of our jobs and i love hanging out with him on the weekends, but i think the lack of true relationship and friendship with other people has kept me from blooming in other areas.


this is a very long post, obviously.
but i just wanted to share my story and experience.
if you want to really see God work in your lives in an immeasurable way, i can say from experience that prayer and fasting are the way to go! i would highly suggest praying about fasting first, as it is a true commitment to God - not something to be taken lightly. but i also encourage you that if you are fasting, make sure you're spending intimate time with God, otherwise, it's just a diet. the first four days of my "daniel diet" were hard, but once i gave it over to the Lord, it truly became a worship experience and one that i will likely do in the future!

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