My friend Mitzi continues her guest post today as she candidly shares the work God did in her through this book.
Food was hard, because I love food, and due to medical reasons I have to eat food often, and like I said before, I like variety (my husband can eat the same thing for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day and be okay with it). Each girl in our book club did something different, I chose 12 foods, one girl ate rice and beans for dinner every night, one girl fasted during the lunch hour and one brave soul gave up her two-a-day Starbuck’s habit (can you say withdrawal?).
Since this was to be a fast of sorts I made a commitment that every time I wanted food that was not on my list I would pray.
The first day was hard, like Jen says in her book, my brain was foggy and I had a headache that put all other headaches to shame, but still, when I wanted to grab that little piece of dark chocolate that I knew would make it all better, I sent a quick shout out to God “help the hungry people of the world!” and yes that is as deep as my prayers went that day, they were scattered, quick and mostly out of obligation to my challenge.
The next morning I woke up with a little more clarity and decided to regroup a little. I assigned each day of this challenge a particular thing to pray about.
Day 2: My husband and my children
Day 3: Thankfulness
Day 4: Our country and third world countries.
Day 5: My family
Day 6: The ministry I work at and the ministry I left to move to Mississippi.
Day 7: My friends
It was on day seven that God taught me how to pray…to pray big prayers, to pray without ceasing, to pray in faith that He could answer prayers, to pray with purpose. It was on that day that He reminded me that He is God, the Great I Am, the Great Healer and Provider and that He hears us, that my little prayers matter to Him!
I have grown up in a Christian home my whole life, I know these things, and I have seen them played out in other people’s lives, with other people’s prayers. I even saw them in my own life when I held my son for the first time and then two years later when I held my baby girl, the answers to my “Hannah” prayers, but, for some reason this time it really hit me. God wants us to pray big and pray specifically and He will hear and answer.
I am in an online book club with some wonderful women spread out all over the United States and even in other countries. We are doing the book “7” by Jen Hatmaker and we were on the first chapter which is only eating 7 foods (we did it for two weeks not a month) and so I prayed each day for something specific when I wanted foods that were out of the boundaries of my list.
Two Fridays ago was my last day of the fast and I wanted to be done early but God was giving me the grace to keep going until I had finished my day. That was the day I prayed for friends, during one specific time I was praying for 3 friends who have all been in a long wait for adoption and have all suffered sadness and disappointment along the way. I prayed that God would bring you all babies, in His timing of course, but right now if I could be so bold to ask.
After the food fast was over God showed me answers to some specific prayer requests which was encouraging to me and also showed me the huge need for more fasting in my life. The following Monday (3 days later) I was in Florida on family vacation and received a text of you holding your brand new son! The day I prayed for you your son was born! I’m not trying to take credit for the BIG miracle that you have just experienced, but I wanted you and your son to know this very tiny part of his story where a silly girl in Mississippi prayed for him to find his forever family and how that really silly girl got to see, even though she should already know, that God really does answer prayers! We love you guys and are beyond excited.
I did plant a vegetable garden which gave me some small tomatoes, peppers that never grew and huge zucchini, we only got to enjoy a few of them though because we got weird zucchini bugs that ate them all up…we will try again next summer.
I do feel like I am a better version of myself because of this book and God tore open some things that needed to be torn open and He revealed Himself to me in ways that I had not seen in awhile.
I don’t really know how to conclude this, I am super bad at wrapping things up, but I would say it was definitely a one-of-a-kind experience that I would do again in a heartbeat just to refocus my priorities because we all need a little refocusing now and again.
Have you read 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker? We’d love to hear what you thought and some ways that God challenged you through it.