(Be sure to come back and check this article frequently as I will be updating it throughout the next 21 days of the fast)
This morning when my alarm clock went off, interrupting my dream just before I was about to tear into a plate full of desserts made by Lauren of Sweet Thangs By Lo (if you're getting married please check her out for wedding cakes and be on the lookout for her spices coming out next month), I struggled with if I should just roll back over and try to return to that dream or be obedient and wake up for our corporate church prayer. I've been focusing more on obedience opposed to sacrifice during this season of Daniel Fasting, so I begrudgingly got up and tuned in to Pastor Carter's prayer for today. I'm so glad that I did. The scripture that Pastor Carter used to focus our prayer was 2 Corinthians 12 when Paul was praying for the thorn to be removed from his side. Check out Pastor's Prayer below.
Now at the beginning of the year my friends and I all got together to create vision boards. We then presented them to each other. I am the notoriously single friend. I've practically been single my entire life. I date here and there, but it doesn't tend to go much further than that. I've lived a pretty lonely life, and it's something that I go through highs and lows with. I go through the whole I'm going to use this time to do me and further my goals seasons, and I go through the I really want someone to share life with and have a family with seasons. Well, when it was my time to share my vision for my life I, without thinking much of it, talked about how I want to have a love life, but that I'd prayed in the past that if it wasn't meant for me to ever be in a relationship that God would just remove the desire all together from my heart so that I don't have to hurt anymore. My friend Tunisha got on to me about praying for that, and questioned me on why I would be negative and ask God for that. I do believe that there are some great people on this earth that are meant to live life being single, and if that is my lot in life I just want to be able to be happy in that long term and not just for seasons in life. During prayer this morning Pastor talked about how involved Paul was in ministry and he still prayed for this thorn to be removed. Pastor said that God gives us grace and grace gives us the capacity to handle things that we couldn't handle on our own. He had us to focus on 3 things in prayer. Lord give me the faith to come to you in prayer. I'd be lying if I said that my faith has been weak and I've just about lost all hope. Lord give me the faith to still come to you in prayer and believe that you have the power to do what is being asked. The second focus was Lord give me your grace to make it through. It's only by God's grace that I haven't thrown in the towel at this point and done things in my life relating to this topic that I'd regret. Thank you God for your grace. I pray that He continues to strengthen me as I walk this Christian walk. Even if my prayer isn't answered the way I want it to be, please still give me your grace to keep holding on. The 3rd focus was Lord thank you for meeting me in my suffering. I'm not in this alone. Although it often feels like it, deep in my heart I know I'm not alone. I'm so thankful that in the midst of it all God is still there. I was so encouraged by the prayer, but isn't it funny how the devil works. Over the course of the morning my mind started to wonder. It's a nice sunny day here in the DFW after all of these bitterly cold days, and I find myself on the couch alone doing work. My thoughts started to wander and I started to get a little down all over again. While scrolling through IG stories Yvonne Orji shared a Ted Talk that she did last year. I've heard her story before, but I hadn't seen this particular message. Yvonne and I have something in common. We are both waiting until marriage before having sex. I've heard so many hurtful things during my life about my decision. I've heard I'm never going to find someone willing to wait until marriage before having sex with me. I've heard if you do find someone who wants to be with you just be prepared because he's going to be cheating on you. I had one guy who while on a date I revealed this to him (only because he kept bringing the topic up) and he just started laughing out loud in my face to the point where other patrons were looking at us wondering what he was laughing at. I've loved, and not been able to pursue that love because the person I loved wasn't willing to wait for me. I've met guys, taken the time to get to know them, really vibe with them, and then after discovering this info out they tell me how much they respect my decision and admire me before slowing disappearing from my life. Oh the stories go on and on. So today, in my moment of hurt, hearing Yvonne share her Ted talk reminded me of the prayer from this morning, and gave me just the strength I need to go on another day. I'd be lying if I said I don't often think about just giving up, throwing in the towel and giving up on the wait. But I am hopeful that in the end the wait will be worth it.
Earlier in the fast my friend Erika asked if I've had any revelations during the fast. At the time I hadn't. Now that I reflect I'd say that I have. I've attended 2 great food events, and I was able to control myself and stick closely to the fast by only eating vegetables, hummus and drinking water during both events. One of my goals is to take better care of my temple and get healthier. I feel like I can exhibit self control and still be able to satisfy the foodie in me. This is a much needed boost to my momentum as I'm trying to lose 50lbs. As I've been praying for the people on my prayer list God is revealing to me just how powerful prayer is and helping me to strengthen my faith and dependence on Him. My prayer and devotion time is something I've needed to work on as well, and I've been committed for 13 days to waking up and tuning in to church prayer. I've prayed more throughout the day, and been more intentional with my prayers. I feel really connected to God right now. I'm so grateful for what has occurred over these 13 days and looking forward to what will take place in the next 8 days of the fast. I'll be honest. I haven't kept up with the devotional book we're supposed to be using during the prayer. That is my goal for the upcoming week. To get caught up and consistently use the book. I hope you all are enjoying this time of praying and fasting! We're almost there y'all!
I survived the first 2 days of the fast. For oatmeal yesterday I had oatmeal. I had broccoli and carrots for lunch and dinner. I had water throughout the day. Today I had a green smoothie for breakfast, another green smoothie for lunch along with a banana and 2 clementines and for dinner I had a Chipotle inspired bowl that was really yummy. That will definitely be a go to meal throughout the fast as well as after the fast. It consisted of brown rice, corn, bell peppers, black beans and fresh avocado. I've managed to wake up and participate in prayer with Pastor Carter via Facebook live each day, and I'm really looking forward to seeing healing occur in my life as well as the life of my friends. Sunday Pastor Carter had us write the names down of those people in our lives who needed healing. We put those names on the alter and the church is praying for all of those names. I am continuing to pray for those individuals as well. I haven't said anything to those people, and some of them are people I haven't talked to in a while, but have seen their needs via social media. I look forward to seeing some situations change as we lift those people that I care about up in prayer.
Fasting is something that growing up I would hear about the older members of our church doing. As a child I thought fasting was a time when people would stop eating and only drink water. I wanted no parts of that! When I became an adult I learned that I was a bit off in what I grew up thinking a fast was. It wasn't going days without eating, but going periods of time denying yourself and relying on God to sustain you as you seek Him through different situations in your life.I learned that there were different ways to fast and things to fast from. After joining Concord Church I participated in my first fast. We did the Daniel Fast, but I modified my guidelines and stuck to a vegan diet during that time. I feel like I short changed myself because I found so many loop holes that I really wasn't denying myself of anything, and actually ate so good that I gained weight. Another year at Concord we participated in a financial fast. That was amazing. We could only spend money on bills, gas, groceries to prepare meals at home, and other necessary items. You don't realize how much extra money you spend every month on unnecessary things until you can't make those purchases anymore. I saved hundreds of dollars. It was my favorite fast to date. Well here it is another year, and I think this will be my chance to finally do the fast the right way. I am going to stick closely to the guidelines that have been put forth. The Bible says that obedience is better than sacrifice (see the full scripture at 1 Samuel 15:22) and I am going to be obedient this year.
What does this mean for Brandi's Diary Blog and Brandi's Foodie Diary on IG? Those things will still keep rolling. Don't worry if you see me posting tasty food that doesn't quite line up with the Daniel Fast. It will either be something I've saved up to post during the next 21 days, or it will be something that one of my Foodie Diary Insiders has explored on my behalf. I will use the blog as a form of accountability. As I've expressed to my church members, we are in this thing together. There will be ups and downs over the next few weeks, but together we can get through this. I look forward to seeing how this time will mold us and breakthroughs that people have.