fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.Isaiah 41: 10
I’ve just been blessed! So, I decided to jump ahead and write this right now! I was just saying this to my best friend earlier today, that in order to resolve a problem, confrontation is a must. Let me say this in a way that sounds more *esteemed*. Resolution is impossible without braving the confrontation. Isn’t that what we’re afraid of anyway? The confrontation of a perceived threat? Our phobias motivate us into the religion of hedonic pursuits. Escaping pain and discomfort at any cost and I’m in the front of the line. I fail to run towards workouts since I hate being sore the next day. I hate ignoring my compulsion to fill my amazon cart up with wish list items. I fight off thoughts to dip into my savings to buy things I’d eventually throw away. As I fight, I continue to invest in self-preservation in various ways; I’m reminded that fear contributes to our death. The death of hopes, dreams, energy, time, and opportunity.
I’ve been a failure. I was supposed to be fasting for a few weeks and days in…hours even, I’d crash in the shame of work cabinets overflowing with Halloween candy or in the craving of dry rub wings from my favorite restaurant. I’m shooketh! I’ve never had such an issue with fasting before now. Day after day I convince myself to begin again, but first, I have to get this upcoming brunch date out of the way. THE NEXT DAY: post-birthday goodies… ME: “Tomorrow, we’ll start then!”This went on for hours until tomorrow actually came and once I started, I only last 4 days…out of 21. The shame and conviction smh! I’ve taken past fasting temptation like a champ! I was the one who’d cheer my friends to victory during our church’s 6 days fast and now, I’m realizing how addicted I am to comfort…not food. It was as if the tables turned and I can’t seem to turn down food to grow in God and the truth of the situation really is that I didn’t really want to. Passing up a full belly for hunger pains and prayer…I mean, why lie?
But I did, I lied to myself day after day. The thought of admitting that I would rather eat than spend time with God seems blasphemous in itself. I followed my desire, I ate. As I ate throughout the week, I didn’t feel full or rather fulfilled. No, I didn’t piece that together to seem deep, it’s the honest truth. I felt just as empty as if I hadn’t eaten at all. Anyway, fast forward to today I decided to begin yet again. After quitting, convincing myself I would fast in January and that I simply started too quickly which is why I kept failing. When I started over today, I decided to embrace the coming hunger pains, leg cramps, and nausea that regularly occurs on this journey as well as coming to terms that I won’t feel like serving God.
Admitting the truth of it helped me to appreciate confronting the fear of committing to something that’s uncomfortable. Avoiding hunger has been my motivation to abandon my cause but when I felt my first hunger pain after a few hours into my fast, I felt excited!! Why?? Because being hungry meant that I was successful. Feeling the discomfort of hunger meant I committed to my decision enough to feel the discomfort and see it as a sign I’m going in the right direction. When God gave that to me, I was DONE! I could’ve baptist fitted myself dry. The very thing I distracted myself from feeling was the signal of success. While talking to my friend, she talked about how success is only the stimulus to keep going but the substance and lessons of life are made of failures. I couldn’t agree more. The signs of failure point to eventual success but you have to commit to embracing the uncomfortable and you’re sure to get there. Whether it’s completing a fast, workout regimen or sticking to a budget, the discipline of embracing the unpreferred is what builds us.