So this past week (November 14th), I went on a fast. If you know me well, you know I don't like fasting lol. I understand the significance of fasting, I understand the benefits, I know what scriptures to read, I know what sermons to watch, I understand the purpose and everything. I got it down pact. But, here's my honest truth as to why I don't fast…and this may be the reason many of you don't either…I was afraid to hear what God has to say, especially about myself. When I go on a fast, God is ready to reveal something that I'm not ready for and things that I'm not ready to do. When I begin to sense what God wants me to do I'm ready to doubt it and be like “Nah God, that's not you, that's the devil trying to ruin my life” LOL. I laugh because many of us…even myself, forget that the Holy Spirit reveals, convicts, and comforts (John 16:13). So what you may think is the “devil” is most likely God opening your eyes or disciplining you because He loves you and doesn't want to see you go down the wrong path (Hebrews 12:6).
So this past week it felt like my mind was running a marathon. I'm searching for a job that works with my schedule, my car needed to be fixed, my attitude has been off lately and the things I was praying for was not happening and made me paranoid. As I was trusting God through all of this, there was a small part of me wondering when and how he will come through…I was getting anxious and that lead to me being impatient. So I called a friend and explained to her my circumstances…mind you she's a wise young woman with very few words and she says, “When's the last time you fasted?” The fleeting thought of fasting actually did come to mind before I called her too. After that convo, I removed all my social media apps off of my phone and tried to prepare my mind for fasting. The next day (Sunday), I was talking to a friend and I shared with him a few things I've realized about myself lately and how I don't understand what's been going on with me. Then he says, “Maybe you just need to fast.” At this point I'm like “ok God I’ll fast.” At morning service that same day, pastor preached a heavy word about Spiritual warfare: “Walking Victoriously in Jesus” and ended his sermon with…yup you guessed it…fasting. I believed that that was the Lord really pushing me to fast since this was the 3rd confirmation in two days. I started my fast that very day. I journaled and sought the Lord each day. When I tell y'all He told me some things about myself, I cried like crazy. On the last day of my fast, I was seeking the Lord and watched a sermon. Now, before I get into how God showed out, let me back track quickly.
I applied for this job position and did great at the first and second interview. When I told them that I was looking for a part time job to balance my other job, they made it clear that's not what they needed right now. I was bummed because I knew I wouldn't get it. Now fast forward, in the middle of watching the sermon, I received a phone call from that job. The woman says, “it just so happened that we actually do need a part time teacher for the hours you listed”. When I got off the phone, I cried like a baby and kept repeating over and over again, “you changed their schedule for ME God?”. When God makes a way when it looks like there's no way, there's nothing you can do but rejoice. This testimony is coming from someone that did not like to fast and I gave God a chance, disciplined myself, sought the Lord, examined myself, removed any distractions and prayed. The thing is, I didn’t pray for the job during my fast, I was fasting for it but I wasn't praying for God to just give it to me. I believe that's how the blessings come, when your attention and focus is not on the blessing but the blesser. Once you understand the kind of God you serve, you know that He got you, you just don't know when…and not knowing when doesn't mean he's not working on it. Like pastor said, fasting tests your ability to truly pursue God above the areas of comfort and habits you are accustomed. The key word here is ability; are you able to pursue God; are you able to make that God time count; are you able to break out of your mundane routine and shift it for God; are you able to break some habits? Challenge yourself and show God what you're able to do. Anything that's comfortable and that's a habit always needs to be broken, so break them by fasting.
Young Women, if you are in a place of confusion, uncertainty, you feel distant from God, lost, unstable, overwhelmed, looking for answers to your problems, you feel clogged in your mind and/or in the spiritual…I suggest you fast. Prayer is key of course and like pastor said, fasting intensifies prayer. To me, fasting is like worshipping God, giving him all that you got, giving him all the glory and honor, and seeking his face in an empty house and rapidly seeing all the things you need in your home find its place; furniture, stove, décor, chairs, fridge, greens, beans, Potatoes, YOU NAME IT! It's a time of not thinking about yourself and changing the condition of your heart so you can receive what God is saying and better yet hear what's He's saying. If you have any questions on how to fast, what scriptures to read, what to fast from, sermon links etc. leave a reply below. God Bless.
For a year and 5 months, I've prayed and asked God what I should be doing with my life. My main goal is to make my mother proud and to do what I love for a living. There were many moments where I felt like it wasn't happening and that I will always be a disappointment. After college many graduates want money, an apartment, a good job, and overall stability. I hated change, I hated moving from job to job, and I hated that my life was not turning out the way I planned it. I believe that's where God had to step in and remind me that I can't do it alone. Many times I felt that everything is suppose to line up and be perfect. When I learned that's not the case, it took a toll on me. The life that we live is not meant to be perfect because we're always going to make mistakes or fail. Once that happens, that's when grace can step in and give us hope to keep persevering. Navigating this journey called life on my own means knowing what's best for me and being ok with being misunderstood. No matter how you explain your circumstance, no matter how you explain why you made the decision you made and no matter how many times you tell them that God confirmed it; everyone is not going to understand nor will everyone be pleased on how you navigate your life. You can't satisfy everyone and you have to be ok with it, why? Because you're not alone and you never have been. Through our rebellious phase to our lifestyle of worship, He's seen it all and was there the whole time. When you no longer need to “feel” that God is with you but you KNOW for sure that He is, the life you're living now will get easier. The scripture says “Be still and know that He is God” (Psalms 46:10). It didn't say “Be still and feel that He is God”. To “know” means to understand as truth, it means your mind is fixed on whatever you believe to be certain. Once you KNOW that you're not alone, once you KNOW that He is God, once you KNOW that He will never leave you and once you KNOW that He will never forsake you…this journey you're on will be worth discovering.
Young Women, you're probably stuck or tired of trying to understand your life. It's too much and sometimes you just wish you had the money, the car, the education, the career or whatever it is that you think will make your life easier. Do not give up on yourself. Do not settle. Do not take the easy route. Let God get the glory through your struggles and weaknesses (2nd Corin. 12:9). Have faith and give your worries to Him (1st Peter 5:7). You serve a MIGHTY God that wants to do MIGHTY works through you…yes you! You're not alone on this journey, God is with you always!
What does it mean to trust? I learned that with trust, you're leaving anything you can't handle or do on your own open to someone else to see, fix or interpret. It's openly and willingly giving someone complete access to different parts of your life. I intentionally wrote “entire” because I didn't trust God with everything in my life. Why should I leave it in His hands when I already know what I want to do with it. That’s where I went wrong and that's what caused a lot of frustration and confusion in different parts of my life. The first time I completely trusted God was in May of this year. Man, when I tell you it was the hardest thing I've ever done, I mean that. Having to put in the needed work to see results was easy but leaving it in Gods hands and trusting that He will come through was the difficult part. Time and time again, after every interview came back empty, I had to push my self to trust God. What I was trusting God for was really cutting close to the end, and that should've been the day I gave up and lost hope. But since I had a habit of doing that, I made sure that I did not let that happen again. I wanted to keep my faith, hope, and trust in God all the way so when He did fulfill my needs, I'd be receiving it with thankfulness, and not with the “I wish I trusted him” or “I feel bad that I lost hope”. Trusting God is a choice you have to make and you have to stick it out. You have to be willing to let God work. He can't work if you're not giving Him the room, space or access to do so. Putting my trust in God for my every need and for what I have is the greatest and most satisfying choice I've ever made. Why? Because He's fulfilling my needs and keeping me content with what I have. I trust God with what I have for they were once a need that I trusted him with first. Wow, I know that I've come a long way because I always wanted more of something whether it's food (well definitely food lol), clothes, shoes, hair products, and/or bath and body works candles. Now I can say I’m content and happy with where I am and I will always strive to be better.
Young Women, always remember that what you have now - whether it be a job, children, college acceptances, loans, finances, a husband, opportunities, ideas, etc. - was once a need you were trusting God to provide you with. Now that you have it, keep trusting God with it. Give honor and glory to the provider always, not to the provision.
My name is Raquel Meraki and I'm a young woman who is on the journey of self discovery and independence.