I've been putting off updating my experience with fasting because it's hard to put it into words, but I'm going to try.
I posted here before about wanting to develop a testimony of fasting. Well, I have definitely had a good start. A very successful start.
I had a couple of reasons for my fast. My number one reason was that I wanted to have self control. I started this experiment of sorts by reading a few articles from the Ensign about fasting. One of them talked about how it is a great way to develop self control. Well, I have been feeling very out of control in my life. In many areas but my main focus was with my eating.
My number two reason was that I was really missing my kids. I was feeling desperate to be with them and feeling like my whole life was on a standstill or crumbling because of having to work so much.
I decided to fast every Sunday. I have to admit that only one of those Sundays did I actually make it 24 hours. That was VERY difficult, but I do believe the Lord knew I was trying. Obviously if I was fasting for the purpose of getting self control, then I probably wasn't going to be able to make it fasting 24 hours very often. That would require self control that, obviously, I didn't have. hehe.
I probably fasted every week for a month. I don't really remember.
I fully expected that the answers to my prayers would be answered through my fasting. They weren't.
What it did do is prepare me for my answers. This came as a suprise but a wonderful one. I realized how much I really do not know a whole lot about the way the Lord handles things but He is very aware of me. I felt like through this fasting experiment my Spirit was truly prepared for the answers I would receive. My purpose of gaining self control fell by the wayside as the more important issue of being with my kids became all consuming. I do believe that the Lord saw that as a more important priority.
In December I was able to make the decision to be home with my kids after they got out of school. That meant changing my work schedule. Just a little background here - I have a very hard time with prayer. It is very difficult to focus. I usually have a thousand things going through my head and barely make it through my prayers most days and when I do get answers, they come in the form of ideas or thoughts. I usually act on those and see how it turns out.
However, the answer to this decision to be home after school for the kids came in a much better way. I was laying in bed because I can't seem to sit still or focus on my knees so why bother. Anyway, my mind was racing as usual and amid all the thoughts I mustered out to Heavenly Father my decision and asked Him if it was right. Immediately my entire body relaxed. I actually thought maybe I had fallen asleep. But my entire mind also relaxed and I could not think of anything except what I was praying about. Peace completely washed over me and I knew that it was the right decision. I had been so scared that Heavenly Father would want me to keep working those hours to help out the family finances but I was wrong. What a wonderful answer! I felt high on life.
So I confidently went to work and told my boss/brother that I wanted to get off work at 3 every day. He said that when my other brother started work in January, it probably wouldn't be an issue because he would stay until 5. So I waited anxiously for January. It came and went without my brother starting work. So I waited until February 15th when he actually started and then approached my brother about it again.
He said that my other brother was going to have the schedule of 6-3 so I had to stay until 5.
Needless to say, I was devistated. I was so sure of my answer. If I couldn't change my schedule, then what was I supposed to do. I had to work.
So I took this to the Lord and felt that maybe I had to just make another decision and see what happens. I honestly could not think of anything else to do but put in my two weeks notice. I prayed about this and the same thing happened. My entire body and mind relaxed and complete peace washed over me.
I actually thought that when I put in my notice then my brothers would take me more serious and let me change my schedule. I had to work. I had bought a new car some months previous and had a hefty payment with car insurance etc. I had to at least make that much. I gave them my two weeks notice. They were suprised and then said maybe I could work part time. I thought that would probably be ok because I could at least pay for my car that way.
I felt good and excited about cutting my hours. I knew that if I could pay for the car then the Lord would help provide for everything else. After all, he confirmed my decision to put in my notice.
Well, they decided to hire my sister full time and not keep me on at all. So now I have to find another part time job right? Wrong. One of my brothers offered to buy my car.
So, here I was thinking I had to work and the Lord would help me be home more for my kids. He wanted me home full time! Imagine that. He does care about my kids and me! So here I am at home full time again.
So the fasting prepared me for the last few months and all the anxiety that I had been feeling would have kept me from making any decisions but He prepared me and my faith in Him strengthened first throught fasting, then through prayer and answers to those prayers, then through following through with those answers.
As far as my other purpose of gaining self control. Well, since I put in my two weeks notice, I have a number of health issues and problems arise. Enough to make an appt. with a Dr. who is in my Ward and discuss some issues with him. I know things have not been right in my body for awhile but now I feel like the Lord is pushing me to deal with them. Perhaps it's not a self control issue. Perhaps it's something I can get help with. I hope so. I cannot do it on my own.
I now have a much stronger testimony of fasting. I look forward to the next month when my fasting will have so much more understanding and perhaps more spiritual growth. I feel like I have grown so much spiritually in the last couple of months, now I'm wondering if it wasn't preparatory for some big thing that is going to happen. Well, at least if there is something big about to happen, I am much better prepared for it now.
I am so thankful to my Heavenly Father for his mindfulness of me when I feel so invisible most of the time. He gives us laws for a reason. To make us happy. How wonderful!