I introduced you to my amazing cousin in this post, but I didn’t do her justice, so I’m back to try again, and give you a little more of the wonder that she is.
She is one of the most adventurous people I know, always up to try anything, fearless and uninhibited. Personally, I not only admire this about her, but marvel at it. Why? Because even though I have strong sense of adventure, I am risk averse and completely inhibited. This means I often don’t try things (for any number of reasons – it’s inconvenient, risky, I am too embarrassed to try in front of other people, etc.) but my sense of adventure leaves me constantly wishing I had. When Jami is around, however, she pushes me to try things and lets me know there will be grace if I fail.
One of the things she pushed me to try a year ago was a 10 day juice fast. I never would have committed to it without her. And I really loved doing it (although I’m not eager to repeat it – funny how that works!). We fasted and prayed and juiced and juiced and juiced…and saw God do great things that week.
About 6 months later, something had come up in my life and I called and asked her to pray about it. I was considering doing a fast the next day as I prayed about, but I hadn’t committed to it (you know – always leaving myself the out and all). She replied that not only would she pray about it, but she had begun to fast on Wednesdays and would pray AND fast about it for me.
Wow. I was so blessed that she would fast and pray for me, I can’t tell you! That means a lot to anyone, but to a FOODIE – that’s a HUGE sacrifice! And we are BOTH foodies – so I knew what it cost her, and I appreciated it fully.
Now, you can’t really have someone else fast and pray for you and not be willing to do the work yourself—at least, I couldn’t. So I was pretty much shamed into fasting and praying with her that day, but I ‘m so thankful for it. It just was the push I needed, and it was just the beginning. That Wednesday started something. Now we fast and pray every Wednesday, and I Iove it.
Sometimes, I’ll be honest, one or the other of us fails, but that’s OK. There’s grace. Still we keep on. It forces us to get in touch at least weekly and dial into each other’s needs and prayer requests. (This is important since we live in different states and loose touch unless we really work at it.) We have seen a lot of answers to prayer in these Wednesdays. Maybe no more than usual (although it sure seems that way), but at least we are more tuned in and primed to see God’s answers as they come. I do suspect, however, that our heightened sense of expectation that God will do something on fasting days translates into asking “in faith” that God will act, which brings forth greater results. (I do fully realize that this could also just be a form of manipulation – we fast, therefore we expect God to do our bidding…but really it’s about posturing ourselves and trying to align ourselves with God’s heart.)
Physically, I’ve found that it’s just really useful—both to “detox” and to break the ties of food addictions on a weekly basis. Emotionally I’ve found that it’s really good to know that food doesn’t have to own me, and to be reminded of it weekly. It’s empowering.
But by far the best two things have been the fellowship with God on these days and the fellowship with my cousin. Something about coming together to the throne, about sacrificing together, praying together…it’s just been a wonderful thing to do together.
All that to say, I have been anxious to add another to the mix. I have felt that it would be wonderful to grow our little fasting, praying group, and I had a particular friend in mind and have been working on her for a few weeks. (Nothing like a relentless shove in the form of a spiritual guilt trip!!! Again – how do you say no to fasting and praying with friends when you’re a Christian?!….Guilt’s not always bad!)
So, when she finally caved, (I can be persistent…but to be fair, I really didn’t have to be) I emailed Jami to say Rebecca was in, “Woohoo!”… and this was Jami’s response…which I share with you because she is HILARIOUS!!! And you haven’t met that side of her yet, and it’s too good not to share.
Woohoo indeedee! Welcome to the fasting club where grace abounds! Thanks Stacey for being proactive about our prayer concerns. I look forward to seeing how God grows us through this spiritual discipline. I’m just so thankful He didn’t put a time requirement on it…if I had to skip meals for 3 days I’m certain I would leave a victim or two in my wake. I suppose Christ going to the desert makes more sense now.
So there you have it ladies….let’s do this! I do think we need a slogan, acronym or clever name….how about WPW- Wednesday Prayer Warriors or Fasting About Rebecca Tuttle Schweers, wait that would make our acronym FARTS. Well, this needs some work, feel free to submit your ideas. No judgment here!
The FARTS club – LOVE it! She got me thinking and I came up with – WWF – Wed. Women Fasting – and it’s true we are “wrestling” in prayer. But seriously the FARTS club?! There is no WAY anyone can top that one! 🙂
So I share this with you to encourage you to grab a girlfriend and just be daring—try a day of fasting and prayer together. See what God does. Rebecca’s concern was that she would be disappointed – that she would pray and nothing would happen. Been there. A lot. That’s why doing it with others has been so awesome, because we share our victories…so even when I don’t get an answer, it’s OK because one of us is bound to have a “win” to share and I can rejoice oover their answers to prayer as much as my own. I will share that in her first day of FARTS club, Rebecca had encouragement in the form of answered prayers by 10:00 am – which was also an answer to MY prayers that she would be encouraged by this, not disappointed. God is SO good!!!
So go ahead! Start your own FARTS club…or WWF group, or whatever you want to call it. Then reply to this post and share your “wins”!