Tuesday, January 17, 2012

21 Days of Prayer

Have I ever mentioned that I love my church? For more reasons than I can count, I LOVE and adore my church. It has been a beacon of light for me in the 7 1/2 years my family and I have been there. This church has opened my eyes to God, the real God, the God that loves me, the God that cares, that knows everything I'm feeling, thinking, experiencing... He's not the God I grew up thinking He was...on a throne, waiting and expecting me to fail, and ready to punish when I did. That's not Him. He disciplines as a parent does a child, but it's in love.
Ok, I'm getting off track. Back to my reason for this post...

Currently, our church is in the middle of 21 days of prayer and fasting. Our pastor started the church this way and has continued the tradition every year since the launch. Fasting is one of those topics that a lot of people, including my former self, have misconceived notions about. If you want to know more, check out the link.

Anyway, Channing, Tristan, and I are smack dab in the middle of the fast, with the rest of our church. Tristan is fasting candy and sweets (and asks every day how many more days are left), and Channing and I are doing the Daniel Fast and also fasting tv. The Daniel Fast hasn't been as difficult this time as it has been in the past. Fasting tv, I'm embarrassed to admit, has been much harder. It's been good for me, though.

So today is day 10 of the fast, and I'm feeling it. Actually, I've been feeling it for a couple of days. I've been getting up each morning to attend the prayer service that starts at 6 (I am not a morning person), and I find myself spent by late afternoon. The prayer and fasting have been great. I can feel my relationship with the Lord getting stronger, but I feel weak, exhausted. I feel more in touch with my emotions, a little too much so. I'm trying to figure out if this is a good thing. I feel sure it is, it's just hard to handle.

I've spent the past four months, since losing Addy, recovering, sweeping my feelings under the rug, putting on a brave face, Christmas shopping, helping at Tristan's school, running, working out, eating, reading, watching tv...lots of things. I've done anything and everything I could possibly do to distract myself from her and our loss. This fast is bringing to surface all of those suppressed feelings. At first, I tried to ignore them, change them. I channeled my feelings into anger, anger about ridiculous things, things I have no control over and have nothing to do with her or the situation, just random world injustices. I've channeled my feelings into feelings of weakness and self-pity, but I never connected my crazy emotions to what I think they're really connected to...Addy.

I am so thankful that the fast is helping me to fully deal with my loss. I miss her, I'm sad, but a huge part of me is so incredibly thankful. I'm thankful that God knows way more than I do about what's best for my family and for me. I'm so thankful that He loves my babies more than I could ever imagine.

Last week, a friend shared this blog with me: "EB"ing a Mommy. WOW. Changed my perspective, a lot. Precious Tripp was born with a rare genetic skin disorder, EB. The blog is written by his young mom, who gave up everything to take care of her son 24 hours a day. I can't do justice to the situation and all that Courtney, Tripp's mom, has faced in the past two years and eight months, but in the days since finding her blog, sweet baby Tripp has gone to be with Jesus. I can't say enough about the need for everyone to see her blog. If anyone is reading this, besides those who will one day flip through my blurb book, please stop by Tripp's page. I can't imagine that anyone could visit her blog and not be changed.

I have learned so much about love and loss through Tripp's page. I admire his mom with every ounce of my being. I cannot imagine bearing her cross.

Please join me in rejoicing that Tripp is fully restored, healed, and in perfect peace. Please also join me in praying for his mom, Courtney, and his grandmother. I know they are relieved that their baby is healed, but I also know that their hearts ache and long to hold him.

"Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." Hebrews 13:5b

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." ~Psalm 34:18

"...weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning."~Psalm 30:5

*Bear with me through the next week and a half as I share things that I feel God is placing on my heart. I want to keep a record of them for the future, and this is my outlet. I don't want to bore anyone, so you may not want to stop by for a couple of weeks. ;)


holly said...

check out yesterday's post http://kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com/

Ole Miss Mom said...

I'm doing the Daniel fast too. First time. Not been so hard but id love to know what you are eating. Need some more ideas :)

annieck said...

Thanks, Holly! I'll check it out.
Lindsay, I will email you the recipes we've liked. Last night, i made black-eyed pea gumbo, and it was great! I'll leave off the salad we've been eating, since you are the salad queen (side note: subconsciously, I think we had Rhi just so we could get one of your awesome salads).
Please share what you're making too. Would love some new ideas for the end. :)

annieck said...

Just realized the link you left. She is absolutely incredible. Have been reading her stuff. Thanks for sharing the latest update!