I love coffee! Coffee, coffee, coffee! I drink it all day long. It helps me keep going. It helps me accomplish and achieve even when I’m tired; to keep going. Much of my life I’ve proved my worth by achievement.
Recently I struggled with fatigue. Fatigue and heaviness that would last for days and I didn’t want to go to work or even get out of bed. I wasn’t making time to go to the gym and I gained weight. So I started to see the connection between my health and my need for approval through my work. I know that too much coffee is not good for me, but I was using it to help fulfill my emotional need for approval, so I kept on drinking it. I had tried to cut back. I even felt jealous of my friend who drinks coffee guilt free. I asked God, “Why is it ok for her to drink coffee?” No reply.
As my guilt grew, I resolved to do a cold turkey coffee fast!
Headache! It was horrible. I felt terrible all day and then I was supposed to have a special date with my husband that night and he asked me not to start the fast that day so that we could have an enjoyable date. I had a cup of coffee and I felt so much better!
Then another friend told me she had been thinking of doing a fast for a prayer concern. I said I knew it was time to get a handle on my health and not be bound by coffee or anything else, so, with my usual moderate approach, I was about to start a 40 day juice fast. Did she want to join me? She agreed and we put together a little strategy for how to do it, complete with scripture to read and I sent her a website that gave advice on how to break a fast etc. Everything was set, until the next day.
After reading through the website, my friend pointed out that our 40 day fast would end the day before Thanksgiving. Not ideal since it takes about 5 days to get back to solid foods after a lengthy fast. She also felt like the Lord had given her a caution that morning and told her to fast for only 15 days. She also told me that she and her husband were not planning to give up coffee as a part of their fast, because that would just be mean!
I started to reconsider. I stayed home that morning to start the fast with focus. I was in my prayer room talking to God about all of this. I was wrestling with how much of a struggle this was and the burden of it all, but really wanting to do what He wants me to do. Afterward I got up to do some housekeeping chores. I was in the laundry room when felt the Lord’s presence and He started talking to me. I RAN back to my prayer room!
When I got there, out of breath, the Lord said, “I was talking to you in the laundry room, why did you run back here?” I roared with laughter–at myself. Then he gently told me, “I never said you couldn’t have coffee. You said that.”
All the guilt and wrestling I had been through was really my own doing. He just wanted me to acknowledge my motives for drinking coffee and for working so hard and to create some moderation in my life. I know in my head that I’m already accepted and loved by Him, but I needed to be convinced of it in my heart too.
Although once I started my fast it didn’t last long, I saw immediate breakthrough. I tried to make it harder on myself than what God was asking me to do, but He honored my obedience to start it. One reason I had wanted to fast was to have a business breakthorugh. I think it had already been happening but I couldn’t see it until I started the fast. It was happening and has continued to happen.
The biggest take away from this experience was the best: He showed me the vast difference between truly Seeking Him and Striving. When I seek Him, all things are possible. The more I seek Him out and look for Him the more I can do.