Thursday, April 19, 2012


We're doing an extended fast right now, and I say that not to brag on our spirituality [we don't fast because we're awesome...we fast because we need something drastic to get our focus to stay on Jesus!], but to give a background for everything I may say in the next two months. If you've never fasted, you should try it. There's no substitute for it.

God has been uprooting what feels like every part of my core since this thing started. What's funny is that it took me a week to realize that was what was happening.
(See? I NEED to fast. I'm just plain dumb sometimes without it.)

A few weeks ago, I had hit what really felt like rock bottom. And I doubt anyone who has spent time with me even noticed. It was an internal disease, and felt like it was rotting my insides. What was I doing wrong? I was so miserable, all day, every day. I would just sit and watch my two incredibly lovely daughters and plan how to make sure they were taken care of so that I could commit suicide.
And for no reason!
When I talked to Matthew about it, that's all I could say. I was wishing myself dead, and had no idea why. Nothing new had happened. Nothing had gone wrong. Plus, I was fasting - wasn't I supposed to be getting closer to Jesus?

But I was.

Someone at our amazing church felt the need to invite me and Matthew to a leadership gathering [we are not in leadership in any it was a random Jesus thing!] where a man who is a speaker from our pastor's home church in Raliegh would be coming to talk and pray for the leadership team. I did not want to go. I had been dealing with stuff from my past all week for no apparent reason, and just wanted to curl up and be alone. But I went.

And when he prayed for me and Matthew, I was expecting the usual - the focus would be on Matthew, and his gifts, and his ministry potential, and I was going to be his helper. [This doesn't bother me...I think my husband's the jam!! And I hate being the center of attention. So the usual works perfectly for me.]

But he started praying for me, and this guy totally read me like a book. I started bawling immediately [crying in public - probably my least favorite thing]. He brought up the things from my past that God had been bringing to my mind all week and dealt with them. I had assumed that these thoughts had been attacks of some kind, just trying to torture me - but it was Jesus, making me look at the wounds so that I could see them get healed.

God's heart is unknowable, for sure, but it is full of love for us. I do know that.

This stuff had been eating me away, and stealing my joy, and I hadn't even realized it was still there! I'm still processing it, and working through it with Jesus, but I feel completely different now.

I feel content.

I walk outside and look at our yard with the fence almost done and my garden starting to flourish and the mulberries starting to ripen and the huge oak trees filling the woods behind us - and I have peace and joy. Not from stuff. From Jesus. I look up from the computer and glance around our livingroom and just can't not say "I LOVE our house!". It is our forever home [as far as I know - Jesus has surprised us before!], and I just adore it. I've never felt like this before. I've never felt so content with life.

I'd encourage you to try fasting from something - something you think is very valuable - and watch Jesus take its place and start to see the reality that He is the only thing that has any value. It's painful, and beautiful. But most good things are.


Katie K. said...

You didn't say what you were fasting from, but I'm glad that it helped! I haven't fasted from something in a long time, but I am well aware of having to be shouted at before I realize what it is I'm supposed to be paying attention to. Your journey always gives me so much inspiration. <3

shepard lilley said...

Thanks Katie!! We're fasting from all meat and dairy for 50 days. We're also going to do a 10 day detox/cleanse type of thing during the 50 days too. Sometimes our bodies just need a break from all the junk that's in our food! We'll also be fasting media for those ten days [facebook, twitter, etc]. There's a lot of really cool events coming up at the end of the 50 days and a lot of people around the world are fasting leading up to them, so it's pretty neat to be joining with people in this.