Yes, you read that right. The girl who once balked at the idea of giving up a couple Dove chocolates about a year ago (right, Emily?!) just gave up lunch today.
On a whim, essentially.
(I think I’m on a roll, folks. First dessert for Lent and now skipping meals? What has gotten into this girl?!)
A deep, from-almost-out-of-nowhere desire to please God through my eating habits is what.
So, this morning as I sat at 6 a.m. with my coffee and a granola bar while doing my devotion, today’s particular reading focused on distractions.
Distractions, like ‘incessant thoughts of food,‘ for example.
Lysa challenged her readers to ‘fast’ from whatever it is that distracts us from putting our full attention on God, whether it be food, or an addiction or just something that takes up our time and energy. And she offered that the fast needn’t be all day; even one to two hours would be fine.
The first thought that popped into my head was, ‘I could fast for lunch.’ And then I panicked. Today, my friends, was no ordinary day. Today was the day of my first interview to get into the coordinated program at school. (It went well, by the way.) That being said, I’d already planned my day down to the minute, and my packed gym bag was by the door, my swimsuit laying out and both my breakfast and lunch were packed and in the fridge. I knew how today was going to go.
So, the sudden thought of skipping lunch struck fear in my heart and these thoughts and questions ran through my mind, almost instantaneously:
-‘Well, I guess all that time I spent packing my lunch last night was a waste.’
-‘What about that tuna salad I just made–it won’t last for than a day or two. If I don’t eat it today, when will I eat it?’
-‘Tomorrow is my weigh-in day, skipping a meal would certainly help that…’
-‘It would be nice to NOT have to carry much lunch bag around all day at school.’
-‘How in the world am I going to go seven hours without lunch–without coffee?!?!
So, as you can see, highly virtuous thoughts from me this morning. Or not.
Despite all those doubts and thoughts I wasn’t proud of, I couldn’t shake the thought that if I DIDN’T honor my first inclination, it would be due to a fear of…well, I don’t even know.
So, long story short–I quickly exchanged my packed lunch for a smaller snack (for approx. 3:30 p.m. after my lab) and beefed up my packed breakfast, then headed off to the gym for swim practice. I texted and called by two besties (I don’t think I’ve EVER said that in my life) to ask for their prayers during the day.
I didn’t eat anything after my post-swim breakfast, and after my interview ended at 10:30, all I wanted was a coffee. Yes, I was a bit tired, but it was more of a ‘comfort’ than anything. I wanted to relax for a few moments, enjoying warm sips of a yummy beverage, and blow off some steam after the interview. But, I pushed through and headed to the library for studying. I did, at some point around lunchtime, text my friends whining about an impending caffeine headache (yes, I admit, I did), but they motivated me to keep going.
Miraculously, I made it until 1:40 when sweet distraction came: biochem lab. I was much less hungry than I thought I’d be; in fact, I really wasn’t hungry at all! And I DEFINITELY got more studying done than I would have had I fit my lunch in there, too. (Not that I’ll be giving up lunch regularly, but it’s food for thought. Ha! I’m so punny.)
Anyway, by the time I was driving home at 3:30 I didn’t even want the snack I’d packed. It just felt wrong to wolf food down in the car after a fast. Once home and settled, I had a sensible snack of applesauce, crackers, ham and cheese–and said a prayer of thanks beforehand. Every time I had a thought of food, I asked God to push it from my mind, and he did. My prayer today–all morning and all afternoon–was that he would sustain me. And he did.