My Fasting Experience – by Christen Calhoun
I’m so thankful VLC does this Church-wide fast every year. This time God corrected my view of what my walk with him looks like, and poured His love and grace on me in such a refreshing way I could taste it!
A few weeks before the fast started, some of my old self destructive ways started rearing their ugly heads. By the grace of God, and the power of the Holy Spirit in me, those old ways were corrected more quickly than they use to be, but that’s not to say there wasn’t damage done. So as we started the fast, I was dealing with major guilt that lead to depression. But God loves us SO SO much that He gave me exactly what I needed to be pulled out of my funk, and fast. By the 4th or 5th day of the fast, when I could bear the headaches (I fasted from sweets, so I had bad headaches and other sugar withdrawal symptoms the first 4 days or so), I sat down to do Bible study homework and it was mostly on a guilty conscience. It was based off 2 Timothy 1:3A when Paul is in jail, but thanking God and saying he serves him with a clear conscience. We can’t serve how we are called to, with a clear conscience, if we haven’t dealt with our guilt at the foot of the cross. Beth Moore pointed out how we can repent and seek forgiveness, but still carry the burden of guilt for years. Hebrews 10:22 was a beautiful verse for me, “let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” Over and over it was exactly what I needed and I was overcome with God’s love for me, and absolutely no condemnation.
I’ve always pictured my walk with God like the pictures I’ve seen of the backs of what’s suppose to be Jesus and a person walking side by side. But through the struggle before the fast and the fast, God showed me that He intends for us to be arm in arm locked together. Much closer and connected. And for me, that way when I trip, because I am going to slip up, I won’t fall as far as I have in the past. If our arms are locked together I can’t fall into those deep dark holes that are so hard to get out of. I’ll trip and stumble of course, but I’ll be able to get right back up, because in my weakness He is strong (2 Corinthians 12:9.) I also know that for that kind of closeness, it requires making time with Him a priority. Studying His Word, serving Him, giving, praying, journaling. But don’t mistaken that for work, because spending time with my creator that loves me more than I can understand isn’t work at all, it is GREAT joy that I want more than anything!
This verse kept coming to mind over the 2 weeks, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” When Brad preached on love and this verse Sunday, I knew I had to share what God did in my life over those few weeks.
Christen Calhoun serves on the hospitality team at the kids check-in table at VLC. She is married to Ben who you have probably seen rocking out with his guitar, and mother to 3 children, Leo, Ryder, and Violet. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, bible study, anything that gets your adrenaline pumping, crafting, and finding killer deals when she shops.