Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | May 12, 2009

Gina’s Forty-Day Fast

IMG_0447Gina, my seventeen year-old daughter, recently spoke at our Women’s Freedom Conference at Kingsland.  She was asked to share about her forty-day fast.  I asked Gina for permission to share the text of her testimony on my blog in the hope that it might encourage others to fast and pray or answer questions about what it is like to fast for a long period of time. I am grateful to God for Gina and inspired by her determination to seek and draw closer to Him. I pray that her story encourages you as it has me.

• • • • •

On January 7, 2009 I made the decision to go on a 40-day fast to seek the Lord’s guidance in my life. As a Christian, I’ve learned the importance of seeking God’s leadership through prayer and Bible study. A few months ago I was convicted by several questions about my life and my future. I knew what my answers were but I didn’t know if they would align with what God wanted for me.  So I set out on a difficult 40-day journey to learn God’s will for my life.

The night I made the decision I picked a few select people and sent them messages explaining what I was doing and asking them for their prayers. Before my fast I definately underestimated the power that prayer holds, but after going through it, I realized that I couldn’t have done it without those prayers. I know now that prayer is one of the most powerful tools we have as Christians.

My fast began on January 8, 2009. I had to be careful about not telling people that I was fasting just for the sake of it. A verse that really helped me with this was Matthew 6:16-18 which says, “When you fast, don’t be sad-faced like the hypocrites. For they make their faces unattractive so their fasting is obvious to people. I assure you they’ve got their reward! But when you fast, put oil on your head, and wash your face, so that you don’t show your fasting to people but to your Father who is in secret. And your father who sees in secret will reward you.”

I made the commitment to fast on only broth, crackers, and juice for the entire 40 days. Now, don’t get me wrong, just because I ate some crackers doesn’t mean it wasn’t hard. I can honestly say that this was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done. About two-weeks into my fast, I attended U-TURN weekend. This was probably when I had the most temptation during the 40 days. There were about 14 girls in the house that I stayed at and each one brought like 5 pounds of junk food. At one point, the temptation I felt was so overwhelming that I almost gave up and ate everything in the kitchen. But my close friends Hattie and Jessica encouraged me to stick with it and keep going. So, thanks to their support, I was able to make it through the weekend without giving in to temptation. Fasting intensified my focus on God immensely because whenever I got hungry, I was reminded of why I was doing it.

Halfway through my fast I received, in my opinion at the time, “the wrong” answer to one of my questions. I really thought that God would agree with me on this particular question but to my great disappointment and shock, he didn’t. So, being the stubborn person I am, I refused to accept this answer as true. I was so mad at God for giving me this answer that I spent a week turning away from him instead of praising him like I should have. Toward the end of that week I was still in denial about the answer and I was still mad at God for giving it to me. I don’t know why I did but I picked up my Bible and opened it, not looking for anything specific. It opened to Proverbs 19 and I started reading. I was getting bored with it and was about to turn to another book when I came across a verse that made me stop. It was Proverbs 19:21 which says, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

I knew what this meant, yet I was still reluctant to let go of the hope that I would get a different answer. But as I started meditating on the verse more and what it meant, I realized that no matter how much I wanted a different answer, I wouldn’t get one. It wasn’t what God wanted for me. When I came to that realization I finally accepted and embraced the answer God had given me. I learned that I should submit to God’s will and not my own from that experience.

I now try to live my life by Proverbs 19:21. It reminds me that I want so many things but if it’s not God’s will, I really shouldn’t want those things anyway. I often ask myself questions like, “Is this something God would want me to do?” and “How can I glorify God by doing this?” I believe God freed me through this experience from my own selfish desires so that I could seek what He desires for me.

Fasting is denying yourself and your own desires in order to seek the face and will of God. This 40-day journey not only helped me seek God’s will but it brought me closer to God than I would have previously thought possible. My relationship with Him had been pretty rocky this past year, but going through this experience has renewed my relationship with Him. I wasn’t looking to grow closer to God during those 40 days — I just wanted some answers. So, I guess you could say that growing closer to Him was a pretty cool “side effect.” I also experienced joy from this fast. I’m a happy person most of the time but happiness can change with your mood. Joy, however, is constant and, in my opinion, is much more fulfilling than being happy.

Fasting for 40-days was a very difficult thing for me to do, but the rewards I received at the end made doing it completely worth going through all the all the temptation and difficulties I faced.


Responses

  1. Thanks Omar, for Gina’s fasting updates. we are inspired through her committed to God! I fast some times, but not for forty days. I much learn from her, about long times fasting.

    Thanks once again.
    Mortuza
    Bangladesh

  2. Thanks so much, Gina, for your young and deep insight into fasting. Fasting is something I haven’t incorporated into my long relationship with God. You know I love you, but today I loved learning from you…Mrs. G.

  3. Gina, you are such an inspiration in fasting for all the right reasons. In the process you learned so much about yourself and more importantly, your relationship with God. I have never done this for a long period. For the Lord will be your confidence and keep you foot from being snared.
    Proverbs 3:26.

  4. Your experience with fasting and with finding a deeper relationship with our God has truly blessed and inspired me to go deeper in seeking Him and to know that He wants to give me His answer if I seek Him with all my heart. So glad you focused on prayer and having a few trusted ones to pray for and with you.
    Thank you for your example and for sharing from your walk with our Lord.
    Happy graduation and looking forward to seeing how God continues to use you.

  5. WOW!!!! God is truly amazing!!!


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