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Wednesday, April 16

Sunday Truths // Fasting

{Write hard and clear about what hurts. -- Ernest Hemingway}

{via}

Fasting hurts. It’s tangible and practical repentance, and repentance must change how we live our lives. We turn from the things that give us false comfort, and only have God.

When I read this commentary I was at a vulnerable and emotional place. I was grieving for the type of birth experience I had longed for, mourning my battered and bruised body, and wallowing in self pity. I had just seen a beautiful photo of a friend who had delivered her second baby girl only a few weeks after I had Elliot. Minutes after giving birth, she looked amazing -- perfect hair, perfect makeup, tear-filled eyes holding her baby. It is a stunning moment and a stunning picture. And deep down in the corners of my heart, I was resentful. And jealous. I was certain that she had a Cesarean.. or an epidural.. or something that made her delivery less of a difficult feat than mine. My heart asked why that couldn't have been me. Minutes after delivering Elliot, I was red, swollen, and sweaty with countless broken blood vessels in my eyes and on my neck and chest. There are no pictures of us from those first moments. Partially because the midwife decided to give me a strong pain medication that knocked me out. {I only have fragments of memories from delivery until waking up in  the mother/baby room.} And while I'm still struggling to work through my experience, my resentment and jealousy are not the response that the Lord requires of me. 

This is just one example of my tendency to constantly compare myself to others, even my friends. It's such a damaging and dangerous habit. And sometimes I'm the one who looks better... but it is a false comfort. Through this whole experience I think the Lord is teaching me not only about patience and trust, but about finding my true self worth in Him and Him alone. If I value who I am in Christ and find my comfort in only that, the things and people I compare myself to will cease to matter. In fact, I wouldn't compare myself at all.

So as a tiny act of obedience I am fasting from my social media vice, Instagram, for seven days, hoping that the Lord will begin to change the black corners of my heart and begin to bring me to a place of finding my worth in Him alone. 

 God’s grace and mercy reach even the blackest hearts. And I’m with Paul when he said he was the foremost of sinners. I don’t gouge eyes, yet pride, envy, and wrath are always within arm’s length for me. “But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life." (1 Timothy 1:15-16, ESV)


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The basis of this study is the story of Jonah, and the basis of this commentary is Jonah 3:5-10
{Italicized writing is taken from She Reads Truth}

1 comment:

Ashley Gillespie said...

I think your blog has gone rogue and posted your Sunday post a few days late. :-/ Anyhow, this is a wonderful post. It makes me sad that your birth experience was as traumatizing as it was, but girl, you know you are strong! When we were talking about it last night, I could tell how emotional you were getting just talking about the missed moments, but there will be more amazing moments to make up for it.

I totally hear you on comparing to others...it's one of my major issues. I have the hardest time just accepting myself. I thought I'd have it down by my 30's, but no luck. We can work on it together!

Best of luck with your fast - enjoy the time. Love you, friend! xoxo