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The 21 Day Fast came at an exciting and difficult time in my life. I decided to fast multiple things, but the primary one was a fast from all beverages besides water. (Yes, that includes all sources of caffeine!) The initial coffee withdrawal headaches stopped after the first day or so, but even more difficult have been the 20 days after that.

I never realized how quickly and often I run toward food – specifically coffee, in this case – for comfort and celebration. If it’s a cooler day, I think about how nice it would be to have a warm cup of coffee on my drive to work. If it’s a warmer day, I think about how I’d love to take my lunch break to get out of the office and have a nice iced latte to get me through the afternoon. If something exciting happens, I like to reward myself with a particularly expensive coffee! If I’m having a tough day, I get coffee to take my mind off of things for a bit.

With coffee and all other beverages out of the picture, I started eating more sweets to fill these comfort cravings! I saw what I was doing pretty quickly, so in order to take out all sources of temptation, I started fasting sweets on the second week of my fast.

I haven’t done particularly “well”, to be honest. I have caved a few times, but I am more aware of what I tend to do unintentionally.

I have made some important life decisions and have experienced some big disappointments during the past couple weeks, which has made it even more difficult to resist the things I’ve chosen to fast. I know, however, that the timing of it all displays Jesus at work. He has used this time that I’ve fasted my normal comfort items to help me address the state of my soul – something that I tend to avoid or try to soothe with food. The nagging temptation for coffee has caused me to remember the “why” behind my fast, which was to sense where the Holy Spirit was leading me in this new year.

Instead of my normal coffee run on my lunch, I’ve started to take walks outside around my office. I have been able to hear Jesus much more clearly, and have laid before him everything that makes me upset and anxious. I’ve also noticed that I simply need more sleep! This in and of itself has been an important discovery.

Once the fast is over, I do expect to make some changes in order to keep Jesus in His rightful place as King of my life. I’ve enjoyed watching the fast create little pauses throughout the day as I’m brought back to my heart’s intention that I set three weeks ago. The change in my daily routine has been subtle, but it has been enough to move in the direction of moment by moment communion with Jesus.