I'm even starting this post with tears in my eyes. It all seems so clear, so foolish. So wasteful.
3 years ago, I was faithfully reading my bible, faithfully spending beautiful hours with Christ my Lord in sweet sweet communion. I was growing, I was changing, I was thriving. Then I spent two difficult years as a foster parent.
During those two years, I allowed myself to be overwhelmed with fear, hurt for these kids, weariness at how consuming it was to be a single parent. By the end of the two years I was weak, broken, and not functioning very well as a child of God.
And it's not because of the toll that fear and hurt and weariness takes on you.
It's because I stopped nourishing myself at the foot of the throne during that time.
Sure I stopped in for snacks, for a bite every now and then, and sometimes perhaps for a last desperate meal when I was certain I had come to the very end of what I could take.
But that's not the same as the health that comes from regular meals at His table.
This month I did something foolish. I stopped drinking my wonderful Dr. Pepper. Once I ran out I just determined I wouldn't buy any more. And I didn't. Unfortunately, at that same time I didn't increase my intake of anything else. Kicking the Dr Pepper habit was one thing, developing a water habit was an entirely different one.
So I was acknowledging that I needed to drink more. And trying to. But I wasn't getting very far.
Then earlier this week, I ate some bad food. My body went into full "reject the bad stuff" mode and so I spent a day off work doing just that.
Unfortunately, I spent 48 hrs not taking in anything. I didn't eat or drink anything for 48 hrs. I'm shaking my head at myself even as I type that. I know. Trust me. I know.
It woke me up in the middle of the night and I knew I had to do something. On my way to the living room though, I grabbed a few bottles of water.
I expected my body to receive the water gladly, I expected the water to cure what ailed me.
Instead, my body rejected the water. It made me sick to my stomach.
Sitting here, weak and foolish feeling because this was all a monster of my own making, I just couldn't help but compare it to my initial efforts to find God after I was done fostering. I felt frustrated as I tried to simply stand back up and take in some of His presence. I couldn't feast in His presence quite like I used to. And I had expected that to solve all my problems. Just go back to God and go back to what you did before.
But sometimes you have to take it differently. Sometimes you have to go back and just faithfully sip that water every few minutes rather than trying to guzzle 12 oz to be an insta-cure.
I've been up since 4am, and since that time I've never been away from the water. Even when it made me sick even when I wanted to stop drinking it under the assessment "It's not helping". I know I need it so I'm just determined to get there.
With this 40 days of faith, this my equivalent to hugging my bottle of water. It's been hard to post every day. Some days I just didn't have it in me (hence why I'm pre-posting so that not a day will go by). But even then I have to read my post even if I can't write it. I'm going to get there. I will begin nourishing my spiritual body again faithfully, trustingly, knowing now that without this nourishment I simply perish.
I can't... I can't let circumstances dictate the basic necessities of life. That specifically means my spiritual life. More than any other life. Physical life isn't worth living if I'm spiritually dead. I'm healing now, and I'm clutching my Jesus saying I don't ever want to see that place again. NEVER again.
I want to live. I will sit at His table, I will spiritually eat, and spiritually drink, and spiritually exercise my faith. I want to live.
And I feel very responsible to make sure I don't squander good spiritual health again the way that I have. So I'm going to sit in His presence, and continue healing until the healing is done and the growing once again begins.
And I'm certainly going to hydrate myself for crying out loud.