Bethany's BlogWords of Encouragement



So we fasted and prayed about these concerns. And he listened.

Ezra 8:23 (MSG)

So, I've said goodbye to sugar, for a time. It's my sugar fast. My church is doing a 21 day fasting challenge, so that worked out well for me, even though I started my sugar fast before I knew about the 21 day challenge. Still, it feels like I'm participating in a community challenge. I didn't have any big spiritual reasons for dropping sugar out of my daily life, really, I just wanted to feel better. I've had two colds in the last few months which is more than I've had in the last three years. Maybe the sugar has no bearing on those colds, but just in case, I have decided to give it a try.

Now that i'm over two weeks in, I've started to ask God what He would like me to look at or meditate on during this goodbye sugar season. How can I go deeper with Him? Has sugar given me brain fog? Don't misinterpret, please. I've never been a big sugar person, so my goodbye sugar fast isn't much of a hardship. But, you know, every now and then i like a good scoop of ice cream. As I've prayed about it the word that comes to mind is surrender. Hmmm, there must be a connection. I haven't just given sugar a break, but I've been monitaring my eating habits, mindful eating as some would say.  I've given up scarfing my food down because i'm out of time, or just grabbing some chips as I sway out the door.  No more, I say! No more! With all this surrendering going on within me, I have realized that God truely is more prevalent in some ways. I'm forcing myself to think about ways God wants my surrender that goes beyond eating. 

Earlier in the year I asked God if He had a specific word for me to think upon for 2020. Two words came to mind. Stand and Purpose. So, as I've been mulling these words over and over in my mind, my thoughts have also come back to surrender. Sometimes, I'll respond with something simple like, "I surrendered sugar!" but what I believe God is trying to communicate to me is the need to surrender my stand and my purpose. Goodbye sugar is just a side kick. I believe it's a good side kick, but not the message He is trying to get across.

Stand. I've been known to take a stand on a lot of different things, so if I were to surrender that stand, what would change? I mean, I want to take a stand for Jesus, but is He asking me to stand differently? And, when I surrender my stand, will that change the purpose I believe He has for me? Will it bring Him into an even sharper focus? Or, maybe it will bring me into sharper focus through Him? I believe yes. 

These are some of the thoughts that have popped in and out over the last few weeks, and now today I am seeing that it is not MY stand that matters. It is not even the quest for purpose that fulfills me. It is surrender. Wherever surrender takes me it will bring me deeper into the purpose He has designed for me, and in that purpose I will stand for Who Jesus is.  The book I'm working on filters in and out of these thoughts, and the closer I get to an edited manuscript, the more I realize that I am in the process of surrender. This book leads me to a stand of following Him and surrendering my fears of exposer. It forces me to take a stand for the truth of my life story, and it reveals to me that God has always had a purpose for me.  So, as I say goodbye to sugar, I am also saying goodbye to control. I am saying that my life can run to deeper roots as i stand in His life and His promises for me. Each day as i believe in a healthier lifestyle without sugar, I too will believe in a deeper stand in the purposes of God.

What does surrender mean to you? In what ways is God calling you to say goodbye?


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