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Lori Freeland Christian Blog and Commentary

Failing Fast

  • Lori Freeland
    Lori Freeland
    Lori Freeland, a freelance writer from the Dallas area, holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In her other life, the one BK—before kids—she has worked as a social worker and a certified dyslexic reading tutor. Currently, she embraces her status as full-time homeschool mom to three awesome children. Her big dream? Becoming a Young Adult novelist, a goal she diligently pursues during the wee hours of the morning with help from a very large mug of coffee and occasionally some chocolate-covered peanuts. In addition to blogging and contributing regular inspirational articles to Crosswalk.com, The Christian Pulse, and Believe.com, she loves to mentor new writers and encourage people to share their life stories. As a member of the Cancer Mom club, she desires to connect with others in hopes of giving support to those struggling down the messy paths of life. You can find her hanging with the North Texas Christian Writers as a Critique Group Leader and Writing Coach or cheering on her writers on the Faith Team at The Christian Pulse where she recently took on the role of editor. She also loves to attend Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators meetings where she has begun a critique workshop for new writers. You can visit her website at LAFREELAND.COM.
  • 2012 Sep 03
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A lone piece of pizza taunted me from the cardboard box. A perfect triangle of hot and greasy heaven—mozzarella browned just so. I sidestepped the mouth-watering heap of cheese and pepperoni and grabbed a banana from the fruit bowl.   

 

“Hey,” I yelled to the kids. “Someone come eat this pizza!”

 

No one came.  

 

I peeled the banana, shoved it in my mouth, and waited a minute or two for the sound of pounding footsteps on the stairs.

 

The only sound came from my nails as I clicked them against the white Formica countertop, inches from the pizza box. I wandered around the kitchen, gliding past that last slice of pizza for at least another thirty seconds before grabbing the delicious, gooey pile of Pizza Hut mastery and devouring it.

 

Nineteen days of self-denial gone in less than a minute.

 

I’d like to say the pizza sat like a rock in my stomach, but it didn’t. I’d like to say I regretted eating it, but I didn’t. Heaven from the first bite—the tangy sauce danced in my mouth—the richness of the browned cheese tantalized my tongue and warmed my stomach.

 

How sad to trade twenty-one days of the Daniel Fast for a piece of pizza that took twenty seconds to inhale. Did my moment of weakness undo the other nineteen days? Or the TV I’d given up? Did it negate the prayers seeking God’s blessing over my writing?

 

Guilt slammed me. What a loser—I couldn’t even make it two more days. Deflated, I curled up on my bed and hugged my pillow.

 

I had given up sugar, meat, dairy, coffee, and hours of DVR. Despite the natural, healthy food and the extra hours of sleep, I felt awful. And further from God than ever.

 

As I cried, curled up under the covers, a verse played through the soundtrack in my head. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened…and you will find rest for your souls” Matthew 11:28-29 (NIV).

 

It’s not about the food. It’s about Me. Giving up food and TV pushed you into the arms of books and friends when you were supposed to run to Me with your burdens. Not to other things.

 

As God whispered truth into my heart, the tears stopped running down my cheeks, and I realized my whole perspective had been off. I hadn’t understood the real reason for the fast.

 

“Lord,” I whispered,”I’m sorry about the pizza. Help me remember You made me to need You. Help me to run to You first because You are the only One who will truly satisfy.”