Monday, August 27, 2012

a peculiar way to fast

I wrote this post back in April, and never hit publish because I had to go vomit.  So glamorous.  But I found it and figured it ought to exist somewhere besides my drafts.

The devastation my body experiences during pregnancy is oddly akin to fasting. Even though I am not allowed or able to fast while I'm pregnant, I think in many ways the same end is reached.  And truthfully, the pregnancy route is so much more sustained and intense that it cannot help being a deeper and more more sanctifying experience than it's 24 hour counterpart.

As I understand it, the increase in holiness that fasting can afford comes from denying the flesh and cultivating the ability to fully function spiritually despite physical distraction and discomfort.  It doesn't take a great deal of imagination to see how a sensation akin to food poisoning that lasts for 19 weeks (if you are me; week 6 to week 25) might be a terribly effective version of physical distraction and discomfort.  Really and truly, it beats the tar out of just being hungry.  And so while I am not placing a day's worth of meals on the altar, per se, I am placing the ability to have a single pleasant thought or sensation related to food for over 4 months instead.  I am placing 90% of the energy I normally have, and subsequently my ability to be an adequate mother and spouse.   It is an excellent exercising in rendering myself utterly dependent on the Lord for my moment-to-moment existence.

I utter a desperate prayer every morning as I reconcile myself to the idea of peeling my puke-prone body out of bed and rising to meet the needs of the three little men who can't take care of themselves yet.  I do so utterly convinced and aware that I will not be able to do it without significant help.  And I am forced to recognize the help when it surfaces.  Mostly in the form of strength and stamina and patience that cannot possibly be coming from the me I know.

It's a pretty un-glamorous and mundane sort of miracle.  This being able to put one foot in front of the other, and perpetually functioning only 10 minutes at a time.  That's as far ahead of me as I can see most moments.  An infinite number of times have I muttered, "I can make it through 10 more minutes."  And they come and they go and then it's time to face the next 10.

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