In November of 2010 I went to God and asked Him, “What do I need to work on?” That is a dangerous question to ask the Lord because He knows your heart and He will tell you what He knows.
I felt very clearly in my heart that God had directed me to fast. Not to fast from food, but to fast from clothes. That did not mean He wanted me to walk around naked. Because of my weight loss I was able to shop in the “normal size” department now. I did not realize it, but my focus was not on approval from God, but approval from man, actually from women. It was not a competition. I did not want to be better than anyone, I just wanted to look good. I had never felt that before and believe me, it is hard to type it here much less admit it out loud. But God very gently, but very firmly, let me know that I was too busy seeking out approval from people on earth rather than seeking His approval. So He wanted me to fast clothing. No more shopping. It was not because buying clothes was bad, please hear me on this. It was because I was not doing it for the right reasons. I did not really think the fast was going to be a big deal. I had clothes and so I made that covenant with God. No shopping….For a year.
But God knows all things…God knows our battles before we fight them. God knows our heart. And only God knew what this journey would bring up.
I told my husband and while he thought it was a bit strange, he is married to me so nothing really surprises him anymore. I did not say anything to anyone else because this was between me and God.
A couple of days later I was doing my laundry. I had all of my unmentionables in the wash when something weird happened. The straps on the unmentionables tangled and they wrapped around the washing machine agitator. When I went to put the load in the dryer, after untangling them, all the armholes were stretched tremendously. I could put my entire body through them. This was not going to work. These unmentionables would not lift and support anything anymore.
I walked into the office with lingerie that would not last 18 seconds much less 18 hours and asked my WH (wonderful husband), “Now what do I do?” He asked if I thought God had meant no underwear in my fast? I knew in my heart that God had said ALL CLOTHES. There were no loopholes and so now what?
When I walked in she handed me a bag filled to overflowing with bras. Brand new bras. Now, NO ONE knew about my fast. No one knew about the bra fiasco from that morning except Rodney, God, and me. Rodney had not called and told anyone. I certainly had not. So that left only one, or should I say One.
After I closed my mouth and wiped the tears from my eyes, my friend asked what in the world was wrong. I then proceeded to tell her about my fast and what had happened that morning.
My friend is a breast cancer warrior. She did not just survive breast cancer, she beat it to a bloody pulp, praising Jesus and giving to others the entire time. She wound up not needing these bras so she thought I could use them. There were more bras then I had started out with and they were a lot nicer than the ones that had been lost in the battle of the washing machine war.
Here is the lesson that I learned loud and clear in that moment.
God cares about what I care about. And change has to start from the inside out, not the outside in. He stripped me of everything and now I was relying on His grace and love.
Not on myself.
Even when it comes to something no one else can see. If I had not been fasting clothes I would have gone out and bought new bras and/or my friend would have given me the bras and I never would have recognized the blessing. The bras that she gave me were better than the ones I had before and there were more of them. It reminded me of the promise in scripture,
“be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put in your bosom.”(Luke 6:38).
Yes I thought it was ironic that it mentions bosom as well. Grins.
So, in my obedience to God, I was rewarded with more than enough, better than I had, and it did not cost me anything but saying Yes to God. I would see this play out even more, some of it quite painful, but many times lessons that we have to learn start out easier and then get harder as you move forward. I did not know what was coming down the road, but God did. We will talk more about that soon.
Bras have been advertised as products that can help “lift and separate”.
Perhaps God is wanting to lift you out of something. Perhaps He wants to separate you from something that is taking your focus off of Him.
Have you asked God about areas of your life that need work?
Are you afraid to ask Him?
What if God is asking you to do something that makes no sense at all? How willing are you to follow His lead?
When you hear God asking you to trust Him and step away from something, even when it does not make sense, how do you respond?