I always wanted to feel his presence, to be close.
Jesus passed many trials in his short Earthly life. Most of them can never be repeated. But there are things he did to get closes to his Father in Heaven which we can imitate. Fasting is definitely one of them.
I always felt a traditional christian fast was inadequate. To skip meat for one day, or a day in a week, is nothing. Just a habit that doesn’t even feel uncomfortable. I wanted to experience more, to get into Jesus’s skin. He fasted on the desert for forty days, and I seriously started to consider the options.
Doctors called it too dangerous
When I talked about the idea with my GP, he immediately turned it down. “Such a fast would be too dangerous for anyone, let alone woman in her sixties. Don’t ever try that, you’d likely die!” I consulted many other physicians and priest (most of them were overweight), and got the same answers all the time–a short fast fasting, for 24 hours, is beneficial for the body. But anything longer is dangerous, and I should not attempt that.
Then I found these Russian studies. Most of them were pretty old, but depicted people using fasting to fight various illnesses, including cancer. They even practiced so called dry fasting, when not eating anything is combined with drinking minimal amounts of water. It sounded fascinating, especially because many of them fasted for longer than one month.
Final resolution – faith is more important than everything
I knew that holding fast will deprive me of many activities in my daily life. I knew I could lost my job, and that I’ll meet misunderstanding of my family and friends. But I desired to get closer to get, to purify my body and soul. And so I went for a 14 days long fast, trying to discover the truth.
First two days- a hell
As I’ve never fast before, and used to eat a lot, the first two days were really difficult for me. I encountered stomach ache, and constant feeling of hunger. I was nervous, and people found it difficult talking to me. I considered quitting at least twenty times, especially during the first night when I simply couldn’t fall asleep. Please note that I drank nothing except of pure water, so my calories intake was zero.
But I didn’t quit. I prayed to God, to give me power to continue. After the initial 48 hours, I felt very weak. At the same time, however, the stomach ache disappeared and I wasn’t so depressed anymore.
Days three to seven – a zombie
During these days I found it hard to walk. I felt really weak, and had a mild headache all days long. My sweat had a strange odor, and I felt it necessary taking shower several times a day.
If you met me in the streets (I went for short walks every day), you’d consider me a zombie. I didn’t talk to anyone, and I really felt extremely tired. I tried to imagine how Jesus felt, and where did he get his power from in the desert. His bond with his Holy Father must have been super strong. I cried, knowing I’d never reach that level in my life.
Day eight – sudden feeling of energy
I can not explain it, but on day eight, I suddenly felt very energetic. Something must have happened to my body, maybe a metabolic change, since I felt really good and all pains were gone. I thanked God for taking such a good carer of me, and teaching me an important lesson–lesson of piety and persistence.
The good feelings doesn’t last long, however. On day eleven, I started to fell extremely tired again. I could barely walk and spent the days in bed. I lost terrible amount of body weight.
Day eleven to fourteen – power of prayer
I was too weak to do anything but pray. And so I prayed. I never spent so much time praying in my life. I simply lied in my bed, imagined Jesus, and devoted myself in a long prayer. I felt his pains, his sacrifice. Suddenly I felt the connection and for a short moment–though feeling exhausted and in terrible pain, I got this deep subconscious notion of peace…. I knew he was there with me.
On the 15th day from the start of my fast, I decided to end the experience. My husband called a doctor and he strongly suggested doing that after visiting me, unless I wanted to risk dying in the bed. I drank a glass of juice, and very slowly resumed my eating habits.
Jesus, the strongest
I fast for 14 days, in a comfort of my home, and nearly didn’t survive the experience. We can just imagine Jesus’s feelings in the desert, tempted by the devil. Yet he was strong, yet he knew the true path, yet he never wavered…. My short fasting experienced encouraged me in my faith, and helped me to understand the true magnitude of our savior’s personality.