By Wendy Campbell
Every year my church fasts corporately for 21 days. We fast as Daniel did in the Bible— only eating fruits, vegetables, and foods from the ground. Although Daniel did not have internet and social media, I am sure there were enough distractions in his life that required him to set aside time to fellowship with God.
One of the things I fasted from in addition to food, was Judge Judy and about 5 or 6 of my favorite television shows. I watched only faith-based movies for 21 days. One of the things God spoke to me about was unbelief. Most Christians believe God can, but wonder if God will.
The summer before my senior year in college I got pregnant. I started experiencing complications fairly quickly, and I wasn't sure if my baby would be born. I remember hoping things would be ok; that despite all of the trouble we would have a beautiful baby. That didn't happen. I left for Atlanta at my doctor’s request. The morning after arriving, I went into labor and on September 11, 1990 I gave birth to my stillborn son. He was small and bowlegged like me. He was also a twin. We had lost her the month prior. My next pregnancy after the twins was the last loss I ever wanted to experience.
I began to think I was being punished. That is why God broke me and took my babies. The reason I thought I was being punished was because I decided at a young age (not on my own) to terminate a pregnancy, so God in His ultimate wisdom decided for me that I was not going to be a mother. I had an aunt that loved the Lord and she was one of the most godly women I knew. She told me abortion was murder, murder was a sin, and sinners go to hell. In my mind, my fate was determined. I lost hope in that moment.
I learned from my sister of a condition called incompetent cervix. Thanks to a successful medical procedure and 7 months of complete bed rest, I was eventually able to birth two beautiful daughters.
I would love to tell you that I prayed to God to give me a way, but I didn’t. I did not see this as His doing, but the luck of the draw. I honestly believed God was mad at me.
Years later, I was one of the final candidates for a job. The company asked me to spend half a day in OJT (On the Job Training) to get a feel for the office culture, the people, and the functions of the job. They wanted to see if it was a good fit. I sat with a woman that had a sad disposition about her. For some reason she opened up to me. She began to tell me about the loss of her recent baby and how hard it was for her to return to work. Her story sounded so familiar. It was familiar because it was mine. I waited for her to finish, then I told her mine. I also suggested she ask her doctor to consider an incompetent cervix diagnosis. I saw hope in her eyes that was not previously there. We both cried when we realized that I was not there for the position, after all. We had not even discussed the job. She said to me, “I don’t think you were sent here to interview for this job. I think God sent you here for me.” I believed she was right. Even though I know now that God did not take my babies. He wasn’t trying to punish me or hurt me. He was able to use my situation to help another family.
As I watched these movies during my fast that told tales of how people lost all hope and believed more in their situations than they did in God, I reflected on my story and how I was the same way at one point in my life. For me, it took telling my story to someone that believed I was sent from God as an answer to her prayers. I believe God uses people in that way. I also believe we are inundated with distractions that render us deaf from God’s word. Fasting and separating from those things is another practice which may help us surrender to be used by God. What three things can you fast from that will allow you to hear from God regularly? For me it was not only Judge Judy but also meat, sweets, and trolling social media. Additionally, I kept paper and pen handy so I could write down what God was saying to me.
There may be times when you feel confused and need answers; or you might find yourself in a state of just plain “blah”. Take a day or two (or 21) and fast from things that distract you from hearing God. Keep paper handy to write down what He says. I wrote down unbelief. We have to be “believing believers” to become the change the world needs us to be.