i started off the new year in a new way. it was a little scary going into it, but because the tail-end of 2012 was about taking risks, i thought, ‘why not make 2013 more of the same?’

the church i have been attending since September 2012, Southland L.A. (church plant of Church of Southland, Orange County), held a 10-day church-wide corporate fast to start off the new year, together with Southland O.C.  We eased into the fast: 4 days of soup and salad, 3 days of salad and juice, and 3 days of juice. there was also a media fast – fasting Facebook, television, movies, and online entertainment. people did what they could. i fasted media, and ate soup and salad, and salad, and fasted the final day.

the condo was really quiet in the evenings, with no television on, or Hulu streaming on my computer. i went to sleep early because there was not much else to do. 

but the most amazing time came each evening. the church gathered together every night to pray for an hour, people crying out individually seeking God’s grace and His wisdom. i was encouraged and heartened by the number of believers within Southland that wanted this – wanted to experience God’s presence in such an intimate way, and being blessed by one another as we all fasted and prayed together. 

the second-to-last night of the fast, in the final five minutes of prayer meeting, where we were told simply to be quiet and still before the Lord, i closed my eyes and saw a bright pulsating light. the air around me became very warm, and tears started suddenly streaming down my face. i heard a Voice in my thoughts say, “It will happen just as I promised. You are safe with me.” I have heard God’s voice in a powerful way a couple times before, but not in a very long time. i wanted to hold onto Him forever.

and then the final night of the fast, we broke fast together at church, taking communion, and then feasting on a simple meal of soup and bread. 

again, i think back to how this year will be about continuing to take risks, and seeking God’s will be done, knowing that He already goes before me and guides each step I take. 

i am ever grateful and thankful, that He knows what I need… better than I do. and He is always near.