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  • Writer's pictureMarnie Hammar

That Time God Called Me On What I Was Doing and How Grateful I Am for it

By Monika Kirkland



Hear Him Louder Essay Series: Monika’s Story


It started off okay, I suppose. “Yes, I can do this!” I thought, foolishly relying on my own strength. But around 3 p.m. that day, as my stomach growled with an intensity I had never heard before, a sudden realization struck me – no, in fact, I cannot do this!


You see, I had felt a growing sense of conviction to begin a day of fasting and prayer. I had spent the previous decade of my life alternating between either pregnancy or breastfeeding, making a regular practice of fasting not really an option. But as the years went on and my youngest son had reached preschool age, I felt a prompting from the Lord to have a dedicated time to pray, fast, and meet with Him.


Which sounds great, right? Except for one small problem: I can’t fast.


I love to eat and I usually feel like my blood sugar is dropping if I don’t eat a small snack every few hours. I wanted to be obedient, but I wasn’t sure if I would be able to. All I could do was try.

 

So that first day of fasting, right around 3 p.m., is when I had a rising sense of panic as my stomach growled and I honestly wasn’t sure I could do it after all. 


“Help me, Lord!” I cried out.


And then, an idea: “A DISTRACTION!” I thought, “That’s what I need, I just need to find something to distract myself from the hunger!” 


I had spent the morning praying and worshiping and reading the Bible, but in that moment of panic the thing I thought I needed the most— the thing I thought would help me get through the hard part— was a distraction.


Something to distract myself from the hunger.


In that moment, I felt the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit speak to me, “Monika, this is what you do when things get hard. When challenges come your way, you look for anything and everything to distract yourself from the discomfort. I am inviting you to come to me, to sit with me in the discomfort, in the pain, and allow me to fill you and sustain you.”


This was a humbling moment as I realized how true this was in my life. How easy it is in our pain and discomfort to look to anything and everything to fill us, numb us, or distract us. Whenever painful, uncomfortable emotions surface we are quick to reach for anything to dull the ache and distract us from our pain. It may lead to temporary relief, but it does not lead to restoration.


In John 6:35, Jesus declares, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” In the next chapter, John 7:37, he says, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”


The invitation to me that day was: Come to Me.


It’s an invitation to all of us.


If we look to the things of this world to fill us we will always be found wanting. But if only we would come to Him, He will satisfy us and sustain us. He will give us living water that will never run dry.


And so, hungry and humbled, that’s what I did. I went to Him.


The hunger didn’t go away, necessarily, but He met me there in my weakness. I allowed His presence to carry me through and sustain me. 


Now, six months later, fasting has become such a transformative and powerful practice in my life. Each time I pray and fast, I’m reminded of my deep need and dependence on God. Self-reliance and will power won’t get us very far. May we learn to come to Him, in every season and every circumstance. Only He can satisfy.



 

The Hear Him Louder Essay Series is a guest essay series where God's daughters share their stories of hearing God’s whispers in their every day. It’s meant to serve as an encouragement for the times when God feels far and seems quiet. May this series be an invitation for us to listen for His voice together.


Don't miss any posts in this series! Subscribe to receive each new essay in your inbox, posted every other Thursday. When you subscribe, you'll receive a FREE download of a Prayer Planning Worksheet, a resource to help you prepare your heart to listen for His voice in prayer.


New to this series? Check out the rest of the series!


Interested in contributing to the Hear Him Louder Essay Series? The call for submissions opens twice a year. To submit an essay outside of those windows, contact me.


 

About Monika


Monika Kirkland is all about walking in the freedom and peace found only in Him.


You can follow along on Instagram, tune into her podcast Inner Revival, or visit her website.

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