Surviving the 3-day juice feast was no guaranty about the success of the succeeding 1.5-day water fast. I feel I can take the deluge of juices that would enter my mouth, but I'm fearful of water. How strange for someone who subjected herself to water indulgence during the height of her sinusitis, right? Compared to juices, water feels so...plain.
DAY 4, GOOD FRIDAY
When I woke up that morning, I was alarmed to see how the color of my urine spoke of dehydration. I immediately resolved to drink at least 10 glasses of water within the day. Before reaching Prayer Mountain, I've already come to the decision NOT to take my antibiotics and antihistamine until it's time to break the fast and found no reason to bring fruits either. Doing so would just result to solid food consumption, defeating the purpose why I agreed to go on all-liquid fast for this Holy Week.
The morning worship + preaching was set to begin at 09:00, but our group made sure to be inside a few hours prior to that. We wanted to secure a vacant prayer cell for ourselves to be in deep dialogue with God. Besides, our hotel room stood NEXT to the kitchen, giving us an unsolicided invitation of what's to be served for breakfast.
I heard my stomach churn violently for the unwanted deprivation around past 10:00, but my mind remained focused and grateful for the pastor's reassuring reminders. I found strength from the conviction that I have begun to celebrate dependence on Him and, soon enough, obtain clarity of mind.
By noon, our group dashed back to the neighboring hotel outside the Prayer Mountain for some much-needed repose. Our airconditioned room was indeed our instant igloo against the punishing humidity that afternoon. I was the last to fall asleep in our party of three. I was having visions of delectable food again, but I have no recollection which food. When I woke up from the alarm, I wished I had longer slumber. How typical. Back to the Prayer Mountain we went.
The painful grumbles made a comeback around 17:00 while I was on my solitary moment, taking in all the soothing silence that surrounded me. I "chewed" on lukewarm water and found solace in supportive messages from friends and Waldo. That was probably the longest instance of protest that day, to be repeated later that evening around past 20:00.
Before the evening service commenced at 19:00, I was puzzled to see the staff assemble tables outside the main building. Aren't we supposed to break the fast until Saturday noon? What kind of mental challenge is this? Worse, the waft of fried tuyo made our animated conversation come into a screeching halt. We unanimously decided to escape and proceeded inside the building. That was delicious! Seriously, I was beginning to think I can't make it until the following day.
This self-doubt aggravated when I recognized guilt for being distracted to the pleasant smell of arroz caldo even before the preaching could officially end. To my surprise, the pastor invited us to come out and join the small feast that awaits us outside. It was really time to break the fast. I was momentarily convinced that I can still stretch this act of self-control further. When my friends averred they will join the meal outside, I felt my insides sing gleefully. It could use some warm soup!
Looking back, I'm relieved that I managed to fulfill this difficult mission, considering how indulgent I am. I know I lacked preparation, but it just goes to show how mental readiness plays a key role in this effort. Actually, 4 days of all-liquid fast is too short and I really have no right to feel like a superwoman after surviving it. Will I do it again? I'll give you a resouding yes. Anything for an opportunity to find Christ again.